Invercargill Pop. 55,200
Southland’s small, close-knit communities provide a warm and caring environment for school students, who are able to immerse themselves in an English language environment and experience Kiwi culture at its best. Students studying at the Southern Institute of Technology are also given the pastoral care and study support they need to succeed.
Southland’s education providers include the Southern Institute of Technology and a network of supportive primary and secondary schools.
The region has a very high ratio of native English speakers and its schools have relatively low numbers of international students. Southland students need to speak English in their everyday activities, ensuring they make the most of their time studying in New Zealand.
If you’ve got limited time for your study adventure, Southland schools also offer short-stay cultural studies for students who want to experience living in warm, inclusive Kiwi communities.
As well as offering more than 180 programmes, SIT prides itself on giving international students the support they need to succeed.
SIT’s support package includes a pastoral care team, free counselling, a free health centre, free peer tutoring, native speaker support, and up to three months of free English language classes for international students’ spouses.
Education Southland provides students with homestays that give them a safe physical and emotional environment. Students live in small communities and schools take the whole person into account, rather than just academic performance.
Many students enjoy their time in Southland high schools so much that they stay in New Zealand to go on to New Zealand tertiary institutions.
With warm and welcoming communities, low-cost living and accommodation that’s likely to be within an easy walk of wherever you’re studying, Southland offers an unbeatable quality of life and an escape from the hustle and bustle of big cities. You’ll also have an outdoor paradise of parks, lakes, mountains, rivers and beaches right on your doorstep.
Education fees also tend to be relatively low. The Southern Institute of Technology’s Zero Fees English and Zero Fees Foundation Studies programmes, for example, allow international students to study English or foundation programmes for free if they go on to enrol in a mainstream academic programme that lasts for at least a year.
SIT also runs free buses for its students to Queenstown, Te Anau, Dunedin and around Southland on weekends, which makes it cheaper to explore some of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand.
Southland has an excellent education, health and community infrastructure, and a wide range of cultural, sporting, recreational and adventure activities to enjoy.
The region’s great outdoors is a natural playground of lakes, mountains, forests and beaches - you can walk in the spectacular Fiordland National Park or watch Hector’s dolphins surfing the waves near Invercargill.
Supermarkets, recreation centres, parks, museums and art galleries are also usually within walking distance of student accommodation.
Invercargill airport is one of the most accessible airports in New Zealand - only a five-minute drive from the city centre.
Studying in Southland could be your ticket to a future career in the region. With an ageing workforce and one of New Zealand’s highest employment rates, Southland is recruiting skilled young workers to meet demand. There is support for tertiary students looking for jobs, and work experience opportunities are available for high school students.
Its swiftly-growing economy has been generating job opportunities faster than the region has been able to cope with. Southland actively encourages young skilled migrants to come and work in the area.
If you plan to study agriculture, forestry, building and construction, food and hospitality, meat processing, viticulture or horticulture, you’re in luck - Southland has skills shortages in all those areas.
You’ll be able to attend employment workshops to learn how New Zealand’s job market operates and what employers are looking for. You may also receive one-to-one support from a dedicated employment officer to help you with everything from interview techniques to identifying possible job opportunities.
SIT has strong links to industry and employers, which helps students to establish the important relationships that can lead to fulltime jobs.
Southland is estimated to be facing a labour force shortage of about 5000 people by 2023, rising to more than 12,000 by 2031. The region is especially keen to replace its ageing workforce.
To help meet the demand for skilled workers, Southland has set up a network of local businesses that take on work experience students and mentor young people in training.
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