Your Handbook to Education in New Zealand

The Comprehensive Guide To Studying In New Zealand

New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand sheep, three million of whom think they are human
-Barry Humphries
An interpretation of the Kiwi flag.

With pristine climate and an abundance in flora and fauna, New Zealand provides the right conditions for international students to study.

For all those of you out there who are not sure about where to study abroad, do take a look at my previous posts to see if Australia or Canada suit your higher education needs. In today’s edition, I will be exhaustively covering all the aspects of studying in New Zealand.

Did you know that with the lowest unemployment rate in Australasia, the city of Christchurch has witnessed unprecedented growth and employment opportunities resulting in its thriving economy? That’s right — not only is New Zealand a country of utmost beauty and a paradise for tourists, but here students are nurtured to make the most of their capabilities with the support of a well structured education system, backed up by competent professors and scholars.

New Zealand boasts of a large number of resources which in turn lead to the high levels that are set by students in the fields of research and medicine. Also, this country ranks as the 4th most peaceful country in the Global Peace Index, thereby making it not only an excellent option to pursue tertiary studies but also a very safe country. Folks from New Zealand are of a friendly disposition — it might not seem that way on the rugby field!

Without wasting any time, let us quickly head towards the visa aspects of your application to studying in New Zealand.

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Did you know?

Most of New Zealand is a Coastline!

So there are lots of stunning sandy beaches to enjoy. Many beaches are patrolled by surf lifeguards; stay safe by swimming between the yellow and red flags.

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VISA IN NEW ZEALAND

To ensure that you have a memorable experience in New Zealand, we will cover all the various aspects that are required for the approval of your visa application so you have everything sorted beforehand, stress-free.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR PASSPORT IS VALID FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS BEYOND THE INTENDED DEPARTURE DATE AS PER THE REGULATIONS OF THE NEW ZEALAND IMMIGRATION DEPARTMENT.

The one very peculiar aspect of applying for a student visa to study in New Zealand is the HEAVY CATEGORIZATION that is made in this regard, if your course extends for a duration of more than 6 months. For a clear idea of the category under which your application lies, visit the official site of the Immigration Department of New Zealand.

To give you a better understanding of the various procedure that are at hand, I have considered the category of the ‘Pathway Student Visa’ under which, you can apply to study up to 3 consecutive courses on a single student visa and also can enjoy the high quality of teaching standards that are on offer in New Zealand.

An important feature that must be noted under this category is that upon approval of your application, you are allowed to work upto 20 hours a week while studying and full-time during your holidays depending on the duration of your course of study.

THIS CATEGORY OF VISA APPLICATION DOES NOT INCLUDE YOUR PARTNER/SPOUSE!

(This is a very common misunderstanding in the minds of many due to the immigration regulations of other countries. Please do not hesitate to contact us at BridgEd. We will make sure that we clear all your doubts and will help you to make the smooth transition)

Criteria

This section of the visa application has been drafted bearing in mind that you are applying under the ‘Pathway Student Visa’ category. The various requisites are as follows:

Identity

You must provide proof of your identity as per the following:

  • 2 acceptable photos if you use a paper application form or 1 photo if you apply online.
  • Your passport or certificate of identity.

If you submit a paper application, you may provide your original passport, or a certified copy. However, by providing your original passport, it will process an earlier authentication and thus an earlier approval of the visa application.

If you apply online, you must upload a copy of your passport when you apply. You may need to send your passport after you’ve applied.

Offer of Acceptance

You must have an offer of acceptance from an approved education provider in New Zealand.

Your Pathway Student Visa offer must include:

  • The name of your course or program and how long the program is for.
  • Whether your study will be full-time, part-time or as a distance learning or correspondence student.
  • If your course is for more than one academic year, the dates of all of the course’s scheduled holidays.
  • If you’re under 18, confirmation that your accommodation complies with the ‘Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students’.

Offers of place must also include your approved education provider’s signed declaration that they’ve assessed and are satisfied that:

  • The programme offered is appropriate for your expectations.
  • You have the English language ability and academic capability to succeed.

