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Frequently Asked Questions


Q.01. What are the Accommodation facilities in New Zealand?
Q.02. What is the Climate in New Zealand?
Q.03. What are the Employment options in New Zealand?
Q.04. What are the Recreation Facilities?
Q.05. What are the Insurance Requirements?
Q.06. What is the Application Procedure?
Q.07. What are the Career and Employment Options in New Zealand?
Q.08. What is the living cost?
Q.09. What is the Education System of New Zealand?
Q.10. What are the English Language Requirements?
Q.11. What are the Examination Procedures?
Q.12. How are your Credits Transfered?
Q.13. What are the other expenses in addition to your Fees?
Q.14. What do your Fees cover and what are the payment methods?
Q.15. Is New Zealand Education Internationally Accredited?
Q.16. What are the Visa Requirements & Procedures for Application?

Q1 What are the Accommodation facilities in New Zealand?
New Zealand's high quality living conditions are well known universally, and accommodation is one aspect of this. In many cases, accommodation will be only minutes away from your place of study. Most educational institutions will assist you to find accommodation.
The main options are:

Student Hostels

These are usually located on the campus or nearby, with single or twin rooms. Bed linen and cleaning facilities are provided. Meals are eaten in a communal dining hall, with special dietary needs catered to. A warden lives on site, and social and cultural activities are organized for residents. Hostels usually have computer laboratories and recreation rooms. Some institutions provide "self-catering" hostels where 6-8 students have their own bedrooms and share a kitchen and living room.
Cost: approximately $200 per week.

Some cities have self-catering private or independent hostels. Cost of furnished room, shared kitchen and lounge facilities is $90 - $130 per week, plus utilities (power, water, etc.)

Home stay/Private Board

This is a room of your own in a suburban house, usually with a garden and lawns. Your host family provides meals. Interacting with your host family and meeting their neighbors and friends is an excellent way to improve your English. The host family helps you make phone calls, read bus timetables, find a doctor and so on. But home stay is not like living in a hotel. Some "give and take" is expected, as you become part of the family.
Cost: approximately $180 per week, plus one-time administration fee of about $150.

Going "flatting"

This term means renting a house or flat (apartment) singly or with other people. Choose your own flat mates of the same or opposite sex with mixed accommodation, ranging from a two-bedroom apartment to a large house on its own land. Most rental properties are unfurnished, other than an oven, a laundry facility, curtains and carpet. The landlord does not have to provide heating. You pay for electricity, gas, telephone and water, including connection charges. A "bond" of up to four weeks' rent is held by Tenancy Services and refunded when you move out, if the flat is still in good condition. Tenancy Services, a division of the Ministry of Housing has information about dispute resolution procedures and your rights and obligations.

The accommodation office at your tertiary institution will probably have a notice board with advertisements for flats. The newspaper classified advertisements list rental properties available, mostly on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Rental agents charge you for services provided.

Flatting gives you more freedom, but requires a lot of maturity. You'll have to co-operate with flat mates to organize cooking and cleaning and paying the bills. For a good overview of the issues involved.
Cost: bond, plus about $120 per bedroom per week (cheaper in smaller cities) plus food, power, telephone, etc.

Q.2. What is the Climate in New Zealand?


New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, so there is a climate reversal. January and February are the warmest months, autumn is from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November.

The climate is temperate with relatively mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The weather differs a lot between different geographical regions.

The weather can also change dramatically and very quickly, so that people joke about experiencing "four seasons in one day". It is a good idea to keep a coat or jersey with you, even if it looks bright in the morning. Warm, waterproof, clothing is essential if you go hiking.


The mild climate means outdoor recreation is an important part of the Kiwi way of life. Water sports and tramping or hiking are very popular. In summer, people are encouraged to "slip, slop, slap" (slip on a long-sleeved shirt, slop on some sun block, and slap on a hat) to protect them from the strong sun.

