New Zealand is second to none for climatic and scenic diversity, as well as rugged and mythical appeal. Think we're exaggerating? Director Peter Jackson chose it as the film location for  Lord of the Rings .

Nature lovers from all over the world are drawn to New Zealand for its rare seismic beauty, glacial mountains, and fast–flowing rivers. While scores flock to New Zealand's national, maritime, and marine parks, many visiting students are simply content to bask in the splendor found at any one of the hundreds of beaches lying within walking distance of several college campuses.

New Zealanders are famous for their warm hospitality to overseas visitors. Perhaps this is because they come from many ethnic backgrounds themselves–New Zealand culture is a mix of European, Maori, and Pacific Island heritages. The dominant cultural groups are the Pakeha (European) and Maori, while smaller groups include Yugoslavian Dalmatians, Polynesians, Indians, and Chinese. While New Zealand is an English–speaking country, its strong Maori heritage has flourished of late, and the Maori language, so long on the decline, is making a comeback.

Study Abroad in New Zealand: Auckland

If you choose to study abroad in New Zealand, your journey may take you to Auckland, the country's largest city (population 1.2 million), located to the north on the North Island. Technology-focused students are most likely to find a suitable college program in Auckland.

Known as the "City of Sails," Auckland occupies a narrow isthmus between two stunning harbors and is heaven for thousands of sailing and fishing enthusiasts. As New Zealand's most ethnically diverse city, Auckland is the country's business hub and offers all the cultural and recreational amenities you would expect from a large, modern city. Its climate is temperate, with cool winters (50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and warm summers (65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit), giving residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a host of outdoor recreational activities year round, including surfing, sailing, hiking, and skiing. With lovely vineyards, beautiful swimming and surfing beaches, bush-clad hills, and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf all within a thirty–minute car or boat ride from the city center, Auckland is a premier destination for any visitor to New Zealand.

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