Hamilton and the Waikato
One of New Zealand’s fastest-growing city, Hamilton has everything you need for a great social life – night spots, ten-pin bowling, parks, restaurants, movies and more – without the big city hassles of traffic, smog and high rents.
Hamilton is part of the Waikato region, well known for the Middle-Earth movie set and abundant rolling green hills. Many of New Zealand's top toursim destinations are within an hour's drive - in the Waikato there is something for every traveller. When you choose Wintec as the place to begin your career path, you get so much more than study.
Don't take our word for it, check out these links to get the inside word on where to go, what to do, and everything wonderful about living and travelling in Hamilton, the Waikato, and New Zealand!
Culture shock/settling in
It is common for international students to experience feelings of excitement and enthusiasm on arriving in New Zealand. Everything appears new and exciting. After you have settled into your studies, you may experience feelings of loneliness, sadness,
home-sickness, isolation and possibly frustration and anger or you may doubt your decision to come to New Zealand. Experiencing some or all of these feelings is known as culture shock. Don’t worry, this is normal and you are not alone. Every
student is affected by it in one way or another.
Some of the differences between life in your home country and life in New Zealand may be: Language, food, climate, social life, religious beliefs, education system, family life and occupations.
Although it can be a little scary, the 'shock' will gradually go away as you begin to understand the new culture. If you are struggling, please come and see us at the International centre. We are here to help!
Cost of living
To live comfortably while studying at Wintec, you will need to have about $15,000 NZD per year available for living costs, above the cost of your tuition.
Overall the cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to what you’ll find in any OECD country. Learn more about the cost of living at New Zealand Now.
Working in New Zealand
Tax and IRD
The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is employed by the New Zealand Government to collect taxes. The main situations that you will be taxed in are if you:
- Hold a New Zealand Bank Account which earns interest.
- Work in New Zealand.
You will need to apply for an IRD Tax Number so that you are taxed at the correct rates. The penalties for evading tax or working illegally in New Zealand are high and can affect your immigration status, so it is important you follow these laws.
You can download an application form for an IRD Tax Number from the following website: www.ird.govt.nz or phone number: 0800 227 774.
20 hours or less
If your visa allows you to work in New Zealand, you will be able to work up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full-time during the summer vacation (December and January). Volunteer work is considered paid work for the purpose of your student visa. If you breach these conditions and work more than 20 hours per week you risk future visa applications being declined.
In New Zealand, a minimum wage rates apply to all employees aged 16 and over, who are full-time, part-time, fixed-term, casual, working from home, and paid by wages, salary, commission or piece rates (some exceptions).
Find out more information about the minimum wage rates in New Zealand.
Transport and driving
The International Centre arranges airport transfers from Auckland and Hamilton Airports direct to student’s accommodation on arrival in New Zealand. Click here if you'd like to book an airport shuttle.
To get around Hamilton you can use the Hamilton bus public transport. With around 28 different bus routes you will be able to find a bus to get to where you need to go.
All Wintec students and staff get a 30% discount on Hamilton City and Waikato regional BUSIT fares at all times of the day and week.
Driving in New Zealand
If you want to drive in New Zealand, you must first understand the New Zealand Road Code. You can buy a copy from most book stores.
To drive in New Zealand, you must have a New Zealand Driver’s Licence or hold a current and valid drivers license/International Drivers Permit from another country and you meet the required conditions. If you do not have a legal driver’s licence, you are not permitted to drive in New Zealand.
You must wear your seatbelt at all times while driving, even if you are a passenger. You will have to pay a fine if you do not wear a seatbelt.
If you are used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, it might take time to adjust to the New Zealand system. Driving through intersections and roundabouts can be dangerous for foreign drivers. We recommend you have a few lessons with a licensed instructor before you begin driving.
Banking in New Zealand
To open a bank account, make an appointment with one of the banks and take with you your passport and proof of your enrolment with a New Zealand Education Provider. Banks are open from 9:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
In some cases, you may be able to open a bank account with ANZ prior to arriving. Contact Susan Ye from the International Centre for more information.
