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11 victoria university of wellington • new zealand

International Student Handbook

WELCOME TO VICTORIA You may have been planning your trip to Wellington for a considerable time and now you have finally arrived. We would like to warmly welcome you to Wellington and Victoria University.
We hope your studies will be successful and you will enjoy your experiences in New Zealand. We encourage you to participate in events organised during orientation. The events and activities may help you settle in to your new life and provide an important head start for your studies.

The University has many services and facilities that will support you during your studies. This handbook has information for new international students and is a partner to the New Students Guide 2011 (see page 33), which is designed for all students new to the University. Professor Roberto Rabel Pro Vice-Chancellor International and the Victoria International Team


Arrival Checklist

12 Banking and Postage

22 Working in New Zealand




23 Keeping
to a Budget


Other Students’ Advice

14 Getting Around Wellington

24 Student Visa and Insurance


New Zealand System


25 Students with Family


Māori Culture and Language

16 Physical Health

26 Support
for Academic Success



17 Spiritual Wellbeing

28 Your Academic Studies


Finding a Place to Live

18 Personal Safety
and Security

29 Policies to
Protect You

20 Cars and Driving in New Zealand

33 New Student Guide Contents

10 Get Connected: Phones and Internet

Things to Do
in Wellington Looking After

Cover image: Sculptured nikau palms are an iconic feature of Wellington’s Civic Centre

Arrival Checklist Communication + Phone your family and let them know that you have arrived safely. + Notify your family and friends of your Wellington address.

Explore Wellington + Find your local grocery store, supermarket, ATMs (Automatic Teller Machine) and post office. + Open a bank account. To open a new bank account you will need: + Your passport + An offer letter of study or a fees invoice to prove that you will be a full-time student + A document showing your New Zealand residential address or an offer letter from your Hall of Residence + An application form available from the bank

Get to know the University and your campus + Think about what you want to study before attending International Orientation. + Attend the International Orientation. Remember to bring: + your passport + your offer letter + any additional documents specified in your offer letter + a copy of your alternative insurance policy (only if you are not purchasing StudentSafeUniversity insurance). + Prepare for university study by attending special courses offered by the Student Learning Support Service, such as the PALS programme. + Go on a campus
and library
tour – find your lecture theatres and faculty office. + Join a student club – get involved.

Student Cards and accounts + After you have completed enrolment and paid your fees, you can collect your Student ID card from the Enrolments Office in the Hunter Building, Kelburn campus. + Activate your student computing account at a Student Computing Service (SCS) Helpdesk – see the New Student Guide included in your orientation pack.

Take care of yourself + The emergency phone number for Police, Ambulance and Fire is 111. + Read about the other Student Services available at the University: + Accommodation Service – see page 9 + Counselling Service – see page 15 + Student Health Service – see page 16 + Disability Support Services – see page 17

+ Take the bus to get used to the public transport system around the city.

+ Vic Careers – see page 22

+ Take a cable car ride.

+ Student Learning Support – see page 26

+ Learn about New Zealand road rules. + Look up the events in Wellington for 2011 . + Consider getting an 18+ Card to provide official evidence of your age.

+ Financial Support and Advice – see page 23


The Victoria International (VI) team is dedicated to our international students – if you have any questions or concerns, personal or academic, we are here to help. As a newly arrived student from a different country, you will be exposed to new sights, sounds and tastes, as well as new learning and teaching styles. Wellington is a multicultural city and people may not know that you are new to the city, so it is important for you to introduce yourself to new people, make an effort to form friendships and be ready to try new things and a willingness to get involved with university and Wellington life. Victoria International’s Services Team provides support to international students during your studies. Our team is usually the first point of contact for international students.

We have a team of people who are ready to assist you with all aspects of studying, including: student visa renewal, personal or academic-related support or referral, insurance, student exchange programmes, leadership programmes, and other student-related events. We welcome and encourage any suggestions that will help you get the best out of your experience at the University. To contact Victoria International you can email us at or visit our office on Level 2, Easterfield Building, Kelburn campus.

Victoria International Level 2, Easterfield Building Kelburn Campus Open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday Phone 04-463 5350 Fax 04-463 5056 Online Support Centre VI Emergency Cellphone 027 600 6864

Other Students’ Advice

We asked some students what advice they had for new international students – here are some of their suggestions. Your well being

Your studies

+ Most New Zealanders and other international students are warm and welcoming – do not be shy, speak up, join in and make friends.

+ Review your notes each week.

+ It is easier to meet people in the first few days of orientation.

+ Check out the free learning support workshops available at Student Learning Support. See

+ Maintain a positive attitude. + Allow time to adjust to your new environment. For advice and other common concerns, see concerns + Get involved with activities on campus throughout the year, such as clubs, cultural groups, sports groups, concerts, entertainment and social events. + Experience life in New Zealand and see the country. + Take advantage of anything free offered by VUWSA, the University student union. + Know how to make an appointment with the Student Health Service. For more information, see


Victoria University of Wellington

+ Keep up-to-date with your readings and assignments.

+ Make sure you know how to reference your work – see ‘Plagiarism’, page 28. + Prepare for your final exams well in advance – exams may be structured differently from what you are familiar with. + Make sure you access Blackboard if it is used for your courses, as important announcements may be posted on this online forum. + Try not to be too intense about school work – make sure you also have some fun and
meet people.

Orientation Week, Kelburn campus

How to improve your English, if it is not your first language + Talk in English as much as possible. + Do not be afraid to ask questions. + Ask people to slow down if they talk too fast. + Read the newspaper, watch the news on TV,
listen to the radio and go to the cinema. + Consider living with people who speak English as their first language. + Learning a language can be difficult and frustrating – but remember: the more effort you put in, the more rewarding your New Zealand experience will be.

New Zealand System

Many things in New Zealand
may be different from your home country, so here are a few tips to get you started. Time difference New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). During the summer months, we have daylight saving, when time is moved forward one hour to GMT+13 hours. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday of September and ends on the first Sunday of April. This time change is widely advertised.

Holidays New Zealand’s public holidays for 2011 can be found at act_2003/dates/2010_13.html

New Zealand news can also be found online at, and

Electricity The power system is 240 volts, 50 hertz. If you have brought electrical items to New Zealand, make sure you use an appropriate adaptor plug and voltage converter. Most laptop or notebook computers are multi-system, so will run on either 240 or 110 volts.


Natural disasters

TV1, TV2, TV3, Prime TV, Māori TV and C4 are New Zealand’s free television channels. With a decoder you can access free digital channels – see You can also sign up for Sky Television (cable TV) which has sports and movie channels.

New Zealand is prone to small earthquakes and volcanic activity. Many minor tremors are experienced each year. You will not feel most of them, but it is advisable to take a few simple precautions in case a large earthquake occurs. To find out how to prepare for earthquakes and other natural disasters, read the inside cover of the Yellow Pages or visit

The two public (advertisement-free) radio stations are Radio New Zealand Concert and Radio New Zealand National. There are over 200 private radio stations and several Māori language radio stations. The Dominion Post is Wellington’s daily newspaper and is available free of charge to students during the term time on both Kelburn and Pipitea campuses. There are national weekday and Sunday papers and many weekly or monthly magazines.

Water New Zealand cities and towns have excellent water supplies and all tap water is fresh and safe to drink. Do not drink water directly from rivers, lakes or streams, even if it looks clear and clean. It must be boiled, chemically treated or filtered before drinking to avoid stomach upsets or the giardia parasite.

Sun protection UV radiation is very high in New Zealand due to ozone depletion and low pollution in the atmosphere. This can result in damaging sunburn, even on cloudy days. Use sunscreen and try to stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day. For more information on sun protection, visit

Smokefree New Zealand You must be 18 years or older to purchase cigarettes. Smoking is banned from all indoor public areas including workplaces, shopping malls, public transport, pubic bars and restaurants. If you smoke, please smoke outside. For more information on smoking laws in New Zealand, see

Alcohol You must be 18 years or older to buy or consume alcohol. Always be prepared to show photographic identification as proof of your age, such as a driver’s licence, passport, or 18-Plus card. For more on alcohol laws in New Zealand, see

Drug issues It is against the law to buy, sell, use, import or possess certain drugs. Possession of illegal drugs may be punishable by large fines or imprisonment. Some illegal drugs are marijuana, ‘magic mushrooms’ and ecstasy. Information about New Zealand’s drug laws and drug education programmes can be found at


Powhiri challenge

Māori Culture and Language

Māori culture, with its customs, traditions and language, plays an important part in making
 New Zealand unique. Māori people

Te Herenga Waka Marae

Māori were the first people of Aotearoa*. They arrived here in waka from their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki over 1,000 years ago. Today, Māori make up over 14% of the population and over 10% of Victoria’s student population. Their language and culture have a major impact on all areas of New Zealand life.

Victoria was the first university in New Zealand to offer a course in Māori Studies and to have a Marae built on campus. It is used as a teaching facility and community-based marae. It is open to all students, and inexpensive lunches are available Monday to Thursday from 12 noon to 12.30pm during the academic year.

Māori culture is a rich and varied one, and includes traditional and contemporary arts. Traditional arts such as carving, weaving, kapa haka, whaikorero and moko are practised throughout the country. Modern practitioners follow in the footsteps of their tipuna by carrying on the techniques used hundreds of years ago. A wide range of contemporary media is also used to express Maori culture and art, including film, television, poetry, theatre and hip-hop.

Te Herenga Waka Kapa Haka

*The meanings of italicised Māori words can be found in the Glossary of common Māori words on the facing page.

Right: A Māori graduate performs a haka Middle: The tekoteko (carved figure) on the marae at Karori campus Far right: Hongi, a traditional Māori greeting


Victoria University of Wellington

The University kapa haka group welcomes all students (including international students) interested in the study and promotion of Māori language, culture and performing arts. Kapa haka meets and practices at Te Herenga Waka

Marae. They perform regularly and have an excellent reputation, having won several Manu Ariki kapa haka titles.

