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New Zealand, a country highly responsive to the changing needs of global communities and international business, continues to grow at a rapid pace. Add to this the attraction of its natural, outdoor lifestyle, low density population, good employment opportunities, advantageous exchange rate and what you get is an irresistible combination all the good things a country can offer to an aspiring student.
As a former British colony, New Zealand's education system is based on the prestigious British systemNZ offers a plethora of courses and degrees from its eight state-funded universities, in popular streams like arts, commerce and science as well as in specialities like medicine, engineering, management, computer studies, biotechnology and architecture - all of which are internationally acknowledged for their academic and research performance. It also has more than 22-state funded and NZQA approved institutes which offer certificate/diploma programs. Many of these institutes offer graduate diploma programs as well. Incidentally, NZ also specialises in courses in dairy, agriculture, horticulture, hotel management and tourism - sectors not at all affected by recession.
What's more, the NZ government has in place a Code of Practice, signed by over 1,200 institutions in the country, which ensures a consistently high standard of education.
Not only do these state-funded universities offer high standard education, but they are also charge remarkably low tuition fees for educational courses as compared to most other countries. And if financial woes dog you, then here's some more heartening news. NZ boasts of an extremely low unemployment rate of just 6%, [according to the NZ Household Labour Force Survey 2009]. Students studying in NZ are allowed to work part-time for 20 hours, during the academic year and full-time during vacations.
"The Staff at NZMA have been wonderful and there is so much support here for International students" said Mani Kaul who is pursuing a National Diploma in Hospitality Management.
[According to the New Zealand Trade Commission], the last four years have seen an impressive growth spurt in the international student market from India in New Zealand. The NZ consulate received a whopping 6,000 visa applications from aspiring students in 2009 - a threefold increase from the 2000 applications in 2005, states the New Zealand Visa Bureau.
"Going to NZ for studies has turned out to be the best decision of my life. Even before the completion of my course, I have been inundated with offers in the international job market," said Mathew Lawrence who is pursuing Bachelor's degree in Science from University of Auckland.
Even the NZ government has gone out of its way to make visitors feel welcome, ensuring that all the visa procedures are hassle-free.
International students who have graduated from a course in New Zealand get a graduate job search visa for one year. Students are pleasantly surprised to find that NZ is a country that offers them a lenient grace period of an entire year to find a job that suits their needs. And after they find a permanent job, they can also extend their work permit by another two years. That's not all, NZ also offers a spouse visa as well.
If you fall in love with the clean and green way of life in NZ, here's some news that you'll definitely use: applying for permanent residency is as easy as apple pie - very aptly, a NZ delicacy you will relish.