New Plymouth Pop. 114,800
Study in the Taranaki region to gain the internationally-recognised qualifications and valuable life skills that will set you on the path to a successful future. The area has lively city schools, close-knit rural schools, and tertiary institutions offering high-quality vocational training in subjects such as hotel management, engineering and cooking.
The Taranaki region has two tertiary education providers: the state-owned Western Institute of Technology (WITT) at Taranaki, which is one of New Zealand’s oldest polytechnics, and Pacific International Hotel Management School. It also has a wide choice of primary, intermediate and secondary schools, in the city and in rural areas.
International students make up no more than 5% of the school rolls in Taranaki’s secondary schools. The low ratio helps international students to blend into their schools, make Kiwi friends and practice their English language skills.
International students are highly valued in Taranaki for the variety, richness and diversity they bring to schools and communities.
Study options available at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) include courses to prepare students for careers in engineering, trades, oil, gas and agriculture - all jobs that are in demand in the region.
Tourism is another growth area in Taranaki. WITT offers hospitality courses - including a popular Diploma of Professional Cookery course - while Pacific International Hotel Management School prepares students for a wide range of careers in the hotel, hospitality and tourism industries.
You can choose to study in a busy city school in the heart of New Plymouth or a country school in the rural communities of Stratford or Inglewood.
Excellent pastoral care is a priority for Taranaki schools and homestay families. For example, Spotswood College, New Plymouth’s only co-educational secondary school, won an Education New Zealand award for excellence in student support.
Taranaki school students are able to take part in a huge variety of co-curricular activities, from surfing to hiking to kapa haka (Māori performing arts).
From the lively northern coastal city of New Plymouth to the outdoor paradise of the south, Taranaki has an incredible and diverse lifestyle to offer international students. Study in Taranaki to discover its great cafe scene, exceptional museums and art galleries, black sand beaches, mountain trails and friendly people.
Buses offer student discounts, and students at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki travel free on many weekday bus services.
One of New Zealand’s first walking and cycling model communities, New Plymouth has an award-winning network of cycle trails, amenities, walkways and events. You can even leave your bike for the day in the city’s free secure bike pod.
Head off the beaten track on Surf Highway 45, a 105 km stretch of coastline between New Plymouth and Hawera with awesome surfing and windsurfing.
The highway is perfect for a surfing road trip, with incredible and uncrowded surf breaks at beaches such as Ohawe Beach, Opunake, Okato and Oakura. Mount Taranaki will be the spectacular backdrop to your surfing adventures.
The region punches above its weight in attracting major national and international festivals, competitions and events.
Top attractions on Taranaki’s diverse events calendar include the WOMAD global music festival, the Taranaki International Arts Festival, the TSB Bank Festival of Lights, the Tropfest short film festival, the Americana classic car festival, and the Kinetika art, design and engineering competition.
Many students stay in Taranaki after graduation to launch successful careers in the region. Taranaki has a wealth of job opportunities in areas such as oil and gas, farming, food technology, nursing, engineering, agritech and tourism. Education providers work closely with local businesses to give students real-world industry experience.
New Zealand’s only operating oil and gas reserves are in Taranaki, which has created an innovative engineering, transportation, distribution, machine and equipment manufacturing, and construction sector.
Many graduates stay on in the region to develop their careers in the engineering and energy industries. Energy multinationals have national bases in Taranaki, offering graduate job opportunities and internships.
Pacific International Hotel Management School students live, study and learn in a four-star Qualmark-rated hotel. Students carry out all roles within the hotel, from food and beverage service to front office, housekeeping and management.
Students are also guaranteed a paid job placement. The school finds jobs for the students and organises a variation of conditions of their student visas to allow them to work fulltime in hotels during their placements.
The strong regional economy means many Taranaki graduates stay on after completing their studies to start their careers in industries such as engineering, agriculture, food technology, nursing, agritech, and yacht and boat building.
Taranaki is also seeing a boom in tourism and hospitality jobs. The region has many popular natural attractions, particularly beautiful Egmont National Park, and cultural attractions, such as museums and art galleries.
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