The big decision has been made and you can already see your study destination country: New Zealand! But which city to go to? The options are many and it all depends on your travel goals, planning and what experiences you are looking for as an exchange student.
We prepared this post to show you the wonders of studying in Wellington, the small but lovely capital of New Zealand! Read on and find out why Wellington should be considered to be your study destination, sweet home!
Wellington is relatively small and with a small population (400,000), compared to places like Auckland, but the title of smallest coolest capital in the world is not for nothing. Although it is a sparsely populated city, it is one of the most cosmopolitan, with excellent urban infrastructure and considered one of the cities with the highest quality of life in the world.
The weather is quite mild for most of the year, but stay tuned: the city is nicknamed “Windy Welly” because of the strong winds there, so it’s always good to have a sweater nearby.
If you prefer a less crowded city and with those “country airs”, Wellington can be the perfect destination! There is also the advantage that the city is “compact”, that is, the distances are not very great and it is possible to enjoy more tours during your stay.
For those who want to study, the city of Wellington offers several types of courses and quality educational institutions, for all budgets and preferences. Depending on how long you stay and how much money you can invest, your trip can yield many enriching experiences.
If you are looking for where to learn English, whether on short or long term courses, you can choose the New Zealand Language Center (NZLC) and The Campbell Institute. But if the intention is to pursue a higher education in New Zealand, you can also choose the Victoria University of Wellington or the University of Otago.
Remember to always check with your education agency if it has an agreement or partnership with the institution you choose, as it is possible to get discounts and differentiated payment plans this way.
Cost of living
And speaking of savings, living in a smaller city, even if it’s the capital, can have a significant impact on the total cost of your exchange.
Welly has more affordable accommodation than the most popular destinations and, as it is not a very big city, you will be able to do many things on foot or by bike, reducing transport costs as well.
A student will spend approximately NZ$250 a week on more basic expenses such as accommodation, internet and food, a value that is not too heavy and still has a little money left over for fun, especially if you decide to work part of your trip.
In New Zealand, depending on your study program and visa type, it is possible to work up to 20 hours per week. And as Wellington is a city with a very wide gastronomic area, it’s not difficult to find a part-time job and also gain experience in something you’ve never done, like in a bar or restaurant, for example. And if you study only in the afternoon, working at night is even more inviting, isn’t it?
Another type of job that is very popular with students is taking care of children. This can also be very good for English practice, as you will be communicating in the local language for at least half of your day with the child. If you like the little ones, be sure to look for these jobs.
You can also look for opportunities in your field of study, especially if you are taking a technical or university course. But it is important to pay attention to the maximum workload allowed. An experience in a different country adds a lot of value to your resume. Check with your specialist agency about the possibility of getting an internship in your field, which can also be extremely useful when you return to Brazil.
Although it is a much less well-known city than Auckland, Wellington usually attracts a lot of attention from international students, so you can expect to meet people from all over the world on the city’s streets or scattered through its many charming cafes. Take the opportunity to practice your English and increase your network of contacts.
Cultural attractions range from museums to guided tours of the country’s Parliament, which has a very modern and beautiful architecture. In fact, Wellington’s buildings are very modern and worth a visit, like the government headquarters.
The local cuisine will also impress you. Welly has a large number of restaurants, even with streets almost completely taken over by them. Be sure to take a walk along Cuba Street, downtown, and have a coffee or a different drink, as the meeting point for young people and the core of nightlife are there!
In addition to all this, on weekends, the city is the scene of many street fairs, which sell handicrafts, art and organic products. There’s no better place to find unique things and buy unique gifts for friends and family.
New Zealand is like an arm of Hollywood. Its natural beauties have been the scene of countless films, especially those with a fantastic-medieval theme, such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”, to the delight of international students nerds and geeks.
Wellington has several attractions related to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, such as the Embassy Theater, where the world premiere of the film took place and which has incredible decor based on characters from Tolkien’s universe. And, with a little more time, you can also head to the Miramar peninsula. There is the headquarters of Weta Studios, responsible for most of the recordings that take place in the city. The way there is breathtaking, get ready to feel like a character in the “One Ring” adventure!