Once you have opened your account you can access your account 24 hours using Automatic Teller machines (ATM) and internet banking. You will receive an ATM card which can be used at almost all New Zealand shops. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.
Safety and security
New Zealand overall is a safe country, but we’ve provided some tips to help you avoid any undesirable and unsafe circumstances.
- At night walk in areas where there is a lot of light. If you are coming out of class in the dark on your own advise security or walk with a friend
- When you go out let one of your friends or your home stay know where you are going and when you will be coming back home
- Don’t carry large amounts of money with you
- Carry a mobile phone or local telephone card, a map, your address and telephone number
- Save Wintec’s Security number in your mobile: 07 834 8897
- Always carry your bag and wallet with you.
- Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place.
- If you are in a bar or night club always keep your drink and food near you and always buy your own drinks
- Keep your house or room locked
- In an emergency call 111
Security and emergencies
Here at Wintec, we pride ourselves on providing a safe campus environment. Security staff patrol Wintec buildings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can assist with car parking, access, lost property, security advice and emergencies. They’re also available to escort students around campus and to their vehicles after hours.
In an emergency immediately dial 111. This number will connect you to Fire, Police, and Ambulance.
The International Prospectus contains programmes we recommended for International Students. The Prospectus was current at the date of print. For current programme information, please refer to the programme web pages.
Only a five minute walk from the Wintec City Campus and downtown Hamilton, the Wintec Student Village offers a relaxed atmosphere, a pastoral care environment and a range of social and cultural activities through the year.
Bedrooms include a bed, study desk, cupboards and a wardrobe, with access to a phone, internet, kitchenette (excluding oven), separate toilet and shower. There is a shared full kitchen, TV lounge, games room and laundry.
Three main meals are provided on weekdays and two main meals on the weekend.
Wintec Apartments offer a modern, self-catered style of accommodation situated in a three-level apartment complex building located on the Wintec City Campus. Wintec Apartments include four apartments per level, each containing 5 or 6 rooms, separate shower and toilet facilities, plus full kitchen and dining facilities.
Each level of the building offers a large common room/ study area, with shared laundry facilities and storage for bicycles and other large items available on the lower ground floor.
Services include telephone for local calls and full access to Wintec’s high speed wireless internet available free to students staying in the apartments. Security features include - swipe card access into your own apartment and into your individual room, sitewide CCTV and Wintec security patrols.
Homestay is where you stay with New Zealand families, in their homes. Our Homestay hosts are carefully selected for their kind and caring nature.
You will get to improve your English by talking to them; you will also be able to enjoy family activities, celebrations, religious practices, and sporting events.
When living in a homestay, the host will provide you with:
- A clean, comfortable home with a happy and relaxed atmosphere
- A furnished bedroom with a bed and comfortable mattress. A wardrobe or chest of drawers for clothing storage
- A desk or small table with a chair and lamp for study
- A heater (if required in winter)
- Access to Wi-Fi
- Access to kitchen facilities, laundry & ironing
- Three meals a day, 7 days a week (includes
lunch for school) and
access to snack
Are you moving out of your homestay?
If you are thinking of leaving your homestay, click the button below for the check out form, what you need to do and a handy guide to help you transition.
Click the button below to find current fees and information about all the Wintec accommodation options.
Apply for accommodation
International students applying to live in Student Village, Wintec Apartments, or a Homestay, must follow the process below.
Please note: *Under the NZQA Code of Practice for the Care of International Students, Wintec requires all students who are under the age of 18 to be housed in the Wintec approved Student Village.
- Complete one of the application forms below:
- Answer ALL questions in this form & sign and date the form.
- Email the form to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wintec will email to confirm we have received the application. Email us if you do not receive this email.
- A detailed confirmation email is sent once the accommodation is booked and confirmed.
