Aotearoa - New Zealand

Aotearoa is the Māori name used for New Zealand, translated means 'land of the long white cloud'. Here you'll find useful information about Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Protect yourself from the sun

New Zealand's ultraviolet (UV) rays are far more intense than in other countries. UV radiation can cause skin and eye damage, so you need to protect yourself when outside. It can take only 10-15 minutes to get sunburnt, even on a cloudy day!

Five SunSmart steps to protect skin and eyes from UV radiation:

  1. Wear a shirt with long sleeves. Fabric with a tighter weave and darker colours will give you better protection from the sun.
  2. Use the shade of an umbrealla or a leafy tree. Plan your outdoor activities for early or later in the day when the sun's UV levels are lower.
  3. Apply plenty of borad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30. Apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours especially after being in water or sweating.
  4. Wear a hat with a wide brim or a cap with flaps. More people are sunburnt on the face and neck than any other part of the body.
  5. Choose close fitting, wrap around style sunglasses. Not all sunglasses protect against UV radiation, so always check the label for sun protection rating.

For more information on how to stay safe in the sun, visit the SunSmart website.

Go to SunSmart website

Four seasons in one day


Culture shock

Arriving in a new country is exciting but "culture shock", feelings of disorientation and anxiety, are common. Even if you are from an English speaking country, there will be things about New Zealand that seem strange or unfamiliar. Although everyone experiences culture shock differently, some common signs and symptoms are:

  • Feeling homesick, sad, frustrated, depressed angry or/and lonely
  • Feeling worried about your health
  • Headaches and pains
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Feeling overwhelmed by small problems
  • Feeling shy and insecure

Some suggestions for coping with culture shock are to:

  • Stay in touch with friends or other people you trust
  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy food
  • Use English as often as possible, if it’s your second language – confidence with English will help you adjust more quickly
  • Learn as much as you can about New Zealand culture, values and attitudes, and try to respect them
  • Be open to learning new things and spend time doing things you enjoy
  • Keep your sense of humour

We understand the challenges international students face living in a new culture and we try to offer services to help you adjust. Orientation is a good opportunity to find out as much as you can about student clubs, services and your courses. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much too soon. It takes times to adjust and feelings associated with culture shock are common.

Talking with someone about your feelings or concerns can help you feel better. Please walk up to the the Ask Me Desk at the Unitec Mount Albert Campus to ask for someone or make an appointment to talk with a counsellor at Unitec’s counselling centre.