With warm, peaceful islands in the north, majestic, rugged mountains in the south, and any number of variations in between, New Zealand is a country not quite like any other. The nation is comprised of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, as well as several smaller islands, all of which are home to singular wildlife, varied cultures, and friendly people. The striking landscapes that have inspired filmmakers have also captured the imaginations of tourist, backpackers, adventure seekers, and students.
While Europeans did not arrive in New Zealand until the middle of the nineteenth century, the country has been home to the Polynesian Maori people for over 1,000 years. When the British arrived in 1840, the Maori chieftains agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, which allowed them to retain territorial rights while giving Queen Victoria sovereignty. Despite strained relationships historically between the United Kingdom and the Maori people, Maori culture retains a significant presence alongside British, Pacific Island, and other international influences within the country.
Studying in New Zealand offers you opportunities to explore beautiful landscapes, enjoy the friendly hospitality of the New Zealanders, or "Kiwis," as they call themselves, and experience a unique country and culture. ISA programs in several cities on both islands give students the chance to discover new adventures and challenges in one of the world's most unique countries.
New Zealand is situated in the Oceania region in the South Pacific. It is separated from Australia to the northwest by the Tasman Sea. Along with the North Island and the South Island, the country also includes Stewart Island off the southern coast and the Chatham Islands to the east.
Much like its landscape, New Zealand's climate varies from place to place. The northernmost part of the North Island, the Bay of Islands and Northland regions, enjoy a sub-tropical climate, remaining warm most of the year, while the southern parts of the South Island experience cooler temperatures. The many geographical features, including mountain ranges, volcanoes, and areas of intense geothermal activity play a part in the climate as well. Most of the country has a wet climate given to quick, unexpected changes, referred to as a maritime climate. The unpredictability of the weather throughout the country causes travelers to prepare for various different conditions in all regions of the country.
In the warmest months, December and January, temperatures tend to stay between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (20-30 degrees Celsius). Conversely, in July and August, temperatures may drop as low as 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). Rainfall tends to be concentrated in the western part of the country due to the placement of the mountain ranges, which tend to stall weather patterns moving across the country from the Tasman Sea.