Keeping Warm in Winter

While New Zealand does not get as chilly as some countries in the northern hemisphere, most houses are stand-alone houses built of wood and do not have central heating. So, the families wear warm clothing and use open fires, wood burners, gas or electrical heating in winter. Generally, people only heat the room they are occupying, rather than the whole house. Home stay bedrooms will have a heater, and the bed may also have an electric blanket, hot water bottle.

Q.3. What are the Employment options in New Zealand?

Employment Options

If you are studying a three-year course, you are allowed to work during the summer holidays and up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. You will need a ''variation of conditions'' to your student permit. This is issued by the New Zealand Immigration Service. A fee may be charged.
These rules do not apply if you are a postgraduate student or need to get work experience in order to fulfill course requirements.

For more information, visit the International Office of your institution or consult us.

Taxable income
Tax rate for every $1 of taxable income (excluding ACC earners' levy)
Tax rate for every $1 of taxable income(including ACC earners' levy *)
up to $38,000
19.5 cents
20.9 cents
$38,001 to $60,000 inclusive
33 cents
34.4 cents
$60,001 and over
39 cents
40.4 cents
No declaration **
45 cents
46.4 cents


Labour Legislation

Strict legislation spells out your responsibilities and those of your employer. Employers must not take advantage of or mistreat employees. There is a minimum adult wage, and regulations for holiday pay and health and safety in the workplace. There is no disparity of sexes. Men and women receive equal pay for doing the same job.

Job Hunting

Student Job Search is a national organization that helps students find work. It has offices on tertiary institution campuses. For student jobs, such as working in a restaurant or bar, or doing manual labour, you could expect to earn about NZ$9 - $15 per hour before tax.

Q.4. What are the Recreation Facilities?

Recreation Facilities

New Zealand offers a wide spectrum of things to see and do. All the major towns have cinemas, nightclubs and discos, restaurants, art galleries and museums. There are casinos in Auckland and Queenstown. Professional theatre companies operate throughout the country and pop concerts are frequently, often with artists. Are frequent New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand String Quartet tour the country.

Year-Round Sporting Outdoors

The sprawling spaces and beautiful national parks, alongwith relatively mild winters, mean that New Zealanders seem to just about live outdoors. Children play on the beach and swim, even in winter, though adults leave that for special occasions, like the "Crazy Midwinter Swim" held in many places as a charity fundraising event!

New Zealanders' favourite sports are: swimming, rugby, cricket, cycling, walking, hockey, soccer, netball, horse riding, tennis, touch football, golf, basketball, badminton, bowls (lawn and indoor), yachting, volleyball, squash, cycling, mountain biking, trail biking, motor racing, skiing, shooting, rowing, fishing and aerobics.

You can also go kayaking, surfing, parachute jumping, swimming with dolphins, caving, visiting hot springs and, of course, bungy-jumping! Golf and tennis are much cheaper than in other countries - there are even public golf courses with very cheap green fees.

Fun Timetable

There is plenty to do, you just need to know where to find it. It is easy to access sporting and recreational activities, and also relatively cheap. Ask your friends or look in your local newspaper for detailed up-to-date information in the "What's On" section and maybe also the Arts page which lists all the exhibitions at local art, craft and pottery galleries.

Local and regional authorities provide free booklets or information on their websites, listing sports clubs and recreational facilities, including signposted bush walks, camping areas and so forth.

Free Events

In the cities, there is usually a summer fiesta. Entertainment includes bands, teddy bear picnics, night-time walks to see glow-worms, food and culture festivals and dance performances.

Orientation Week at tertiary institutions is another great festival of free entertainment.

Refer to public libraries to find out about these and other events.

Lonely Planet and AA tourist guides give a good overview of the type of activity available in New Zealand, too. Wine-tasting and vineyard tours are offered, and you may be able to check out some of the boutique wine and food producers in each region. New Zealand salmon, mussels, olive oil, nuts, cheese, sub-tropical fruits and Pacific Rim cuisine are renowned internationally -and rightly so.

