Wellington has become the destination of choice for smart, agile and creative students from around the world. New Zealand’s ‘coolest little capital’ is a haven for students seeking an authentic Kiwi experience, great employment prospects and a great lifestyle.
The city is small enough to encompass the warm hospitality New Zealand is well-known for, but also embodies a vibrant, energetic city feel with plenty of events, activities and opportunities. And now more and more international students are landing their dream jobs in Wellington after coming there to study.
Wellington boasts the highest average salaries of all New Zealand cities, plus the most educated workforce in the country and moderate living costs. Students who move to Wellington often find the career prospects so good that they never want to leave. The region’s institutions and universities work closely with the city’s network of businesses across science, technology, government and manufacturing to place students in graduate and intern roles.
Plus, Wellington’s business community is keen to help non-native students into careers through the Work Ready in Wellington Programme. This free series covers New Zealand work culture, communication, interviews and job hunting. The course is taught by local business experts and mentors, so students are in safe hands.
Saurabh Singh had a checklist of criteria when he decided to study outside of India – he was looking for a place that had great opportunities for employment after study, was affordable, multicultural, safe and close to nature. He was awarded a scholarship to Victoria University of Wellington to study a Masters of Engineering.
Saurabh says the research facilities and faculty support he was offered at Victoria University was ‘overwhelming’, and something he had never experienced before. Upon completion of his studies, he applied for a role at mobile game development company PikPok – creators of Flick Kick, Into the Dead and Rival Stars Football – where he still works as a game analytics developer. In his job, Saurabh writes code to analyse huge amounts of data to help the organisation optimise and improve the sales of their games.
Francisco Lora found out about Wellington from a talk given about studying in New Zealand in his home country of Colombia. After learning about each New Zealand city, he decided on Wellington, and moved here to study his Masters of Design at Massey University – one of the best universities for graphic design.
Francisco, who now works as a designer at Wellington-based Platinum Health & Safety, found studying a “wonderful experience”, thanks to the teaching quality and support of his supervisors.
Sabrina Cao, originally from Northern China, moved to Wellington after researching global study destinations. After seeing “lots and lots of photos of this beautiful country”, and finding out about the region’s stunning natural environment, and open-minded attitude, Sabrina found out that Victoria University of Wellington offered her preferred accounting programme – a Master of Professional Accounting.
Sabrina felt that Victoria University provided “lots of help and assistance to international students, both academically and non-academically”. After finishing her Masters, within two months she had bagged herself a role with leading energy provider Todd Energy. Her work as a tax accountant sees her working across complex business structures to ensure compliance with New Zealand legislation.
Hassan Almitib moved to Wellington from Saudi Arabia, to study network engineering and computer science at Victoria University. He says the course was highly specialised and very professional.
In his third year of study, Hassan joined Summer of Tech – the premier IT internship programme for New Zealand graduates and students. Hassan secured a coveted summer internship with cutting-edge, online accounting software company Xero one of New Zealand’s most exciting companies.
His role in Xero’s graduate programme saw him in four rotations, each focusing on a different area from infrastructure engineering to backend development. This helped Hassan hone in on what he wanted to pursue, and he now holds a permanent role at the company as a site reliability engineer.
Vandana Abhiruchi, from Bihar in Northern India, moved to Wellington to study a Postgraduate Diploma in IT at Whitireia. Vandana was offered a job at leading wealth management platform FNZ as soon as she finished studying, and says the help and support she received from Whitireia’s teachers and faculty was invaluable.
Vandana says Wellington’s welcoming locals helped ease her transition and she always felt welcomed and accepted in the region. Sabrina agrees, suggesting any students new to Wellington embrace this friendly way of life to help them break through cultural barriers.
Wellington was recently named the world’s most liveable city by Deutsche Bank, and was the most affordable Australasian city in Mercer’s 2016 survey, which means students who choose to study here get to enjoy their leisure time on top of receiving a top-quality education.
Sabrina takes advantage of the 363km of walking and mountain biking trails close to the city by tramping – the Kiwi word for ‘hiking’ – on weekends. She also likes to swim at the city’s many beaches and swimming pools after work. She says, “the space, freedom and work-life balance I enjoy in Wellington is amazing”, especially when compared to Tianjin, the big city she comes from in China.
Hassan also appreciates Wellington’s beautiful natural environment, playing sports and exploring walking tracks around the region. He loves the city’s cafes and restaurants, which are all heavily influenced by its multicultural communities.
Sabrina says studying in Wellington has been the best experience of her life so far, presenting her with opportunities she never would have imagined. Moving to Wellington was “a life-changing experience”, and she encourages other international students to consider making the same move.
And Hassan’s advice for those considering studying in Wellington? “Do it.” Read the article with it's images and links here