New Zealand (NZ)

New Zealand as Study Destination

New Zealanders are friendly and welcoming towards international students, making it the ideal environment for studying English.

Students from all around the world choose New Zealand to experience something new while they study.

It’s also safe and easy to travel around our beautiful country, so students have the opportunity to see a new country while studying abroad. Students can enjoy summer or winter activities, as well as arts and culture.

We have world class high schools, colleges, institutes of technology and universities if students want to continue studying in New Zealand. English is our first language so students get to practice English outside the classroom in everyday situations.

Coming to study in New Zealand

Educational institutions in New Zealand offer a wide variety of courses and New Zealand welcomes international students at all of its institutions.

If you study in New Zealand you can be assured of earning world-class qualifications.

Quality assurance of education in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has established strong national quality assurance systems, designed to help institutions maintain the quality and consistency of training programmes and assessment practices. New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) is the quality assurance body for non-university providers, such as English language schools.

Private training establishments must be registered with NZQA in order to offer you an officially recognised (approved) course. Immigration New Zealand will only issue a student visa if the course, programme or qualification you are planning to do is approved by a quality assurance body.

For more information, see Quality assurance of education in New Zealand.

Caring for International Students – The Code of Practice

If you are an international student, your provider must be a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. The Code sets the minimum standards of advice and care that are expected of providers who enrol international students. The Code applies to care and welfare of students only, not to academic standards.

For more information, see Caring for International Students.

Schooling at secondary level in New Zealand

Secondary study lasts five years and begins when students are 12 or 13 years old. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main school qualification at this level.

For more information, see Secondary school and NCEA.

Studying at tertiary level in New Zealand

The term ‘tertiary’ describes all aspects of post-school education and training. New Zealand has a large number of institutions that teach at the tertiary level. They include universities, polytechnics, wānanga and private training establishments (PTEs).

Your rights and protections

As a tertiary student in New Zealand you are protected:

  • NZQA requires all registered PTEs to have policies and procedures for student withdrawals and refunds. Your PTE sends you this information before you enrol.  For more, see Withdrawals and refunds
  • Registered PTEs must protect student fees if they stop offering a course in which a student is enrolled. This can happen if a PTE becomes insolvent, is de-registered by NZQA and/or partially or completely loses accreditation.  For more, see PTE course closure
  • If you have any problems with your provider you can make an official complaint to NZQA about the provider.

For more information, see Tertiary education.

More about New Zealand’s education system

You can read more about the New Zealand education system at the Ministry of Education website and Education New Zealand’s Study in New Zealand website.

Check your visa type before you enrol

The type of visa you get affects the type of course you can enrol in.

Before enrolling in a course, check your visa type.

For more information please refer to Immigration New Zealand.

Recognition of international qualifications

If you have a qualification gained outside New Zealand, and you wish to have it recognised in New Zealand or cross-credited to a New Zealand qualification, see International qualifications.

National Education Information Centre (NEIC)

New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) is designated as New Zealand’s National Education Information Centre (NEIC).

The role of the National Education Information Centre is to provide information and advice on:

  • the recognition of overseas secondary and tertiary qualifications (including diplomas, degrees and other academic or professional qualifications)
  • the New Zealand education system
  • education systems in other countries.

The main users of this service are higher education institutions, students and their advisers, parents, teachers and prospective employers.


Nothing can get better than the weather in New Zealand. The winters are mild, with temperatures around 10ºC (50ºF) and slightly wet. In higher altitudes, you will see snow, but it’s not common in lower altitudes. In the summers, the climate is warm and dry with temperatures around 25ºC (77ºF). As you would expect in the southern hemisphere, the summer lasts from December to February; winter lasts from June to August. Spring and fall are similar, with cooler temperatures and little rain.

Work opportunities

There are plenty of work opportunities available for international students. On a student visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week through the semester; during vacations you can work up to 40 hours. So, instead of having to worry about finances, you get to supplement your education with income. You may even be able to nab internships and other practical work. The international studies office at your university can help you find a job to sustain you during your time in New Zealand. Another great thing is that you can get a permit at the end of your degree program and work for 12 months in the country under a special “work permit” that is alongside your student visa, which is what we’ll look at closer in the last point.

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