What can you do as an exchange student in Palmerston North?

My first month at the IPU in Palmerston North has already passed. After I arrived, I struggled with jet lag due to the 10-hour time difference. But after I got over it, I started exploring the surrounding of the city. 

palmerstone north campus
The IPU campus in Palmerston North looks pretty darn cozy! Photo by AE /  CC BY

Palmerston North’s city center has a pretty main square and next to it a shopping mall, called “The Plaza”. As it is open 7-times a week, you can even go shopping on Sundays. It is very easy to get there because several buses leave directly from the IPU campus. If you miss the bus, you can also walk for about an hour or you take a taxi for about 20 NZD. And brand new: Uber is now available in Palmerston North. At “K-Mart”, one of the shops inside “The Plaza”, you find everything you need like towels, decoration, etc. at a relatively low price.

You might also be interested in: 5 Reasons Why You Should Study in New Zealand

Other than the shopping possibilities, the city mainly consists of restaurants and cafés. Next to Asian restaurants, you will find some Indian or burger places and the typical fast-food-stores like Subway, McDonalds, KFC, etc. The administration of the IPU sends a “Weekly What’s on” agenda to all their students. Thus, as soon as there is an event or anything special going on in the area around Palmerston North, you will know about it. 

bar in new zealand
There are plenty of relaxed and nice bars in Palmerston North. Photo by Mohammad Saifullah /  CC BY

Palmy, as local people call it, has also several pubs and bars – for example, “The Bubbles”. It is a bar with live music on weekends and on Thursdays, there is karaoke night. If you want to go to a club, “The Daily’s” is your destination. Other than in Germany, you are not allowed to drink on the street, so continuing your pre-drinking on the way to the bar is forbidden. Also, the nightlife ends at 3 am. If you like to eat something afterwards, good news: McDonalds is always open. 

nature in new zealand
The nature in New Zealand is stunning. This is one of many reasons why you should study abroad there!  Photo by Evan Clark /  CC BY

Like everywhere in New Zealand, Palmy offers beautiful nature. The Victoria Esplanade is a park close to the city center and along the Manawatu River. It is perfect for relaxed walks. Also, you will find several walking treks next to the campus. You can just walk in any direction and you will find many nice spots. The Gorge Track is another very popular hike. We have not done it yet, but it is definitely on our list. If you want to get a bit further away, you can drive to the Rangiwahia area (about 1 hour away from the city center). We hiked to the Rangiwahia hat a few weeks ago and the nature is very stunning. If you want to spend a night at the top of the hill, you can stay in the hat for a few dollars.  

Palmerston North is the perfect starting position for trips through New Zealand. At i-site (the tourist center), you can book buses all over the North Island. Next week is a short break for all IPU students. Me and my friend will use the 9 days by going to Auckland, buying a van and then driving all over the North Island.  

Do you want to study abroad in the land of the Kiwis? 

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This text was written by IPU student Lena!

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