Te Reo Māori – the Māori language A visitor to New Zealand is immediately aware of the Māori language, as the vast majority of place names are of Māori origin. At first, the place names may seem difficult to pronounce. In fact, Māori has a logical structure, and, unlike English, has very consistent rules of pronunciation. The Māori language consists of five vowel sounds: a, e, i, o and u (a as in ‘car’, e as in ‘egg’, 
i like the ‘ee’ in ‘tee’, o as in ‘or’, u like the ‘o’ in ‘to’). There are eight consonants in Māori similar to those in English – h, k, m, n, p, r, t, and w. There are two different consonants – wh and ng. The wh sound is similar to the English ‘f ’. The ng is similar to the English ‘ng’ sound in a word like ‘sing’ but can be used at the beginning of words.

Māori warriors in a waka

International students listen to the whaikorero inside the wharenui

Glossary of common Māori words Aotearoa

New Zealand – literally: ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’

kia ora tatou hello everyone




tangata whenua people of the land

haere mai



elder women

tena koe

greetings (to one person)

haere ra



tribal group

tena koutou

greetings (to a group)


traditional Māori meal cooked in an earth pit



tikanga Māori things Māori







hei konei ra see you later hongi

the pressing of noses, a Māori form of greeting



ka kite ano until I see you again kai


kapa haka

traditional Māori performing arts



kei te pehea koe? How are you? kei te pai

I am well

kia ora





Maoritanga Māori culture


traditional canoe


a gathering place


school or workshop









nau mai



family origins


a fortified Māori village




a New Zealander of European descent


cooking and eating house


meeting house


formal welcome onto a marae




Māori language

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou Related websites To research more about Māori culture:



Kiwis (New Zealanders) tend to be friendly and ‘laid back’ (relaxed) and often use slang words – here are some of the more common ones. bach: holiday home (pronounced ‘batch’) barbie: barbecue bloke: a man, often a stranger, as in 
 “Who’s that bloke?” bludge: to get something for nothing, as in 
 “He bludged a cigarette off (= from) me” boy-racer: young man with a fast car bro: friend (short for brother) bugger all: not much, as in 
 “I know bugger all about cars” buggered: exhausted, broken bush: dense native forest cheers: good luck, goodbye, thanks chemist: pharmacy, drug store chilly bin: cooler, icebox chippies: potato chips chips: french fries chocolate fish: chocolate-coated marshmallow fish crash hot: excellent crook: sick, unwell cuppa: cup of tea/coffee dairy: ‘corner’ store, small convenience store dole: unemployment benefit dodgy: bad, unreliable, spoiled, as in 
 “That fish is a bit dodgy” duvet: quilt eh (pronounced ‘ay’ as in ‘day’): “What did you say?” or “Pardon?”; also turns a statement


Victoria University of Wellington

pissed off: disappointed, annoyed pissing down: raining heavily, pouring down pong: bad smell prang: minor vehicle accident pub: bar, hotel serving alcohol into a question, as in “That was good, eh?” rark up: to tell somebody off rellies: family relatives flash: looks really good or expensive, as in “That’s a flash haircut” or “… a flash car” rubbish: trash or garbage flat: apartment, shared rental accommodation she’ll be right: not a problem, it will be OK footpath: pavement, sidewalk skiting: bragging, showing off g’day/gidday (= good day): hello skint: short of money go bush: ‘get away from it all’ snarky: sarcastic and nasty good as gold: well done, no problem!, yes spit the dummy: to get angry good on ya: congratulations, well done stirrer: trouble maker heaps: a lot; “give it heaps” means to try hard stuffed: really tired jack up: to organise, as in 
 sunnies: sunglasses “I’ll see if I can jack something up” suss (out): to understand, as in jandals: thongs, flip-flops “I’ve got you sussed” or “I’ve sussed this out” jersey/jumper: woollen sweater sweet (as): good, cool, “I agree” judder bar: speed bump ta: thank you Kiwi: flightless native New Zealand bird, 
a take-aways: take-outs, food ‘to go’ New Zealander, the New Zealand emblem tea: dinner, evening meal knackered: tired or broken, as in 
 throw a sickie: to take a day off work, “I’m knackered” or “That bike is knackered” supposedly due to illness lift: elevator top-up: add more to, as in to ‘top-up’ 
(add lollies: candy money to) a cellphone account loo (or dunny): toilet, bathroom tramping: hiking ’mare (= nightmare): bad experience togs: swimsuit, bathing suit mate: friend, but can be used as a friendly whinge: complain greeting to strangers, as in “How’s it going, wop-wops: remote, out-of-the-way location mate?” for 
“How are you?” yonks: a long time, as in
 OE (= overseas experience): a young Kiwi’s “I haven’t seen him in yonks” working holiday abroad piker: one who gives up easily

If you are renting, or planning to rent, in the private market – here are a few important things you should know. Finding a private apartment or flat

Renting and tenancy

Some international students live in University halls of residence in their first year of study at the University. Others find their own place to live, often with the help of the University’s Accommodation Service.

The Department of Building and Housing publishes information on renting – see or freephone 0800 836 262 (0800 TENANCY).


Victoria’s Accommodation Service is available to Most landlords require tenants to pay a bond. help you with accommodation issues, such as You will get your bond back when you leave the searching for a room or house to rent and flat if you leave it in the same condition as you understanding tenancy agreements. found it. You may not get your bond back if you ‘Flats’ (private houses) are listed on the damage the flat or leave it untidy. Before you Accommodation Service notice board and in sign a contract it is important to view the rental their online Accommodation Finder. property first, and to do the following: You can also find flats for rent in The Dominion + Record the condition of all furniture and Post, Wellington’s daily newspaper. The best contents in a Property Inspection Report. For days to find accommodation advertisements are example, if the kitchen bench has a burn mark, Wednesdays and Saturdays. you should inform your landlord so you are not The following websites may also be useful: + +



Weir House

Finding a Place to Live

The landlord should provide you with Tenancy Lodgement and Bond Refund Forms, or you can download the forms from tenancy-forms

Repairs If something needs repairing or fixing, first talk to the landlord to find out who is responsible for the cost of the repairs.

Tenancy issues If there is a problem, talk to your landlord first. If no agreement can be made, ask for help from Victoria’s Accommodation Service, Victoria International or the Department of Building and Housing’s Tenancy Services.

Early departure If you wish to leave a flat before the end of your contract, the usual procedure is to find someone to take your place. If no replacement tenant is found, you may be required to continue to pay the rent until a replacement can be found.

held responsible and required to pay for the damage when you move out. + Take photos of each room and its contents as proof of their condition when you move in.

By law, a landlord must place the bond with Tenancy Service Centre within 23 working days of receiving it from the tenant.

Private accommodation is not checked by the University. Under University rules (Code of Practice), students younger than 18 must stay at a University-approved Hall of Residence or homestay. See the Accommodation Service website for more details.

Accommodation Service 42 Kelburn Parade Kelburn Campus Phone 04-463 5896 Fax 04-463 9974 E-mail Department of Building and Housing Phone 0800 836 262 (0800 TENANCY)


Residential/landline telephones and internet University Halls of Residence Most Halls of Residence have residential phone lines set up. In New Zealand, a phone line is referred to as a landline. Some Halls also offer internet access which may be included in the weekly rent. In other cases, you may need to purchase usable data from your Residential Office or you may be asked to consult a local telecommunication provider to arrange your home line and internet service at your own cost. Please discuss your options with your Residential Manager. Contact your Residential Manager for more details about the use of the landline and internet in your Hall of Residence.

Private accommodation There are three main companies that supply phone and internet connection. These companies include Telecom, Vodafone and TelstraClear. In addition to these, there are several smaller providers who offer phone or internet connections. PHONE and INTERNET service providers Telecom Phone 123 TelstraClear Phone 0508 888 800 Vodafone Phone 0800 800 021 Phone 0800 464 464 (for landlines)


Victoria University of Wellington

For internet, you do not have to get home internet from the same provider as your home phone. There are several internet providers that offer broadband or wireless internet access. Some of these are Xtra, Orcon, Vodafone, Slingshot and Woosh. Prices range from about $30 to $100 per month depending on download speed, monthly allowance and add-on services. You may also have to pay a connection fee or buy a high-speed modem. To find out the best deal for your needs, visit The cost of a phone line is around $40 a month, which includes local calls. International calls, calls outside your local area (see the map in your White Pages phone directory), calls to cell phones and other services, such as an answering service, will have additional costs. A monthly bill may be sent to your Wellington address or to your email provided to the company when you set up the account. At different times during the year, all companies offer discounted weekend or holiday rates within New Zealand and overseas.

VUW Internet access After completing enrolment you will be able to log into the Victoria University computers and also use wireless available on campus.

Rutherford House, Pipitea campus

Get Connected: Phones and Internet

Cell phones 2degrees Victoria international provides new students with a 2degrees sim card, available in your welcome bag. 2degrees is New Zealand’s newest cell phone company. It also uses the GSM standard. It offers competitive rates for text messaging and overseas calling. For more information visit: or 2degrees Cable Car Lane, Lambton Quay

Telecom Telecom uses a network called XT Mobile. This is a SIM card based network. To check if your mobile phone will work on the XT Mobile Network take your phone into a Telecom store or complete the phone compatibility visit: mobile/ournetwork/phonecompatibility Information about Telecom’s mobile plans and pricing is at yourmobile/plansandpricing Telecom’s roaming service allows for voice calls and text messaging in over 210 countries worldwide. Telecom Lambton Quay

On the Hunter lawn, Kelburn campus

Main Library, Kelburn campus


Calls from overseas to New Zealand

Vodafone uses the GSM standard that is available in over 100 countries in the world. Vodafone phones also use SIM cards. Ask a Vodafone shop assistant to test your mobile phone with a New Zealand SIM card.

To make an international call from your home phone, dial 00 first to get international access, then the country code, city code and phone number.

