Summer Study Abroad in New Zealand

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A Guide to Summer Study Abroad in New Zealand

Summer may be the perfect time to eat kiwis, but why not travel to the land of Kiwis instead?! Venture to the far-flung island of New Zealand for an educational adventure that’ll get your brain going AND your adrenaline pumping! You’ll feel like it’s opposite day while you’re there during your break, because it will be their winter season, which means you’ll have the perfect excuse for Christmas in July. Not only will you be able to bungee jump over canyons and rivers in the sunshine, you’ll also be able to sip an apple cider by the fireside. Take a journey to the Land of the Long White Cloud for upside down summer study abroad in New Zealand! 

Why Study in New Zealand in Summer

While summer break is hard not to love, sometimes you just want to beat the heat! In New Zealand, you’ll experience cool, fall-like weather and, if you so fancy it, a little bit of snow. The winter attractions and features are endless: walking along glaciers, spelunking to see glowworms, and rejuvenating in hot springs. Even better, several summer study abroad programs in New Zealand offer experiential learning, which will allow you to learn firsthand from Kiwi professionals and academics and observe New Zealand’s forests, national parks, and wildlife reserves, just to name a few. 

From environmental studies to cultural studies to aviation courses, you’ll discover the South Pacific like never before thanks to summer programs in New Zealand’s prestigious and distinguished universities. Learn valuable lessons about sustainability while engaging with the landscapes through field studies, journaling, and lectures. Courses in New Zealand are taught in English, as this is the dominant spoken language throughout the country, but you might just learn some Maori phrases along the way too.


From alpine herb fields to deep fjords to temperate rainforests, the geographical diversity in New Zealand will make for stunning views outside of class. Go for a boat cruise on Milford Sound, swim with dolphins in Kaikoura, or visit a sheep farm in your free time — just another summer day in New Zealand. 

Located in the northern area of the North Island of New Zealand is Auckland, the most populous city in the country. See a cultural show at the Auckland Museum and Institute, which has free admission. Hit the urban boutiques with your new friends along the waterfront and take a tour of the Auckland Sky Tower. When the weather is especially brisk, cozy up in a café with your homework for a hot toddy. Plus, celebrate the Maori New Year in July by attending Haka (posture dance) competitions, pop-up hakas, and Maori story performances. 

On the opposite side of the North Island sits Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. To take your mind off your studies, walk along the bush-covered Town Belt to the Mount Victoria lookout where you’ll see panoramic views of the city (the walk up might look familiar to any die-hard hobbit and Fellowship fans!). Warm up in the Wellington Museum to learn some interesting stories about the city you’re studying in; later, see a flick at the Embassy Theatre. Don’t forget to catch some good vibes at the Wellington Jazz Festival for some soul-touching music during your summer program in New Zealand.

Queenstown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the southwestern area of the South Island. Round up your classmates and kick off the winter season at the Queenstown Winter Festival — quirky competitions during the day and fireworks, live music, and comedy at night. Take a tour of the arts and craft galleries to see jewelry makers at work. Want to get your blood pumping to get your mind off your studies? Ski or snowboard at one of the four international ski areas. Find out what makes the Remarkables so remarkable!  

Tips for Summer Study in New Zealand

No worries, a few tips for your summer in New Zealand go a long way toward painting the town red while you’re there! The weather can get a bit chillier than you’d expect and the climate can be somewhat unpredictable, so be sure to pack lots of layers and invest in warm thermals and a rain coat. You’ll likely be trekking in several rugged areas, so be sure to pack a good pair of boots and walking shoes. 

Play it safe by keeping an eye on your valuables and traveling with others in the streets and remote areas. If you’re venturing to new areas with a car, pay a little extra for the snow tires, and make sure you pay attention to road signs. Watch out for sheep, campervans, and distracted tourists as well. 

On the lighter side of things, celebrate winter with the numerous festivals all over this island-country. In mid-July, get your sweet tooth on at the Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival where you’ll not only learn about chocolate making, but engorge on tons of chocolate as well (who says you need a hot summer bod?!). Don’t forget to head to the Nelson Winter Festival to see a comedy-poetry competition and celebrate New Zealand’s music, too!

Summer Study Abroad Scholarships

While winter is the off-season for tourists, you’ll make your wallet dance with delight with some scholarship money to cover the cost of airfare and other extracurricular activities. It just makes dollars and “cents” to apply for every study abroad scholarship you can! Here are just a couple of New Zealand’s best summer study abroad scholarships: 

  • ISA provides a $500 Pacific Regions Scholarship for summer study abroad in New Zealand. To apply, applicants need to be accepted into an ISA program and have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA, submit an essay, resume, and college transcripts. 
  • TEAN Abroad offers a full ride scholarship for summer term with a value of up to $26,000! Applicants will need to meet the GPA of the program they’re in and submit a one-page essay. The deadline for this scholarship is March 1st! 
  • API awards thousands of dollars every year to students from all backgrounds. The scope of API’s scholarships range from $200-$750. 

Be sure to apply early for study abroad scholarships and pay attention to qualifications and deadline dates, and you’ll be splurging on warm mince and cheese pies in no time! Ring your program coordinator and inquire about available scholarships for summer study abroad in New Zealand, as well as helpful application tips. For an endless list of study abroad scholarships, be sure to check out GoAbroad's Scholarship Directory

Benefits & Challenges

In addition to the six-pack abs you’ll gain from abseiling and skiing, your resume will sparkle with the tidbit that you spent a summer studying abroad in New Zealand. You’ll be able to boast to employers that you joined a global community, learned about indigenous cultures, and developed a deep understanding of sustainability. You’ll broaden your horizons and learn international viewpoints that’ll come in handy while you’re on the job in your field. 

You’ll likely experience some culture shock during summer study abroad in New Zealand. The accents and dialects may overwhelm you, but you’ll learn the slang in no time. Keep in mind the etiquette and customs, as Kiwis are polite people. On the bright side, they have a sweet-as sense of humor and love to laugh – so join in!

Whether you’re tramping on trails in the morning or drinking wine at festivals in the evening, you’re bound to fall in love with the landscape and locals during summer in New Zealand. While we know you know there’s LOTs to love about this LOTR locale, we want you to see it for yourself. 

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A Guide To
Summer Study Abroad in New Zealand


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