The university campus is the central meeting point for students in New Zealand. In addition to academic institutions and administration buildings, there are numerous opportunities to spend free time outside of lectures. Especially at the beginning of a semester abroad, international students can quickly make new contacts thanks to the diverse campus life in New Zealand. At some New Zealand universities, so-called student ambassadors help newcomers to find their way around the campus. Sometimes there is also a handbook that contains all relevant information about life on campus in New Zealand.
New Zealand campus facilities
Most New Zealand universities have a clearly laid out campus so that students and visitors can find their way around quickly. The various buildings and facilities are shown on the respective campus maps. In addition to the teaching and administration buildings, this also includes institutions that organize student life outside of the courses.
In some cases, the campus facilities of New Zealand universities are spread over several locations, so that, for example, the student dormitories or sports facilities are located away from the main campus. As a rule, however, they are well connected to each other by a shuttle bus or public transport.
Typical facilities on a campus in New Zealand include:
- Teaching and research facilities: The New Zealand courses usually take place in modern seminar rooms, lecture halls or laboratories on campus. For some courses there are special facilities, such as recording studios, workshops or training restaurants. Special research facilities such as training farms or research ships are usually located outside of the main campus.
- Library: The libraries provide rooms and resources for individual learning. In addition to access to extensive literature and databases, there is also support in preparing tests and exams or in organizing learning.
- Catering: Students will find numerous catering facilities on campus, such as cafes, bistros or restaurants, which are often located in food courts. There is a large dining room in the Residential Halls, in which the residents are fully catered for every day. Many students heat up their prepared meals in microwaves on campus.
- Dormitories: Most New Zealand student accommodation is located on the main campus. Dormitories outside are usually conveniently located. When applying to study in New Zealand, students indicate whether they would like to live in a student residence.
- Sports facilities: A modern fitness or recreation center is common on the campus of a New Zealand university to keep students fit and healthy. Due to the diverse nature in the area, numerous sports courses such as rafting, skiing or hiking tours take place off-campus outdoors.
- Prayer rooms and chapels: Here students receive spiritual support and a place to pray. All faiths are welcome and respectful of one another in New Zealand.
- Students’ Association: As a non-profit organization, it is the point of contact in New Zealand for students in all matters relating to student life. Often it includes the student parliament. Students get involved here and organize events and clubs on campus or maintain the network with the university location.
- Service facilities: These institutions on campus offer support for all aspects of your studies. The facilities advise on individual needs and take care of the general well-being of the students. To New Zealand usual service offerings include on-campus:
- International Office
- Career Center
- Student Learning Support
- Examination Center
- Admissions and Enrollments Assistance
- Computer rooms
- Student Advocacy and Support
- Financial services
- Accommodation Office
- Safety and Security Office
- Health Center and Wellbeing Services
- Advice offers for special needs or cultural groups
- mail department
Leisure opportunities on campus
At most New Zealand universities, the Students’ Association is the first port of call for on-campus leisure activities. Here students will find numerous offers for organized excursions, clubs and political or social activities. In this way, the students actively shape campus life in New Zealand.
The fantastic location of many New Zealand universities in diverse landscapes or metropolitan regions also characterizes campus life. The universities and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics are often closely associated with the region. Students therefore have numerous opportunities to spend their free time and also like to simply spend time with fellow students on one of the many green spaces on campus.
Student clubs and events on campus
One of the most important events for international students is Orientation Week or O-Day in the week before lectures begin. This is where the newcomers get to know the campus and meet their new fellow students. Many New Zealand universities also host an International Night every semester or trimester, where international students present their home country.
At the beginning of the lecture period, the various clubs of the New Zealand university also present themselves at Club Day. Students in New Zealand organize numerous clubs and organizations from every imaginable field. Dance club, film society or tramping and climbing are classics. Regular campaigns in which the participants lend a hand in regional agriculture or get involved internationally are more special.
During the academic year there are always large and small events or parties organized by the Student Association or the International Office. These include, for example, networking events, balls, public viewing in the library or campus markets. The faculties of the universities sometimes develop their own public events, such as readings or science fairs.
A special highlight are events that introduce the Māori culture, such as the Noho Marae weekend. The university’s spiritual institutions also host events on a regular basis. In addition to church services, spiritual education plays an essential role. A wide variety of denominations and beliefs are represented at the universities and are also regularly invited outside of the respective holidays.
Sport plays an important cross-cultural role in New Zealand society and is therefore heavily promoted in the country’s universities. Popular sports are rugby, netball, futsal, rowing, but also volleyball, golf and basketball. The summer national sport of cricket, in particular, underlines the former colonial connection to Great Britain.
The universities offer numerous sports courses in the fitness or recreation center. The sports teams of the New Zealand universities are open to growth and regularly organize events and mini-tournaments. This includes, for example, competitions among the residents of the dormitories or the various faculties.
The universities often support professional athletes with special equipment or scholarships. University sports give students the opportunity to take part in international events, especially in Australia. For students who participate in elite regional or national teams, there are special events, for example the AUT Blue Awards, to recognize their commitment. Many universities also offer their students discounted tickets to national sporting events.