Academic Trips & Language Classes
There are numerous English language schools in New Zealand, which allow international students of all ages to enjoy the natural beauty at the same time as studying. You can do short courses on a Visitor Visa (less than 3 months); study for 6 months on a Working Holiday Visa (limited to certain countries); or apply for a Student Visa, for fulltime study for 4 years. English Schools New Zealand (www.english-schools.co.nz) is a directory of schools offering ESL (English as a Second Language) in 15 locations around New Zealand. Language Schools New Zealand (www.languageschool.co.nz) offers courses in Christchurch and Queenstown, and accommodates students with New Zealand families.
If you'd like to get an insight into New Zealand's agricultural industry, Agritour, Palmerston North (tel. 06/354-9063; fax 06/354-9064; www.agritour.co.nz), arranges technical study tours visiting agribusinesses, research stations, orchards, and forests to suit your needs. For those interested in nature, ecology, and sustainability issues, Dunedin-based Nature Quest New Zealand (tel. 03/489-8444; www.naturequest.co.nz) offers a range of adventures for students wishing to study here. The New Zealand landscape acts as an outdoor classroom and courses are designed to broaden participants intellectually, socially, and personally.
Clean Green Photo Tours, Wanaka (www.cleangreen.co.nz), can arrange anything from a 2-hour instructional course to multi-day photographic excursions to Stewart Island, Fiordland, and even the unforgettable Sub-Antarctic Islands on board the 18m (59-ft.) ketch Talisker. Photographer Gilbert van Reenen shares his most beautiful, off-the-beaten-track locations. Travelling Light Photography (www.tlphoto.co.nz) puts you in the very capable hands of accredited photojournalist and professional photographer Marcus Adams, who can tailor a photography tour to your needs. Finally, photographer and guide Phillip Bartlett of Capture New Zealand (www.capturenewzealand.co.nz) offers 7- to 12-day tours of the North and South Islands, wilderness or wildlife, or 4WD drive adventures that take you into places you'd never otherwise be able to photograph.
Fiordland Ecology Holidays, Manapouri (tel./fax 03/249-6600; www.fiordland.gen.nz), can take you away on its oceangoing yacht for 3 to 7 days of low-impact natural-history adventure in the remote areas of Fiordland. A maximum of 12 people can swim with seals and dolphins, go snorkeling and diving, and set out on bush walks. There are also berths available on scientific research trips. Navigator Tours ★★★, Auckland (tel. 09/817-1191; www.navigatortours.co.nz), specializes in high-end indigenous Maori experiences that focus on real people, living real lives in fresh, innovative ways. Whether it be learning to make a hangi (earth oven), meeting a Maori professor for coffee, taking a ride in a waka (war canoe), or enjoying a forest walk or a visit to a marae, a Navigator experience is one you will never forget.
Southern Discovery Holidays, Greymouth (tel. 03/768-6649; fax 03/768-9149; www.nzholidayheaven.com), offers a 12-day Millionaires Tour, visiting the South Island's gold fields in search of gold; 14-day School Geography Study Tours on the South Island, which include adventure activities; Golden Age Holidays, which offer small groups of retired people a new approach to vacationing; plus a wide range of special-interest holidays, including photography, painting, gardens, farms, ornithology - you name it, the staff will prepare it for you.
The Tourism New Zealand website (www.newzealandtourism.co.nz) has a very good directory of other educational and specialized tours of New Zealand.