Oceania -- the name rolls off the tongue. But what is it?
Oceania is composed of the lands of the Pacific Ocean, including Australia and New Zealand, the Polynesian islands, Micronesia, and the Malay Archipelago. While the region spans close to 3.5 million square miles, the main locations for studying abroad are in Australia and New Zealand.
Australia is the world's largest island and at the same time the smallest continent -- and the only continent that is governed as a single country. Inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Aboriginal groups before the arrival of Europeans in the 1700s, modern Australia celebrates the cultures, histories, and determination of all the groups who have come to call it home.
Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, lies to the east of Australia, across the Tasman Sea, and comprises two islands -- the cleverly named North and South Islands. With thousands of miles of coastline, fjords, volcanoes, alps, and forests, NZ's geography is stunning. And it's home to some of the world's most divers and distinctive species of plants and animals.
So, kia ora (Maori for "welcome") to Oceania!
|Photo: M Troyak, New Zealand 2008|
|Photo: V. Kogan, New Zealand 2010|