For those who want to study abroad, the exchange is an enriching experience, which encourages exchange and relations between nations, by providing an immersion in different cultures, the exchange shows a portion of the diversity we have in the world.
The countries that we will mention, Canada and New Zealand, have several similarities, such as safety, quality of life and so on. However, the differences are also many – starting with the continent, the climate and its customs.
How is the exchange in Canada?
Regardless of the destination chosen, an exchange can provide an amazing experience in the life of any student. However, for Canada, the application processes are somewhat complex and limited, starting with the need to apply for visas even for a leisure trip.
A short time ago, the Canadian government announced an update that favors Brazilians who wish to visit the country. Since May 1, 2017, Brazilian citizens have become eligible for the eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) program, which, in certain situations, exempts the need for a travel visa and replaces it with an authorization.
However, to be able to apply for eTA, a person must have obtained a Canadian visa within 10 years or have a valid non-immigrant visa from the United States.
Canada requires a travel visa from the Brazilian exchange student before boarding. For courses lasting up to 6 months, a tourist visa can be used.
The student visa is only mandatory for courses lasting more than 6 months, however, it is a visa that has some requirements that are not necessary for a tourist visa, such as academic affiliation, proof that the student has enough money to support themselves in the country during their study period and medical examinations. The advantage is that this visa allows the exchange student to exercise an employment function in the country. However, it is worth checking if the measure fits your course.
In addition to the visa issue, Canada is a country with a rich and diverse culture, with countless natural landscapes and tourist attractions known and coveted by visitors from around the world, such as the CN Tower in Toronto, Niagara Falls in Ontario and the Banff National Park, located in Alberta, which has some world-renowned lakes such as Louise and Moraine.
Two languages are officially spoken in Canada, English and French. The country is a bilingual nation, but depending on the region, one language predominates. If your trip is to the Toronto or Vancouver area, the primary language is English, however, if your trip is to the Montreal or Quebec area, you will see the majority of the population communicating in French.
How is the exchange in New Zealand?
New Zealand is considered by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) as one of the best countries in the world, being the sixth best country in terms of quality of life and infrastructure. Along with Denmark, it is the country with the lowest corruption rate in the world, according to the CPI (Corruption Perception Index).
It is the third most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index, and is among the 15 happiest, according to the World Happiness Report study. In addition, the New Zealand government has abundant investments in education. According to QS World University Rankings 2022, eight best New Zealand universities are among the top 500 in the world.
In 2019, New Zealand was named the best country in the world for an exchange program, according to the Educations.com ranking. This research is based on some crucial decision factors, such as:
- Opportunity to experience a new lifestyle;
- Reach new professional opportunities;
- Have new experiences;
- Easy access to a higher quality education network;
- Cost benefit;
- Speed in obtaining visas — both for studies and for work.
Despite being a country farther away than Canada, New Zealand is a welcoming destination for those seeking cultural immersion, quality of life, receptivity and proximity to other continents as rich and cultural as Oceania. A visa is only required if your stay is longer than 90 days. In this case, it is necessary to apply for a student visa.
If it is a medium to long-term exchange, over 14 weeks, it is ideal to apply for a visa with a work permit – exchange students enrolled in courses can work for up to 20 hours per week during study periods and 40 hours during vacations.
What to evaluate when choosing a destination?
Although all the initial options seem perfect, the choice of your exchange destination needs to be done with great responsibility and caution. Culture shock is a reality, and depending on the place chosen, it can be more or less intense.
So, if you are used to a big, urban city that works 24 hours a day, choose a destination that meets these requirements. If you are someone who prefers to live in a quieter place, the ideal is to choose a city in the countryside or on the coast.
Some other cultural and local factors are essential when analyzing your exchange:
- Living costs;
- Educational institutions;
- Visas available.
How to choose and purchase the exchange?
For the closing of an exchange, as it is a trip with several aspects and details, the ideal is to look for an agency capable of giving you all the necessary support, from the destination decision stage until the return of your trip.
The visa application process can be a little time-consuming, so it is recommended to act well in advance and carefully, together with our visa department, which can help with the entire progress of this application. It is necessary to organize the documents that will be requested by the consulate and, in addition to the normal procedures, the immigration of your destination country may ask for extra proofs – which can lead to longer delays.
The exchange program has logistics so that all details are confirmed on the day of your expected trip. This involves tickets, visas, accommodation, choosing courses and educational institutions, in addition to some bureaucratic processes – such as translating documents.
We saw in this post that the decision between Canada and New Zealand for your exchange program may not be simple, as both countries have their own individualities and processes. Still, we hope the content will help you with your decision.