Life in New Zealand

If you are going to New Zealand, be sure to know that it rains everyday at least for 5 minutes, and then it is sunny for the rest of the day!Sarah from NY, Semester Program
There was much more down time in New Zealand than in the United States. They all came together at night and watched the television for a few hours. In the United States we are always moving so fast there is very little time for this type of down time and family gathering. Joy from WA, Semester Program
I found when I arrived to New Zealand that the eating habits were most difficult to adjust to. This is because at home I eat a lot of pasta, and only have three main meals. In New Zealand, we had breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, sometimes supper, and always dessert.Sarah from NY, Semester Program
My best piece of advice is that you just have to go with the flow. New Zealand is a very laid back country. They make plans last minute and aren't too fast pace. It's hard to get used to but it is nice when you do.Bailey from WI, Semester Program
"Nevermind" isn't a rude remark; it's just their attempt to move on to the next topic of conversation. They didn't seem to dwell too much on little nitpicky things, or dramatic elaborations.Nicole from OR, Semester Program
I truly believe that New Zealand is one of the most amazing places in the world. The people are very open so take advantage of that and try to learn as much as you can from them. Embrace every second you have because the time will fly and before you know it you will be back in your home country. Skylar from ID, Semester Program
It was hard for me to get used to the way school was run in New Zealand. I had to become more disciplined because they had exams at the end of the term and no tests in between. Bailey from WI, Semester Program
The school day in New Zealand is also very mellow with lots of breaks and I didn't know what to do with all the free time.Alexandra from NY, Summer Culture Progr
Bring slippers you can wear inside the house, because you usually have to take your shoes off when you go into a house. Most kiwis wear slippers after they take off their shoes. Allie from MA, Summer Culture Program

Digging Deeper

Cultural Resources
News and Media
Movies and Documentaries
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
  • This is New Zealand (1970)
  • Whale Rider (2002)
  • Goodbye Pork Pie (1981)
  • World’s Fastest Indian (2006)
  • This Way of Life (2009)
  • Once Were Warriors (1994)
  • The Piano (1993)
  • Mind the Gap (2013)
  • An Angel at My Table (1990)
  • The Strength of Water (2009)
  • Cinema of Unease (1995)
Books
  • Into the River (2012)
  • Mister Pip (2006)
  • The Whale Rider (1987)
  • The Luminaries (2013)
  • Straying from the Flock: Travels in New Zealand (2005)
  • Long Cloud Ride (2007)
  • A Land of Two Halves (2004)
  • Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All (2008)
  • The Bone People (1984)
  • A Pattern of Island (1952)
  • The 1 Thing: A Small Epic Journey Down New Zealand’s Mother Road (2006)
  • High Country Woman: My Life On Rees Valley Station (2012)
LGBTQ Resources  Heritage and Ethnicity Resources
Note: The links and resources listed in "Digging Deeper" have been provided to AFS by people involved with our organization, including alumni members, volunteers, etc. AFS has not reviewed the resources in their entirety and presents them "as is" for your own information. As such, the sites, publications, films, etc. do not necessarily reflect the approval of nor the views, opinions, and/or values of AFS.