You only have a short while until you leave for New Zealand for your university education. What do you have to do? What needs to happen before you step on that plane and head down to New Zealand for your academic pursuits? This checklist should help you determine what you have done and what still needs to be done.
There are many things you need to have done before you leave in terms of your education. We cover much of this in our how to apply, education costs, and requirements for entry sections, but here is a brief overview so that you can ensure that every single thing has been completed. If something has not been done, or you have questions, contact the university you seek to attend.
- Have you dealt with all of your financial ends? Do you have your finances in order so that you do not owe anything in terms of tuition?
- Did you schedule your classes? Do you have your books that you need?
- Are all of the applications and paperwork turned in and approved?
- When will you be arriving in relation to the first day of classes?
- Have you spoken with your advisor to ensure that you have the correct schedule and everything that you need for your program of study?
There are many things that you need to keep track of when it comes to your living accommodations; you can’t just arrive without somewhere to live, even though many people try doing that. It can cause you additional stress and waste a lot of time. Our accommodations page will give you a lot more information about finding accommodations. If you need more resources, the international studies and/or admissions offices at your university of choice will have more information for you.
- How are you getting to where you are staying? Are you getting picked up by a university representative, a friend, or a taxi? Will there be a vehicle or public transportation that you can use? Make sure you have that in place,
- Where will you be staying when you arrive? Will you be able to move in to wherever you are residing right away, or will you have to wait a predetermined amount of time in order to get in?
- Have you paid any monetary deposits that you need to pay in order to get the keys to your residence hall or apartment?
- Many of the students who study in New Zealand will live as guests in a home with a family, as we discuss on our accommodations section. If this is the decision that you made, have you made the appropriate arrangements with the family that you are staying with? Do they know when you are arriving? Are they going to be picking you up at the airport when you arrive?
Entry into the Country
Of course, no matter where you are studying, if you aren’t a native of the country, you have to make sure that everything is in order so that you can enter the country without issues. Since you are required to be accepted to a university before you can even apply for a student visa, there are a lot of things that have to be in order once you get to that point. Here are some of things that you need to make sure of before you leave.
Have you spoken to the proper authorities in the New Zealand government to ensure that you have done everything correctly? Is everything with your visa settled? If you aren’t entirely sure, check out our visas and passports page to double check and see if you’ve done everything we’ve listed there as well. Is your passport up to date, including one to three recent photographs of yourself?
Also, when you arrive at the airport, make sure that you have your visa and passport somewhere that they are easily accessible. Whether that means you have them in your hands or in your carry-on when you arrive at the airport, you just have to be able to grab them and show them whenever someone asks.
It’s always a good idea to double check everything with the Immigration Office before you leave for New Zealand. They will be able to help you and ensure that you have everything in order so that you don’t get sent back or detained while traveling to New Zealand.
Health and Wellness
There are a lot of things you need to understand before you arrive to New Zealand, which we discuss on our health and health insurance page on this site. Everything will be different than what you know, and there are a lot of ins and outs that you will need to understand. More information can be found at the New Zealand government’s health care website.
There are a lot of things that you have to have in order before you can even arrive in New Zealand. Here are some of the most important.
- Are you healthy and cleared for travel? If you have a particular ailment, you may not be able to travel. Talk to your physician in your home country and get a physical before you leave. You may also need specific vaccinations before you are allowed to enter the country.
- Make sure that you have at least a month’s worth of prescription medication available for when you arrive in New Zealand. Since your doctor cannot write a prescription to be filled in New Zealand, you will have to make an appointment with a general practitioner (family doctor) shortly after you arrive so that you can get your prescription medications without any gaps.
- Is the insurance that you have valid in New Zealand, or have you purchased insurance that can be used while you are in New Zealand?
Getting Ready to Roll
It’s hard to decide on what you want to pack when you are studying abroad. You will want to bring necessities, including anything that will give you positive memories and/or provide you comfort while you are residing in the country.
Before you start packing, make a list. There are plenty of lists online that you can use, but here are some of them that we recommend:
- StudyAbroad.com’s packing list
- The Study Abroad Blog’s Ultimate Packing List
- The Culture Shock Blog’s Basic Packing List
- College Fashion’s Clothing Packing Suggestions
While you are making the list, take a look at the websites of the airlines that you will be taking. Make sure that everything you are packing is in compliance with what the airplanes and airports require in terms of safety and legality. You can also get a list from the immigration department or from the university that you are attending.
Talk to your university, the landlord, or the family that you are staying with as well. Sometimes, you can use the postal system to send your items for less than it would have cost for you to pay for luggage on the airplane. Consult with the organization in question and do some comparisons; sometimes it’s cheaper, sometimes it’s not.
There are some things that you don’t really need to bring, like toiletries. These items can be purchased upon your arrival to New Zealand, and many times for less than it would have cost to purchase them and transport them. So, make sure that you have some money available to you when you arrive so that you can make a shopping trip.
Saying “See You Later”
The hardest part of studying abroad is saying goodbye to the people that you love and care about. Don’t leave without speaking with your social contacts in your home country; make time to spend with them before you step on that plane, because you may regret it if you don’t give yourself a chance to say goodbye.
Get an address book or use the ones provided with an electronic device. You want to utilize contact information as much as possible. You can use social media, like Facebook or Twitter; email addresses, instant messaging and VOIP contacts, phone numbers, and even home addresses should be included in this way. Get the information that you need in order to keep in touch with your favorite people.
With the internet, things have become much easier in terms of communication. As mentioned above, you can use social media, instant messaging, and video chat for free; you just need an internet connection. Another great way to keep your family and friends posted on your adventures while studying abroad is to start a blog. Blogs are incredibly popular, and you can update everyone at the same time instead of trying to contact everyone individually. Set it up before you leave and let people know where it’s located.
Last but not least, don’t get so caught up with getting ready to leave for New Zealand that you forget to say goodbye. Make time with your friends and family. Now, before you think that you won’t have time to visit with people before you leave, then start packing two to three weeks before your departure. That way, that last week can be spent with those you love. Throw a going-away party; go out with some of your friends. Just don’t make the mistake of secluding yourself during that last week, because that will make you miss your loved ones even more when you’ve left.
There are a number of things that we may have missed on this checklist, but don’t be concerned. The international studies office and/or admissions office at your university will be able to help you get ready for your time in New Zealand. They know everything there is to know about studying in New Zealand; they help thousands of students every single year. Always look to them first if you have a question or concern that you don’t quite know how to answer.
The New Zealand government also has everything that you need in order to study abroad. Kiwis are known for being welcoming people, and the information that they provide on their website and through your government contacts will help you get adjusted during your study abroad experience.
We sincerely hope that this checklist, as with everything else on this website, plays a large role in helping you prepare for your studies in New Zealand. As we’ve explained in other areas of the site, New Zealand is one of the most popular and most exciting countries to visit and study in the world. You need to make sure that you make the most out of your time there, and that starts while you are getting ready to leave. Thank you for using our resources while on your academic endeavor, and enjoy your time as an honorary Kiwi!