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Exploring New Zealand

How Studying in New Zealand Compares to the Philippines

In order to further my education and gain experience, I decided to study overseas. After researching extensively I decided on New Zealand. My experience studying in New Zealand was very different to the Philippines.

I realised that studying solely in the Philippines would limit the opportunities available to me. I wanted to gain a globally recognised education which would open opportunities for me. After extensive research into countries to study in, I decided on New Zealand (read about how I made my decision here). 

Filipino education

In the Philippines, you have to put in a lot of work and effort for the courses you study. Imagine having classes 7:30am to 10pm at college every day and at grade school 7:30am to 5pm every day. No time to relax or do your assignments.

Courses are intensive and in most cases, subjects are not fully aligned with the courses, it makes no sense at all right? For example; having a biology class in an accounting course. There are so many subjects not related to the courses and you do not get to choose your curriculum. Even grade school students experience that.

New Zealand education

Here in New Zealand, I have found that education is family friendly. I have a much smaller study load compared to the Philippines. I was very shocked to discover that I would only be studying 8 subjects over the whole year. In the Philippines, I used to have 9 subjects in a single semester. What a big difference!

Subjects are aligned to the course matter and everything is on schedule. You are allowed to select your own papers and set your own curriculum. Assessments, which we called assignments in our country, are announced at the beginning of the class which allows students to have time to prepare for them. In New Zealand, there is a fair number of assessments and a limited number of examinations.

Cultural differences

The best part about studying here as an international student is the experience of having classmates from different countries and cultures. Every culture has a different style of learning. Learning with them is exciting and funny!

I learned a lot of things about different people, what are their likes and dislikes, what are their concerns or areas of interests, what they want to do and what they want to achieve, and how they do things their way. It is a very good environment to be active and involved in.


I also learned that volunteering here is very important to Kiwis and to their community. It helps both parties to sustain the good for everybody.

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By Marc Edward Calvez De GuzmanFilipino Graduate Diploma Student

Updated 1 year ago

Marc is from the Philippines but has recently moved to Rotorua New Zealand with his partner. He is studying for a Graduate Diploma in Applied Management - Business Strand Level 7 at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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