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About 3,000 international students from around the world make Manawatu their home each year. We invite you to take a closer look and discover what makes our region a vibrant hub for international education.

1) World-class education providers 

Palmerston North is home to world-class education, with Massey University, the Universal College of Learning (UCOL), and IPU New Zealand all offering exciting tertiary opportunities for national and international students. With eight secondary schools that host international students as well as specialist English language providers, English Teaching College (ETC) and Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) based here, you have the support you need to develop your English competency.  

Students at UCOL Palmerston North

Students at UCOL atrium

Massey andFoodHQ

Massey and FoodHQ students

IPU New Zealand campus

2) Student city 

With around 40% of the population studying and 30% under or between the ages of 15-30, Palmerston North is a true student city. There are plenty of sports teams and clubs to join, so you’ll have many opportunities to make new friends and socialise.  From city wide student events like Tertiary Knock Out to the annual Palmerston North Mayoral Welcome, this is a place where students thrive.

Ethkick Manawatu

An Ethkick football team

3) Best of New Zealand within hours 

Surrounded by spectacular scenery and landscapes, Palmerston North offers easy city living with the great outdoors right in your own backyard  – with walks, hikes, parks, beaches and ancient native forests to explore. All this is at your doorstep with easy access to ski fields, vineyards and thermal hot springs in neighbouring regions.   

International Students Boulders

International students exploring boulders

4) Safe and affordable 

The International Safe Community Foundation has accredited Palmerston North as a Safe City and is where international students are welcomed and looked after by our friendly locals – Palmerston North was chosen as a pilot for the Welcoming Communities programme, developed by Immigration New Zealand.  

Manawatu is often ranked as one of the most affordable places to live in New Zealand – so whether you prefer hostel accommodation, a modern house on Summerhill or a student flat in the city centre, Palmerston North has a range of affordable accommodation options available.

Students sitting at a flat in manawatu

Student housing Palmerston North

5) Vibrant, multicultural community  

Home to over 100 different cultures, Palmerston North has a vibrant and diverse community scene.  From Vietnamese street food to locally made artisan cheese, you’ll find there’s a huge selection of cafes and international eateries here. There’s also the annual Festival of Cultures – a must-do event you’ll want to be a part of as well as the amazing atmosphere when the famous bucketheads come out to support the Manawatu Turbos play.  

IPU NZ Drum Team

IPU New Zealand drum team