Vodafone offers various promotions including ‘best mate’, which allows you to call, text and video one other number as much as you want for a fixed amount per month. More information about this deal and Vodafone’s plans and pricing can be found on the Vodafone website. Vodafone Lambton Quay

Phone calls within New Zealand In the Wellington area a landline-to-landline call is free – you simply dial the seven-digit number. For example, to phone Victoria International reception, dial 463 5350. For the greater Wellington region and elsewhere in New Zealand, dial the area code first (for example, for Paraparaumu dial 04 first, or for Auckland dial 09) then the seven-digit phone number. When dialling a landline from a cell phone, always dial the area code first, before the sevendigit number. Phone numbers that start with 0800 or 0508 are free from landlines and cell phones. Numbers starting with 0900 are toll calls, which means that calls cost per minute. Some have very high charges, so check the rates before phoning a company with this number.

Tell your friends and family that when they call you in New Zealand, the country code is 64 and they do not need to dial the ‘0’ when dialling the region code. For example, to phone Victoria International from outside of New Zealand, a person would dial +64-4-463 5350 
(the ‘+’ represents the numbers to get an international line – this varies from country
to country). To phone a New Zealand cell phone from overseas, your friends and family do not need to dial a region code. For example, to phone the emergency cell phone number at Victoria International (027 600 6864 when called from within New Zealand), they would dial +64-27 600 6864.

International Calling Cards There is a wide range of calling cards to suit various needs, including Kia Ora, Talk Plus and Yabba. These are available from most dairies, supermarkets and convenience stores. You can use the card from a landline or payphone – follow the instructions on the back of the card. Vodafone offers a V8 Card for cheaper international calls from your mobile phone – see

Sometimes there are hidden rates such as connection fees and additional costs if you make a call from a public phone booth.

To find a telephone number For a local Wellington phone number, use the Wellington White Pages or Yellow Pages phone directories. If you know the name of the person or business you want to call, use the White Pages. To search for a business by category, use the Yellow Pages. Both directories are delivered to every household and business in Wellington for free. Both directories are also online at and You can also find New Zealand phone, fax, mobile and 0800 numbers by phoning the National Directory Service on 018. There is a charge of around 50 cents per call for directory assistance. To find an international phone number, phone the International Directory Service on 0172. There is a charge per call – note that if numbers cannot be found using these services, the charge will still apply. To find out more, see the information pages in the beginning of the White Pages.

Related websites New Zealand phone directory New Zealand business phone directory

Call rates using a phone card are often cheaper than the main residential providers, but vary Choosing an internet provider: between companies. We recommend that you buy a $5 card to check the price of your first call.


The Student Union Building roof area, Kelburn campus

Banking and Postage

Banking Why put your money in the bank? New Zealand has one of the safest banking systems in the world. The process to open a bank account is easier, and using a debit card to make purchases is safer than carrying large amounts of cash. You can also earn interest on your savings, transfer and receive money within
New Zealand and from other countries. Banks may offer an international student package with special benefits – you may want to check with them individually for the latest deals. There are a number of banks to choose from, including National Bank, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank and Westpac.

Types of bank accounts Current account (or cheque account) – this kind of account is used by most people for their daily needs, such as paying bills and purchasing convenience items. Savings accounts – this kind of account has a higher interest rate. It is a good idea to keep money in here that you do not need straight away or would like to save for specific purposes. Specialised accounts – it is also possible to open more specialised accounts, such as foreign currency accounts.

EFTPOS cards – you can apply for an EFTPOS card (an ATM card) at your bank. At that time you will be asked to choose a personal identification number (PIN) for your card. Once you have opened a bank account you will EFTPOS cards are useful because they are be given an account number and be able to make convenient and mean you do not need to carry deposits, including international payments and cash. If you lose your EFTPOS card then you withdrawals. Although international students simply contact your bank account ask for it to cannot get a personal loan from New Zealand be cancelled and they will reissue a new card banks, you can apply for a credit card. with a different number. EFTPOS cards are commonly used throughout New Zealand and Banks on campus are accepted in almost all shops, cafés, bars and There is a National Bank branch in the Student supermarkets. Union Building on Kelburn Campus, opposite the bookshop, which is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm. There are two National Bank ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) on Kelburn and Pipitea campuses and a Westpac ATM on Kelburn Campus. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm, and usually closed on weekends. ATMs or cash points are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Victoria University of Wellington

Use an ATM as a safe way to get the cash you need

Mail For a full range of postal services, visit a
NZ Post Shop. Stamps, packaging and post-paid letters are also available at VicBooks (student bookstore) on Kelburn Campus. Post Shops can also be found in your neighbourhood at supermarkets and bookshops. Domestic mail within New Zealand can be sent by StandardPost (from 60c) which takes 2-3 working days, or by FastPost (from $1.20), which guarantees delivery on the next working day. CourierPost is NZ Post’s courier service for larger or more valuable items. International mail can be sent Economy (2-5 weeks), Air (3-10 working days) or Express (1-5 working days). Costs vary depending on where the mail is sent to, size and weight. Other companies also offer express, courier and parcel services.

Oriental Bay, ten minutes walk along the waterfront from Wellington’s city centre

Things to Do
in Wellington

As the political and cultural capital of New Zealand, there are lots of events/activities to see and do in Wellington. Free of charge + Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum, is located on Cable Street on the waterfront.
It is open every day (admission charges apply for some exhibitions). + Tour the Parliament Buildings and the Beehive, Molesworth Street – Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday (and most public holidays) 10am-3pm, Sunday 11-3pm. + Botanic Gardens, top of the cable car, Kelburn. There are free events in the gardens for the Summer City Programme from December to February.

+ Red Rocks Coastal Walk – this takes 2-3 hours and you will see seals from May to October. + City Gallery, Civic Square (admission charges apply for some exhibitions). + Short walks, beach walks, city walks, heritage and nature walks – pick up a free walkway brochure from the Wellington Visitor Centre, Wakefield Street.

Less than $15 + Wellington Aquatic Centres, Kilbirnie and Freyberg Pools. + Explore Wellington by bus. + Hire rollerblades or tandem bikes at 
the Waterfront to ride along Oriental Bay. + Catch the ferry across Wellington harbour to
Days Bay, Eastbourne. + Go ten-pin bowling at The Lanes, Wakefield Street or Bowland, Petone. + Check out the animals at Wellington Zoo in Newtown.

+ Wellington Public Library, Victoria Street.

+ Go rock climbing or kayaking at Ferg’s Rock ’n’ Kayak on Queens Wharf.

+ The Wind Turbine, Brooklyn.

+ See native birds at Zealandia in Karori.

+ Weta Cave, Miramar – see characters, props and displays from movies such as The Lord 
of the Rings and King Kong. Open 9am - 5.30pm daily.

+ The Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Queens + St Paul’s Cathedral, Molesworth Street and Old Wharf – open 10am-5pm daily. St Paul’s, Mulgrave Street. + Otari-Wilton Bush (forest), Wilton.

+ Explore the waterfront and Oriental Bay.

International students at Westpac Stadium enjoy watching Wellington’s rugby team, the Hurricanes

Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand

To see what events are on offer in Wellington in 2011, check out:

Wellington websites (Zealandia) Events And entertainment (cinema listings)


Catch the cable car from Lambton Quay to Kelburn campus

Getting Around Wellington

Most places in Wellington are easily accessible by foot or public transport: train, bus or the cable car. Walking Wellington is a great place to explore on foot.
You will be rewarded with beautiful sights. + Use a footpath (sidewalk) wherever possible. + Traffic must stop for people crossing the road at a pedestrian (zebra) crossing, but give cars time to stop before you cross. + Obey any traffic signals. A buzzing noise or a picture of a green walking figure will signal when it is safe to cross. + Watch local people and learn from them.

Cycling There are some great areas of Wellington to cycle around, especially along the waterfront. However, Wellington also has some narrow and windy streets, especially in the hills, so we do not recommend you cycle in these parts of the city. + Ride to be seen – wear reflective clothing and put lights and reflectors on your bike. + Wear a cycle helmet – this is required by law and there is an instant fine for not wearing one. + Obey the road rules.

Wellington Public Transport Phone 0800 801 700 (taxis)


Victoria University of Wellington

You can plan your trip around Wellington at This website provides straightforward directions from your origin to your destination. You can find out how long your journey will take, how hilly it is, the points of interest on the way and even an estimation of how many calories you will burn.

Buses on Lambton Quay

Buses Single tickets can be bought when getting on the bus. The price depends on the distance or number of zones you are travelling. The driver will ask you the number of zones you wish to travel. If you are unsure, say where you wish to get off the bus. It is more economical to use a Snapper Card if you plan to use the bus regularly, as the bus fare is a discounted rate. A Snapper Card is a pre-pay card that you hold up to an electronic reader when you get on and off a bus and the cost of your trip is deducted automatically.

Victoria International has provided you with a Snapper Card in your welcome bag. Snapper Cards can also be purchased and reloaded from the Wellington Railway Station, Vic Books (student bookstore) and many shops around the Wellington region. To find out more, visit Here are some useful bus routes for students: + For travel between the Pipitea and Kelburn campuses, catch the No 17 or 20 bus from outside Rutherford House or the No 23 from Lambton Quay or take the Cable Car. + The Campus Connection (No 18) bus links the Karori, Kelburn and Te Aro campuses, Massey University, Wellington Hospital and the Zoo, and continues through to Miramar. + Airport Flyer is an express bus service that runs from Wellington Airport to the Hutt Valley through the centre of Wellington.

Victoria International has provided you with a Snapper Card in your welcome bag.

Cable Car The Cable Car is a great way to travel from the city (Lambton Quay) to Kelburn Campus. See the website for more information and the fare prices

Trains Wellington’s suburbs have several train lines, including the Johnsonville, Paraparaumu and Hutt Valley lines. Local train tickets can be purchased at the train station or on the train. Ten-trip and monthly passes are also available. For timetables, fares, routes and journey planning, see

Taxis You can get a taxi from a taxi rank/stand, or phone one for a small extra charge – see the Yellow Pages under ‘Taxi’ for phone numbers. Taxis can be expensive, so we recommend you only use a taxi if you are travelling at night or no buses are available. A more economical option, especially for groups, is to use a shuttle – contact Co-op Shuttles, freephone 0800 387 8787. Tell the operator your travel destination and number of people travelling and they will quote a price. Shuttles can be used for single passengers.

