You’ve decided New Zealand is the study spot for you, and now it’s time to apply! International applications can be complicated, and you want to make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to deal with the admin. This guide will help you make sure you get everything done!
Check out our Study in New Zealand: Preparing to apply guide for the full list of eligibility requirements for degrees in New Zealand.
You may also need to demonstrate your English language proficiency, which you can do either by taking a foundation course in English, or with a TOEFL score of 79-80, depending on the course and university.
There is no centralised application service in New Zealand, so you’ll need to apply to each university separately, using their individual application system.
No matter the university, you’ll need to have certain documents ready to go:
- A copy of your passport
- Your academic transcripts (translated into English, if necessary)
- Your English language test results (if necessary)
Other requirements will depend on your course of study, but most will ask for a CV and references (check out Unifrog’s CV builder tool if you need help with that!). Different faculties will ask for other documents as well, like portfolios or audition tapes for arts courses. In some cases, you need to submit your general application first, and then the individual faculty will contact you to ask for whatever supplementary documents or materials they want to see.
The academic year in New Zealand runs from March to November, though some courses will allow you to begin in July. This means that the application deadlines are earlier than for US and UK courses, with some applications due as early as October.
While New Zealand does offer free health care at point of service, not all foreign students are eligible for it. So, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have health insurance coverage for your time in New Zealand. Universities can provide you with coverage, or help you work out the best plan to fit your needs.
One thing to note is that the UK does have a reciprocal health care agreement with New Zealand, which means that UK citizens are eligible for free healthcare in the case of an emergency, as long as you have your passport or other proof of citizenship with you. Australian citizens are also eligible for a similar agreement.
Once you have your health insurance arranged, you’ll be able to apply for your student visa, which is required if you plan to remain in New Zealand for more than three months. Here’s what you’ll need to be ready to provide:
- An official offer to study from a New Zealand university
- Your passport
- Proof you are able to pay or have already paid your tuition fees
- Proof of living expenses - this changes annually, but is around 15,000 NZD
- Proof that you have enough money to buy a return ticket back home
You’ll also be offered the option to provide supporting information in the form of a covering letter. This isn’t required, but may help you get a decision faster. In the letter, you’ll need to lay out why you’re choosing to study in New Zealand, and what you plan to do after you finish. Basically, they want to see proof that you’re a genuine applicant, not just someone using a course as an excuse to get into the country.
The processing fees are around 330 NZD, which you’ll need to be prepared to pay when you apply. These can’t be refunded if your application is refused. If it is refused, you’ll be able to correct any mistakes and apply again.
Once you’ve got your visa sorted, it’s time to find a place to live! It’s best to have your accommodation arranged before you arrive, rather than trying to sort it out once you get there. Because of this, student halls might be your best option, as they’re easy to apply for and arrange from abroad.
Otherwise, you can contact your university for tips on finding housing in the local area, whether it’s renting a house with other students, or even applying for a homestay to live with a local family.