Language courses are available throughout New Zealand, at private institutions and language centres at universities and colleges. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is a government organisation that assures the quality of education programmes offered by state institutions and private training establishments. University or college-based programmes are also approved by the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC).
Secondary education in New Zealand
Secondary schools in New Zealand consist of state, integrated and private institutions. State schools are funded by the New Zealand government and are mostly co-educational day schools. Private or independent schools operate outside the state system but follow the official curriculum in subject areas for public examinations. Integrated schools were once private but have been integrated into the state system and receive government funding. Many private and integrated schools offer single-sex education and have special philosophical or religious features. Secondary schools in New Zealand have four terms in a year and the academic year runs from early February to mid December.
Higher education in New Zealand
New Zealand has 25 polytechnics and institutes of technology and eight national universities, as well as a number of private tertiary institutions and training providers. Education New Zealand (ENZ) represents all sectors of the New Zealand education system and promotes the benefits of a New Zealand education abroad.
Popular degree courses among international students include commercial and business studies, humanities, natural and applied sciences, engineering, and medical studies. New Zealand's university academic year runs from February or March to November.
NZODA Postgraduate scholarships
The New Zealand government offers scholarships for postgraduate study to international students from selected developing countries as part of its overseas development assistance programme. Only citizens of certain countries are eligible and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those who are of the indigenous people of their country are given preference. The scholarship covers tuition fees, course related fees, international economy travel, establishment in New Zealand and living allowances. Students must first be accepted on to a postgraduate course before they can be put forward by the university to the New Zealand government as a scholarship candidate.
Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowship Plan
Opportunities exist for students from other Commonwealth countries to undertake postgraduate courses and research at a New Zealand university. The NZVCC administrates Commonwealth scholarships in New Zealand.More information about scholarships can be found at its website, www.nzvcc.ac.nz
NZODA Aotearoa Scholarships
Aotearoa Scholarships are available to students from developing countries in the South Pacific to study on skill-related courses of developmental relevance to their home countries. They are not available to students holding New Zealand citizen or residency status.
Crucial visa info and work rights
The New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS) is the government authority responsible for issuing permits and visas to enter New Zealand. Unless you are an Australian citizen or you come from one of the visa-free countries listed below, you will require a visitor visa to enter the country. You can study in New Zealand on a visitor visa if your course is less than three months long. Studies of a longer duration require a student visa or a limited purpose visa.
To apply for a student permit, you will need to have been offered a place on a course from an approved institution in New Zealand. You also need to complete an application form, which is available from your local New Zealand embassy or high commission, or can be downloaded from the Internet at www.immigration.govt.nz.
You will be asked to provide a recent passport-size photograph, a non-refundable visa application fee, a guarantee of accommodation (normally from your institution), and evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and return travel back to your home country. If you’re planning to stay in New Zealand for more than six months, you will need a Temporary Entry X-Ray Certificate, available online, to show that you have been screened for tuberculosis. If your course is longer than two years, you will also need to provide a police certificate and a Medical and X-Ray Certificate.
Students who might otherwise not be accepted for temporary entry into New Zealand can apply for a limited purpose visa which is valid for the length of the course undertaken. Students on a limited purpose visa may not apply for a different permit once in New Zealand and must leave the country before their permit expires. This visa is generally only issued to students wanting to undertake a short course of study. For more information see the NZIS website, www.immigration.govt.nz.
International students on a long-term student permit (staying in the country for one year or longer) are automatically entitled to work 20 hours per week during term time. They may work full time during the vacation and they can obtain a Variation of Conditions for their visa. This may cost NZ$120. However, exchange students or those on a study abroad programme (for no longer than 12 months) are not entitled to work.
Travelling around New Zealand
New Zealand is made up of two islands that are linked by ferry and air services. Despite the fact that New Zealand is a fairly small country, air travel can be a convenient way to travel around, especially between the two islands. Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.com) offers a number of domestic flights throughout the country and offers good student discounts and air passes.
Travel by bus or coach is a good way to get around each of the islands. The main operator is InterCity, and all operators offer discounts. InterCity (www.intercitycoach.co.nz) offers a number of passes that allow travellers to follow a set route while getting on and off where they want. The passes are valid for a number of months and can cover both islands or just one. Prices start at NZ$54 (US$36). There are also a number of shuttle bus companies, which are usually cheaper than the major operators, as well as companies that cater specifically for backpackers, providing 'backpacker buses'. These generally provide some form of entertainment along the way, as well as giving independent travellers the opportunity to meet like-minded people along a set route. They are available on both the North and South Islands.
