Many international students choose New Zealand to pursue their health and medicine degrees due to the balance of quality education, opportunity for professional development and laid-back lifestyle. Two of New Zealand’s universities rank amongst the top medical schools in the world with many colleges offering a wide variety of disciplines to choose from including veterinary science, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, nutritional health science and medicine and surgery (MBBS). Postgraduate opportunities in New Zealand allow students to pursue specialisations in musculoskeletal physiotherapy, public health, educational psychology and health policy to name a few.
New Zealand is a choice study destination due to an extensive curriculum that mixes rigorous coursework with internships and research opportunities that provide an immersive experience into the chosen field. Many of the universities provide state-of-the-art facilities and clinical environments for students to accelerate their learning with hands-on training. Certain universities such as The University of Otago include internships in their programs, attaching students to real-world businesses, clinics and hospitals as well for holistic learning in a real-world environment.
Studying in New Zealand also opens up greater career opportunities for students looking to stay on and develop a career in the country itself.
Why study health and medicine in New Zealand?
● Universities in New Zealand offering health and medical courses have a rigorous and tailored curriculum to ensure graduates are employment-ready.
● The two medical colleges in New Zealand that offer the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery programme are accredited by the Medical Council of New Zealand (through the Australian Medical Council).
● New Zealand universities offer a wide range of courses in the health fields that include veterinary science, dentistry, nursing, physiotherapy, nutritional health science in both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
● Students studying health and medicine have the opportunity to gain industry insight during their program through internships, hospital and clinical attachments.
● Excellent employment opportunities await students back home and within New Zealand itself.
Key facts about studying health and medicine in New Zealand
● All of New Zealand’s 8 Universities are featured in the QS rankings (QS Top Universities 2020) with the University of Auckland being in the top 100.
● You can stay and work in New Zealand for 1, 2 or 3 years after you graduate with a health and medicine degree from a New Zealand university with the Post-study work visa.
● New Zealand is a safe and peaceful country, ranking 2nd out of 163 countries in the 2019 Global Peace Index.
Choosing your health and medicine university
Here are some key things to look out for in choosing your health and medicine university in New Zealand:
● Academic Excellence – Research on reviews and teaching professors can give a good insight into the course curriculum in addition to course descriptions. Understand if any internships, hospital or clinical attachments are available to ensure a more holistic and practical education.
● Location – Whether it’s the bustling city of Auckland or the smaller coastal city of Dunedin in Otago you prefer, look for a university situated in a region that offers you the best mix of lifestyle and standard of living.
● Cost – Tuition fees will vary greatly depending on the type of course chosen, the kind of financial assistance and scholarships available to you may differ substantially as well. Look for a university that offers scholarships and determine if you are eligible, some scholarships are only awarded to students in certain countries, regions and situations.
● International Student Support – Find a university that offers well-planned support for international students, as they can advise on essentials such as accommodation, student welfare, and post-graduate employment opportunities.
Admission requirements for New Zealand universities
Entry into a New Zealand university typically requires a Bachelor's degree from a recognised university or an equivalent diploma or certificate depending on the course applied for. Non-native speakers will also require an overall IELTS (Academic) band score of 6.0, with no individual sub-score less than 5.5 as evidence of English language proficiency.
Students looking to study medicine or dentistry in New Zealand will also have to sit for the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) as part of their application.
Those looking for postgraduate programs may need to meet additional entry requirements, such as prior knowledge in certain subjects, work experience, and the successful completion of an audition, portfolio, interview or test.