Preparing to Come to NZ
Your first step will be applying for your Student Visa. We also recommend you download and read our pre-arrival guide which will prepare you for arriving in New Zealand and completing your enrolment.
Adjusting to life in New Zealand
There is so much to understand and adjust to when moving to a new country, it can be quite overwhelming. You may experience a time of culture shock where you feel sad, tired, and aren’t sure if you made the right decision to come to New Zealand. Rest assured it's not unusual to feel this way and it will soon pass. We have staff available in our International Student Support Services Office who are available to help you through this time. Find out more about settling into New Zealand.
While New Zealand’s official language is English, Kiwis (New Zealanders) use some unique expressions. You may find it helpful to read this great travel blog from Lonely Planet to help you understand some key words and phrases you will come across in New Zealand.
We also recommend you download and read our pre-arrival guide which will prepare you for arriving in New Zealand and completing your enrolment.
Step 1: Apply for your student visa
Obtaining a New Zealand student visa is an essential part of preparing to come to New Zealand. You must have a student visa to study in New Zealand, and to complete your enrolment at the University of Waikato when you arrive on campus. You can apply to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) at Immigration online.
We recommend you obtain your visa before booking your travel to come to New Zealand. INZ strongly discourages entering New Zealand on a visitor visa because that is not your main purpose for coming here. There is no guarantee you will be granted a student visa if you apply after entering the country on a visitor's visa.
How to apply for a New Zealand student visa
Apply directly to Immigration New Zealand at Immigration Online, if you are using a recruitment agent in your home country they may be able to assist you with the application process.
Applying online is the most affordable option when applying for your student visa from outside New Zealand. You will need to upload:
- PDF supporting documents such as a pre-paid tuition receipt for your first course of year of study, and
- Your Offer of Place letter from the University of Waikato
Pathway student visa pilot
The University of Waikato is participating in a Pathway Student Visa pilot with INZ. A pathway student visa may be granted for up to a maximum of five years and allows a student to undertake up to three consecutive programmes of study on a single student visa. The University of Waikato will offer Pathways for all assessed programmes, which excludes General English. Find out more about Pathway Student Visa Pilot.
PhD students – length of course visa
The University of Waikato supports the granting of length of course visas for PhD students. A length of course visa allows you to remain in New Zealand for the full length of your PhD programme (up to a maximum of four years), regardless of the period for which the tuition fees have been paid. To be eligible, you must provide evidence that you can financially support yourself while living in NZ during the four years.
Step 2: Arrange your accommodation
Making arrangements for your accommodation before you arrive in New Zealand will ease the stress of finding accommodation when you arrive in New Zealand.
Accommodation options include living on campus in student accommodation, sharing private accommodation with other students a nearby suburb, or renting a home for you and your family.
Find out more about accommodation options and how to apply.
Step 3: Complete the arrival form and arrange free transport from the airport
We offer a free shuttle service that can pick you up from Auckland or Hamilton airport and deliver you to your Hamilton accommodation. If you would like this service, complete the arrival form to inform us of your flight details and secure your pickup.
Step 4: Understand your medical and travel insurance obligations
To enrol at the University of Waikato, international students (including group students) must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance to cover the length of your study visa in New Zealand. You can purchase the Studentsafe-University policy through the University. This will automatically be added and charged to your Enrolment Agreement. If you prefer you can choose to purchase an alternative approved policy and provide a copy of the cover to the University at least two weeks before the start of your course of study.
Find out more about policy options and your obligations see our international student policies.
For more information and help regarding insurance contact email@example.com
Find out more information about arriving in New Zealand.