If you require an airport pickup to be arranged, please complete the form below and email to the international accommodation address below two weeks before you arrive in New Zealand. If your travel plans change, please immediately notify our accommodation team.
Our international accommodation email address is email@example.com.
All students aged under 18 must be collected by a Wintec assigned shuttle service and taken to their Wintec approved accommodation (unless other arrangements have been approved by Wintec).
Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, the user of the information agrees that the information is subject to change without notice. Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) will not accept liability for any errors or omissions contained in this brochure nor for any subsequent actions that may arise as a consequence of decisions made based upon its contents.
By accepting a place in a programme or paying fees at Wintec, a student enters a contract with Wintec for the period of the programme.
The student is required to pay the fee for one year or the length of the programme (if less than one year). No refund will be given after the course or programme has commenced.
If there are insufficient numbers or enrolments, the programme may be cancelled and a refund will be given.
1. Submit an application
If you are applying to study through an agent:
Apply to study at Wintec by completing an International Application Form.
Please complete ALL sections of this form, attach the required verified documentation and sign and date the declaration at the end. As programmes are very popular, please apply early while spaces are still available.
Your agent will arrange for your completed application to be sent to Wintec.
If you are not applying through an agent please send your completed International Application Form and verified or notarised supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about supporting documents here.
Alternatively, you can post a completed application form with supporting documents to:
Student Enrolment and Information Centre
Private Bag 3036
Waikato Mail Centre
Please note: It is compulsory for all International Students to have appropriate and current Medical and Travel Insurance while studying in New Zealand. It is a Wintec requirement for International Students to be covered from the day the student leaves their home country to the expiry date of their Visa plus one week. Proof of current Medical and Travel Insurance is required before your enrolment can be finalised.
Now that you've applied to study at Wintec, here's what happens next:
Receive your offer letter
Congratulations, you’ve been given an offer of placement. (If your offer is conditional, once the condition(s) of the Conditional Offer Letter are met, a new Unconditional Offer Letter will be issued to sign).
Pay fees to Wintec
Note: A Fee Receipt cannot be issued until Wintec has receive an Acceptance Form, Payment of all applicable fees, The INZ Officers name, email address and your student’s INZ application number.
Accommodation and airport transfers
Our international centre team can arrange accommodation placements and airport pickup. There are four options for accommodation, home-stay (living with a family), hostel or flatting. Learn more about accommodation and airport transfers.
English language requirements
All Wintec mainstream programmes have an English language requirement for students whose first language is not English.
IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all bands, or equivalent
Programmes level 4 and below:
IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in all bands, or equivalent
Programmes levels 5 to 7:
IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands, or equivalent
Programmes level 8 and above:
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all bands, or equivalent
2 year validity period for all assessments. External bodies may influence some programme specific IELTS levels. You must provide evidence of your proficiency in the English language.
Academic entry requirements
Wintec has set minimum requirements for academic entry to programmes for International Students.
The requirements are listed by country.
Visas, permits and immigration
All International students must hold a valid student visa for the duration of their studies.Full details of visa requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying and reporting requirements are on the New Zealand Immigration Services website, www.immigration.govt.nz
Visa renewal on campus
An online service for Student Visa Renewal is available for Wintec's international students, in partnership with the New Zealand Immigration Service.
Most students receive their Visa label within seven working days of applying. Students are able to retain their passport during the application period.
Visa renewal through immigration
Medical and travel insurance
All International students enrolling with Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) (including group students) MUST have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while in New Zealand. Your insurance must cover you from the beginning of your studies until at least the expiry date of your student visa. This is a New Zealand Government requirement as outlined in the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and under Immigration New Zealand policy.
You will be automatically enrolled into the Wintec insurance scheme and a policy charge will be added to your tuition fees invoice at your enrolment. Details of the Wintec insurance scheme may be found here . Students who have opted to purchase an alternative approved policy will have this charge removed when you have presented your policy to Wintec at the Student Enrolment and Information Centre.