Students on the Hunter lawn, Kelburn campus

Tandem bikes are for hire on the Waterfront

Looking After

Studying overseas can be an opportunity of a lifetime and while a new life in a different culture is exciting,
it can also take some time to adjust to the new environment. Personal advice and support We are here to support you. Our Student Advisors at Victoria International are available to talk with you to discuss any question or concern you may have about your personal or academic situation. Visit us at Level 2, Easterfield Building, Kelburn campus, Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm. To make an appointment, phone reception at 04-463 5350 or email

experience. Counsellors are available at all four campuses. To make an appointment, phone 04-463 5310, or see their website

Community groups Support is also available outside of the University. Wellington City Council’s Community Directory has the contact details of community groups, including religious, arts, sports, environmental groups – see www.wellington. More specific options are listed below.

At Victoria International, we work closely with Faculty staff and other Student Support Services, so we can also refer you on to the most For counselling support not connected to the appropriate area of the University to get the support you need to help get the most from your University, you can contact Lifeline (a free, confidential and anonymous service). Lifeline is studies and life in Wellington. available 24 hours a day, phone 0800 111 777. Your tutor or course coordinator may also be The Samaritans also offer a 24-hour confidential able to advise you, particularly on matters phone support service, phone 0800 726 666, affecting your studies. so does Youthline, phone 0800 376 633, website Counselling Service A team of counsellors is available to confidentially discuss any personal or academic issues that may be affecting your university

For gay, lesbian or transgender support,
contact OUTLine, phone 0800 688 5463,


Physical Health

Student Health Service

Medication from overseas

The University’s Student Health Service provides a high standard of primary health care for all students at Victoria. The Service has qualified and experienced doctors and nurses. Student Health also has a psychiatrist, nutritionist and skin specialist available for specialist consultations, and can assist students in applying for special facilities and aegrotat (special consideration) assessment during examinations. See services/health

We strongly recommend that international students requiring regular medication(s) obtain a letter from their doctor from their home country listing the relevant medical information and full drug details including dose, drug name and reasons for use.

Off-campus medical help

When you come to New Zealand you can bring up to three months’ supply of prescription medicine with you only if you:

Off-campus medical help is available from: + Wellington Accident & Urgent Medical Centre, 17 Adelaide Road, Newtown,
phone 04-384 4944. Appointments are
not necessary. Open 8am-11pm, seven days
a week. + After-hours Pharmacy, 17 Adelaide Road, Newtown, phone 04-385 8810, open 5pm-11pm weekdays, and 8am-11pm weekends and public holidays. + Wellington Free Ambulance: in an emergency phone 111; for non-emergencies, phone 0800 426 285.

Prescription medicines are considered as Restricted/Prohibited Imports by New Zealand Customs. There are limited circumstances where you can directly bring prescription medicines into New Zealand.

+ declare the medicine(s) to New Zealand Customs on arrival; AND + have a doctor’s letter stating that you are being treated with the medicine(s); AND + have the medicine in the original container.

Once you are living in New Zealand, you can only import prescription medicine if you have: + an original letter from a New Zealand authorised prescriber (doctor, dentist, midwife or nurse prescriber - the prescriber must be one who is authorised to prescribe these medicines to you); OR + an original prescription from a New Zealand authorised prescriber (doctor, dentist, midwife or nurse prescriber).

New Zealand authorised prescribers will generally require supporting evidence, such as a letter from your own doctor, before issuing such a prescription or letter.


Victoria University of Wellington

Medicines containing controlled drugs cannot be imported – these include medicines commonly used to treat ADHD such as methylphenidate and dexamphetamine, certain pain medications containing codeine products or medication containing pseudoephedrine. You also cannot import medicines to New Zealand as unaccompanied goods via air, mail, or sea freight, even if these have been prescribed and supplied by your own doctor. These will be confiscated by New Zealand Customs, and you may be liable to prosecution. To find out more, see + requirepersonalimport.asp + Arriving+in+New+Zealand/Prohibited+and+ Restricted+Imports/Medicines.htm

Student Health may be able to give you further advice and assistance: st_services/health

Spiritual Wellbeing

Sexual health You will need to protect yourself if you have a sexual relationship, both from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are available at supermarkets and pharmacies. Visit a doctor or nurse at Student Health for other contraception options. They can provide advice in a confidential and understanding environment.

New Zealand is an open society that respects the rights of all people in their religious beliefs and practice. A wide range of different religions are practiced in Wellington and many communities have excellent support networks that offer practical support and help to newcomers.

You can also get information on sexual health matters from Family Planning, Level 6,
35-37 Victoria Street, phone 04-499 1992,

Some religious contacts are given below. Other contacts may be found in the White Pages, or under ‘Churches and Religious Organisations’ in the Yellow Pages.

It is important to note that pregnancy, childbirth and abortion are not covered under the StudentSafe-University insurance policy.

Buddhist students

Disability Support Services There are a number of resources and special provisions available on campus for students with impairments, injuries or chronic illnesses. Student Advisors at DSS are here to help you access these resources and offer personal support, liaison and advocacy services. Student Advisors are available at Kelburn, Pipitea and Karori Campuses. To make an appointment, phone 04-463 6070 or email, website

Kelburn campus

The Wellington Buddhist Centre, 64 Cambridge Terrace, phone 04-384 1334, is part of the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO), which draws its teachings from all the major Buddhist traditions. The centre runs a range of activities, courses and retreats, and has an ‘Open Night’ on Monday evenings.

Christian students To find the local parish or a church in your area, look under the denomination (Presbyterian, Anglican etc) in the White Pages. There are two Christian Chaplaincies on Kelburn Campus – Kohanga (Catholic) and AngChap (Anglican). All students are welcome to drop in for a chat or a hot drink. For links to the Chaplaincy websites, see, or you can phone 04-463 5499 for AngChap or 04-472 3325 for Kohanga. Both are located near the bottom of Kelburn Parade.

Jewish students The Wellington Jewish Community Centre and Beth-el Synagogue, 80 Webb Street, form Wellington’s vibrant Jewish hub. 
 For information on religious services and community activities, see their website or phone 04-384 5081.

Muslim students The Muslim Students of Victoria University of Wellington is a multicultural group that addresses the Islamic needs of students at Victoria. The group also holds activities to give people an opportunity to learn about Islam. Jumah prayers are held during term time and a prayer room is available at other times. Email for more information, or visit the group’s website cultural-clubs/muslim The Wellington Mosque is located at 7-11 Queens Drive, Kilbirnie. For information including prayer timetables see A list of useful addresses including Islamic centres, grocery stores and a Halal butcher, can be found at The Qibla direction is 240º or just south of where the sun sets.


New Zealand and Wellington have a reputation for being safe places
to live, and Victoria has safe campuses. However, it is important to follow common-sense safety advice and become familiar with the safety and security procedures specific to New Zealand. For any concerns with theft or personal safety on campus, contact Campus Care, located in Cotton Building, Kelburn Campus, phone 04-463 5398. If it is an emergency, phone 04-463 9999, or on-campus, dial extension 8888. For more information, visit www.

being committed, or in a case of serious injury or illness. See the red pages at the front of your phone book for other emergency service numbers.

Always use your common sense, and if you feel unsafe doing something or going somewhere, do NOT do it!

If you want to talk to the Police about a nonurgent matter, the Central Police Station is on the corner of Victoria and Harris Streets, next to the Wellington Central Library. It is open
 24 hours a day, seven days a week, phone 04-381 2000.


Useful safety tips

In an emergency dial 111 for FIRE, AMBULANCE + If you are going to be away from your Wellington home for a long time, give your or POLICE (this number also works from a cell contact details to a flatmate, friend or Victoria phone free of charge): + Dial the number and wait for a few seconds. + Do not hang up the phone. + The operator will ask you what service you need: Fire, Ambulance or Police. + The operator will then connect you to that service. + Give your name, the type of emergency and the address or place to send help.

111 is the emergency number. Only dial 111 in an emergency, for example if a crime is actually


Victoria University of Wellington

International staff member.

+ Always keep your email address, telephone number, address and emergency contact information up-to-date in Student Records on the University system. + Avoid walking around alone at night. If you are studying late at night and want someone to make sure you get home safely, use Campus Angels. This group is a walk-home service for students living close to the Kelburn Campus. It is run from Victoria’s Central Library and Te Aro Reception. To find out more, contact the

In the Main Library, Kelburn campus

Personal Safety
and Security

Welfare Vice-President, Student Union Building, phone 04-463 6985, or visit the VUWSA website at + Do not keep large sums of money in your room or flat, or carry them around. Put your money in a bank account. + Always lock or secure your room, flat or house and shut the windows if you go out. + Do not leave your belongings unattended – use University lockers if necessary. VUWSA provides about 250 lockers for hire for $20 per trimester or $10 in summer – for an application form, see or phone 04-463 6716. + If you must carry valuables, keep them hidden from view. + Protect your cell phone. Keep the original receipt of purchase in a safe place. If your cell phone is stolen ask the provider to bar the SIM card immediately. Go to the police station and make a police report. + Be careful when using ATMs (cash points) late at night – do not walk away from the machine with your cash visible. + Never keep your personal identification number (PIN) written down with your EFTPOS debit card. + Regularly save and back-up your work on your computer to prevent loss of vital information, should someone break or steal your computer. + If your credit card or EFTPOS card is stolen, inform the card provider immediately. + Ensure your car is covered by insurance. The University insurance policy - StudentSafe - does not include car cover, so we strongly recommend you purchase car insurance if you purchase a car.

The Univesity provides a safe, welcoming environment for people of all cultures

+ Do not accept rides from people you do not know. + Do not travel in a vehicle if you think the driver is unsafe, or has been drinking alcohol or using drugs. + Do not borrow or lend large amounts of money.

