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Student Life

There are a number of different things that you can do while attending university in New Zealand. International students are encouraged to interact with others in the community and to enjoy their educational experience. There are a number of different things that you can do, both on your university campus and off of it. Here are some ideas as to the adventures that you can have during your university career.


If you are someone that has enjoyed athletics throughout your life, then athletics is a possibility for you to pursue. You can enjoy exercise, you can join a club or team on your university campus or you can join community sports. Kiwis love sports, so we’ve dedicated a whole section of the site to helping you understand the sports that are played in New Zealand. You can also take the time to exercise. Your health is a very important part of your university career, and you won’t do your best unless you take care of all parts of yourself, including your physical health. Take advantage of exercise

Social clubs and special interest organizations

Many universities in New Zealand have a number of different clubs and organizations that you can join. What are you interested in? What hobbies do you enjoy and what do you like to do in your spare time? Whether you like board games, are interested in a particular genre of movie, or want to get involved with student government, you have the ability to do so.  You can find religious groups, groups related to the degree program that you are studying, or even groups that can help you to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. Just ask your international studies office and they will point you in the right direction.

Residence life

If you live in campus-based housing (halls of residence, etc), take advantage of the activities that your wardens are doing. They may take trips, play games, enjoy sports, or even splurge on pizza or make you a homemade meal, depending on the size of your dorm. Interact with the other people in your dorm, and you will not regret it. You are in that close space for up to four years; you may as well advantage of it and make friends with both native Kiwis and those who are studying abroad, just like you. You may make some of the closest friends you’ve ever had, just because you decided to branch out a little bit and enjoy your residence life experience.

Arts and culture

There are literally dozens of ways for you to enjoy arts and culture, right on your college campus. Many universities have musical groups, dancing groups, social events, cultural events, and a number of other activities that are going on. As an international student, this could really help you to round out your experience and learn more about the world that you are staying in. Enjoy the arts and culture experiences that are available both on and off campus, and you will feel like your time has been well-spent.

Travel and explore

There are a number of places that you can travel while you are studying in New Zealand. If you have weekends or a holiday free, make sure that you take the time to go look at all the sites. Nowhere else in the world can you drive two hours and find a totally different geography than where you started. If you love the mountains, drive to the North Island and check out the beautiful mountains. If you like the beach, drive to the Southern part of the South Island and see what there is to see. There are usually a number of different discounts and such for students, if you know how to utilize your resources. You may also be able to take trips with the university; many universities offer trips throughout the year.

You don’t have to go far

Remember, you’re studying abroad; this isn’t where you’re from. You don’t even have to leave the part of New Zealand that you are in. You can look around your local area and take a walk. Check out the areas of town that you’ve never been to; try a new pub or restaurant that you’ve heard of but didn’t get to yet. Just go out and get some fresh air while checking out your little pocket of the world; that’s enough to get you going in the morning.

Get a Job

You are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week on a student visa, so take advantage of it. There are plenty of jobs both on and off campus, and you may meet a lot of interesting people while working too. Try and find a job related to what you are studying, too; it can give you invaluable experience that you couldn’t get any other way. Want to learn more about working in New Zealand? Check out our section on working while studying.


This is probably the top tip that we have for you. The best thing about New Zealand is the people, no matter what part of the country you are studying in. People are friendly and loving, and many of them will be willing to chat with you. Find ways to interact with native Kiwis; they will be able to give you valuable information, unforgettable experiences, and a number of other things that you wouldn’t ever get if you just stayed in your flat and did work.

Studying is, of course, the most important part of student life while you are in New Zealand. But don’t let your studies get in the way of enjoying the time that you have in the country. When you study in New Zealand, you will never run out of things to do. Whether on campus or off campus, student life is meant to be enjoyed and you will get to see parts of the world that you would have never experienced otherwise. No matter what your interests are, there will be something for you to enjoy while studying in New Zealand. So, if you decide to study in New Zealand, step out of your comfort zone a bit and see what there is to do. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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