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Hi all!

I'm new here, been thinking about New Zealand for the last couple of months. Right now I live in Reno, Nevada USA, going to school at my local community college. I can't stop thinking about New Zealand. I have a small family of three, who are looking for someplace to set in our roots. I am half Micronesian, and as such can easily receive a scholarship from Chuuk state to pay for my schooling anywhere in the world plus living expenses. So paying for my school is a non-issue for me. My husband is from El Salvador and is totally on-board. He's been living in the United States on a resident work visa for the last 18 years, so if we made the move he'd be coming in with his El Salvador passport. Our former plan was to get him American citizenship and go from there, but since discussing New Zealand we're holding off on maybe investing on New Zealand residency in a couple years. Since I am wanting to make the move in about two years after I obtain my undergraduate computer science associate degree, I was looking for universities in New Zealand where I could apply and go to school whilst having my family there with my. My husband obtaining a Partner of Student Work Visa, and my daughter on my application. My specific question to the listening audience is this: is Hamilton the best city to both bring my family to while I continue my education? I have been eyeing it due to the lower cost of living, the proximity to other big cities if we wanted to explore more, but the natural beauty that my daughter could appreciate. Also we all don't really like big cities, we prefer something smaller, no crazy traffic, no concrete jungle etc. We like natural beauty with a little convenience. ;) I think we could get a better feel for other areas in the future after I graduate from university and look for a career home as well as our permanent family home. So anyone have any advice for me as an American/Micronesian Islander what challenges/surprises I might face, or in regards to Hamilton or other cities that may be a good fit for us.

Thanks and cheers!
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum,

I wouldn't say Hamilton is the best place. It is just one of several possibilities.

As for location, you'd be better researching which universities in NZ offer the course of study you are after as not all will run the qualification. The result of this will give you a list of potential locations which you can consider going forward.
I work near Hamilton CBD and spend a lot of time in the city. I quite like it, however since it's in the middle of the country we don't live there as we wanted to be coastal so live 1hr / 100kM away in the Bay Of Plenty and I commute for work.
As cities go, Hamilton is tiny. It has everything you need, isn't much of a concrete jungle, has a beautiful river flowing through the middle of it, but not the huge population or mega traffic issues (although there are some traffic jams at peak times) of some cities across the world.
As for cost of living, it is only slightly cheaper for renting/buying property when comparing it to Auckland as otherwise it's similar to a lot of other places on the North Island. NZ has a high cost of living - period!
Hamilton is a good base to explore other cities/areas being that it is in the middle of the country so access to Auckland/Tauranga/Hawkes Bay/the Central Plateau etc is easy.

All comes down to personal choice of what you desire in a place but it'll probably be the qualification and university that depicts the city you will go to initially.
 
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