Identification The legal drinking age in New Zealand is 18. 
 We recommend you get an 18+ Card, which is valid proof of identity and age and can be used instead of your passport as ID. You can apply for an 18+ Card through a NZ Post PostShop or download an application form from

Your consumer rights There are laws to protect you from misleading advertising, faulty goods, poor workmanship, unfair trading and other consumer issues. Help is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau (see below). Laws that protect you as a consumer are on the Commerce Commission website,

Citizens Advice Bureau

The card costs $20 and you will need a recent photo and your passport to apply.

The Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, confidential advice to Wellington residents on matters such as law, social welfare, health, housing, employment and consumer rights, translation services and much more. To find the office nearest you, phone 0800 367 222 or visit their website


New Zealand Police

Embassies have a responsibility to help their citizens in foreign countries. To find the embassy, consulate or high commission for your country, ask at Victoria International or see the list of foreign diplomatic representatives to New Zealand at

The New Zealand Police enforce both criminal and traffic laws and undertake search-andrescue missions. To contact the Police in emergencies, dial 111.

Your human rights New Zealand is a modern democratic country in which human rights are protected. It is illegal to discriminate on grounds such as gender, religion or ethnicity. Complaints about discrimination should be made to the Human Rights Commission office listed in the White Pages or freephone 0800 496 877.

New Zealand Police usually do not carry firearms; they have an excellent reputation and are generally considered helpful and friendly. Cases of police corruption are extremely rare. It is illegal to pay the police for their services. If the police ask you to stop, you must stop! If you are driving, you must give your name, address and any other details needed for identification. It is then your decision whether you answer any more questions. You are entitled to talk to a lawyer before you answer, or make a written or spoken statement.

If you are questioned by the police, make sure that the person is a police officer. Most police officers wear a uniform. If a police officer is in plain clothes, ask to see their identification card which includes their photograph and name. When answering questions, make sure that the police understand you. If you have difficulties, ask for assistance and/or an interpreter.

Family/Domestic Violence The New Zealand Police take family/domestic violence very seriously. In New Zealand violence is unacceptable wherever it happens and no matter who is the victim. The Domestic Violence Act 1995 provides protection against physical, sexual and psychological violence, and includes the use of intimidation, harassment, damage to property, threats of harm, and allowing a child to see or hear abuse.

Your rights with the police In the unlikely event of an arrest by the police, ask for a lawyer immediately. You are entitled to speak to your lawyer in private before the police interview. If you do not have a lawyer, you can ask for a duty solicitor (a public servant lawyer who does not charge a fee) to represent you. Their services are free while you are at the police station. You also have the right to ONE phone call made on your behalf. Use this to contact your lawyer (if you have one) or a friend or relative to let them know what has happened.


Cars and Driving in New Zealand

Owning a car provides the freedom and independence to travel around Wellington and New Zealand – however, there are important things to consider before buying a car. Can you afford it? Most New Zealand university students find that it is too expensive to own a car. Think carefully before buying a car because there will be additional costs like registration fees, insurance, vehicle testing fees, petrol/fuel and parking.

International licences An overseas driver’s licence or international driving permit allows you to drive in New Zealand for a maximum of one year from the date you arrive, so long as you have had this licence for more than two years. This period is not renewed if you leave the country and re-enter it again.

Related Websites Land Transport NZ Motor Vehicle Trades Register Insurance Council of New Zealand Student parking at Victoria


Victoria University of Wellington

If your home licence is not in English, you will need to get an English translation by a translation service that has been authorised by the New Zealand Transport Agency, or you must get an International Driving Permit. Driving in New Zealand without an appropriate licence is illegal: + You can be fined from $400 to $1,000. + Your car may be impounded/taken from you. + If you have an accident, it is unlikely that insurance will cover you/pay for expenses. + You will not be allowed to drive until you obtain a legal licence.

If you do not have the correct type of licence, or do not have it with you when you drive, you may be fined $55. For information on the licence requirements of visitors driving in New Zealand, see

Applying for a New Zealand licence Holders of an overseas driver’s licence from an exempt category country must take the theory test. This costs approximately $50. If you are from a non-exempt category country, you must take both theory and practical tests costing approximately $150. To find out more about the

tests and the category of your country for New Zealand licensing laws, phone 0800 822 422. A separate licence is required for driving
a motorbike.

Buying a car In New Zealand it is common to buy a secondhand car. Look under ‘Car Dealers’ in the Yellow Pages or in local newspapers and websites. 
To check if a car dealer is authorised, go to the Motor Vehicle Traders Register website 
www. Before buying a car or motorbike, always check that it has no outstanding parking or traffic infringements. To ensure that the car is not stolen or has money owed for it, visit 
www.vir. for a Vehicle Information Report. For $30, by entering the registration number of the car, you instantly receive a detailed report including the vehicle’s ownership history and its warrant and registration status. It is recommended to have a car mechanically checked and approved by an authorised mechanic before you buy it. The AA (Automobile Association), freephone 0800 500 333, will perform a full and independent assessment that will reveal any problem with the vehicle that may be of concern – see For advice on car buying, see www.ltsa.govt. nz/vehicle-ownership/buying.html

Warrant of Fitness and Registration If your vehicle is not registered, or does not have a current Warrant of Fitness (WoF), you can be fined.

Sheep can be a hazard on New Zealand country roads

Always stop at pedestrian crossings

A Warrant of Fitness is a vehicle inspection that checks the vehicle to ensure it conforms to minimum safety requirements. Usually you must get a new WoF every six months. To find out more, see vehicle-ownership/warrant.html

Driving lessons


Driving lessons are highly recommended before you sit your driving test. See the Yellow Pages for contact details of driving schools – ask if they offer student discounts.

The driver and all passengers in the car must wear seatbelts - this is a legal requirement. A fine of up to $150 applies for every person caught not wearing a seatbelt.

All vehicles on the road must be registered. The costs vary according to vehicle type, engine size and vehicle use. For more information about vehicle registration, see vehicle-ownership/registration.html

Student Parking


VUWSA offers on-campus parking for eligible students – see

Vehicle Insurance

Remember to keep left

If you buy a vehicle, you will need vehicle insurance. Insurance premiums are usually higher for people under 25 years and may also depend on your driving history and the type of vehicle you own. If you have an accident and your vehicle is not registered, does not have a current WoF and/or you are driving without a valid licence, your insurance company will not cover accident expenses.

Remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road and always give way/yield to traffic coming from your right.

If you are involved in a serious accident, stay where you are – do not drive away from the accident scene. Dial 111 for emergency services. If someone is hurt, make sure an ambulance has been called (dial 111), give first-aid and protect the scene (for example, turn on your hazard/ emergency lights) to prevent further accidents.

For more information on vehicle insurance, visit the Insurance Council of New Zealand website

If the accident is not serious, exchange details with the other driver. Get the driver’s name, address, telephone number, car registration Speed number or ‘number plate’, make of the car, and The maximum speed is 50km/h in a residential the name of their insurance company. Report area and 100km/h on the open road. Some areas the accident to the Police as soon as possible – in the central city have a speed limit of 30 km/h. no later than 48 hours after the crash. Remember that speeding can not only cost you money, but also your life.

Cell phone use while driving

Note: The StudentSafe-University policy does NOT include car insurance.

It is illegal in New Zealand to use your cell phone while driving.

The Road Code

Drinking and driving

The driving laws and road rules in New Zealand are explained in the Road Code. You must learn the Road Code in order to pass the driver’s licensing tests. The Rode Code is online at, or you can buy a copy at most bookshops.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol in New Zealand. If you drink alcohol and drive, you be fined up to $6,000, lose your licence, face court charges.

New Zealand websites (youth hostels) (buses) (trains)


Working in New Zealand assist with a wide range of queries – from the general exploration of career ideas and the career implications of subject choices, to details of specific jobs, employers, or postgraduate courses. Careers Advisers can assist you with career planning and job search preparation. They can help you decide what kind of work you might enjoy, check your CV and Cover Letter and help you prepare for an interview.

Most international students can work up to 20 hours per week in the academic year and up to 40 hours per week in the summer holidays. To be eligible you must be: + enrolled in a full-time programme which is at least one academic year in length; or + studying for a New Zealand qualification that would gain points under New Zealand residence policy; or + studying a full-time course for at least six months to develop English language skills – to qualify, you must have an IELTS (General or Academic Module) overall band score of at least 5.0 at the time you apply for your student visa.

To find out more, contact Immigration New Zealand or visit You must not undertake paid employment in
New Zealand until you have permission from Immigration New Zealand. Permission stating your right to work should be printed on your student visa label. If you believe you are entitled to work and this is not shown on your student visa, request a ‘Variation of Conditions’ from Immigration New Zealand or contact Victoria International. Study Abroad and Exchange students studying for one

Related websites (Student Job Search)


Victoria University of Wellington

trimester only are not entitled to work in New Zealand.

Work permits for partners The partners of international postgraduate students may apply for a work visa valid for the same period of time as their partner’s student visa. To do this, contact Immigration New Zealand Partners of some undergraduate students may also be eligible to apply for a work visa if their partner has been granted a student visa to study towards a qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage, as specified in the ‘Long Term Skill Shortage List’. This list is published at

Finding work in Wellington Local jobs are advertised in The Dominion Post, particularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Student Job Search can help you find part-time work during term, and holiday employment. To find out more, see, or contact them at 15 Mount Street, Kelburn, phone 04-471 1967, email

VicCareers The University’s Career Development and Employment Service (VicCareers) is available to

The service runs 15-minute ‘Drop In’ sessions, or you can book longer appointments or workshops, phone 04-463 5393. For more information, visit services/careers or email careers-service@ Victoria Careerhub – – is a popular web-based information site listing part-time, contract, summer/vacation, or fulltime work. It specialises in finding permanent employment for graduates and provides access to career articles, events, news and online booking for workshops and seminars.

