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Whether you want to go to university, attend a polytechnic or vocational school, learn English, or take part in a foreign exchange student programme, New Zealand has an option to suit your needs. The first step to studying in New Zealand is to explore these educational options and decide which works best for you. You may want to use an education agent to assist you with all of the possibilities.

A good place to start your research is on the government 'Study in New Zealand' website. If you are currently enrolled in secondary school or university, you may also check with your advisor to see if there are any study abroad or exchange programmes available to you.

If you want to study for less than three months, then you will not need a visa. If your course is longer than that, you will. In this case, be sure your chosen school is registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, as only these establishments are applicable.

Apply to study at your chosen educational institution. This is often done online, but you may need to post original documents or certified copies of academic transcripts, English requirements, and a resume or curriculum vitae. If these documents are not in English you may also need to submit valid translations. If you are accepted, you will be sent an ‘offer of place’ with all dates and course information. You’ll also receive a tuition bill, which must be paid in full prior to your visa application.

Once your place is secured, you can apply for your student visa online. To apply you will need the following documents:

  • Your ‘offer of place’ from a registered New Zealand Qualifications Authority institution
  • If you are under 18, a written confirmation from either the school or an authorised person that New Zealand accommodation is available to you
  • Proof of enough funds to live on for the duration of your course
  • A return plane ticket, or proof of funds to purchase one

You will also need to pay a visa application fee. Most student visas are approved and received within 25 business days. As long as you are enrolled in a full time course, your student visa also allows you to work 20 hours a week during term time, and full time hours during school holidays. There are also postgraduate visa options available for those who want to remain in New Zealand upon graduating.

 Good to know:

International students will need to buy into New Zealand’s public health system in order to utilise it. Alternatively, they can take out private health insurance for the duration of their stay.

 Useful links:

Study in New Zealand
University of Auckland
Victoria University
Canterbury University
Otago University

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