Trains run on just a few main routes, and they are a speedy, modern and very competitive alternative to bus travel. The three-in-one New Zealand Travelpass makes it possible to combine coach, ferry and rail travel and is available for five-to-15 journeys within 12 months. A five day pass for example costs NZ$504 (US$378). The same pass is also available as tow-in-one passes for the coach and ferry. Hiring a car can be a good option to get to see uncharted areas of New Zealand. Traffic is generally light although petrol is expensive. Car hire firms operate in all the major towns and cities. Good deals are often available, and some companies offer one-way rentals, allowing you to drop the car off at a different destination to where you picked it up.
Many independent travellers find that purchasing a car or van is the most economical way of travelling around New Zealand, as well as being the most adventurous. Second-hand camper vans can often be bought cheaply from other travellers on their way home. Look out for advertisements in free newspapers and hostel notice boards where you can often find real bargains.
One month English course NZ$1,366 (US$1,025)
Two weeks' homestay accommodation; NZ$394 (US$296)
Two weeks' residential accommodation; NZ$298 (US$224)
One-year boarding school fees; NZ$13,000 - 19,000 (US$79,090 - 13,287)
One-year independent school fees; NZ$7,535 (US$4,129)
One-year undergraduate tuition fees; NZ$13,000 - 21,500 (US$9,090 - 15.035)
One-year postgraduate tuition fees; NZ$13,500 to NZ$28,500 (US$9,440 to US$19,930)
Language exams available: Ielts, Toefl, Toeic, Trinity, Cambridge, Pitman
Guide to qualifications
The New Zealand education system offers various undergraduate and postgraduate degrees including bachelor's, master's and doctoral. These are offered at universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, institutes of technology and private education institutes. Foundation courses are also offered as a preparation year for a degree. Certificates (one year) and diplomas (two years) are nationally recognised qualifications and many of them can, with further study, lead to a bachelor's degree. Diplomas are offered by polytechnics and private tertiary institutes.
In general, bachelor's degrees are three years in length, but some may take up to six years. An honours degree is conferred after an additional year of undergraduate study in some faculties. A master's degree is normally two additional years of study, or one more year after an honours degree. A doctoral degree (PhD) is awarded after another three years of postgraduate study.
Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City
If you are a British citizen or British passport holder who has evidence to the right to live permanently in the UK, you may be granted a six-month visa on arrival.
The application process
Applications to secondary schools should be made directly to the institution. The level of English required before starting at the school will depend on whether the school is able to provide supplementary language lessons.
Admission for university requires certified copies of secondary school qualifications. Entry requirements for polytechnics will vary, and will depend on the course of study chosen.
Requirements for English ability vary from university to university, but the NZVCC has set certain minimums. For undergraduate study these are 6.0 in Ielts, 550 in a paper-based Toefl, or 213 in a computer-based Toefl. Or postgraduates the minimum requirements are 6.5 in Ielts, 575-600 in a paper-based Toefl, or 233-250 in a computer based Toefl.
For more information, see www.nzvcc.ac.nz
An education adviser, or branches of New Zealand education centres in Bangkok, Thailand; Hamburg, Germany; Hong Kong; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Seoul, Korea; Singapore; Taipei, Taiwan and Tokyo, Japan will be able to help you.
Zealand's education system
* Primary education, Primary school age, 5-12 years, School years Junior 1, Form 2
* Secondary education, Secondary school, age 13-18 years, School years Form 3-7
* Polytechnics and private tertiary institutes, can lead to university study
* Universities and colleges of education
English language students in New Zealand by country of origin 2006
Saudi Arabia 5.1%
New Zealand 2.7%
Source: Language Travel Magazine
New Zealand does not provide any free healthcare to international students, although UK and Australian nationals can receive free emergency treatment, so a health insurance scheme is essential. Companies such as Uni-Care and Southern Cross have designed special policies for international students that cover your journey to and from New Zealand as well as your stay. Some information about these policies is available through www.mynzed.com.
International students in university education in New Zealand by country of origin 2005/6
Hong Kong 1.6%
Source: Education New Zealand
NZ Vice Chancellors' Committee
Level 11, 94 Dixon Street, PO Box 11915, Wellington 6034, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 (04) 381 8500 Fax: +64 (04) 381 8501
New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)
Head Office, 125 The Terrace, PO Box 160,
Wellington, New Zealand
Tel: +64 48023000 Fax: +64 48023112
Education New Zealand
Dalmuir House, 114 The Terrace, PO Box 10-500, Wellington, New Zealand
Tel: +64 44720788 Fax: +64 44712828
Web: www.ed ucationnz.org.nz