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Study in Wellington, New Zealand: A great destination for students

Wellington boasts the most educated population in New Zealand. Wellington City, New Zealand’s capital city, and the region around it are truly cosmopolitan, welcoming people from all countries and celebrating their diverse cultures.

The Wellington region offers everything - a choice of excellent educational opportunities, a temperate but seasonal climate, many different recreational opportunities, a culturally rich environment, and most importantly, a safe and secure region which opens its arms to students from all over the world. The variety of choices available makes Wellington a truly capital experience.

Five cities and the Wairarapa district together make up the Wellington region. Each has its distinct flavour and strengths. But the region is so compact and small that the whole region works together to promote the special strengths it can offer people choosing to live or study there.

On a balmy winter evening on 21 June, in the city square in Wellington, crowds gather to celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest night of the year. Young mix with old as people gather at a free performance by Wellington’s International Drumming Group.

What is noticeable is the good-naturedness of the crowd - and the number of languages that are being spoken. Wellington the capital city of New Zealand and the surrounding region are truly cosmopolitan.

More than 20% of the population was born outside New Zealand. People of all races live and work together in close harmony. Wellington is where the foreign embassies are found.

The rich cultural diversity means that students from many countries feel immediately at home. Wellington people on average earn more money and are better educated than in any region of New Zealand.

A high proportion of the population is in study or further education. Education is valued, and the quality of the programmes provided is stressed. Wellington people are involved in education, and institutions provide varied programmes of a high standard.

Wellington’s cities and towns are nestled around harbours, rivers, and coastlines among hills and mountain ranges. People living in the region cherish the outdoor opportunities offered so freely. No-one lives more than 10 minutes away from the opportunity to walk in regional parks, in the bush, on beaches, or along rivers.

Water sport opportunities abound, with swimming, surfing, yachting, scuba-diving, rafting and kayaking being popular and inexpensive. There are a number of aquatic centres in the region.

Inner-city Wellington bursts with life in the evenings, especially in weekends. On Friday or Saturday nights, especially in summer, it is not unusual to see good natured crowds still sitting outside cafes and bars enjoying the festive atmosphere well into the wee hours of the morning. Street theatre is popular and well-supported.

And crowds and crowds of people are coming into the inner city to visit Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. This magnificent museum houses Maori treasures (‘taonga’) as well as treasures from all aspects of New Zealand history.

It is the most interactive museum in the world, with visitors encouraged to have ‘hands on’ experience. It has virtual reality experiences, and visitors can walk in New Zealand bush, shear a sheep, experience bungy jumping and have many other thrills while still in the building. In the first week it opened in February this year, more than 100,000 visited this wonderful place.

The Wellington region is truly the cultural centre of New Zealand. As well as Te Papa there are many other museums in the region. Wellington is home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Ballet, has four live theatres and every second year hosts the New Zealand Festival of the Arts with a month of a wonderful programme of artistic and cultural events. It is not surprising that a number of centres of training for theatre, dance, music and the arts exist in Wellington.

No-one knows how many restaurants and cafes there are in the Wellington region. Because numbers keep increasing all the time. Food from every country can be found, so overseas students can enjoy their own cuisine, while enjoying the variety available as well. Different ethnic communities annually hold food festivals, and Wellington people turn out in full support of them.

For sports enthusiasts, Wellington is the events centre of New Zealand. There are 17 golf courses in the region and golf is easily available. Casual players and visitors are welcome on almost all golf courses. Wellington City is building a large international sporting stadium. All areas in the region have excellent tennis and indoor sporting facilities.

What makes this all so exciting is that this full range of activities is so accessible. Wellington has its own international airport, and no educational institute is more than 90 minutes away from it.

Wellington is the only region of New Zealand serviced by commuting trains to all areas. Trains are regular and convenient, with Wellington’s main railway station being close to the heart of the city.

From there, it is only 20 minutes to Porirua City or Hutt City, 40 minutes to Upper Hutt City, one hour to Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast, and one and a half hours to Masterton in the Wairarapa.

Over the region there is one institute of technology, four polytechnics, and one university, who are members of EWI. Each of these tertiary institutions is different and offers its own unique flavour.

At Masterton, a small town of 20,000 people in the Wairarapa, there is the Wairarapa Community Polytechnic. Upper Hutt City has the Central Institute of Technology, which also has a campus in the city.

The Hutt Valley Polytechnic is in Hutt City, and Whitireia Community Polytechnic is situated in Porirua City. Wellington Polytechnic is situated at the heart of Wellington City as is Victoria University of Wellington.

As well, two private training establishments, the Wellington College of Languages and the New Zealand School of Dance welcome students from overseas.

All the institutions named offer English language programmes, and a wide variety of tertiary programmes. All institutions can arrange excellent homestay accommodation. As well, they can assist with finding hostel or apartment accommodation.

So, for international education in a region where students are safe, and yet can find excitement, where quality underlies all programmes, and where choice is available - where else to study but in the Wellington region?

For further information, contact: Lynn Scott, Executive Officer, Education Wellington International, PO Box 5245, Wellington.
Phone: (64) (4) 3844070 - Fax: (64) (4) 3844069

E-mail: lynscott@paradise.net.nz
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