Haere Mai, Ni Hao, Hola, Kon'nichiwa, Talofa, Annyeonghaseyo, Namaste!

We celebrate and support the diversity of people, ideas and culture and we are committed to ensuring that our students have the best academic experience possible.

Important Info for our International Students

Living in Auckland, New Zealand

Why New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of the world’s best places to live and study. Discover our internationally-renowned education system and unbeatable lifestyle. New Zealanders have a welcoming nature and easy going attitude. A peaceful country, with a low crime rate, the two islands forming New Zealand are blessed with a natural beauty second to none offering an amazing quality of life and work life balance. 

Auckland City

Auckland has been rated the third best city in the world in a recent survey measuring global quality of life. The annual report by Mercer is based on factors such as culture and environment, political stability, safety, infrastructure and ease of doing business.

At 1.4 million, 32 percent of New Zealand's population lives in the wider Auckland Region. Auckland is a cosmopolitan hub of activity and business and is one of the most multicultural cities on the planet. Almost a third of Aucklanders were born outside of New Zealand and half of those have roots in the Asia-Pacific region. The cultural facilities and quality educational facilities are major attractions for people from all over the world.

There is a great variety of restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets and a number of 24 hour supermarkets. Asian cuisine is particularly popular. Overall Auckland is an ideal environment for learning and personal development and provides a diverse landscape of cultural attractions to experience.

Learn more about our local libraries

Learn more about banking in New Zealand

Learn more about Student ID cards

Cost of Living

In order to live comfortably while you are in Auckland, you will need to have about $NZ15,000 per year available for living costs, above the cost of your tuition.The cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to what you’ll find in any OECD country. 

You will receive advice from our Student Support team during orientation on how best to handle your money, but initially it is important to note that you should have some New Zealand cash for immediate expenses (e.g. airport costs or transport). You may need further funds in the form of traveller’s cheques, which can be readily cashed. There are foreign exchange offices at the international terminals in each New Zealand airport.

Working in New Zealand

The purpose of the International students’ visas is for full time study. International students are allowed to work part time, but there are rules and conditions on the part time work they can do, which are very important to know. Details on the same can be found on the INZ website in the work rules for students section.

To receive payment all students need to have a bank account and an IRD number. An IRD number is an eight or nine digit number unique to you - it's important because all your tax and personal details are linked to it.

Please refer to How to apply for an IRD number

Apply with Immigration New Zealand here

Medical and Travel Insurance

International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand.

We require student to have medical and travel insurance before travel and during their studies at NZSE and period living in New Zealand. NZSE will, if required, arrange standard international student cover through Southern Cross Healthcare at the cost of the student. 

Eligibility for Health Services

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may have to pay the full costs of treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health. View these on their website here

For more helpful information visit:

Ministry of Health



Local currency is the New Zealand dollar. There are 10c, 20c, and 50c, $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Information regarding the current foreign exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar against your currency can be found here

Goods and services tax (GST)

All goods and services in New Zealand are imposed with a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Under law, the prices displayed must include the GST content.


Tipping is not normally the custom at New Zealand airports, taxis, hotels or restaurants.


We would like your student journey to be a safe and enjoyable one. Auckland is a safe and friendly city, however you are recommended to take precaution as you would in any large city. The videos here give you sensible tips on how to deal with any incidences and ways in which to protect yourself from danger. Have fun, enjoy yourself and stay safe!

Safety in the City


Rental Options

There is a choice of accommodation options for international students to choose from within Auckland and New Zealand. One commonly used accommodation type is “flatting” where students live together and share the cost of rental and day to day expenses. It’s a great way to make friends and at the same time live independently.

You can find flatting options on the following websites:  • Trademe • Flatfinder • NZ Flatmates


Homestay accommodation is also very popular way for International students to assimilate into the New Zealand culture and lifestyle while enjoying a family environment – a home away from home. Being a multi-cultural society the homestay hosts could come from various cultural / ethnic backgrounds. So this gives students a fantastic opportunity to get to know the ‘melting pot’ of cultures that New Zealand supports and is proud of.  We will make every effort to provide a suitable homestay arrangement for our students through our trusted partners.

Check out New Zealand's Host Families 


Public transport in Auckland

Auckland, the largest metropolitan area of New Zealand is serviced by three modes of public transport - bus, train and ferry. These services are coordinated by Auckland Transport under the AT Metro brand. Britomart Transport Centre in the heart of the CBD is the main transport hub. 

International students are eligible for a discount on the public transport services. The HOP card has attractive concessions for Tertiary Students.

Driving in New Zealand

All vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road. Before you drive in New Zealand you should read the Road Code to learn about the rules of the road, especially the ‘give way’ rule which differs from any other country. You must also take out a minimum level of insurance against damage to other people or their property. If you have a driver license from another country or an international driving permit, you may drive in New Zealand for a maximum of one year. If you would like to continue driving, you must hold a New Zealand license.

More information about driving in New Zealand can be obtained from the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA).

Free phone 0800 822 422

Or visit their website 

Click here for more information on living in New Zealand.

Community Services


If you’ve recently moved to New Zealand, you probably have lots of questions about how things work here.

Citizens Advice Bureau is a great place to find answers to common questions and discover community services available in your area. 

Youthline also provide a lot of information for young people in New Zealand and activities and events going on in the community. 

Need Help Right Now? 

Lifeline Aotearoa's telephone counselling service provides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week counselling and support. Call 0800 543 354 to speak with someone who can help.

Civil Defence Emergency Information

Civil Defence Auckland  are the people who help prepare for and respond to emergencies like major fires, floods, extreme weather, an earthquake or tsunami. Their website has important information on how to get ready for an emergency.

