Student Visas

Why Studying in New Zealand

New Zealand, although it is the same size as Japan or Great Britain, but there are a lot of reasons that you should consider going there for your studies abroad. Many people will call natives of the country “Kiwis,” after the bird that only resides there and nowhere else in the entire world. There are a number of reasons that you should consider studying in New Zealand instead of considering other countries; that’s what we’re going to look at in this section of our website.

1. The people

Kiwis are some of the most amazing, loving, and welcoming people that you will ever meet. If you are a stranger, a native New Zealander is going to treat you like you are a friend. They are used to meeting new people, first because they travel a lot themselves, and also because a lot of people come to visit New Zealand as well. The culture on the islands is quite laid back and easy going, as well. So you’re not going to feel tense like you would if you went to a large city like London or New York City to study. There are just over 4 million people who reside on the country, and it is one of the safest places to live in the world. Another cool thing about the people is that there are so many different kinds of people. For being such a small country, the diversity is greater than you see in many European countries.

2. The stability

Some people say that, because the country is in a small corner of the world that doesn’t really get bothered by anyone, that New Zealand seems to be secluded from the rest of the world. This isn’t true at all. As mentioned above, the people are really welcoming to outsiders. But, it can also be a great thing! The economy is actually incredibly stable, the cost of living is low, and the government is more stable (and less argumentative) than the governments that you will see in other countries. This is probably the reason that immigration is embraced, which we will talk about more in some of our later points.

3. The Weather

Nothing can get better than the weather in New Zealand. The winters are mild, with temperatures around 10ºC (50ºF) and slightly wet. In higher altitudes, you will see snow, but it’s not common in lower altitudes. In the summers, the climate is warm and dry with temperatures around 25ºC (77ºF). As you would expect in the southern hemisphere, the summer lasts from December to February; winter lasts from June to August. Spring and fall are similar, with cooler temperatures and little rain.

4. The educational system

This is the number one reason to go anywhere for school, but New Zealand is amazing for their educational system. First, the tuition is some of the lowest in the world. You get a British-based education (due to their British influences) for a percentage of the cost. The degrees are recognized around the world as being up-to-date and practical. You will get a high quality, hands on education that you deserve. The New Zealand even goes so far as to checking each and every course, program, and certificate for quality so that they can be recognized around the world as high-quality education. Not only that, but the support services for international students are among the best in the world. They have a lot of expertise and experience in helping international students so that they can succeed in their programs.

5. Never run out of things to do

This is an amazing opportunity for anyone who looks for adventure. In New Zealand, there are literally thousands of things to do. Do you like to hike? There are plenty of mountains for you to explore. Do you enjoy being a beach bum? Then you get to enjoy the beaches throughout the year. Want some excitement? There are always new things to do . The scenery is different depending on where you go; you could drive an hour and have a completely different geography. We’ll look at this more in our sports and recreation section.

6. Work opportunities

There are plenty of work opportunities available for international students. On a student visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week through the semester; during vacations you can work up to 40 hours. So, instead of having to worry about finances, you get to supplement your education with income. You may even be able to nab internships and other practical work. The international studies office at your university can help you find a job to sustain you during your time in New Zealand. Another great thing is that you can get a permit at the end of your degree program and work for 12 months in the country under a special “work permit” that is alongside your student visa, which is what we’ll look at closer in the last point.

7. Ease of visa acquisition and residency

The visa acquisition process is incredibly simple, and unlike many other countries, you will not be rejected right away. You get to talk to people and tell them your side of the story if there is something that may prevent you from getting a visa to come into the country. If you can explain why you’ve decided to go down there and your international studies program helps you to create a Statement of Purpose (a statement you give to the visa officer to tell them why you are coming to New Zealand to study), you will usually get a visa. The country is welcome to immigration, more so than almost any other country in the world. The last advantage is that, after you graduate, as mentioned above, you can work in the country for up to a year. If the job you are working at is related to the degree that you received, you can actually apply to get permanent residency, which you will most likely get within 6 months of your application. We look at visa acquisition and residency more in our Visa and Passport section.

