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Nelson/Marlborough

Main Centre

  • Nelson Pop. 46,437

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  • Māori culture
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  • Hobbit
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The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region is home to some of the most high-achieving secondary school students in the country, and is a popular destination for studying English. Many students learn in the outdoors as well as in the classroom.

Where can I study?

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The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area has an extensive network of primary, intermediate and secondary schools. The region includes New Zealand’s oldest state secondary school, Nelson College, and one of the country’s largest tertiary providers, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

Why you should study in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area

School students in Nelson are among the highest-achieving in the country.

83% of 18-year-olds have at least NCEA Level 2, the second-highest proportion in New Zealand. Marlborough also has an above-average proportion of 18-year-olds attaining NCEA Level 2.

The area is also a safe and supportive place to study. Secondary schools have lower ratios of international students, which makes it easier for students to meet Kiwi friends and fit into the school community.

Schools give students strong pastoral and learning support, which may include international literacy coordinators, specialist ESOL classes, peer tutors and online literacy programmes.

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The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough is a popular destination for English language learners.

Study options range from short preparatory courses to more comprehensive courses with internationally-recognised exams.

Language schools offer quality teaching, personalised learning and excellent facilities. Nelson English Centre even has its own salsa and yoga dance floor.

International students can also improve their English in the region’s primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

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Use the outdoors as your classroom when you study in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region, which is one of the most beautiful and varied areas of New Zealand.

The region’s internationally-recognised outdoor programmes give students a chance to experience anything from kayaking in the Abel Tasman National Park to alpine hiking in Kahurangi National Park or trout fishing at Nelson Lakes National Park.

Education outside the classroom isn’t limited to outdoor adventure: subjects such as biology, marine science, geography and history include lessons outside in nature to support classroom learning.

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Learn more about studying in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area

Whether your passion is mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, surfing, visiting art galleries or enjoying gourmet food and wine, you’ll be able to do what you love while you’re studying in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region. The ‘Top of the South’ can give you a safe, healthy, affordable lifestyle, and an awe-inspiring natural playground to explore.

Why you should live in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region

Study in the ‘Top of the South’ and you’ll be welcomed into warm, friendly and safe local communities.

The region has one of the lowest crime rates in the country and is accredited as a Safe Community.

The Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area has a warm and sunny climate, clean air, pure water and wholesome food - especially locally-grown fruit and vegetables, and freshly-caught seafood.

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Studying in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region gives you a high-quality education without big-city living costs.

The cost of living in the ‘Top of the South’ is lower than in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and compares well with other regions of New Zealand. Homestay costs are also relatively low.

The region’s outdoor lifestyle means there are lots of free activities to enjoy, from swimming or surfing at a gorgeous golden-sand beach to hiking through the rainforest in a national park.

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At the geographic centre of the country, the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region is a great base from which to explore both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

Nelson is a 1.5-hour flight away from Auckland, while Blenheim is a 20-minute flight from Wellington. Ferries cross the Cook Strait to Wellington in just over three hours from Picton.

Three national parks and the whale-watching township of Kaikoura are within a two-hour drive, and it takes less than four hours to drive to the South Island’s historic and scenic wild West Coast.

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Learn more about living in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area

With a booming economy, a low unemployment rate and many seasonal and part-time jobs, the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region has job opportunities for international students. It’s also ideal for studying subjects that reflect local industries, such as viticulture, aquaculture and adventure tourism.

Why you should work in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area

The strong economy of the ‘Top of the South’ makes it easier for students to find part-time and holiday jobs.

The region has a thriving tourism, retail and hospitality sector, with part-time jobs available in cafes, restaurants, bars and shops.

March to July sees a big demand for seasonal workers in industries such as tourism, seafood processing and food and vegetable production. Many students find seasonal work picking and packing kiwifruit and apples.

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The economy is booming in the ‘Top of the South’, leading to more jobs for graduates.

In 2015 Nelson-Tasman was the second-fastest growing region in New Zealand, based on gross domestic product. The Nelson economy topped the country in business services growth, particularly in construction and retail, while tourism is another thriving area.

The region has a low unemployment rate and a highly skilled workforce, with a greater than average number of people with an undergraduate degree.

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International students studying at tertiary level in the ‘Top of the South’ can be confident their skills are workplace-relevant and highly mobile.

Education providers work with local employers to ensure courses focus on meeting the job needs of the region.

Subjects offered by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology include viticulture and winemaking, aquaculture, adventure tourism, maritime studies, and tourism and travel - all important local industries.

The institute also offers and facilitates work placements and internships for international students and graduates.

The region has a shortage of skilled workers in forestry, viticulture, aquaculture, construction, engineering, education, healthcare, trades, professional services and business administration.

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Learn more about working in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough area

Discover more about the Nelson/Marlborough region at nelsonnz.com/study