New Zealand Universities (College for Americans) run from New Zealand summer (Feburary) to end of the New Zealand Spring (around November), made up of two semesters.
The University of Canterbury is the best engineering school in New Zealand. It has nine specialties on offer:
- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Forest Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Natural Resource Engineering
- Software Engineering
The best colleges for science are Auckland and Otago. Otago has a cold climate but the student culture there is fantastic. Both Auckland and Dunedin have active surf life saving clubs, more so in Auckland where there are more patrolled beaches.
For science you will be looking at Auckland or Otago. All things equal between them, I would go for Otago because there will be a greater opportunity to do your outdoor activity in the south island, which is really quite beautiful. There is some opportunity in Auckland but I would venture to say not nearly as much; It is a city.
Vet or Agriculture/Horticulture
New Zealand only has one University where you can study veterinary science, this is Massey University in Palmerston North. This University is also in the top 20 in the world for Agricultural and Horticultural studies.