Family Services

Use this directory to locate and contact support for services relating to addiction, basic needs, disaster recovery, education and training, employment, ethnic services, family violence, health, mentors, legal and civil services, mental health, parenting and caregiving, special needs and disability, youth services and ISO capability.

Auckland | Family Services directory

Healthcare and Dental Care

All international students studying in New Zealand are required by the "Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students" to have a compliant medical and travel insurance for the duration of their New Zealand student visa. NZSE can arrange the same on behalf of the student with Southern Cross.

For more information about available services click here

Eligibility for Health Services

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may have to pay the full costs of treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health. View these on their website here

Accident Insurance

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website.

Postal Service

Post offices in New Zealand are called Postshops. You can find a Postshop near you, and get information about postal services and Kiwibank (the bank that New Zealand Post operates) at this website.

Find your nearest post office here

Police advice for new arrivals

New Zealand Police has a useful website with information about your rights in dealing with them and advice on preventing crime, plus contacts for ethnic liaison officers in your region. Information is available in 12 different languages.

Advice for new arrivals | New Zealand Police

Leisure & Attractions

New Zealand has an unlimited range of tourist attractions and activities, located throughout the country. There are many free visitor attractions such as walks and museums in addition to huge range of other attractions and activities that New Zealand is famous for. 

Often considered an adventure playground, key ways to explore the great outdoors include Mountain biking, surfboarding, bungee jumping, snowboarding, skiing and hiking. Many of New Zealand's mountain regions offer skiing and snowboarding in the winter. In the summer it is possible to surf in the morning and visit a glacier in the afternoon. Popular sports include the national game of rugby, as well as netball, cricket, squash, sailing and soccer. New Zealand maintains a high professional standard in a number of sports notably Sailing (former America’s Cup holders) and rugby (The All Blacks).

Top 10 things to do in New Zealand  | New Zealand Adventures and Tours 

Code of Practice

NZSE is signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, which you can look through and read here

Emergency Contact

Our team are here to help around the clock - for after hours assistance please contact:

Benjamin Liu
Senior Student Support Advisor – International
021 881 069


Leaving home can be difficult as much as it is exciting and we understand your need for our support and assistance when you get here. You can be assured of a fun, inspiring and rewarding time in New Zealand with the NZSE team. 

We have tried to answer some critical questions that we think may be lingering in your mind…but you may have more and we are always happy to provide you the information you are looking for.

Q1. What should I pack for my stay in New Zealand? Auckland enjoys warm humid summers and mild, wet winters. Don’t forget we are in the southern hemisphere so winter months here are July to Sept.

Q2. What if I miss my airport pick up? If you have booked your airport pick up with us, our representative will be at the airport arrival area holding your name board to welcome you. You will be dropped off at your chosen home-stay or to the address where you have made accommodation arrangements directly. The pickup representative will wait for you up to 2 hours from the flight landing time.

If you miss your pickup you can all this emergency number 021 22 44421 from a local payphone.

Please note there is 30 min free Wi-Fi access at the Airport.

Q3. Where can I get a SIM card for my phone when I first get there? You can get a free SIM card at Auckland Airport from any supplier (like Vodafone, Spark or 2 Degree) and you can buy a suitable plan.

Q4. When should I come to the campus after reaching Auckland? You need to come to the campus on the start date of your programme as mentioned on your Final Offer of Place for registration and orientation. If you have arrived early do please come in to say hello to us and we can start off your enrolment formalities.

Q5. Who should I meet when I first come to the campus? You will be welcomed by our student support team when you come in for the first time. The first week is focused on “orientation” and you will spend time with the Academic Team, Student Support Team and Career Services Team help you get started on your academic journey with NZSE.

Q6.How do I get around in Auckland?  All tertiary international students are eligible for a discount pass on the Auckland Transport network. Your student ID card have an ID sticker affixed to it which will grant you discounts to travel in the Auckland region.

Q7. Is Internet access available on campus? All our campuses are wifi enabled and you will have access to the same

Q8. What is the average class size? Our classes are small and intimate so you can expect a lot of one on one attention and interaction from tutors. Usually each class has about 20 to 30 students.

Q9. How easy is it to talk to a tutor? Very easy. Tutors are friendly and approachable and are known for working closely with their students. The class environment is collaborative and relaxed to ensure you make the most of your learning opportunity with us.

Q10. What are the things I can do in Auckland  Auckland is vibrant and exciting city and has lots of opportunities that you can gradually discover during the course of your study journey. Have a look at the interesting things you can find to do in “Tamaki” the Maori name for Auckland!

Q11. What happens if I miss a class? Attendance is compulsory for all international students. If you are unwell and miss a class, you will need to produce a doctor’s certificate for the records. Talk to your tutor about the work you may have missed.

Q12. What happens if I start my classes later than the start date? If there are extenuating circumstance that compel you to start late, the institute would have issued you an extension letter stating the same. You must start at the very latest on the date mentioned in the Extension of offer. The tutors will support and guide you to catch up with the class.

Q14. How will I make friends and get to know other students? NZSE has an exciting array of events interspersed in your annual curriculum to ensure that you have a good time while you acquire your qualification. From shared lunches in class, picnics and outings to inter campus sports day and graduations – all these are excellent opportunities to network and get to make lasting friendships. But you don’t have wait that long. Get on our Facebook page and connect with new and old students even before you arrive. It’s a great tool to reach out and get well prepared for your forthcoming time in NZ.

Download International Prospectus

Not sure which course is for you?

Not sure where to start? Having a chat with us may help you learn a bit more about where you’d like to go from here.