Skip to content


Living and Studying in New Zealand

Excited about living in New Zealand? We've put some information together to help you get a head start on settling in.

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 $20,000 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: 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.

Minimum wage

In New Zealand, 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

Airport transfers

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.

Public transport

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 students and staff get a 30% discount on Hamilton City and Waikato regional BUSIT fares at all times of the day and week.

Find out more about bus transport.

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 bookstores.

To drive in New Zealand, you must have a New Zealand Driver’s Licence or hold a current and valid driver's 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.

Find out more about driving in New Zealand.

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).

Once opened, 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

Personal safety

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.

International Prospectus

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.


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 private, furnished bedroom with a bed, study space, and storage
  • Pillows, sheets, blankets, and towels
  • A heater (if required in winter)
  • Access to Wi-Fi internet
  • Access to shared spaces; kitchen, lounge, dining, laundry, backyard
  • Fully catered; meals, lunches, and snacks

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.

Student Village

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

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 access to a telephone for local calls and full access to 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.

Accommodation costs

Click the button below to find our accommodation options and information including current fees and shuttle fees.

Apply for accommodation

International students applying to live in Student Village, Wintec Apartments, or a Homestay, must follow the process below.

Please note: Students under the age of 18 must live in Wintec-approved accommodation, either in Homestay Accommodation, in the Wintec Student Village, or with an approved caregiver.

  1. Complete one of the application forms below:
  1. Answer ALL questions in this form and sign and date the form.
  2. Email the form to:
  3. Wintec will email to confirm we have received the application. Email us if you do not receive this email.
  4. A detailed confirmation email is sent once the accommodation is booked and confirmed.

Airport transfers

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

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.


Refund policy

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.

Click here for more information about refunds

Application process

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 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
Hamilton 3240
New Zealand


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:

Form in envelope

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).


Sign offer

Sign the Acceptance Page of the Offer Letter, with all applicable boxes ticked and return to our Enrolment Team:



Take your offer letter to Immigration NZ to obtain your student visa approval in principle. Find your nearest Visa Application Centre.


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.

Tick box

Place confirmed

You will receive a Paid Offer Letter and programme induction information. You can find pre-departure information in the Wintec Orientation Handbook.

Airplane taking off

Travel plans

You’ll need to notify the Wintec Accommodation Officer of your accommodation requirements and travel plans by emailing:

Arrow pointed up

Accommodation and airport transfers

Our international centre team can arrange accommodation placements and airport pickup. There are three options for accommodation, homestay (living with a family), Student Village or Wintec Appartments. Learn more about accommodation and airport transfers.

Airplane taking off

Arrive in New Zealand

Once you’ve arrived in New Zealand, visit Wintec and complete your enrolment at the Student Enrolment and Information Centre. See campus maps.

Entry requirements

English language requirements

All Wintec mainstream programmes have an English language requirement for students whose first language is not English.

TABLE for Internationally recognised English Proficiency Outcomes​

Concurrent programmes:
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

Additional requirements:
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.

Gaokao Scores for 2021 enrolment

Click here

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,
To apply for your student visa you will need supporting documents (ie Paid Offer, Attendance, and Academic Transcript) these documents can be applied for through the Student Enrolment and Information Centre at either the City or Rotokauri campuses. 
Alternatively please complete the International Document Request Form and email it through to

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.​

Meet the team

Senior management team

Girish Nair

Girish Nair

International Director

Karen Kemsley

Karen Kemsley

International Student Services Manager

staff profile placeholder

Mark Liu

Transnational Education Manager

Student Support team

Unmesha Veetil

Unmesha Veetil

International Student Services Advisor

Li Li

Li Li

International Student Services Advisor

Cassandra Wallace

Cassandra Wallace

International Student Homestay Advisor

Market managers – student recruitment


Balraj Sharma

International Market Manager – South Asia: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, and Africa


Graeme Rennie

International Market Manager – Philippines

Susan Ye

Susan Ye

International Market Manager – Greater China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia

International Centre

From the moment you arrive in New Zealand, our dedicated International Centre team is here to provide all the help and support you need. At Wintec, you will not be just another student at a tertiary institute, you will be an important part of a lively community learning with and about each other.

We can help you with your accommodation needs, getting you settled into your studies, emergency assistance and pastoral care.

We also organise events and activities throughout the year to make you feel at home and celebrate your cultural diversity.

Girish NairInternational Director
Market Managers - Student Recruitment 
Graeme RennieInternational Market Manager – Philippines
Balraj SharmaInternational Market Manager – South Asia: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, and Africa
Susan Ye
International Market Manager – Greater China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia
Student Services 
Karen KemsleyInternational Student Services Manager
Unmesha VeetilInternational Student Services Advisor
Li LiInternational Student Services Advisor
Cassandra WallaceInternational Student Homestay Advisor

Wintec is part of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology Learn More

Learn with purpose

Explore Te Pūkenga

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Copyright © 2022 Wintec