Pre-Departure Guide

Here are some handy tips to help you prepare for life in New Zealand.

Group of students

Helpful Tips

  • If you have a driver’s license, bring it with you. This makes it easier to obtain a New Zealand licence
  • Bring about six passport size photos with you
  • Bring your own sports gear, e.g. squash racquet, badminton racquet, etc. These may cost more in New Zealand. The exception is good quality hockey sticks, which are less expensive in New Zealand.
  • Consider giving up smoking before you arrive. In New Zealand it is illegal to smoke in public areas such as restaurants and bars, and homestays will not allow smoking in their homes.
  • Remember there are weight limits for the luggage you can bring to New Zealand without paying excess baggage fees
  • Bring your national dress for the international events celebrated on campus
  • Bring warm clothing and footwear for winter (April – November)
  • If you have your own laptop bring that with you. Computers are expensive in New Zealand


  • Bring only a little cash to cover your arrival and first few days
  • Bring travelers cheques to cover your initial expenses
  • Take out a bank draft/withdrawal for larger sums of money
  • A debit card is another option

Immigration – Student Visa
If you are going to study in New Zealand for more than 12 weeks you will need to apply for a student visa. Full details of immigration requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available from the Immigration New Zealand website.

Recently there have been a few key changes to the work entitlements of certain student visa holders, and the post-study visa options have also changed.

You can view these changes on the NZ Study + Work website

Eligibility for Health Services
Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for the full costs of that treatment.

Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health website.

Accident Insurance
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents, and temporary visitors to New Zealand but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs.

Further information can be viewed on the ACC website.

Medical and Travel Insurance
International students, including groups of students, must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while in New Zealand. The cost of medical and travel insurance is $558 - $650 per year depending on your study time and time in New Zealand.

Uni-Care is our preferred insurance provider. It is important to understand the inclusions stated in their Policy for the New Zealand Student Plan.

Operation SNAP is a New Zealand Police community partnership designed to reduce property offending by recording serial numbers. At you can store information including serial numbers, descriptions and photographs of your valuable items.

This information is stored securely and can only be accessed by you, at any time from anywhere in the world using your own unique login. We suggest you use this to record items you will be bringing with you to New Zealand e.g. computer, phones.

The following websites can be very helpful in finding employment while in New Zealand:

High Quality Education and Support at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology

Ohood Madi

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology is a government owned tertiary education provider registered with the New Zealand Government. 

Toi Ohomai has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by the Minister of Education.

Copies of the code are in your arrival pack and are also available from our office or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at