A Day in the Life of a Student in New Zealand

Graphics & Words by Caitlin Chuah

New Zealand is a small island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, well known for its Rugby team, native Māori culture, scenic nature spots and wonderful wildlife. The country boasts world-class education, top-notch research facilities and globally accredited programs, which explains why up to 30,000 students travel there to study each year. If you plan to join them, this article will serve as a guide as to what student life in New Zealand entails. 


Like many other nations, universities in New Zealand will usually offer accommodation on campus. Living in an on-campus dormitory will allow you to feel more at home as you will be closer to the community in your university. Participate in the activities that your dorm wardens host, for example playing board games, sports and even pizza nights. Who knows, you might make some of the closest friends of your life during this period of time. Alternatively, flatting (sharing a flat or house with other students) outside of campus is also a popular accommodation choice. “Trade Me” is a New Zealand website that lets you connect with other students and browse properties in the city you will be staying in. You could also buy a used car, trade electronics or find a job through the website!

a day in the life nz artwork 1

Recreational Activities

Kiwis love sports in all its forms – rugby, football, netball, kayaking, sailing, triathlons…you name it! Boost your health and social life by participating or even just attending these sports events. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, lucky for you because New Zealand is known for its adrenaline activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping, jet skiing and more! If that doesn’t fancy you, you could take a weekend trip with your friends to explore the white sandy beaches, scenic lakes and snow-capped mountains by way of driving, cycling or hiking. Many universities will also host recreational events on-campus such as comedy nights, poetry slams, film screenings etc. which you could participate in.

a day in the life nz artwork 2


One of the most exciting things about studying in New Zealand is experiencing the melting pot of cultures and food that it offers. While local dishes will vary depending on which area of NZ you choose to visit, you can enjoy a range of traditional dishes during your stay, such as Rewena Parora (Sourdough bread), Kumara (Sweet Potatoes) and fresh seafood. Additionally, Kiwis excel at serving up brunch-style food at cafes and eateries, such as flat-whites, egg benny’s, French toast, meat pies and fruit smoothies, especially in big cities such as Auckland and Wellington.

a day in the life nz artwork 3

Socializing and Campus Life

Kiwis are laid-back and down to earth, and many of them will be willing to chat with you. After all, New Zealand is known as one of the friendliest and safest countries on the planet! 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. In terms of your education, you will be encouraged to be inquisitive, adaptable and to seek your own solutions by thinking for yourself. Unlike in many other nations and cultures, student life in New Zealand is overflowing with independence and rights. Typical classes emphasise critical thinking and self-directed learning whilst group work and collaboration with peers is common – this is how Kiwi educators believe we learn best.

a day in the life nz artwork 4

If you have any questions or inquiries regarding your tertiary education, feel free to contact us. Our services include: education and career counselling, assistance in college/university applications, student visa application, arranging accommodation and more!

Our services are free!

Let us help you get into your dream institution.

CTA Girl image