FAQ

Study in New Zealand FAQ

How much are the tuition fees in New Zealand?

Type of Tuition Fees ($NZ)

  • English Language Courses approximately NZ$320 - NZ$400 per week
  • Secondary School normal tuition fees are from NZ$8,000 - NZ$10,500 per year for most schools but some private schools are more expensive
  • Polytechnic Courses these range from NZ$10,000 - NZ$15,000 per year depending on the course or degree
  • University Degrees from NZ$10,500 - NZ$16,000 per year for most under-graduate degrees
  • Post-graduate Degrees begin from NZ$15,000 per year and MBA Degrees are about NZ$22,000 

What is the cost to live in New Zealand?
The total cost depends on each students spending habits. However a student should be able to live in New Zealand for a total cost of living of between NZ$8,000 and NZ$10,000 a year including accommodation, transport and entertainment.

What is GST Tax?
GST stands for Goods & Services Tax. All goods and services in New Zealand including tuition fees have GST Tax of 12.5% included in the fee. There are some items that do not have GST and these include bank fees and residential rental payments.

Applying To Study in New Zealand

How do I apply to study in New Zealand?
The first step is to select an institution and course and then make an enrolment application for that course. The easiest and quickest way is to us and AA Education Network will locate a suitable institution and course to meet your requirements.

Is there an age limit to study in New Zealand?
There is no limit on the age of a person wishing to study in New Zealand however the New Zealand Immigration Service needs to be satisfied that the applicant is a genuine student when they process the student visa application.

How many education institutions are there in New Zealand?
New Zealand has 8 Universities, 25 Polytechnics and/or Institutes of Technology and about 440 secondary schools.

What is the difference between Universities and Polytechnics and Institutes of Technology?
Historically the main difference had been that Universities focussed on academic programmes and the Polytechnics focussed on practical training. Over recent years both types of institutions have expanded their range of programmes and now there is significant overlap between Universities and Polytechnics. Over recent years the Polytechnic programmes have been expanded to include a wide range and number of degree programmes. A number of Polytechnics have also merged together and have changed their names from Polytechnics to Institutes of Technology to better reflect their focus. Cross-credits for courses completed at the Polytechnic can be credited to ongoing University study in most instances.

What is the difference between secondary school, high school and college?
There is no difference between these names. They all refer to the same type of institution - a secondary school offering classes from Year 9 to Year 13. Students graduate from Year 13 and proceed to study at tertiary institutions.

What is a tertiary institution?
This is the collective name given to all institutions like Universities and Polytechnics who offer course for students to continue their studies after secondary school.

Do I have to wear a school uniform at secondary school?
Most schools will have a uniform code which is likely to include the wearing of a standard school uniform up until Year 13. An increasingly large number of schools have a different school uniform or allow acceptable casual clothing in senior school. A small number of schools have a no uniform policy and all students at these schools can wear casual clothing although there are still dress regulations.

Do I need to have a good level of English to enter secondary school?
It is not necessary to have a good level of English to enter secondary school however some schools do require this. In this situation a student can attend an English School for a few months prior to entering the secondary school or alternatively AA Education Network will place the student in a school which has additional English learning resources so that students can improve their English within the school before attending mainstream classes.

Do I have to live in the school hostel or homestay while I am at secondary school?
AA Education Network only acts for secondary schools which have high standards of academic tuition and care and administration of international students. Our experience has confirmed that students achieve best while they are at secondary school if they are in a properly administered homestay or hostel situation. When a student has completed secondary school they are able to select whatever accommodation option meets with their personal wishes.

What happens if I do not graduate from secondary school?
In this situation you have several options. Firstly you could repeat Year 13 at secondary school and hopefully pass the course. Alternatively you could enrol in a Foundation Studies course at one if the Universities in New Zealand to prepare students for entry to University. You still need to have an acceptable English level and pass the course before you will be admitted to University. Foundation Studies Courses are for approximately one year. Another option is to enrol in a Certificate or Diploma programme at a Polytechnic and pass this Certificate or Diploma then get entry into the Degree programme which follows.

How long does it take to get a Degree in New Zealand?
Most degrees in New Zealand are for 3 years but there are also a number of degrees which take 4 years.

Are New Zealand degrees recognised internationally?
New Zealand degrees are recognised internationally and will be accepted when applying for post-graduate study in most countries.

Working in New Zealand

While I'm at secondary school or English school can I work in New Zealand?
No. You cannot work in New Zealand unless you are enrolled in a course of 2 years of longer at a tertiary institution. In this case you can work for up to 15 hours a week and can apply for a variation of your visa to work full-time in the long summer holiday in December and January.

How much can I earn when I work in New Zealand?
Those students who are able to work under their visa will probably work in casual jobs either tutoring at their institution or working in restaurants or other service industries. The normal hourly wage rate will be from NZ$8.00 - NZ$15.00 per hour and you will have tax deducted from your wages before you receive your payment. On these amounts the tax will normally work out at about 20 cents per $ and you should be able to obtain a full tax refund at the end of the financial year in April.

What happens when I finish my degree?
Students who have completed their degree in the normal time and have a job offer related to their studies can obtain a work visa for another 2 years to work in the job they have been offered as may qualify for residence.

Immigration

Can I extend my student visa in New Zealand?
There is no problem in extending your student visa in New Zealand and this should be done in 1 or 2 days. You need to obtain a new school offer of place and pay the tuition fee, complete the student visa application and show that you have sufficient money or a financial sponsor to cover your living expenses in New Zealand.

Can my student visa be cancelled?
Yes. Your student visa can be cancelled and you requested to leave to New Zealand if you do not meet the requirements of your student visa. The main requirements are that you must attend the classes and do not commit any crime or unlawful acts in New Zealand. If you have your student visa cancelled this is very serious as it will be noted in your passport and you will have difficulty travelling out of your home country in the future.

What happens if my student visa expires?
This is very serious. You should make every effort to extend your student visa before the expiry date. If your student visa expires you have to make a special submission to the New Zealand Immigration Service which they may or may not approve. There is total responsibility on you to extend your student visa and keep the visa current at all times.

Can I change my student visa in New Zealand?
If you have completed your course of study and you wish to remain in New Zealand as a visitor or apply for residence this is possible providing you have not got a Limited Purpose Visa.

What is a Limited Purpose Visa?
A Limited Purpose Visa is issued when the New Zealand Immigration Service considers the applicant does not meet the normal criteria to study in New Zealand but is prepared to allow the applicant the opportunity to show they are a genuine student or a genuine visitor as the case may be. Limited Purpose Student Visas are issued for a specific period of time to allow the applicant to study a particular course. The applicant must meet the requirements of the visa and return to their home country before the expiry of the visa. If their course has not been completed they are able to obtain a short-term extension to complete their course. In some special circumstance it may be possible to extend or change a Limited Purpose Visa to a normal visa.

Can I apply for New Zealand Residence?
If you meet the requirements of the current immigration policy in New Zealand it is possible for you to apply for residence at any time. In particular the immigration policy encourages students who have completed their degree in New Zealand to proceed to apply for permanent residence.

What happens if I lose my passport?
In this situation you should report the loss to the local Police Station and then forward a copy of the Police Report your Consulate or Embassy to complete the requirements to have a new passport issued.

Can my parents visit me in New Zealand?
It should be no problem for parents to apply for a visitor visa and to visit their children in New Zealand providing they meet normal visitor visa policy requirements.

How long can I study in New Zealand?
Providing you pass your course and continue to meet the requirements of your student visa you can continue to extend your visa for as long as you wish. There is no limit on the time you can spend in New Zealand as a student.

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