Now do you see why there are over 100,000 people who go and study in New Zealand every single year? Will you join them and become an honorary Kiwi while getting your education in a beautiful and unique country like New Zealand? Then keep looking around our site; we can help you determine how to move forward with the application process and how to choose the right school for you. We want to give you everything that you need in order to help you to make the best decision on this site.

For more information, please follow this link:

How to apply for student visa…

When you are looking to study in New Zealand, the first place that you have to start (even before you can get a visa) is by applying to the universities that you want to attend.

You want to start applying early, because the academic year in New Zealand lasts from February straight through to November, with a four week break in June and July.

Most people enter university in February and July, and most universities start accepting applications in the August prior to the school year you are applying for.

Obviously, the application process is going to be different, depending on which school you are attending. This section is just going to explain some of the application process according to most New Zealand schools. Your experience will vary depending on your school, and you will be able to get more information from the appropriate departments at your school.

New Zealand has embraced the technology age, as have many of the schools that are there. The best part about this is that you don’t have to be concerned about international shipping fees for your education. Most schools allow for you to send your application through the university website or through email, but you can, of course, send your application through traditional air mail as well.

The traditional application process has a number of requirements that you have to meet, many of them coinciding with the visa requirements that you will have to meet as well.

Here are some of the requirements that you will see, and you will have to send paperwork for them when you apply for the school:

  • A personal statement of intent. Why do you want to attend university in New Zealand instead of your home country? What do you plan to do upon completing your program?
  • All of your transcripts from secondary school, including any university courses that you may have taken during secondary schooling or at the school you were attending before transferring to a university in New Zealand.
  • Any relevant test scores. ACT or SAT are most common, other scores are accepted, depending on the country that you are coming from.
  • Proof of funding, or intent to apply for funding for your tuition. The financial aid office at the university you are seeking to attend and the immigration department of New Zealand can help you with these requirements.
  • If you are transferring from a university and have taken a year worth of credits (30), you likely will not need anything from your secondary schooling in order to apply. This will differ depending on your school.
  • Most universities require some sort of application fee that you pay when you submit your application. These run anywhere from NZ$25 to NZ$50, depending on which school you are looking to attend. Sometimes, you can get a waiver on your fees (especially if you are sending your application via air mail, which can be pricey).
  • Your financial aid applications. You may be able to fill one out through the country that you currently reside in, depending on their rules and that country’s relationship with New Zealand in terms of educational programs. There are actually a number of countries that work with New Zealand and each other in order to help fund education for students that may be traveling between those countries in order to study.

Visas and Immigration

One of the most important things that you need to know before you go into New Zealand is how you can get your visa. Of course, you have to make sure that you are accepted to the university that you choose before you can even start applying for a student visa. But, here are some of the things that you need to know.

Limitations of Student Visas

If you are a full time student, then you are given a student visa as long as your tuition is paid, which lasts for one school year. If the program is based on the New Zealand year (instead of the year that you will see in the northern hemisphere), your student visa will expire at the end of March of the following year, to allow you time to stay.

There are ways to get around this, of course. You can study with a particular education program that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Immigration office, which will allow you to apply for a visa that lasts as long as your program is going. You can also apply for scholarship(s) through the university you are attending; if you receive one of these, then your visa will last as long as the scholarship does (up to four years).

Many times, you have to be a full time student in order to apply for a visa, but part-time students can too. If you are coming to the country for one school year (9 months) and meet all of the visitor requirements as set by the government, or if you are finishing a degree program during your part time semester that will help you become a “skilled migrant” as defined by the immigration department, then you can apply for a student visa as a part-time student.

Who will not be approved for a student visa?

As we mention in our “Why Study in New Zealand” section, most people who apply for student visas will receive them. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but there are very few. Here’s a brief list.

  • If you have been convicted of a crime that led to jail time for five years or more ever; or, if in the past 10 years, you were imprisoned for a year or more.
  • You have to go under prohibition when entering New Zealand.
  • If you have ever been deported or excluded from a country.
  • If you are considered a terrorist or a terroristic threat that will risk security, order, or public interest.
  • If you are currently in New Zealand illegally, and they know about it.
  • If there is specific health issues or character issues that you have, which are determined by the immigration department upon your application. Character issues can include trying to stay in the country illegally or breaching your visa conditions.