Funds

You must provide evidence that have enough money to live while you’re in New Zealand and are self-sufficient. Evidence of your financial stability can include the following:

  • Proof that you have NZ $15,000 for your first year of study or NZ $1,250 per month if your study will be shorter than that.
  • Proof that you’ll have enough money to live on for the remaining time on your study pathway
  • Documents that show your living costs have already been paid
  • A ‘Sponsorship for Temporary Entry’ form completed by an acceptable sponsor
  • A ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form completed by an acceptable guarantor

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Did you know?

New Zealand is very sunny, so don’t forget to use sunblock!

The country experiences high levels of ultraviolet radiation (UV), so wear a sunhat and sunglasses in summer.

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Permission to work

This is an essential requirement for all those of you who plan to work part time while your stay in New Zealand. The Government requires you to provide proof of acceptance or rather a written proof of permission to work in the case you are aged 16 or 17, or are in the 12th or 13th of secondary school. You must have permission to work up to 20 hours a week and/or full-time in the summer holidays from each of the following:

  • Your parents or legal guardian.
  • Your approved education provider (that is the university that you wish to pursue your course in).

Character

To study in New Zealand, you must not have a criminal background and must display good character so as to maintain law and order in the country. According to the Department Of Immigration Border Protection, to evaluate this criterion, a Penal Clearance Certificate or the submission of a Police Statement may be required.

Discover yourself in New Zealand.

With all the aspects of the visa application covered, you may be required to be patient for a duration of about 4–6 weeks so as to ensure the processing and approval of your application.

Congratulations!

You are one step closer in pursuing your education from New Zealand. However, there is a minor thing that we will have to look into because we don’t want it to be getting too ‘major’ and foil our plans. It comes down to the money. I will let you in on little secrets as to how you can reduce your living costs.

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Did you know?

Most New Zealand cities are relatively small!

So you can walk or cycle to your institution. A good way of keeping fit huh?

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Expenses

Please note that the following expenses are estimated based on the assumption that you are residing in a developed city like Auckland, the good news being that these costs will decrease as you geographically deviate from the city!

Weekly Food Expenses

Weekly Expenses in Food= 90$ NZD approx.

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Expense Hack:

Instead of purchasing your lunch from prime locations in the city, try the outskirts of the city. Benefits? Your palate will get a taste of diverse culinary treats and it will cut your weekly expenses!

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Expenses Under Personal Care

Weekly expense= 125$ NZD approx

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Expense hack:

Maintaining good health goes a long way towards a positive and successful future and the same can be said while analyzing the expenses. Doctor fees is a tad bit on the expensive side and should be minimized. Well, after all, prevention is better than cure right?

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Miscellaneous Weekly Expenses

Source: https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/auckland

Weekly Expenses (Miscellaneous)= 600$ NZD Approximately.

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Expense Hack:

Miscellaneous expenses are usually incurred due to binge spending over activities that go unmonitored; most often, these expenses are avoidable. A little discretion over the things that you actually need from the one’s that are more of a luxury can lead to massive savings. Be honest with yourself and always ask yourself the following question before making a purchase:

‘Do I really need this?’

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Did you know?

Free Wi-Fi is available in central Auckland, Wellington, Rotorua and Dunedin thus you do not need to incur additional data costs while you stay in these cities. Phew!

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With the food expenses out of the way, let us now venture into matters that constitute for over 60% of your total expenditure — housing rents and accommodation.

HOUSING AND ACCOMMODATION

New Zealand’s relaxed pace of life gives you the time to enjoy everything the vibrant modern cities have to offer. You can indulge in activities like live music, theatre, film, dance, free festivals or international sports fixtures, or hang out with your new friends at a cafe, restaurant or bar.

The housing rent in New Zealand can be anywhere in the range of 1000$-3000$ NZD depending on the locality and the amenities being offered. It is important to discuss the various options that are available so that you can decide what accommodation suits you best, after measuring out all the pros and cons.

Halls Of Residence

Usually within walking distance from the main campus areas, these hostels offer fully furnished single or twin-share rooms with basic amenities like laundry, dining and internet services.

Opting for this accommodation ensures that you can cut down on your transportation expenses and the numerous social activities that are held within the hostels will surely help you forge new friendships.

