Arriving in New Zealand as an International Student

Last updated: 2 April 2024 Student Finance Study in New Zealand

You have been accepted onto a course at a New Zealand university and are about to start a new adventure. This journey can be challenging, but you can also explore new experiences and social norms to adapt. Many New Zealand universities make the lives of international students more accessible and comfortable. Here are a few travel tips you need to know when arriving in New Zealand as an international student. 

If you want to study in New Zealand, why not arrange a free consultation with SI-Global today? Our educational consultants will take you through your study options and help you apply.

arriving in new zealand international student

Document Checklist

Before you arrive in New Zealand and start your student life, here are some documents that you need to carry:

If you lose important documents, carry photocopies, digital scans, and photos. If you intend to work in New Zealand after studying, keep at least two referees from previous employers who can discuss your good character and work ethic. These references will help you get a job quickly. 

You can also apply for an international driving license or permit to drive in New Zealand. 

Cash Requirement

A cash amount of at least NZD$500 is recommended to cover minimum expenses when you arrive in New Zealand. This can include your taxi fare, food, and temporary accommodation charges. You can also apply for prepaid travel money cards like Cash Passport and credit cards. 

Currency Exchange

If you run out of time to organise cash, you can exchange money at any New Zealand bank or exchange services at the airport. 

Open a Bank Account

If you have been staying in New Zealand longer, you must have a bank account. Open your account online and deposit the amount before you arrive. You can open your account in the following banks in New Zealand:

What should you carry when arriving in New Zealand?

International students must carry the following items with them while travelling to New Zealand for studies:

1. Mobile Phones

You need to purchase a SIM card. A few mobile phone networks work in New Zealand, such as OneNZ, Spark, and 2Degrees. You can buy the SIM card at the airport or shops in all major cities. 

2. Clothing

You need to be prepared for all-season clothing. So don’t forget sweaters, a warm coat (like a puffer jacket), a woollen hat, gloves, and scarves. Do carry clothing items like waterproof shoes, raincoats, and boots. 

3. Medicine Prescription

If you are bringing a medicine prescription, you should carry a note from your doctor, which comprises the name of the medicine, how much you need to take, and the doctor's name and contact number. Make sure to carry your medicines in the original container. 

4. Electrical Items

Electrical items like hair dryers, laptops, and mobile phones can be carried out in New Zealand. The plug points and sockets in New Zealand are Type I. So, if your country has a different plug shape, you must carry a travel adaptor to make your plugs fit into the New Zealand sockets. The New Zealand power system is 240 volts or 50 Hertz.  

Items to be Avoided

The first thing to remember is to avoid biosecurity items in your luggage. New Zealand implements strict rules and regulations to protect its environment from pests and diseases. Avoid carrying fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked or uncooked food, preserved or dried food, and plant products. 

Study in New Zealand

If you have any questions or concerns about studying in New Zealand, do not hesitate to contact SI-Global for a free consultation.

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"SI-New Zealand helped me successfully apply to study business in New Zealand and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

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Isabella Ramos