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Get ready for your move to New Zealand

Here are some practical things to think about and organise before you move to New Zealand. We recommend you start a “to-do” list as well as use our handy Travel Checklist so you don't forget anything. 

Visa information and immigration

You will need a current student visa to study at OPAIC. Visit Immigration New Zealand to find everything you need to know about the type of visa you need. Think about what you want to do, for example you may wish to work while you're studying or apply for jobs in New Zealand after you graduate. You can apply for your student visa online which is the fastest and easiest way to do it. 

This website also lists the contact details for your closest Immigration New Zealand office, which is very important information to note down before you travel here.

What documents do I need for my student visa?

  • Your OPAIC Offer of Place letter (sent once you have been accepted)
  • Receipt for payment of your course fees
  • Evidence of sufficient funds for living expenses
  • Return international air ticket or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one

Your Offer of Place letter will outline your course costs which you must pay first to your nearest New Zealand embassy, consulate or immigration office. Once paid, you will receive a receipt of payment from OPAIC. Submit all documents and required proof to your nearest New Zealand embassy, consulate or immigration office.

For programmes longer than 24 months, you will also need to provide very recent medical and x-ray certificates. If you are over 17 years of age, you will need a police certificate to show that you are of good character. See the New Zealand Immigration website for more details.

If you are still unsure about something, please contact us.

Currency

New Zealand currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Bank notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come in denominations of $0.10, $0.20, $0.50, $1, and $2. All banks offer phone and internet banking. Most New Zealanders use EFTPOS to pay for large and small items. This is an electronic transaction that automatically transfers money from your bank account to the retailer.

Opening a bank account

Some banks let you open an account before you arrive in New Zealand. New Zealand’s banks include:

Foreign currency

You can bring as much foreign currency as you like into New Zealand, but if you are carrying more than NZD$10,000 in physical cash on you or in your luggage you need to declare it to Customs on your arrival at Auckland Airport. Most overseas currencies are easily exchanged at New Zealand banks. Check out the latest exchange rates.

Medical and travel insurance

As an international student at OPAIC, you must have appropriate medical and travel insurance as a condition of your student visa. OPAIC recommends Southern Cross Travel Insurance. We will send you information on this in your unconditional Offer of Place package, upon confirmation of your programme acceptance. 

What to pack

In keeping with New Zealand’s relaxed lifestyle, dress is informal on most occasions. Most houses do not have central heating so New Zealanders tend to wear multiple layers of clothing to keep warm during the colder months (May-August). Auckland weather is generally mild all-year-round, with temperatures ranging from 14 -24 degrees Celsius across all seasons.

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