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Why New Zealand is a popular study destination

September 04, 2009 11:52 IST

New Zealand might not be a student's first choice when it comes to picking an education destination overseas, but it is gradually growing in popularity. More Indian students are opting for studies in this island nation, based on the quality of education and opportunities it offers.

RMS Atwal talks to Jagdeep Singh, a New Zealand study visa expert and director of Chandigarh-based IEC Consultants, about what the country has to offer.

"Education in New Zealand is quite affordable and matches the best in the world. Its economy is already in recovery mode. Students planning to move to that country now will see a much better scenario in the years to come," says Singh.

Excerpts from the interview:

Indian students are now flocking to New Zealand. How good is education in that country?
The education and environment in New Zealand is excellent for international students. There are good institutes and not so good institutes in every country. A serious student should always look for study in a community polytechnic or government college, or a good university. That helps in easier visa approval too.

Some students complain about the lack of job opportunities on study completion in New Zealand. Your comments.
A student going overseas should be very patient if looking for a good career in the stream s/he studies. For example, if somebody is studying hospitality s/he should stick to jobs in the hospitality industry even if the wages are low initially. This will give them the experience to seek better jobs in that field in the future. The problem is that students find more money in other jobs at the start and don't really pursue the career they have studied for.

Is the job crunch in New Zealand a temporary phase, linked to the world recession?
Yes. There has been a recession in the last few months and some industries have seen job losses but the economy is already on the recovery note. Students planning to move now will see a much better scenario in the coming years, when they graduate.

No doubt studying in New Zealand is comparatively cheaper, but can it make our students employable globally?
Education in New Zealand is pretty good and well recognised globally. A person with an NZ education seeking a job anywhere in the world would have the same opportunities as they would from any other education in the world. The competence of a person is of course an important factor in getting a job.

Easy and quick permanent residency is the main attraction for Indian students. But is it worth it, keeping in view the opportunities in India?
A lot of students from this part of the world tend to settle in western countries and seek visas for countries providing such opportunities. We need to see here that there may be good opportunities in our own country but there are certain other factors affecting migration, such as maybe the law and order situation. Taking pride in the job you do, no matter how small it may be; public infrastructure such as roads, electricity and other issues which we face day in and day out in our own country matter a lot. People fly out to seek a better quality of life there.

What are some of the more popular New Zealand study courses?
Most students go for business studies, hospitality and computing courses, which are all in high demand for employment as well as permanent residency.

What advice you have for our students who are weak in the English language and still want to fly to NZ?
I would like to advise our students to work hard and hone their English language skills before flying abroad. It's not just a good IELTS band score that helps secure a visa to New Zealand; a good command over the language will help get them better and higher paying jobs. Without communication skills, a student's overseas stay may not be as comfortable as they would like.

RMS Atwal can be reached at rajatwal55@yahoo.com