New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland. New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island , and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions.
English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by 96.1% of the population. New Zealand English is similar to Australian English and many speakers from the Northern Hemisphere are unable to tell the accents apart. The most prominent differences between the New Zealand English dialect and other English dialects are the shifts in the short front vowels
New Zealand's climate is predominantly temperate maritime with mean annual temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) in the south to 16 °C (61 °F) in the north. Historical maximal and minimal are 42.4 °C (108.32 °F) in Rangiora, Canterbury and −25.6 °C (−14.08 °F) in Ranfurly, Otago. Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to almost semi-arid in Central Otago and the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland. Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year and Wellington the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch all receive a yearly average of more than 2,000 hours of sunshine. The general snow season is early June until early October, though cold snaps can occur outside this season. Snowfall is common in the eastern and southern parts of the South Island and mountain areas across the country.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy, although its constitution is not codified. Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and the head of state. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General, whom she appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General can exercise the Crown's prerogative powers, such as reviewing cases of injustice and making appointments of ministers, ambassadors and other key public officials, and in rare situations, the reserve powers (e.g. the power to dissolve Parliament or refuse the Royal Assent of a bill into law). The powers of the Queen and the Governor-General are limited by constitutional constraints and they cannot normally be exercised without the advice of ministers.
New Zealand's transport network comprises 94,000 kilometres (58,410 mi) of roads, including 199 kilometres (124 mi) of motorways, and 4,128 kilometres (2,565 mi) of railway lines. Most major cities and towns are linked by bus services, although the private car is the dominant mode of transport. The railways were privatised in 1993, but were re-nationalised by the government in stages between 2004 and 2008. The state-owned enterprise KiwiRail now operates the railways, with the exception of commuter services in Auckland and Wellington which are operated by Transdev and Metlink. Railways run the length of the country, although most lines now carry freight rather than passengers. Most international visitors arrive via air and New Zealand has six international airports, but currently only the Auckland and Christchurch airports connect directly with countries other than Australia or Fiji.
The New Zealand education system is modeled after the British system, and as a result, the education obtained in New Zealand is acknowledged in most countries around the world.
The ever changing landscape of New Zealand has captured the hearts of adventurists and artists alike: hauntingly desolate rock, jagged cliffs, bubbling rocks and wide spaces are abundant in New Zealand.
New Zealander’s pride themselves on being some of the world’s greatest travelers because of their openness and acceptance of other cultures. As an international student, integrating into society is made easy.
New Zealand has a fascinating political system that has achieved great results worthy of closer observation.
Despite its location, technology has allowed us to blur borders and be more connected than ever. New Zealand has adapted the latest communications technology, and as a result, is an active participant in the world markets.
New Zealand has more space, smaller classrooms, fewer line ups and fewer crowds than Canada, allowing you to really take in the nature and the people of this island country.
Unlike many other countries, New Zealand universities do not have a lot of competition to get admitted for a university degree. That is because the New Zealand government has invested heavily in higher education over the years. Because of that New Zealand universities have more capacity than the number of students. Students with moderate grades can get entry to most Bachelor degree programs easily. Hence the entry requirements are minimal compared to most of the top universities in the world.
New Zealand has comparatively low cost of living, food easily available at reasonable prices and a wide variety of student accommodation options. Public transport is also moderately priced, offering easy access to rivers, lakes, forests and beaches for the recreational opportunities they provide.