Your Institution Information

Staff at secondary schools supervise a wide range of lunchtime and after school activities, including sport, theatrical and musical productions, orchestra and choir. Students at tertiary institutes run their own clubs to suit their interests from chess to caving to electronics to international friendship or religious groups.

Movies, Games and Televised Sport

Movies are available in most cities. There are video rental shops and electronic games centres even in small towns. Watching live televised sport on big screens in bars is a very popular activity.


Student discounts are often available for orchestra concerts and theatre performances, as well as outdoor adventure tourism activities.

Q.5. What are the Insurance Requirements?

Insurance - Requirements

As part of the Code of Practice essential that all international students have travel and medical insurance when enrolling for a New Zealand education. This can be done prior to your arrival in New Zealand, or else your institution will ensure that you obtain insurance as part of your enrolment (application forms will include a question on insurance).

There are many well-known insurance companies in New Zealand who can offer you competitive insurance premiums to cover all your basic needs.

Medical Insurance

You pay for the premium, and when you need medical treatment you can then claim the cost from your insurance provider.

Students from the United Kingdom and Australia are eligible for publicly-funded urgent medical treatment, but will need medical insurance to cover all other types of treatment. Students from all other countries will need medical insurance to cover all types of treatment, including doctor, hospital and ambulance.

Tertiary students can visit the general practitioner at the student health Centrex on their institution's campus, for a very nominal fee. Secondary school students usually visit their homestay family doctor.

Information on Injuries Caused by Accidents:

New Zealand has a 24 x 7 no-fault accident compensation scheme called ACC. It covers all in the country, including visitors. If you suffer any injury as the result of an accident in New Zealand, no matter the cause and whoever is at fault, you will get subsidised medical and dental care, prescribed medication, X-rays and surgery. It also means that you cannot sue anyone for damages.

Vehicle Insurance

If you own a vehicle in New Zealand, it is highly advisable that you take out "third party" insurance, which covers damage or injury caused by you.

Q.6. What is the Application Procedure?

By choosing a New Zealand education, you become one of an increasing number of international students enjoying a learning environment that encourages innovative thought and achievement.
Once you have found the New Zealand institution and course of study you wish to apply for, take the following steps to enroll yourself :

  1. Complete the relevant application form(s) for your chosen course/s and return them to Cympax. Include a photo, educational documents (originals or certified photocopies) and certified translations, as required.
  2. We will obtain an 'Offer of Place' letter confirming commencement dates and course details, and an invoice for the tuition fee.
  3. Pay the fee.
  4. The institution will send you a confirmed offer of place and confirmation of payment.
  5. If you intend to study for more than 12 weeks, you need a student visa. Cympax Consulting will assist you with this. (See Visa requirements )
  6. Let the institution know when you are arriving, so accommodation can be arranged and you can be met at the airport.

Q.7. What are the Career and Employment Options in New Zealand?

Career & Employment Opportunities

Following their New Zealand studies, students of "The New World Class" are paving successful career paths around the world. Their New Zealand qualifications are providing the skill-sets requirer for career development- a foundation created by the "perfect growing conditions" provided in a New Zealand education.

International Success

From undergraduate students looking for world quality programmes that will give them the "edge" in the world job market, to post-graduate students choosing a New Zealand English-speaking education to progress in their chosen field, our international students are building a global reputation.

Career Opportunities within New Zealand

Some of our international students, upon completion of their New Zealand qualification, have built great careers within New Zealand itself.

Qualifications to Ensure Students are "Work-Ready"

New Zealand qualifications are world-class. They are modern, desirable and practical - particularly in terms of the modern work place. Many of our international students have this in mind when they begin their New Zealand education.

Working in New Zealand after Graduation

For students and graduates interested in the career opportunities New Zealand offers, you can refer to www.immigration.govt.nz for information on work permits, New Zealand residency, etc.

Q.8. What is the living cost?

Many international students admire the high standard of living in New Zealand. In general, the cost of living is akin to that in Australia, and less than in Britain. The cost of education, in particular, is highly competitive, which means that in New Zealand, you can afford a world-class education.

