Known for its dominance in world rugby and its snow-capped mountains filmed by Peter Jackson in “The Lord of the Rings”, New Zealand attracts more than 2,000 students French each year (half of which for English lessons). However, the fame of its universities, the varied offer of courses and the beauty of the country are well worth the trip!
A staggered start to the school year
The start of the school year is here in February, due to the southern hemisphere . This is an argument that could appeal to those who have not finalized their choice of studies during the summer. While it is advisable to send your application in July, it can be sent until the end of the calendar year.
Choose the exchange programs offered by your French institution, because the tuition fees are high. For a Bachelor (equivalent of the license) at the university, it will be necessary to pay 8,000 € per semester. And around 10,000 € for a master’s degree.
An affordable level of English
While the New Zealand accent is not the easiest to understand, universities have the advantage of being tolerant of the English level of newcomers. In Bachelor, they generally require a minimum score of 6 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or 60-78 on theTOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) . They are a little more demanding in master and require a minimum of 6.5 in IELTS and 79-93 in TOEFL.
But almost all also offer in-house refresher courses before the start of the school year, from one week to several months. You can then take the tests to validate your registration.
University or professional streams
New Zealand has eight public universities: the fields of study are varied and the teaching is often masterful. “I have 11 hours of lessons but the share given to personal work is more important than in France. I have a big homework to return per week”, details Thibault, student at the Epita in exchange for a semester in the ‘AUT (Auckland University of Technology).
For those who would like to join a more professionalizing stream, public education offers 16 ITPs (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics), comparable to French IUTs (university institutes of technology). Thoset what Svenja chose, a student in the trinational section of the DUT in marketing techniques at the University of Haute-Alsace and registered for a semester at the NMIT (Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology), in Nelson. From here I easily go sightseeing on weekends. And I’m the only French!”
The country also has more than 700 private schools. The courses are more supervised there, and the entry more selective.
A wide choice of environmental studies
Clean air, blue lakes, forested mountains and still active volcanoes make New Zealand a precious nature reserve. The country therefore offers a wide choice of environmental studies, such as the School of Forestry, a public training provided at the University of Canterbury.
Marine biology, notably offered at Victoria University in Wellington, is also one of the country’s fields of excellence.
Also concerned by the issue of water, the Marine is preparing a thesis in freshwater ecology at the University of Otago, in Dunedin. “I have skills in demand and it is a promising sector. My goal is to stay in New Zealand after my doctorate to look for a job.”