Paying income tax Before you start work, you must obtain an IRD (Inland Revenue Department) number. Find out how to apply at irdnumbers or free phone 0800 227 774. An application normally takes eight to ten days to process. If it is urgent, fax it to 04-527 6444 noting that it is urgent and providing a contact phone number – you should receive a reply within two to three days. You can also contact the IRD call centre – they may give you an IRD number over the phone. As soon as you receive income from your job or from other New Zealand income sources, you are legally obliged to pay tax to the government. For most people, tax is automatically deducted from your wages when you are paid. When you begin work, your employer will give you a Tax Code Declaration form to complete. If you have only worked for part of the year (the tax year is from 1 April to 31 March), you may be entitled to a tax refund. Contact the IRD for a personal tax summary, which shows if you are eligible for a refund – see Tax rates can also be found on this website.

to a Budget Estimated Expenses – Actual costs may vary ESSENTIAL EXPENSES Residence Private Flat** Your Budget Hall*

The table on the right is an estimated budget outlining typical costs for a student living in a University hall of residence or flatting in a private house. The costs in this table are indicative only – your actual living costs may vary.

Financial Support and Advice Student Finance Advisors provide free advice and guidance to best budget your financial resources for life in Wellington, helping take the stress out of coping financially. Advisors are available at Kelburn, Pipitea and Te Aro campuses. For more information, see st_services/finAdvice To make an appointment, phone 04-463 7474 or email: Libraries, most cinemas and theatres offer student discounts, as do many bookstores and shops.

315 - - 30 10 - 5 10

160 20 80 40 25 15 5 10

$370 $14,800

$355 $14,200

500 200 1,000 560 200 500 1,200 250

650 1,500 1,000 560 200 500 1,200 250

Annual TOTAL 2 Total ESSENTIAL Expenses (TOTAL 1+2)

$4,410 $19,210

$5,860 $20,060






Subtotal Subtotal x 40 weeks = Annual TOTAL 1

Initial Set-up Expenses Hall deposit/bond for flat (partially refundable) Set-up for flat (such as amenities, furniture) Course costs (books, supplies, photocopying) Insurance – individual rate Cell phone purchase Sports and hobbies Clothing and personal items Miscellaneous

One-week holiday in New Zealand POSSIBLE INCOME

Wages Parent/Family contribution Scholarships/Grant (private)

YOUR TOTAL POSSIBLE INCOME * Residence Hall costs and inclusions vary, so please check carefully the information specific to your preferred housing options in the


While in New Zealand,
it is important to live
within your personal budget.

Weekly Expenses Rent Power/gas Food (included in Hall fee) Entertainment Travel (local) Phone rental (local calls only) and broadband Toll calls home Cell phone (usage only)

Accommodation Guide or at: ** Your contribution is based on sharing in a three-person flat.


Orientation Week, The Quad, Kelburn campus

Student Visa and Insurance

To enrol at Victoria, international students
must have a valid student visa as well as
current and appropriate medical and travel insurance. You must obey the conditions of your student visa while studying in New Zealand. These conditions include (but are not limited to) attending classes, making satisfactory academic progress, and not breaking the law. If you do not obey these conditions, you may have your visa revoked/taken away and be required to leave New Zealand. This may affect your eligibility for a visa for New Zealand and possibly other countries in the future.

Student Visa Renewal To renew your student visa you must apply to Victoria International at least two weeks before your current student visa ends (noted as the expiry date on the visa label). Visa renewals are usually processed within a few days. Alternatively, you can send your completed visa application to Immigration New Zealand,
PO Box 1049, Palmerston North. However, this may mean that you are without your passport for several weeks. RELATED WEBSITEs Immigration New Zealand Phone 0508 558 855 Insurance insurance.aspx


Victoria University of Wellington

Important Note: Victoria International cannot accept visa renewal applications from a student whose visa has expired. Once your visa has expired you may risk your application being declined by Immigration New Zealand, so it is important you renew your visa on time. To find out more, contact Immigration
 New Zealand, phone 0508 558 855, website If you have any questions or need help with a student visa, please contact Victoria International, phone 04-463 9457, 

Medical check Immigration New Zealand requires every person intending to stay in New Zealand for 12 months or more to complete a medical check. Medical forms are available from Victoria International and on the Immigration New Zealand website. Medical checks are valid for two years. Any New Zealand registered doctor is permitted to complete immigration medical checks. You may wish to use the Student Health Service on campus. If you have your medical check completed outside of New Zealand, you must visit an Immigration New Zealand approved doctor (panel doctor). A list of panel doctors is on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Police check Students who will stay in New Zealand for 24 months or more must provide a police certificate from their country of citizenship and from any country in which they have lived for five or more years since the age of 17. Information on this can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Medical and Travel Insurance Most international students at Victoria are covered by StudentSafe-University insurance. Cover is automatic unless you provide Victoria International with a copy of another, approved policy. StudentSafe-University provides cover for medical, personal property and liability, travel, and loss of deposits. You will receive written information about the policy at insurance checking during International Orientation. As StudentSafe-University insurance is run through the University, the Insurance Advisor at Victoria International can provide assistance to StudentSafe-University policy holders when making claims. The Insurance Advisor is also able to give advice on what is covered, and help you organise additional cover if necessary - for example if you are travelling overseas. If you have any questions contact Victoria International, phone 04-463 9458 or email

Students with Family Children that are international students may be charged international tuition fees which may range from $10,000 to $15,000 per year. While most students in New Zealand attend state-funded schools, there are other options available. State schools are co-educational (mixed sexes) at primary and intermediate level but some offer single-sex education at secondary level. Lessons are based on the New Zealand School curriculum. Some state schools offer special programmes for adult students or run community education classes.

Information on childcare options, schooling and family insurance for those who have a spouse/partner and/or children with them in New Zealand. Childcare Options University Crèche The University crèche provides on-campus childcare. It is staffed by professional and experienced teachers. Applications for the crèche must be made well in advance, as places are limited. Due to high demand, it is not always possible to get a place at the crèche. Please contact them to discuss your options at the very early stages of your study preparations – see

Community childcare centres Childcare centres are a mix of privately run and community or church-based operations, so fees can vary widely. A list of childcare centres is available in the Yellow Pages phone directory. At you can search for Early Childcare Centres in the Wellington Region. There is a wait-list for most centres.

In-home childcare There are several types of in-home childcare. The first is where a trained nanny or educator comes to your home to look after your child. You may pay from $15 - $20 per hour for this service. It may take several weeks to find a placement for your child.

The second type of in-home childcare is where you take your child to an educator/nanny’s house. In this situation, the caregiver is likely to be looking after a number of other children at the same time as your child. You can expect to pay about $5 - $10 per hour for this service.

Your Children: School Information In New Zealand, schooling is compulsory from the age of six to sixteen. Education is divided into primary, intermediate and secondary schooling. Within these general divisions students are divided into year levels. There are 13 year levels. Primary schools are the first level of education. They cater for children from the age of five years. Although schooling is only compulsory from the age of six, most children start school at age five. Primary education covers year levels 1 to 8. Children in years 7 and 8 (generally aged 12-13 years) may be in a separate intermediate school. Secondary school covers years 9 to 13 (generally aged 13-17 years). For information about the New Zealand school curriculum visit the Ministry of Education’s website

Integrated schools are schools that used to be private and have now become part of the state system. They teach the New Zealand School curriculum but keep their own special character (usually a philosophical or religious belief) as part of their school programme. Integrated schools receive the same Government funding for each student as state schools but their buildings and land are privately owned so they charge attendance fees to meet their property costs. Independent (or private) schools are governed by their own independent boards but must meet certain standards in order to be registered. Independent schools may be either co-educational or single-sex. They charge fees, but also receive some subsidy funding from the New Zealand government.

Family Insurance You can insure your family members under your Studentsafe-University policy if your spouse/ partner and/or children are with you to New Zealand.  You must fill in an application form available from Victoria International. A family policy can cover your partner, (husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend) and/or dependent children under 18. You must also inform the Insurance Advisor at Victoria International if there are any changes to your family, such as a new baby or other family members joining you from overseas. These new members will not be automatically covered by the policy. Family insurance rates are available at: http://


Your study experience at Victoria is likely to be different to your previous study experiences. Studying at Victoria may be different from studying in your country. Typical comments from international students include: + “It took me a while to get used to the different style of learning in New Zealand.
I had to be a lot more independent.” + “It was difficult to know what to do for my first assignments and exams. I wasn’t given as much guidance as I got back home.” + “I was overloaded – too much reading to do!” + “My lecturers were fussy about referencing.
I wasn’t sure how to do it.” + “I missed some deadlines. I wasn’t used to so much internal assessment.” + “I had to think critically. Having the knowledge wasn’t enough. I had to show I could apply it.” + “I had to be self motivated. No-one checked my progress as they had done at home.”

Student Learning Support The Student Learning Support Service is a friendly group of trained advisors who specialise in helping you achieve academic success. Call in to see them and ask about their programmes and services, or check out You can also pick up SLSS brochures from Victoria International. Student Learning Support has comprehensive programmes specific to the needs of international students, including the following. PALS – Preparation for Academic Life & Study:
The PALS programme is offered free of charge in Trimesters 1 and 2. It introduces the learning environment and culture at Victoria and helps you understand the requirements for successful academic study. The programme includes: + Studying at Victoria: Strategies for Success; + Referencing your Writing; + Reading and note taking;

Student Learning Support Service Kelburn Level 0, Kirk Wing, off Hunter Courtyard (Gate 2) Hours Monday to Friday 8.30am-4.30pm Pipitea Level 2, Railway West Wing Hours Tuesday and Friday 8.30am-3.30pm Phone 04-463 5999 Email


Victoria University of Wellington

+ Vocabulary Development; + Thinking Critically; + Speaking in Tutorials; and + Paraphrasing and Summarising.

