All international students who plan to study for longer than three months will be required to hold student visas, approved through the Ministry of Education, in order to study in New Zealand. Moreover, in order to procure a valid student visa and, thus, clearance to study in New Zealand, international students must meet a series of basic requirements, including:
In addition to the basic requirements surrounding the obtaining of a valid student visa, International students, prior to their study abroad experience, must familiarize themselves with the New Zealand visa insurance requirements. A small nation with a heavily subsidized public health care system, there are many insurance requirements for New Zealand that international students must be familiar with and meet.
Namely, all international students studying in New Zealand will be required to hold valid travel and health insurance.
Though, international students will not be required to show proof of insurance at the time of application for their visa (merely indicate that they do, in fact, plan on purchasing coverage), it is strongly recommended that any and all international students who wish seriously to study abroad in New Zealand promptly purchase coverage prior to their trip. Despite New Zealand's public health care system, only students from Australia or the United Kingdom (as part of a reciprocal health care agreement between the nations) will have access to the free public health care that other New Zealanders enjoy, and, even then, only in cases requiring immediate necessary treatment. Otherwise, the host university's medical center will serve as the primary care provider during an international student's stay in the country.
Medical fees associated with accidents, as long as the visa holder is not in violation of their visa terms (i.e. has the proper health and travel coverage) are covered by the ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) the same as all New Zealanders. Thus, “appropriate health coverage” as defined by the New Zealand Code of Practice and Pastoral Care for International Students, is coverage that accounts for:
With the aforementioned list of insurance requirements for New Zealand, international students can confidently begin their search for insurance to cover them during their study in the beautiful island nation.