Home-stay Or Private Boards

This option allows you to live with a host family in New Zealand. This can be great way to have meaningful interactions with the Kiwi tradition and culture and forge new relationships that could last a lifetime

Independent Accommodation

Furnished flats are available on lease in various localities throughout New Zealand, these including various amenities like ovens, washing machines, dishwashers and a clothes dryer.

The advantage of opting for such an accommodation is that you lower your expenses if you split the rent with a flatmate, thus making it a whole lot less taxing on your pocket.

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Did you know?

The weather varies from warm and subtropical in the far north to cool and temperate in the far south.

The New Zealand summer runs from December to February; winter is from June to August. For all those of you who may be heading from the tropics, be sure to keep this one in mind!

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TUITION FEES

Tuition fees in New Zealand vary depending on the type and duration of the course in consideration.

School fees

Annual fees for state schools start at about $11,000 for primary schools and $13,000 for secondary schools. Annual fees for private primary and secondary schools start at about $25,000.

Diplomas/Certificates

In order to pursue studies in a two-year Diploma in Engineering from New Zealand, you may have to pay $18,500 or about $12,425 for a one-term Certificate in Computing, thus illustrating how the fees are dependent on the type and duration of course.

Bachelor’s degree

Fees range from about $22,000 to $32,000, with higher fees for subjects such as medicine and veterinary science.

Postgraduate degree

Fees range from about $26,000 to $37,000, with higher fees for subjects such as medicine and veterinary science.

PhDs

International PhD students pay the same as New Zealand PhD students (about $6,500 to $9,000 per year for most subjects), which is a big benefit for international students who wish to pursue tertiary higher education in New Zealand.

Scholarships

Scholarships in New Zealand for international students who wish to pursue their tertiary education from New Zealand. Below are a few of the scholarships that are on offer

(Please make sure that you are eligible to apply for these scholarships by going through the list of ‘eligible/participating countries’ that I have provided alongside.)

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships are prestigious scholarships that recognise New Zealand’s history and ties to the Commonwealth. These scholarships aim at citizens of other Commonwealth states so as to develop friendly relations and promote education in the country. In addition to this, these scholarships aim-

  1. To promote mutual cooperation via education among the various countries.
  2. To recognise and promote the spirit of education within the youth from all across the globe.

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships are funded by their Aid Programme,overseen by the Government. Managed by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), it illustrates how scholarships by the Government aid international students to pursue their education from New Zealand.

Eligible countries

The following Commonwealth countries are eligible to apply:

COUNTRIES FROM ASIA INCLUDE

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka

COUNTRIES FROM THE ‘PACIFIC AREA’ INCLUDE:

  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

For more information regarding the scholarships on offer, you can visit this page.

The game of rugby

Places to visit

Being a travel addict, I cannot finish this post without letting you in on places that you need to visit in New Zealand.

Let yourself go…

With geographical features like glaciers, fjords, rain forests and snow capped peaks, the country boasts of a mightily picturesque landscape, of unparalleled versatility. A two hour drive from Auckland, the Bay of Islands is a popular tourist destination for tourists, famous for its waters: mainly sailing and yachting. Composed of 144 islands, penguins and whales have made it their abode.

Spot penguins on the Bay Of Islands.

In contrast to the waters, make sure to visit Rotorua, a volcanic plain situated in the ‘Pacific Ring Of Fire’ and be awestruck by the geothermal geysers and hot springs. As fascinating as just that can be, that’s not all. Visit the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, South Island and experience the dramatic effects of global warming on our planet, firsthand. The melting glaciers do account for a spectacular sight, however they serve as testimony to the imbalance we have created in our environment.

The breathtaking views at Rotorua.

New Zealand continues to be a top tourist attraction for many around the world. It is also gradually becoming a ‘hub’ for international students. Cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Canberra are on par if not ahead of other metropolitan cities in terms of development and modernisation, thus providing excellent opportunities for students to make a mark on the global markets.

Rapid development and modernization have led to an economic boom in the country.

To sum it up, New Zealand may be a country of two islands, but is by no means too far behind in the international higher education market.