New Zealand is similar in size and shape to Great Britain or Japan, with a much lower population density. It is a haven for those seeking rejuvenation, relaxation, thrills and adventures, as well as excellent value for money.
Best known for the stunning landscapes and world-class tourist attractions, with towering mountain ranges, scenic lakes and rivers, thermal wonders, miles of beaches and beautiful cities, New Zealand offers a huge variety of adventure, activities, eco-tourism, Maori culture, food and wine, accommodation, transport and tours.
The population of New Zealand is over four million. The capital is Wellington with a population of 380,000.
In order to be eligible for a student visa an English school must be listed by the New Zealand Qualification Authority.
English New Zealand member schools employ professional teachers, guarantee to to protect students' fees and generally have good facilities, resources and activities.
New Zealanders are friendly, out-going and polite. They are well known for their relaxed attitude to life. It’s probably the least materialistic English speaking country and generally people prefer to enjoy their lives rather paying off a mortgage or buying a bigger car.
New Zealand’s culture is a blend of European and South Pacific culture, resulting from the large scale working class immigration from they UK in the 19th century being influenced by the Maori. The result is a national character that is direct and honest. Despite the majority of Kiwis being educated city dwellers the stereotype of the rugged self-reliant farmer remains, though there is much more to life in New Zealand than the traditions of rugby, horse racing and beer. New Zealanders tend to be well travelled and forward thinking (New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the vote).
Many of the traditional values are still obvious in New Zealand. New Zealanders tend to be concerned for the environment. They are viewed as honest and direct. The traditional beliefs in equality has lead to a “classless society” with a high standard of living and a small difference between wage brackets. New Zealand is a country where people get the benefit of the doubt and a “fair go.”
New Zealand's maritime climate is temperate with an average of roughly 2000 sunshine hours a year. New Zealand's seasons are the opposite of the northern hemisphere's - summer starts in December, autumn in March, winter in June and spring in September. January and February are the warmest months, with July the coldest.
Overall, the climate is fairly mild with few extremes of temperatures. The average temperature ranges from 15°C in the upper regions of the North Island to 10°C near the bottom of the South Island.
Average temperatures range from 7°C in winter to 16°C in summer, although in many places, summer temperatures can reach the 30s. Annual rainfall varies greatly from less than 40mm in Central Otago to more than 12,000mm in the Southern Alps.
More information on New Zealand s climate can be found at Met Service.
The New Zealand Dollar (NZD $) is the legal currency of New Zealand. New Zealand uses a dollars and cents system of decimal currency with 100 cents in a dollar.
New Zealand is one of the best value options for studying English. For accommodation, food and entertainment you should budget around $250 per week.
Normal banking hours are from 8.30 or 9am until 4.30pm, Mondays to Fridays, although banks may stay open for half an hour later one evening a week (which is the exception rather than the rule). Banks don t open at weekends and are also closed on public holidays, although bureaux de change open longer at weekends. Automatic Teller machines (ATMs) accept cards with the 'Plus' and 'Cirrus' symbols, meaning you can withdraw from your home country account.
Opening a bank account in New Zealand is very easy. In many cases you can open a bank account from overseas, into which you can pay funds. The account is then activated once you arrive in New Zealand and show your passport and postal address.
You can open a bank from overseas with
the Bank of New Zealand
Tipping in exchange for good service isn't very common although it is starting to catch on in fancy restaurants in larger cities.
Despite the increasing number of people tipping, the average person doesn't tip and even in more expensive restaurants it is quite normal to pay the exact change for your meal. It is rare to tip in pubs or bars, which also means that pub meals are tip-free. It is not necessary to tip in cafes though some will have tip bowles at the counter and if you would like to tip for good service this will usually be appreciated.
A student visa entitles a student to work for up to 20 hours during the academic week and full time during holidays.
Some websites for job seekers;
The easiest way to find work in bars or restaurants is to visit with a copy of your C.V. and ask to see the manager.
Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter New Zealand, provided that the stay does not exceed 3 months.
For citizens of some countries a student visa is required before coming to New Zealand. According to the application procedure it is necessary to pay for your course fees before traveling to New Zealand. If you have decided to study in New Zealand the first step is to choose a course, then apply for a visa.
Visa Application Procedure
The documents required for an entry visa depend on the country. Check with your local embassy to make sure which are necessary. Usually these include;
If you are studying for more than six months you will need to complete a Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate to prove you have been tested for tuberculosis (TB).
If you are studying for more than a year you will need to complete a medical examination and a medical and X-ray certificate.
If you are studying for more than two years you will need to complete a police certificate
Further Information on Visa Process
Some schools have an on-line application proceedure a list of which is availble at www.immigration.govt.nz/sol.
After completing three year courses there is a study to work programme where you can work for two years to gain practical experience or three years to gain membership of a professional association.
Government Immigration site
Forms and guides from the NZ goverment
Forms and guides for study
How to obtain a police certificate
For more information on visa application, education in New Zealand and part-time employment refer to:
Education New Zealand
A single room in a homestay costs around $200 per week, though the prices range from $180 - $250.
Cost: $185 - $240 per week
Renting an apartment in New Zealand is excellent value. In Wellington and Aukland the average cost of a two bedroom apartment is just over $200 a week. Many landlords will only rent an apartment on a twelve month lease and those who rent for shorter periods will usually charge more.
If you choose the option of living with a room mate the prices ranges from $80 to about $200.
Cost: $150 - $500 per week
Hotels, Hostels and B&B
There are several websites that are useful in finding accommodation in New Zealand such as;
If you have problems with your land lord there are a number of agencies who can help your resolve the issues or explain your legal options.
Mobile telephones can be brought into New Zealand. Customers with subscriptions to GSM services, providing they have a roaming agreement with the local network operator(s) may use their subscription. Pay-as-you-go mobile phones or SIM cards can also be purchased in New Zealand.
The main providers of mobile phone services in New Zealand are;
Calls cost around 25c but this depends on which network you choose and which plan you are on.