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Study in New Zealand


New Zealand is to be found in the South-Western Pacific. It consists of two main islands, North Island and South Island. It is 1,500 kilometers, 900 miles, away from Australia. The climate can vary a lot across New Zealand. It is sub tropical in the north and fairly temperate and mild in the south. There are some very high mountains, such as the ones found in the Southern Alps, along with some rich farm land.

Take any set of international statistics and you will find New Zealand always performing very well. This can be in health, quality of life, gender equality, economic freedom and education.

How to Apply

The first stage is to approach individual schools, colleges or universities. You need to note that New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere and its academic year starts in February through to November. This will mean starting to apply in August for the following February. Admissions also take place in July.

The basic path for a place in University follows these steps:

  • A statement of intent. Why do you want to study in New Zealand and not stay in your home country and study there? What do you plan to do after you finish your studies?
  • You need to show what you have studies at High School or Secondary School level. These include all relevant qualifications or diplomas. All countries operate slightly different educational systems.



International Qualifications

Your qualifications from abroad will need to match up with New Zealand Qualifications. This is called the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). This will mean taking the Internal Qualification Assessment (IQA) or possibly the Pre-Assessment Result (PAR).

The PAR is to assess how your qualifications match the New Zealand equivalents. IQA is an actual test. Neither should be a worry. These combined with your high school or secondary school qualifications will give New Zealand educational authorities a pretty good idea if you are suited for the particular course you have applied for.

 Secondary Schools

Each New Zealand School has a regular Managing National Assessment (MNA). This gives an accurate and fair account of a school based on national criteria. There is a full set of online statistics on examination. This includes its location, the subjects that are taught in the school and a full profile of the school.


Tertiary Education.

There is a wide range of options available for studying at the territory level in New Zealand. This covers Universities, Colleges, Vocational courses.

There are specific courses on offer. These include Engineering, Agriculture, Technology, Business and Management, and Digital Design.

Looking specifically at Engineering:

This is a very hands on course that lends itself to both practical and theoretical work. Classes are kept small and there are a lot of opportunities for individual tuition. There are a whole set of different path ways.

To narrow down your options and in order to apply for engineering courses in New Zealand you will need to look at specific areas of engineering, and apply to those universities in New Zealand offering those courses.



New Zealand Student Visa

Basic Out line

You need to have been offered a place at a registered New Zealand educational establishment.

If you are under the age of 18, you will need a guarantee from an individual or the educational institution that you will have appropriate accommodation in New Zealand during your studies. You will need proof that you will have enough money to cover your living expenses as well as the educational course. You will need to have, either a return air ticket or enough money to pay for your flight home, once your course has been completed.


Types of Student Visa Available

Dependent Child Visa

This allows children to study in New Zealand if their parents or guardians hold their own valid New Zealand visas. The children can be classed as “domestic” students. Consequently, they will not have to pay primary or secondary tuition fees.

A dependent child can stay in New Zealand for the same period of time as their parents. They should also be holding a valid New Zealand visa.

As with a number of other visas there needs to be evidence of sufficient funds to cover their stay in New Zealand, a return flight ticket, or money to cover the purchase of a flight ticket.



There are a lot of conditions involved in sponsorship under New Zealand regulations. To simplify:

A sponsor can include a New Zealand citizen, a resident class New Zealand visa holder, a charitable organization or company, and government agencies. They should not have contravened any New Zealand law.

This sponsorship is for a student who is 19 or younger and who will be in New Zealand for more than 6 months.


Exchange Student Visa

This will apply if you are part of an approved student exchange program with New Zealand. This can be up to 4 years. You can work up to 20 hours a week part time, full time during holidays, depending upon your age and how long you will be staying in New Zealand.

You can apply outside of New Zealand. You will not have to pay any tuition fees.


Fee Paying Student Visa

This is up to four years. The student or parent/guardian, must cover all the costs of the courses. The student should also show that they will be able to support themselves during their time in New Zealand.

This includes schools as well as valid tertiary level courses and English language courses. This again allows you to work up to 20 hours a week part time, full time during holidays. You may have to live with your parents or guardian. Or on your won, if you can support yourself.



New Zealand Aid Student Visa

This is a scheme set up by the New Zealand Government to fund students from abroad. The main difference with this visa is that you cannot include your partner, or spouse along with any dependent children as part of this visa. They will have to make separate applications. Depending upon your application you may also be eligible for a New Zealand work visa and any children may also be eligible for student visas.

This visa covers both schools, tertiary education and English language courses. Again, you can work for 20 hours’ part time, when you are studying and full time during holidays, if you need to.


Pathway Study Visa

This is designed for you to study three different courses one after another in New Zealand. This would be ideal say, for someone moving from a degree course onto a postgraduate course. This visa is for 5-year maximum. As before the same general conditions apply here as they do to most of the other student visas. You can work 20 hours a week, and full time during holidays. Your partner or spouse plus any dependent children need to apply for separate visas, if they wish to join you.

You also need to meet the requirements for all 2 or 3 possible courses before starting your studies.


 Documents you will need


Good Character

Again, there are a series of important areas that need to be covered. This will mean having an official police record from your home country. Here is a sample of what will be covered:

  • You have committed an offense and been sent to prison for 5 years.
  • Over the last 10 years you spent 12 months in prison.
  • You are not allowed to enter New Zealand
  • You have been deported, removed or excluded from any other country.
  • You are a potential security risk.

These cover serious offenses, so minor offenses, such as a parking ticket, will not be an issue.


Education Qualifications and Study

These are some general and country specific points:

Pathway Education

There are many educational providers available that offer Pathway Education course. This is taking three courses possibly in a row.

This covers aviation training, a school of dance, many language schools, and hotel management.


Qualifications for China Skilled Worker Occupations.

This is a special list of training opportunities. For each course, you will have to show that you have the correct qualifications that will be required. There are a range of different options. These include electricians, auditors, diesel mechanics and plumbers.


English Language Tests

There may well be the need to some English language testing. This may be down to each individual school, college, or university. There is a specific requirement in the General Skills or Skilled Migrant Category residence application. For children 16 years or more, there a requirement to reach a certain level of English proficiency. There are a number of English as a Foreign language tests that can be used. For example, if you are tested using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) then you will have to achieve an overall score of 5.0.


Outside Help

There would be a real need for any prospective student to have outside help. There are details that can be missed in the official New Zealand web site that could prove important in your application. This could jeopardize your chance of getting a study visa. This is where finding an experienced agency who has had experience of dealing with all these complexities is very important.

There will be a delay between submitting your visa and waiting for the result. There could be need for further information which may have to be sent.


Once you have got your Visa


There are a number of different options depending upon if you are a parent coming to stay with dependent children. Are you bringing your spouse or partner? Do you have adult children, or dependent children, or a combination of both?  Again, outside help may be needed at looking at all these different options. There is detailed information on the official New Zealand government web sites.



Do not be put off by all this complexity. If you follow through the application process logically you will get to New Zealand. Find a course, sort out all your documents. Get accepted. Apply and get the visa you need and then make appropriate arrangements in New Zealand. All the information you might need to get to New Zealand is to be found on the official sites. However, to be sure you find all the essential information and guidance, outside help could be very useful.


What to do next


Getting started is simple, just fill out our Free Assessment form, or call us for an assessment for the most suitable visa for you.

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