Study Photography in New Zealand

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Photography Studies in New Zealand

Are you a student majoring in photography who is thinking about participating in a study abroad program?  Have you considered the breathtaking country of New Zealand as a potential study abroad destination?  New Zealand is an excellent locale for any student thinking about studying and living abroad for a semester or year in a foreign country, but it’s especially advantageous for students of photography, as the country is home to some of the most stunning natural landscapes on the planet.
Study abroad programs in New Zealand will indeed expose students to a world of immense beauty and natural wonder, but there is also much more to this beautiful nation than meets the eye.  An island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is a country that geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Maui; and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu—and numerous smaller islands.  New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometers (900 miles) east of Australia across the Tasmanian Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of the Pacific Island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga.
Because of its remote location, the country was one of the last lands to be settled by humans.  During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life, most notably a large number of unique bird species that are native to the islands. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions.
The majority of New Zealand's 4.5 million inhabitants are of European descent, and the indigenous Māori people are the largest minority.  They are followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders.  English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language are the official languages of the country, with English being the first language of the majority of the population. Much of New Zealand's culture is derived from the native Māori and the early British settlers who colonized the land.  Early European art was dominated by landscapes and to a lesser extent portraits of Māori.  However, a recent resurgence of Māori culture has seen the traditional arts of carving, weaving and tattooing become more mainstream. The country's culture has also been broadened by globalization and increased immigration from the Pacific Islands and Asia.  New Zealand's diverse landscapes provide many opportunities for outdoor pursuits and have provided the backdrop for a number of big budget movies.
Photography Education in New Zealand
The gorgeous natural landscapes in New Zealand make it an ideal locale for students who intend to study photography, which is why the program is offered by most of the country’s major colleges and universities.  Undergraduate programs in photography generally span four years in New Zealand, leading to a Bachelor Degree.  Students who wish to pursue education beyond the baccalaureate can apply for admission into one of the many Master of Arts degree programs in photography, which generally span an additional eighteen months to two years.

In New Zealand, photography degree programs teach students the theory and technical aspects of the photographic disciplines.  Many of the bachelor's degree programs of today focus on digital photography, although some universities continue to offer courses in print photography as part of their curriculum. Obtaining a bachelor's degree in photography can lead to careers in advertising, media, museums or galleries.
The most common bachelor's degree programs in photography lead to either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  Photography programs consist of multidisciplinary studies, with broad curricula that address theories, technology and creative thought related to the field.  Many undergraduate programs allow students to specialize in a particular aspect of photography, such as advertising, photojournalism, visual media, fine arts or commercial photography. Students have the chance to develop skills in the foundational techniques of photography, such as black-and-white or color photography, digital photography, darkroom procedures, aesthetics, composition and color balance.
Photography degree programs may also provide students with opportunities for artistic and professional practice. Programs generally encourage students to develop a personal style in photography, through which they learn to convey ideas, emotions and information in their work.  Students may be subjected to critiques during courses and are urged to collaborate with their peers, which enables them to further develop as artists. Some programs require students to develop a portfolio of work that shows their transformation from student to artist, which can later be a great tool for landing the career of their choice.
Throughout the bachelor and master’s degree programs in photography, students will become trained in a number of basic skills, including positioning and point-of view techniques, shooting indoors and in sunlight, neutralizing backgrounds and finding points of emphasis.  Participants will typically work with a variety of equipment, learning to photograph 2-D and 3-D projects, shooting with 35mm cameras, and understanding how lenses, tripods and film function. Students will also explore various photography techniques, such as “depth of field” and “F-stop.”
Why Study Abroad in New Zealand
Studying abroad in New Zealand is an experience like no other.  The country is home to several top-notch universities that welcome hundreds of international students each year from around the world, giving them the chance to get a fresh educational perspective and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.
Photography students will have a limitless number of opportunities to practice their craft while studying abroad in New Zealand, as the rugged and picturesque islands are home to miles of dense native forests, mountains, beaches, glaciers, thermal regions and fiords that have been well-preserved by the environmentally-conscious government and culture.  
Students will also have the opportunity to study and embrace the culture of New Zealand, a place where the traditional Maori culture mixes with modernity of the country’s cosmopolitan cities, and where charming villages dot the vast expanses of untouched wilderness.  
When not busy studying in the classroom, students will find countless things to do and see in New Zealand, from whale watching off the coast of Kaikoura, to bungee jumping off the Kawarau River Bridge.  Auckland, the capital and largest city in New Zealand, is home to a number of museums, galleries and historical landmarks, as well as scores of fantastic restaurants and popular nightspots, where students can dance the night away to the latest musical styles.  Auckland is also a major sailing and yachting location, and is home to several major events each year, including the renowned Louis Vuitton Pacific Sailing Series.
Another popular destination in Zealand is Wellington, which every two years hosts the International Festival of Arts.  This popular celebration features a wide variety of works from local and international artists, and a lively mixture of street theater, comedy, music and film.  Other popular attractions in New Zealand include the Franz Josef Glacier, the thermal wonderland of Rotorua, the Bay of Islands and the Tongariro National Park.
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