How do I study in New Zealand
Are you considering studying in New Zealand, but not sure where to start? Find out what you’ll need to do to study here.
Studying in New Zealand could give you a globally-recognised qualification and an experience that will change the way you think and give you a new perspective on the world.
But how do you get here?
Deciding to study overseas may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re interested in studying at a school, university or another education institution in New Zealand, the first thing to consider is how to apply for a course and for your visa.
It might be easier than you think.
Choosing a course
How do other students decide what to study in New Zealand?
Lindsay Wickham, from the US, decided to enrol for her Master of Marine Science at the University of Otago because she knew she’d be taught by world-renowned experts in marine mammal conservation.
She also loves being able to get out on a boat at least once a month. “The study of marine science is very practical and hands-on here,” she says.
Lord of the Rings fan Mohit Batta, from India, chose to study animation and 3D graphics at ACG Yoobee School of Design in Auckland to gain the real-life skills he’d need to work in the gaming industry.
“The tutors are awesome. They introduced us to heaps of industry guests, taught us how to work under pressure and meet deadlines, and lots of valuable tips and tricks,” he says.
So what will you choose to study?
Applying for a course
Once you’ve chosen a school or tertiary institution, your next step is to check the fees and entry requirements.
If you’re planning tertiary study, you may be asked to send in a copy of your passport, academic transcripts and English language results.
If you’ll be studying at a school or English language school, you may have to provide a copy of your passport, a medical certificate, school reports and exam results.
Once you’re accepted, your institution will send you an ‘offer of place’ letter. It may not be confirmed till you’ve paid your fees.
Studying at a New Zealand university
Note that each university sets its own specific entry requirements for each programme, so specific requirements will vary.
To gain entry to a bachelor’s degree, you have a few options:
- New Zealand universities accept a range of overseas school-leaver qualifications. Check the university websites for the most up-to-date information about what qualifications are accepted.
- Gain University Entrance or its equivalent by studying NCEA or another school-leaver qualification at a New Zealand secondary school
- Complete a foundation programme offered by a New Zealand university or other tertiary provider.
At a minimum, you’ll need a qualification equivalent to a New Zealand bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject area. Specific entry requirements depend on the programme.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English proficiency. Most universities accept IELTS and similar international English language tests, and offer pathway programmes to help you meet requirements.
Applying for a visa
The fastest and cheapest way to apply for your visa is online.
Find an agent
If you need support to reach your goal of studying in New Zealand, think about consulting an education agent.
An education agent can help you learn about your options, give you advice on where to study, and help you with study and visa applications.
Need more help?
Do you need any more information to get started on your way to New Zealand?
About the contributors
Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.