Coming to New Zealand

Booking a flight

New Zealand has international airports at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Most of the world's major airlines fly into New Zealand. You can travel to New Zealand from every major city in the world in 36 hours or less, often with a choice of airlines and with no more than one stopover. It is advisable to make your travel arrangements early as flights often get booked quickly.

Airport Transfer Fee (Auckland): NZ$115.00
Airport Transfer Fee (Wellington): NZ$95.00

Students Visas and Permits

A Student Visa is an endorsement you get in your passport. It shows you have permission to travel to New Zealand and may be granted a Student Permit when you arrive. The visa may be single for one journey, or multiple for more than one journey.

Your visa is only valid for travel to New Zealand until the date specified and as long as your passport is current.

A Student Permit is an endorsement in your passport which allows you to study in New Zealand. It will state the expiry date of your permit and the conditions of your permit. The conditions may include:

  • the course of study
  • the educational institution
  • the location of the institution in New Zealand

Applying for your Student Visa

Once you have paid your tuition fees, you should apply for a New Zealand Student Visa. When submitting your Student Visa application to the nearest office of the New Zealand Immigration Service you will need to provide a completed Application to Study in New Zealand form. The Application to Study in New Zealand form is available from the New Zealand Immigration Service website, New Zealand Embassies and High Commissions, or from the Whitireia International Office. 

You will also need to provide the following items:

Passport Check to make sure it's not going to expire while you are in New Zealand.

Student visa application fee The fee varies between countries. Please check with the local New Zealand Immigration service.

Guarantee of accommodation This is a letter stating that accommodation is available to you while you are in Wellington. This letter may be from a relative who lives in Wellington, your homestay family or the Whitireia International Office confirming you have a place at Whitireia.

Evidence of sufficient funds You must supply evidence that you or a sponsor (usually a family member) have at least $10,000 per year to support you while you are living in New Zealand. You should provide either your personal bank statement, passbook or travellers cheques, or the Financial Undertaking of Student form completed by your sponsor.

Evidence of onward travel arrangements You must have a ticket to leave New Zealand or provide evidence that you have extra funds available to pay for such a ticket.

Your Whitireia Offer of Place Your Whitireia fees receipt or confirmation of scholarship funding.

*Please note that this information is a guide only. The New Zealand Immigration Service requirements may vary between students and may change from time to time.

Medical and Travel Insurance

Under the rules of the Code of Conduct of Pastoral Care, all international students must take out medical and travel insurance for the time they spend in New Zealand. This is because medical costs in New Zealand are very high and Whitireia does not cover students individually.

Medical and travel insurance covers the cost of staying in hospital, visits to the doctor, urgent medical treatment and medicine, and sometimes emergency dental treatment. For treatment of a cold, flu or other common health problems, you will usually visit the local doctor (sometimes called a general practitioner or GP) or the doctor on campus.

If you need assistance after hours, you can visit a local emergency clinic or hospital.

Average medical insurance costs: 12 Months NZ$577.60

Travel Checklist

Here is a list of items of what to bring as suggested by other international students.

  • Warm clothes
  • If you wear glasses, bring a spare pair and/or your prescription
  • If you require medicine, prescribed by a medical professional, bring a good supply
  • Raincoat and umbrella
  • Cosmetics
  • Shaver/razor blades
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Music you enjoy
  • Computer (for home use if needed)
  • Electronic dictionary

This list will depend on the individual. All these are available in New Zealand but may be more expensive, different or hard to obtain.

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