Conversation programme:
This programme is designed to help you improve your oral fluency in English and meet new people. It is held at Kelburn Campus in Trimesters 1 and 2, starting

Student Learning Support

for Academic Success

in the second week of each trimester. Details are available on the Student Learning Support website. Grammar workshops:
If you would like to further improve your grammar or if you simply have a grammar question, the weekly workshop programme ‘Grammar and Punctuation’ may be just for you. Academic speaking programme:
This programme offers students opportunities to practise oral presentation skills. It is held in the first and second trimesters and runs for one hour per week for five weeks, twice a trimester. Bookings (at SLSS) are essential. General workshops:
Student Learning Support advisors offer many workshops throughout the year on writing and study skills. Look for these in the Campus Connections booklet, available from the Student Learning Support Service or around campus. There is no need to register, just come along. Individual appointments:
If you want to talk about any aspect of your study or if you want someone to look over your assignment you can make a one-to-one appointment to see a Student Learning Support advisor. Phone Student Learning Support and book a 50-minute appointment. Postgraduate programme:
This includes seminars on postgraduate research, writing, monthly writing workshops and individual assistance. Details are in Campus Connections and on the postgraduate students’ website

Central Library kelburn campus

Peer Writers: 
Peer Writers are senior students who can provide assistance with your essay and assignment writing skills. Do not wait until the last minute to book an appointment with a peer writer – they are very popular. Peer-assisted learning (PASS):
Interactive study groups in selected first-year courses led by a trained, high-achieving student. You will be able to ask questions, help each other with problem solving, meet other students and reinforce your learning. Listen for announcements about these in your classes in the first weeks of term. PASS study groups really work! Sign up quickly as they fill up fast.

Other advice and academic support Campus Coaches As a new student, would you like to have a guide for your first few weeks at university? A Campus Coach is a senior student from your Faculty who will show you around the University and introduce you to other new students. In your first few weeks at university, you will be able to phone, email or meet your Campus Coach for a coffee and a chat. Your Campus Coach can answer questions about your courses and university life. Check out st_services/campus-coaches for more information on this programme including how to register.

Lecturers and tutors In New Zealand, students are encouraged to ask questions during lectures and, in particular, in tutorials. If you have a question, do not be shy – someone else is probably wondering the same thing. Your lecturers and tutors are also usually happy to discuss lecture material or assignments, or to explain a grade. Find out when their office hours are (refer to your Course Outline) and go to see them; feel free to share your own ideas to get the most out of your meeting. For example, instead of asking: “What am I supposed to do?” ask something like: “I thought I might cover … and … but I’m not sure if I should include …” This shows that you have thought about the issues and that you are trying. It may help to make a list of questions so that all

of your questions are answered. You can also email the lecturer with your questions or to make an appointment to see them. All University staff members use the email address format firstname.lastname@, or you can find their contact details on the online staff directory. Some courses (usually at 100-level) also have duty tutors. Duty tutors provide one-to-one tutoring if you have difficulty understanding the content of the lectures. Contact your Faculty or School to find out duty tutor office hours for your courses.

Faculty/School support Faculties and Schools have Student Administration Advisors for all students – to find out more contact your faculty or school.

Classmates Remember that help is always available from your classmates. Make friends in all your courses and talk to other students as much as you can about your course content and assignments.

Class Representatives Each class will elect a class representative to act as a communication point between the students in the class and the lecturer or Course Coordinator.

Student Association Advocates

can assist you if you feel you deserve a better mark, better treatment or better behaviour from academic staff on campus. The VUWSA Advocate can provide independent, supportive and confidential advice on a range of issues such as plagiarism (see page 28), issues with academic staff, reconsideration of grades, extensions and postgraduate concerns. The VUWSA Advocate is available to give advice, help with letters and come to meetings – email or phone 04-463 6984. The VUWSA Education team also helps to run, recruit and train class representatives and faculty delegates. Contact Louise Wallace, phone 04-463 6987, email

Academic English courses The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences offers courses to help improve academic writing and general communication skills. The courses can be included in your degree: WRIT 151 and WRIT 251 are for non-native speakers of English and WRIT 101 is for all students. To find out more, contact the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies – see contact details below. Academic English Courses School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Phone 04-463 5600 Email

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) offers academic support that is independent of the University. Advocates


Central Library, Kelburn campus

Your Academic Studies

Academic Dates and Deadlines Important dates and deadlines for the academic year are online at studying/dates.html

Plagiarism Plagiarism is not accepted at Victoria University of Wellington. Often the concept of plagiarism is not viewed in the same way in other countries, so it is important you understand the University’s policy. Plagiarism, as officially defined by the University, is presenting someone else’s work as if it were your own, whether intentional or not. Plagiarism means taking material or ideas from other people (the books you read, databases on the computer, etc) and using these ideas in your writing without acknowledging the source. In New Zealand, students are severely punished for plagiarising, which is considered to be the theft of ideas. Students who plagiarise may receive 0% for an assignment – in some extreme cases you may even be asked to leave the University.

When you include another person’s ideas in your writing, you can quote them exactly or paraphrase (put their idea into your own words). Usually it is best to paraphrase, so your marker knows you understand the content. It is also important to support your arguments with some direct quotes. Whether you quote or paraphrase you must reference carefully and correctly. Each faculty may have its own special way of referencing. The course outline provided to you by your lecturer when you start each course will guide you about how to reference. To find out more about how to reference correctly we recommend you attend a Student Learning Support referencing workshop – see for more details.

Academic monitoring Our Student Advisors at Victoria International run an Academic Monitoring Programme for students who fail 50% or more of their courses in one trimester. During an interview, the Student Advisor will provide assistance to help the student identify the areas where they may need to improve to achieve success. The Student Advisor can also help access Student Learning Support Services, Counselling, Student Health and other services.

For students from some cultures, this approach may seem strange, because knowing and quoting reputable writers is a sign of scholarship and respect. You may think you do not need to quote the source, as the lecturer will The purpose of this programme is to provide recognise the material. the most appropriate support early on to help improve your study performance. However, in New Zealand you must also quote reputable writers, as well as say where the Information about the University’s Academic information comes from (the source). You must Progress Statute can be found at state the name of the author and details about book, journal or electronic site you used. progress.aspx This process is known as referencing.


Victoria University of Wellington

Aegrotat passes An aegrotat is a pass that may be awarded when your preparation for, or performance in, an examination or other piece of assessment was affected by illness, injury, bereavement, or any serious situation outside your control. Aegrotat passes are only awarded if the work you have done during the course is clearly worthy of a pass. See how to apply for an aegrotat at

Transcripts On completion of your study at Victoria, you may need an official Transcript of Academic Record. This lists all the courses you have enrolled in at Victoria and your grades. You will need it to credit your Victoria courses towards another qualification. Study Abroad/Exchange Students are automatically sent transcripts via their representatives, at no cost to them. Other students must request one from their Faculty Student Administration Office. You may be charged approximately $15 for the first copy and
$5 for each additional copy ordered at the same time (plus postage costs if you want the transcripts sent overseas). It can take up to 10 working days for a transcript to be printed. If you leave New Zealand before your results are confirmed, ask your Faculty Office to mail your transcript to an address in your home country.

Outside the Student Union Building, Kelburn campus

Policies to
Protect You

Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (The Code) published by the Ministry of Education is a policy specially designed for international students. It sets the standards of advice and care that must be given by an institution to an international student. Victoria University has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code. Copies of the Code are available on request from Victoria International or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at international Students or parents of students who feel that an area of the Code has been breached should document the breach of the Code in writing to the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Victoria International. The Pro Vice-Chancellor will take all steps necessary to ensure that the grievance is settled. In the case where a favourable result is not reached the Pro Vice-Chancellor will refer the case to the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA). Victoria University agrees to be bound by the IEAA procedures and will offer any information and cooperate with the board while they are investigating a complaint. All students have the right to receive information about progress and decisions regarding their complaint as well as translation services if necessary to ensure adequate comprehension The following text is from the Ministry of Education’s brochure that introduces The Code.

Introduction When students from other countries come to study in New Zealand, it is important that they are well informed, safe, and properly cared for. New Zealand educational providers have an important responsibility for international students’ welfare.

The Code is also available online from

How do I know if an education provider has signed the Code?

This section provides an overview of the Code, and an insight into the procedure that students can follow if they have concerns about their treatment by a New Zealand educational provider or agent of a provider.

The New Zealand Ministry of Education maintains a register of all signatories to the Code – see international. If the education provider that you are seeking to enrol with is not a signatory to the Code, you will not be granted a visa from Immigration New Zealand and you will not be able to study at that institution.

What is the Code?

What do I do if something goes wrong?

The Code is a document that provides a framework for service delivery by educational providers and their agents to international students. The Code sets out the minimum standards of advice and care that are expected of educational providers with respect to international students. The Code applies to pastoral care and provision of information only, and not to academic standards.

If you have concerns about your treatment by your education provider or by an agent of the provider, the first thing you must do is contact the Principal, the International Student Director, or another person who has been identified to you as someone that you can approach about complaints at your institution. The Code requires all institutions to have fair and equitable internal grievance procedures for students, who should go through these internal processes before taking the complaint any further. Unresolved grievances should be addressed to IEAA.

Who does the Code apply to? The Code applies to all education providers in New Zealand who have international students enrolled. The Code is mandatory to these providers and must be signed by them.

Who is an “international student”? An “international student” is a foreign student studying in New Zealand.

How can I get a copy of the Code? You can request a copy of the Code from your New Zealand education provider.

What is the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA)? The IEAA is an independent body established to deal with complaints from international students about pastoral care aspects of advice and services received from their education provider or the provider’s agents. The IEAA enforces the standards in the Code.


Vic Books is the University bookshop

Medical and Travel Insurance 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 have to pay the full cost of your treatment. For full details of entitlements to publicly-funded health services, see All international students must have current and appropriate medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand.

How can I contact the IEAA?

What can the Review Panel do?

You can write to the IEAA at: 
International Education Appeal Authority 
C/- Tribunals Unit, Private Bag 32001, 
Panama Street, Wellington
 Phone: 04-462 6660
 Fax 04-462 6686
 Email international-education-appeal-authority

The Review Panel can remove or suspend an education provider as a signatory to the Code, meaning that the provider would be prevented from taking any more international students. Only the IEAA can refer complaints to the Review Panel.