You can also lose the right to have your student visa. You will then be deported. This could be if you don’t attend classes, you work more than your visa allows (we will discuss work restrictions in our working while studying section), if you switch your program without contacting the immigration office, or your funding stops for some reason.

How to Apply

There are a number of different visas that you can end up applying for, but they all have the same process. Here is a basic, step-by-step layout of the process.

  • You have to fill out an application, which you can find on the immigration website here.
  • You need to get any and all medical certificates required by the government, which you will see on the application or the visa guide.
  • If you live in Australia or New Zealand, you don’t need a visa.
  • You need to meet any and all requirements set by your school.
  • There are a number of requirements that you have to meet in order to get approved for your visa. You have to get an offer of place or confirmation of enrollment (the latter is for those who already have a visa and need it to be renewed. You need to provide evidence of funding and that you plan to leave, and have a passport that extends at least three months after your stay will be ending. Learn more here.

If you need more information about the visas and immigration requirements that New Zealand has, then contact the New Zealand immigration office. They have all of the information that you need. You can also get help with the paperwork from the international office of the university that you are looking to attend. Your international office does this with hundreds of students every single year, so they will help you with all of the ins and outs of the system.

Your final Checklist

You only have a short while until you leave for New Zealand for your university education. What do you have to do? What needs to happen before you step on that plane and head down to New Zealand for your academic pursuits? This checklist should help you determine what you have done and what still needs to be done.

Academic Checklist

There are many things you need to have done before you leave in terms of your education. We cover much of this in our how to applyeducation costs, and requirements for entry sections, but here is a brief overview so that you can ensure that every single thing has been completed. If something has not been done, or you have questions, contact the university you seek to attend.

  • Have you dealt with all of your financial ends? Do you have your finances in order so that you do not owe anything in terms of tuition?
  • Did you schedule your classes? Do you have your books that you need?
  • Are all of the applications and paperwork turned in and approved?
  • When will you be arriving in relation to the first day of classes?
  • Have you spoken with your advisor to ensure that you have the correct schedule and everything that you need for your program of study?

Living Accommodations

There are many things that you need to keep track of when it comes to your living accommodations; you can’t just arrive without somewhere to live, even though many people try doing that. It can cause you additional stress and waste a lot of time. Our accommodations page will give you a lot more information about finding accommodations. If you need more resources, the international studies and/or admissions offices at your university of choice will have more information for you.

  • How are you getting to where you are staying? Are you getting picked up by a university representative, a friend, or a taxi? Will there be a vehicle or public transportation that you can use? Make sure you have that in place,
  • Where will you be staying when you arrive? Will you be able to move in to wherever you are residing right away, or will you have to wait a predetermined amount of time in order to get in?
  • Have you paid any monetary deposits that you need to pay in order to get the keys to your residence hall or apartment?
  • Many of the students who study in New Zealand will live as guests in a home with a family, as we discuss on our accommodations section. If this is the decision that you made, have you made the appropriate arrangements with the family that you are staying with? Do they know when you are arriving? Are they going to be picking you up at the airport when you arrive?

Entry into the Country

Of course, no matter where you are studying, if you aren’t a native of the country, you have to make sure that everything is in order so that you can enter the country without issues. Since you are required to be accepted to a university before you can even apply for a student visa, there are a lot of things that have to be in order once you get to that point. Here are some of things that you need to make sure of before you leave.

ave you spoken to the proper authorities in the New Zealand government to ensure that you have done everything correctly? Is everything with your visa settled? If you aren’t entirely sure, check out our visas and passports page to double check and see if you’ve done everything we’ve listed there as well. Is your passport up to date, including one to three recent photographs of yourself?

Also, when you arrive at the airport, make sure that you have your visa and passport somewhere that they are easily accessible. Whether that means you have them in your hands or in your carry-on when you arrive at the airport, you just have to be able to grab them and show them whenever someone asks.

It’s always a good idea to double check everything with the Immigration Office before you leave for New Zealand. They will be able to help you and ensure that you have everything in order so that you don’t get sent back or detained while traveling to New Zealand.