It costs 45 cents to post a letter within New Zealand. A Big Mac at McDonald's costs $3.95. Local telephone calls are free. It costs between $8.50-$12.00 to go to the movies. Public transport is more expensive than in countries with greater population density. It is recommended that tertiary students budget for up to $20,000 in living expenses per annum.

Q.9. What is the Education System of New Zealand?

Education System

In New Zealand, students are taught in an English-speaking medium. You will share classes with New Zealanders and be encouraged to participate in discussion and all aspects of learning. Students can study English from beginner to advanced level, and then go on to study at a tertiary institution. Our British-based, flexible education system means that you can move around New Zealand while you do this, because secondary schools and tertiary institutions work on a national system. Your qualifications will be recognised in other English-speaking countries, so that you could study for an undergraduate degree in Australia or Canada, for example, and return to New Zealand for post-graduate work.


New Zealand has eight national universities offering degree programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in academic and professional studies.

All universities offer a broad spectrum of subjects for degrees in commerce, science and the arts. Each university has also developed its own specialist subjects, such as technology, engineering, computer studies, medicine, agriculture and environmental studies.

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics

There are 20 Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology. These provide education and training at tertiary levels ranging from introductory studies through to full degree programmes. Courses emphasis practical experience and application to work situations. Qualifications are tailored to allow students to enter and exit at different levels appropriate to their academic level and English language proficiency. ''Stair casing'' allows you to enrol for a certificate that will give you credit towards a diploma or degree if you continue to study.
Courses in disciplines such as agriculture, art and design, building and construction, business, engineering, marine studies, forestry, science and technology, media studies and tourism and hospitality are developed in association with advisory groups representing industry, commerce, the professions and the community. Contributions from these groups ensure that courses are appropriate, up-to-date and innovative, so that graduates acquire skills that are prized by employers. A degree from one of these institutions has equal status with a university degree. Many ITP's also offer English language training.

Colleges of Education

Specialized training for teachers is available at Colleges of Education. Additional university studies may be undertaken as part of the courses. All colleges offer advanced courses for trained teachers.

Distance Education

There is a comprehensive system of distance education, providing courses similar to those in conventional New Zealand educational institutions. Distance education standards are high and qualifications are fully accepted by other institutions.

Private Training Establishments

There are also private (i.e. not state-funded) tertiary institutes and training providers, including over 100 English language schools. Providing training in specific areas of education is a characteristic of many private training establishments.

Choosing an Institution

In the New Zealand education system, it is important to make your choice of institution according to your field of specialisation and the institution's reputation in that field. If you want to study food technology, for example, find out about the different courses offered and choose by academic criteria such as faculty qualifications, practical work experience opportunities, and so on. When you finish the course and start looking for work, these things matter much more than family connections.

Q.10. What are the English Language Requirements?

English Language Requirements

The language of instruction in New Zealand is English, except at Maori institutions. Your institution will therefore want to know whether your English skills are adequate for the course of study you are applying for.

  • Tertiary institutions will ask for original documents or certified photocopies of one of the following:
  • An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band score of 6 with no band less than 5.5.
  • IELTS is used at many tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and North America.
  • It assesses your ability to read, write, speak and listen in academic or general training contexts. It is developed and managed by the University of Cambridge, the British Council and IDP Education Australia.
  • A pass in English in the GCE (General Certificate of Education) 'O' level examination
  • A TOEFL (Princeton Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper test (not the computer test) score of 550 and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4 (paper-based test) or 213, Essay rating 4.0 (Computer-based test)

English Language Schools

Language schools offer courses from beginner level, i.e. for people who can say 'hello' and 'goodbye' and have basic knowledge of the alphabet. For absolute beginners, who have no previous language learning experience, private tuition can be arranged.

Q.11. What are the Examination Procedures?


How you are assessed will often influence the way you study. The two main types of assessment are examinations and class work. Sometimes your overall mark will be a combination of the two.