What will the IEAA do? The purpose of the IEAA is to adjudicate on complaints from international students. The IEAA will investigate complaints and determine if there has been a breach of the Code. The IEAA has the power to impose sanctions on education providers who have committed a breach of the Code that is not a serious breach. These sanctions include an order for restitution, publication of the breach, and/or requiring that remedial action be undertaken. The IEAA will refer complaints that are not about pastoral care to another regulatory body if appropriate. The education provider will be given a reasonable time to remedy the breach. If the breach is not remedied within that time, the IEAA may refer the complaint to the Review Panel. The IEAA will determine if the breach of Code is a serious one. If so, IEAA will refer the complaint to the Review Panel.


Victoria University of Wellington

A summary of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students The Code sets standards for education providers to ensure that: + high professional standards are maintained. + the recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner. + information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date. + students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments. + contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner. + the particular needs of international students are recognised. + international students are in safe accommodation. + all providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances.

Full details of what is covered can be found in the Code itself. The Code also establishes the IEAA and the Review Panel to receive and adjudicate on student complaints.

The Code guidelines state the minimum standard of insurance required for an international student – see 
www.minedu.govt. nz/goto/international Victoria University offers the StudentSafeUniversity insurance policy for its students. StudentSafe-University meets the Code standards and provides travel and health insurance at an economical rate. Family rates are also available. Payment for insurance can be made with tuition fees. The current insurance rate is published at international/current-students/index.aspx Most insurance policies purchased outside New Zealand do not meet the Code’s standards, so it is vital to check with Victoria International at least six weeks before your enrolment prior to purchasing a policy from your home country. If you have a policy that is written in another language, it must be translated into English before Victoria International staff can check it. If you buy an insurance policy that does not meet the Code standards, you must buy another appropriate insurance policy before you can enrol. The University receives payment from the insurer, which is used to improve pastoral care and services for international students at Victoria. To find out more, email 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. For more information, see

Pipitea Campus

Student Visa and Course Requirements Fees, levies and charges It is New Zealand law that all international students have a valid and current student visa while studying in New Zealand. It is a condition of your student visa that you maintain course requirements while you are studying in New Zealand. This means that you must attend at least 80% of your classes, complete coursework, submit all assignments and sit/take any tests or exams. Students who fail more than half of their points in one trimester may have to meet a Student Advisor at Victoria International to discuss their academic progress. The Student Advisor will offer support and help in accessing the services around Victoria University that will help you achieve success in your courses.

International students (‘Students’) are required to pay a tuition fee for each course in which they are enrolled, as well as course material charges, VUWSA subscription and student services levy, amenities levy, student assistance levy, and other administrative charges (‘Fees’). A small number of courses have an Overseas Travel Component as additional costs. For more information on these charges see the Victoria University Fees Statute (‘the Fees Statute’). Please refer to the most recent Fees Statute at academic.aspx

Refund statement 1. Refunds

Students who continually fail to meet course requirements may be suspended from studying at Victoria University for a period of time and their student visa may be revoked.

All refunds of Fees to Students will be made in accordance with the Fees Statute – see 
www. aspx

Information about the University’s Academic Progress Statute can be found at www.victoria.

Refunds for International Students are only processed once the Student has applied to the Fees Advisor in writing.

There are many services available at the University to help students achieve academic success. Please contact Victoria International with any concerns you may have. We are here to help.

1.1 A Student is entitled to a full refund of all money that remains in their account after enrolment. This refund will be granted provided the Student has paid their Fees in full and holds a valid student visa for the period of study. The monies will be paid directly to the Student.

Fees Protection Any programme or course offered by the University and listed in its Calendar may be cancelled by the University as a result of insufficient resources or student demand. The Vice-Chancellor concedes that Victoria University has the financial resources available to refund fees to students enrolled in any cancelled programme. If a course is unable to proceed due to destruction or damage to buildings, plant and equipment and other tangible assets, fees will be refunded to the students affected. In this case the fees refund will be covered by the University’s Industrial Special Risks Policy and be classified as a consequential loss.

1.2 An International Student who withdraws from the University and transfers to another institution must inform Victoria International and their Fees Advisor in writing and provide copies of their new Offer documents. The refund of fees will be sent directly to the relevant institution less an International Transfer fee prescribed in the Fees Statute. 1.3 A Student enrolled in a trimester based programme who obtains a residency visa during the course of their study will be considered an international student for the trimester in which residency is granted, unless the residency is granted within the official withdrawal period prescribed in the Fees Statute. The Student will be treated as a domestic student from the following trimester. 1.4 A Student who is not enrolled in a trimester-based programme and who obtains a

residency visa will be given a refund (pro rated) from the week after the date on which residency is granted. A Student’s residency status is effective from the date on which residency is granted as shown in their passport. 1.5 A student enrolled in a PhD or Masters by Thesis for six or twelve months, who gives written notice of withdrawal from enrolment within four weeks of having been enrolled, shall receive a refund of the fees associated with that course. 1.6 A student who gives written notice of withdrawal from a supervised individual research paper/project, practicum, dissertation or similar course within four weeks of the start date for that course shall receive a refund for the fees associated with that course. 1.7 A Student enrolled in CertEngProf who provides written notice of withdrawal within two weeks of beginning on the programme shall receive a two-thirds refund of the total tuition fees. A full refund of fees is only given when a Student withdraws before the programme begins. 1.8 Refunds of fee payments derived from a Contract will be credited back to the organisation that has set up the contract with the University. Refunds will not be made to students if there are fees remaining to be paid for their current academic year. 1.9 Subject to clauses 1.3 to 1.7, all refunds will be paid by cheque or bank transfer (on production of appropriate photo ID). 1.10 Students receiving Federal Loans from the US Government for payment of their study at Victoria University are subject to special


withdrawal and refund procedures and policies. Specifics are available from Victoria International. 2. Full Refunds 2.1 Full refunds will be made pursuant to the relevant clauses of the Fees Statute and in the following circumstances: a) The Student is unable to take up the offer of admission; or b) Immigration New Zealand has refused the Student a visa for study in New Zealand; or c) A Student’s application for a visa extension is refused by the Immigration New Zealand; or d) Victoria University is unable to proceed with the course offered. 2.2 If a Student completely withdraws or temporarily ceases studying at Victoria University and seeks a refund, they will be required to provide proof that they no longer hold a Victoria University student visa before their refund will be processed.

Withdrawal from courses Under the Fees Statue, a Student must give written notice of withdrawal from a course to the appropriate faculty office, on or before the published dates as listed in the Fees Statute. To withdraw from a course or from all courses, a Student must complete a Change of Course form available from the appropriate faculty administration office. This form must then be returned to the appropriate faculty administration office to be processed. If a Student wishes to withdraw from a course or courses outside the prescribed time period as stated in the Fees Statute, a signature from the appropriate faculty representative is required to validate the amendment. If the withdrawal notification reaches the appropriate faculty office after the Withdrawal from Courses date shown in the Fees Statute, a partial or full refund may be approved, but only in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, applications must be supported by suitable documentary evidence. Authority to approve these applications is determined by Deans of


Victoria University of Wellington

Faculties and then countersigned by Central Student Administration. Further information on fee reconsiderations and their appeal can be found in the Fees Statute. Non-payment of fees, ceasing to attend, or verbally advising a member of staff will not be accepted as notice of withdrawal. If a Student withdraws completely from Victoria University, the University is legally obliged to inform Immigration New Zealand immediately.

Grievance procedures Victoria International aims to ensure that international students have a successful and enjoyable experience while studying at Victoria University. Any international student who has a grievance against the University in any capacity should contact a staff member from Victoria International. In the event that the grievance cannot be solved, Victoria International will refer the case to an appropriate area of the University. Victoria University seeks to provide a learning environment designed to help students achieve their full potential. It is important that procedures exist to ensure that decisions affecting a student’s learning and progress are fair. Students, who feel that they have not been treated fairly at Victoria University of Wellington, should take note of the following grievance procedures.

Academic Grievances The following procedures are in accordance with the Statute on Academic Grievances. Further information on this statute can be found at policy/academic.aspx Students, who feel aggrieved on academic grounds, should first talk to the tutor or lecturer concerned. If a satisfactory outcome is not reached from this meeting, students can see the Course Coordinator, Head of School or Associate Dean of the Faculty. Students, who prefer not to talk directly with the lecturer, or feel the problem is not being resolved, can contact others to discuss the

problem. These include VUWSA, class and faculty representatives, Students’ Association Education Coordinator and the University Academic Policy Manager. Further procedures are outlined in 4.3.1 of the Statute on Academic Grievances.

International Education Appeal Authority Any international student who has a grievance against the University in any capacity should contact a staff member from Victoria International. In the event that the grievance cannot be solved, Victoria International will refer the case to an appropriate area of the University. If the outcome of this is unsatisfactory, a student can contact the International Education Appeal Authority, phone +64-4-462 6660, email

Student Conduct The following procedures are in accordance with the Statute on Student Conduct – see academic.aspx If differences or disputes arise between members of the University community, it is expected that they will attempt to resolve the conflict themselves, cooperatively and in a professional manner. Students who feel that another student has breached the acceptable standards of conduct should try to solve the problem exclusively or with a third party, such as the following: VUWSA Welfare Team 
 VUWSA Advocacy Office Ground Floor, Student Union Building
 Phone 04-463 6716
 Fax 04-463 6990 Jon Everest
 VUW Facilitator and Disputes Advisor
 Phone 04-463 5023 All policies are subject to change, so please refer to: current-students/index.aspx

For more about life at Victoria, check out the New Student Guide 2011


Tips for success


Finding my way


Key dates 2011


Typical first-year experience


Stay safe


Get prepared


Getting support: A–Z of services 16

Get out and about in Wellington




Where the services are


Contacts directory


Get connected—IT at Vic


Information for student groups


New Students’ Orientation 2011 40

Money matters


Get involved


My Orientation Planner


FAQs—about my study


Academic matters




Victoria International Student Handbook 2011  

A handbook for international students studying at Victoria University of Wellington