Health and Wellness

There are a lot of things you need to understand before you arrive to New Zealand, which we discuss on our health and health insurance page on this site. Everything will be different than what you know, and there are a lot of ins and outs that you will need to understand. More information can be found at the New Zealand government’s health care website.

There are a lot of things that you have to have in order before you can even arrive in New Zealand. Here are some of the most important.

  • Are you healthy and cleared for travel? If you have a particular ailment, you may not be able to travel. Talk to your physician in your home country and get a physical before you leave. You may also need specific vaccinations before you are allowed to enter the country.
  • Make sure that you have at least a month’s worth of prescription medication available for when you arrive in New Zealand. Since your doctor cannot write a prescription to be filled in New Zealand, you will have to make an appointment with a general practitioner (family doctor) shortly after you arrive so that you can get your prescription medications without any gaps.
  • Is the insurance that you have valid in New Zealand, or have you purchased insurance that can be used while you are in New Zealand?

Getting Ready to Roll

It’s hard to decide on what you want to pack when you are studying abroad. You will want to bring necessities, including anything that will give you positive memories and/or provide you comfort while you are residing in the country.

Before you start packing, make a list. There are plenty of lists online that you can use, but here are some of them that we recommend:

While you are making the list, take a look at the websites of the airlines that you will be taking. Make sure that everything you are packing is in compliance with what the airplanes and airports require in terms of safety and legality. You can also get a list from the immigration department or from the university that you are attending.

Talk to your university, the landlord, or the family that you are staying with as well. Sometimes, you can use the postal system to send your items for less than it would have cost for you to pay for luggage on the airplane. Consult with the organization in question and do some comparisons; sometimes it’s cheaper, sometimes it’s not.

There are some things that you don’t really need to bring, like toiletries. These items can be purchased upon your arrival to New Zealand, and many times for less than it would have cost to purchase them and transport them. So, make sure that you have some money available to you when you arrive so that you can make a shopping trip.

Saying “See You Later”

The hardest part of studying abroad is saying goodbye to the people that you love and care about. Don’t leave without speaking with your social contacts in your home country; make time to spend with them before you step on that plane, because you may regret it if you don’t give yourself a chance to say goodbye.

Get an address book or use the ones provided with an electronic device. You want to utilize contact information as much as possible. You can use social media, like Facebook or Twitter; email addresses, instant messaging and VOIP contacts, phone numbers, and even home addresses should be included in this way. Get the information that you need in order to keep in touch with your favorite people.

With the internet, things have become much easier in terms of communication. As mentioned above, you can use social media, instant messaging, and video chat for free; you just need an internet connection. Another great way to keep your family and friends posted on your adventures while studying abroad is to start a blog. Blogs are incredibly popular, and you can update everyone at the same time instead of trying to contact everyone individually. Set it up before you leave and let people know where it’s located.

Last but not least, don’t get so caught up with getting ready to leave for New Zealand that you forget to say goodbye. Make time with your friends and family. Now, before you think that you won’t have time to visit with people before you leave, then start packing two to three weeks before your departure. That way, that last week can be spent with those you love. Throw a going-away party; go out with some of your friends. Just don’t make the mistake of secluding yourself during that last week, because that will make you miss your loved ones even more when you’ve left.

There are a number of things that we may have missed on this checklist, but don’t be concerned. The international studies office and/or admissions office at your university will be able to help you get ready for your time in New Zealand. They know everything there is to know about studying in New Zealand; they help thousands of students every single year. Always look to them first if you have a question or concern that you don’t quite know how to answer.

The New Zealand government also has everything that you need in order to study abroad. Kiwis are known for being welcoming people, and the information that they provide on their website and through your government contacts will help you get adjusted during your study abroad experience.

We sincerely hope that this checklist, as with everything else on this website, plays a large role in helping you prepare for your studies in New Zealand. As we’ve explained in other areas of the site, New Zealand is one of the most popular and most exciting countries to visit and study in the world. You need to make sure that you make the most out of your time there, and that starts while you are getting ready to leave. Thank you for using our resources while on your academic endeavor, and enjoy your time as an honorary Kiwi!



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