These usually involve writing essays or short paragraphs or answering multiple-choice questions. Examinations take place at the end of each semester.

During an exam, students are not permitted to communicate with other people or eat or drink anything except water. Supervisors check everybody's student ID card. For each exam there are different rules about what kind of dictionaries, books and calculators are allowed. There are also regulations about pre-empting the exam and what to do if you are sick on the exam day.

The student learning centre at your institution will run workshops about exam techniques and dealing with stress.

Class Work

This includes essays, assignments, laboratory reports, spot tests, fieldwork, presentations, special projects and practical work. Active participation in class may also be taken into account.

Take note of the criteria for assignments. An essay must not exceed the word limit given, and must be handed in on or before the deadline, otherwise you may lose marks or fail the course. Your lecturer may approve an official extension of time if you give a reason and do not ask at the last minute. If you are having difficulty with an assignment, discuss it with your tutor or get help from the student learning centre. They want you to succeed and will be happy to help. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is a normal part of student life.

Learning to Speak up for Yourself

Some university courses involve relatively few hours per week of formal lessons. A high degree of self-motivation and self-discipline is needed since you will be expected to do a lot of reading so that you can participate in class discussions. Students are expected to have original thoughts and be able to defend them in debate. This is how we show respect for our teachers - by participating fully in the academic process. In some cultures, it is not appropriate to challenge teachers, however it's an important part of the British-style education system.

Q.12. How are your Credits Transfered?

Credit Transfer

If you want to get credit for prior study, this is called "cross-credit" or "exemption". It means that if you have done the first year of a course in your own country and want to go straight into the second year in New Zealand, you can apply to do so. This must be negotiated with the institution you are applying to study at.
If your previous study was in an English-speaking country, the process will be easy.

If not, it may simply be a matter of providing the faculty department (science, hospitality, geography, etc.) with a detailed description of the course you have studied so far.

In other cases, it may be necessary for the Qualifications Evaluation Service at NZQA to assess your incomplete qualification. They will only do this if the purpose is further study, i.e. if you intend to complete the qualification by studying in New Zealand. The fee is NZ$450 and the process takes around eight weeks. You will have to provide certified photocopies - or, for some countries, the original documents - and translations from an NZQA-approved translation agency. In certain cases, the assessment may be "prioritised" and may not take quite so long.

Q.13. What are the other expenses in addition to your Fees?

Expenses Additional to Fees

Additional costs vary according to your age, the course you are taking, and the type of accommodation you choose, so the following estimates are only a guideline.
For Tertiary Study

  • Textbooks and stationery $500 per annum
  • Student ID card $20
  • Student membership $30
  • Photocopy cards $100
  • Transfer from airport up to $50 (may be included in orientation programme fee)
  • Bus fares $30 - $60 per week
  • Tea-Coffee $1 - $3 per cup
  • Nights snacks $7 per one-course meal

Q.14. What do your Fees cover and what are the payment methods?

Not only world-class in quality, the cost of education in New Zealand is very competitive compared to other countries. You will need to pay in advance, because proof of payment is needed to get a student visa or permit. There is usually an application or processing fee that is not refundable, even if your application is not successful.

Cancellation and Refunds

The Education Amendment Act 1991 protects tuition fees.

If you cancel before the course starts, for instance because your visa or visa extension is not granted, or you are transferring to another institution, most or all of your tuition fee will be refunded, except for the registration and processing fees.

If you cancel in the first week or so of the course, only part of your fee will be refunded. After that, you probably will not get any refund at all.

What the Fees cover:

  • Tertiary study - (NZ$18,000-$25,000 per annum, contingent on your course. Up to $40,000 for postgraduate courses.)
  • GST (tax)
  • Registration and enrolment
  • Student health and counselling
  • Language support
  • Use of most campus facilities

Q.15. Is New Zealand Education Internationally Accredited?


Q.16. What are the Visa Requirements & Procedures for Application?