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Student Information

Here you'll find basic information about studying in New Zealand and details of International Student Scholarships in New Zealand. Every year around 100,000 international students choose to study in New Zealand universities, high schools, primary schools, training colleges, polytechnics and English language schools.

Studying in New Zealand

New Zealand is an English-speaking country, with a British-based education system.

Every year around 100,000 international students choose to study in New Zealand at Universities, High Schools, Primary Schools, Training Colleges, Polytechnics and English Language Schools. (source: The Edcentre).

New Zealand’s safe, "clean-green" reputation, mixed with its low cost of living and globally recognised education system makes it the perfect choice for international students.

View Education Listings in New Zealand
New Zealand English Language Schools

English language schools cater for beginners to advanced speakers of English as a Second language.  There are over 75 English Language Schools in New Zealand.

English language schools offer tuition and examinations for the globally recognised TOEFL and IELTS Certificates. Other qualifications such as ESOL or Cambridge English examinations are also available. Some language schools also run specialty courses, such as English for Academic or Business purposes.

New Zealand Tertiary Education

Tertiary education in New Zealand is wide-spread.  There are eight world-class universities in New Zealand, and many polytechnics and technical colleges.

In New Zealand the university year begins in late February or early March, and ends in October. Generally, the university year is divided in to two semesters, with a six week mid-semester break.

Polytechnics and Technical Colleges usually begin in February, and end in November.

Course timetables vary according to the institution and your chosen studies. You should expect to spend 35-40 hours a week studying.

English Language Requirements: Most universities require either an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band score of 6 with no band less than 5.5; or a TOEFL (Princeton Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper test score of 550 and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4.

New Zealand Secondary & Primary Education

In New Zealand the school year starts in February, and ends in mid-December.

Primary and Secondary School runs Monday to Friday, from about 8.45am to 3.15pm. There is usually a 1 hour lunch break.

Sport and other extra-curricular activities take place after school, or on Saturday mornings.

NZ Student Scholarships, Awards & Financial Aid
  • A number of scholarships and financial-aid awards are offered to international students.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) NZAid programme offers scholarships to students from developing countries.
  • Individual New Zealand universities also offer scholarships to international students. Contact their scholarships office for further information. 
Useful New Zealand Education Links

Ministry of Education
The Edcentre
Education New Zealand

Student Health & Welfare

Student Healthcare

New Zealand has a world-class healthcare system, with both private and public hospitals.

Healthcare is not free for international students, so it pays to invest in some form of health insurance from your home country.

However, the cost of medical care resulting from accidental or sporting injuries is covered by the Accident Compensation Corporation.

Universities in New Zealand have their own student-health medical centres and doctor’s fees are usually cheaper than at other medical centres.

For impartial, supportive advice on sexual health issues you should contact the Family Planning Association.

The number to call for emergency assistance in New Zealand is 111

Human Rights

New Zealand is a multi-cultural country and people of all ethnic/cultural/religious backgrounds have the same rights by law.

Men and women have equal rights in New Zealand.

The Human Rights Commission and Race Relations Conciliator are there to help anyone who feels they have been discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender or sexuality.

Students who experience discrimination should contact a teacher or staff member immediately – discrimination is not acceptable in New Zealand.


All schools, universities and government buildings cater for people with disabilities.  Most modern buildings have wheelchair ramps.

At many universities students with disabilities can receive help with reading and writing.

 Cold Water Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park.  Nelson Tasman Tourism

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