Next steps to Study Abroad

For Study Abroad and Exchange students planning on studying at Waikato.

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Congratulations! After receiving your offer, there are some important steps you need to take before arriving in New Zealand.



Trimester Programmes

We recommend applying for your student visa as soon as you receive your offer of place letter. Visa processing times range from 3-12 weeks, depending on your visa type. See up-to-date visa processing times here.

Study Abroad students will need a Fee Paying Student Visa. Exchange students will need an Exchange Student Visa.

If you intend to be in New Zealand before or after your Study Abroad or Exchange experience, and would like the opportunity to work while you travel, then the Working Holiday Visa may suit your needs. This visa is a one-time visa, therefore we recommend you study with us on a specific student visa if you are primarily in New Zealand to study. We recommend you contact Immigration New Zealand if you have questions about which visa is right for you.

Short Courses – under 3 months

Students from visa waiver countries studying on our short courses can enter NZ and stay up to 3 months.

Please read carefully through the visa waiver visitor visa information and be sure that you apply for the NZeTA at least 72 hours before travelling. Students from non-visa waiver countries must apply for a visitor visa to enter New Zealand.

Please contact Immigration New Zealand directly if you have questions regarding your visa application.


You can apply for accommodation before you receive your enrolment offer (acceptance letter). We strongly recommend that you apply as early as possible to ensure you get your preferred option.

If you're looking to improve your English or want a home away from home, try a homestay and live with a local New Zealand family.

Campus housing is guaranteed for study abroad and exchanges students if the accommodation application is submitted before the due date. Applications after the due date are welcome however the guarantee of placement does not apply.

Accommodation application open and due dates

A trimester

Opens: 1 August
Due: 1 December

B trimester

Opens: 1 April
Due: 1 May

You're strongly encouraged to apply early to secure your preferred housing option. Self-catered flats are in the highest demand and not always available. We encourage you to talk to your study abroad and exchange advisor to discuss your accommodation options at Waikato.

On-campus accommodation

The rooms are single study bedrooms with a single bed, mattress, mattress protector, chair, desk, desk light, bookcase, drawers and a wardrobe. All rooms have curtains, are fully carpeted and centrally heated. All utilities are included in the cost of rent.

Linen packs are available and consists of a pillow, duvet inner, duvet cover, sheet set and x2 towels. We recommend purchasing the linen pack before you arrive. This way, it will be waiting for you when you arrive after spending a long time flying and don’t want to worry about venturing out to buy bedding!

Each hall has a laundry with coin-operated washing machines and dryers.

  • Fully-catered means that all meals are provided in the residence hall’s dining room - 3 meals/day, 7 days/week.  
  • Self-catered accommodation provides you with a fully-equipped kitchen and you are responsible for buying your own food and cooking meals. 
  • Homestay is fully-catered; all meals are provided by your host family.

Find out more about the University of Waikato accommodation options.


To complete your enrolment at the University of Waikato, you are required by the New Zealand government to have appropriate medical and travel insurance for the duration of your stay in New Zealand.

The University of Waikato uses StudentSafe as its provider of insurance.  The charge for StudentSafe is automatically added to your Waikato student account after applying to enrol.

If you would like to have the insurance fee waived you can submit an approved alternative policy or ask for your policy to be assessed by our insurance team to see if it meets the requirements to be used as an alternative to StudentSafe.

The insurance fee can be found on the fees page.

Arrival and airport pickup

To ensure that we are prepared for your arrival, you will need to complete an arrival form to let University staff know when you are expecting to arrive.

This form also enables you to request free pick up from Auckland International Airport (1.5-2 hours' drive from Hamilton - this is where most students arrive), Hamilton Airport, or Tauranga Airport. If you choose this option a shuttle will be sent to collect you and take you to your pre-arranged accommodation in Hamilton or Tauranga.

Please note: a return airport shuttle at the end of the term is not provided, but we are happy to assist you in arranging transport.

Student Life

Participate in the Buddy Programme, volunteer at a local organisation, join a student club (or many), and discover the diverse group of people and cultures that make up the Waikato atmosphere and experience.

Check out what it's like to live and study at the University of Waikato!  

Get Connected!

Learn all about upcoming Orientation week events and activities - attendance at the International Student Orientation and Study Abroad & Exchange Orientation sessions are mandatory!

Join our private Facebook group for Study Abroad and Exchange students - it’s a great way to connect with fellow students coming to NZ and ask any questions not answered on the website

Follow Waikato International on Facebook and Instagram

See upcoming events at Waikato.

Contact us

Study Abroad and Exchange