New Zealand is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean consisting of 2 main islands, both marked by volcanoes and glaciation. New Zealand is the world's third safest country just after Iceland and Denmark. Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perception Index ranks New Zealand the least corrupt country in the world, first equal with Denmark. It is certainly among the most beautiful island nations on the planet, its biodiversity magnificent in every respect. The Fiordland and Southern Lakes, stood in for mythical Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

New Zealand has 4 seasons; Summer on December to February, Autumn on March to May, Winter on June to August, Spring on September to November, but New Zealand weather can change unexpectedly. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature if you're going hiking or doing other outdoor activities.

New Zealand has several types of post-secondary educational institutions: universities, colleges, private institutions and polytechnics. There are 8 universities in New Zealand, which all offer high quality education. Programmes and courses offered in New Zealand tend to be are highly ranked on a global level. Seven of New Zealand’s universities feature in the 2012/13 QS World University rankings – the best ranking universities in New Zealand are University of Auckland (83), University of Otago (133). Other listed universities include University of Canterbury (221), Victoria University of Wellington (237), Massey University (308) and the University of Waikato (374).

 

International students who have achieved a New Zealand qualification may be allowed to gain experience in work related to their studies. Depending on what they study, they may be able to work in New Zealand for up to four years, and possibly even gain residence. After your post-study work visa (employer assisted) you may qualify for a New Zealand resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. If your work is in an occupation that has skill shortages, this improves your chances of being allowed to stay, either with work visas or residence.