Deciding which university and subject to apply for is just the first step for international students when applying to study in New Zealand. Here are some general processes which all students from outside the country must take in order to gain entry onto a New Zealand university course.
Before applying to a course you should ensure you are adequately qualified and stand a good chance of acceptance. The majority of courses state their entry requirements online or in their prospectus, but most international students possess qualifications which are entirely different to those specified. Contact the university or use IEC Abroad to help determine the value of your international qualifications and which courses you are eligible for.
As New Zealand has no centralised application system you must apply to institutions and courses individually, each of which has their own process and requirements to study in New Zealand. The New Zealand academic year runs from March to November, so application deadlines will be different to those in other nations. A July start date is available in some institutions, and many New Zealand universities do allow international students to apply throughout the year.
However, it is best to apply as early as possible to stand the best chance of successful enrolment.
Once you have received and accepted your Offer of Place letter from a university, you will then receive an electronic Confirmed Offer of Place which can be used to apply for a student visa.
A student visa for New Zealand takes around a month to process and costs around NZ$250 to apply for. You should check that you meet and can demonstrate all of the required criteria before you apply, but you may submit an application as soon as you have accepted an offer from an educational institution.
Many courses have minimum requirements regarding the English language proficiency of their international students, and the simplest option is to take either the IELTS or TOEFL tests. Upon completion each test will give you a registration number which you can provide to your university and immigration enabling them to verify your abilities. New Zealand requires that students taking the first year of a degree course gain a minimum of 6.0 in IELTS and 79-80 in TOEFL (iBT).
Significant amounts of documentation are required for an international student to study in New Zealand, so it is wise to acquire them well ahead of time. Physical copies of all educational qualifications and any documents which prove your ability to fund yourself are essential. These may come in the form of bank statements or scholarship acceptance letters. If any of your documentation comes in a language other than English you should have them translated and notarised prior to departure.
If you have any questions about the process or requirements to study in New Zealand for international students, contact IEC Abroad today.