Outcome 5: Orientation

This outcome covers how your organisation introduces new international students to New Zealand, your organisation and their studies.

The intent

The intent of this outcome is to ensure that students, and where relevant their parents or legal guardians, have appropriate orientation to help them adjust to life and study in New Zealand.

Resources and examples

Any and all material supplied in this toolbox is or will be supplied as an EXAMPLE ONLY and will not necessarily be appropriate for a signatory's particular circumstances.

All documents used should be approved by a signatory's governing board and independent legal advice should also be sought.

Not a one-off activity

Orientation should not be a one-off activity. It can be a period of time over which international students get relevant information and support.

It could involve:

  • workbooks that students can take away
  • activities such as quizzes to re-enforce information
  • a mixture of activities such as applying what they learn, interacting with others and useful services, as well as team building.

It should be age appropriate and consider the living conditions that students have come from.

Important aspects of living in New Zealand

Below are some areas you might cover in orientation for international students.

Living conditions and lifestyle

  • weather and the seasons
  • time zones
  • daylight saving
  • culture and lifestyle
  • New Zealand slang

Locating and getting goods and services

  • where to shop
  • business hours
  • how to shop and purchasing an item
  • using the Yellow Pages

Getting around

  • public transport (e.g. trains, buses, ferries)
  • taxis
  • bicycles
  • driving, including cars and motorcycles

Getting accommodation

  • choosing where to live
  • where to look for accommodation

Types of accommodation

  • homestay
  • on-campus
  • rentals
  • owning a home

Renting accommodation

  • the bond
  • signing a tenancy agreement
  • inspecting the property
  • dealing with property managers
  • setting up and paying utilities
  • rules and restrictions for the property
  • choosing a roommate
  • housekeeping (e.g. stoves/ovens, refrigerators, disposing of rubbish, cleaning, maintenance)
  • getting faults fixed
  • smoke alarms
  • pest control

New Zealand law and staying safe

  • the New Zealand justice system and laws
  • legal services and advice (e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau)
  • child protection laws
  • home security
  • contents insurance
  • internet and cyber safety
  • personal safety, including on public transport and while driving
  • road rules and owning a car, including registration, warrant of fitness, drinking while driving, random breath testing, demerit point scheme and license requirements
  • drug use, including alcohol limits, drink spiking, standard drink size
  • smoking, including where this is not allowed
  • hitchhiking
  • dangerous areas and activities
  • sexual assault
  • reporting a crime against you or someone else


  • Dial 111
  • emergency room at the hospital
  • Police services
  • fire and ambulance services
  • Lifeline
  • Poisons Information Line
  • emergency translations

Getting health care in New Zealand

  • types of health care in New Zealand (e.g. public, private, general practitioners, specialists, pharmacies, prescriptions, dental, optical, alternative or homeopathic)
  • going to hospital, including waiting times for treatment
  • going to a clinic or general practitioner
  • health services (e.g. x-ray, pathology, mental, physiotherapy, sexual)
  • over-the-counter medicine and prescriptions
  • getting an interpreter

Keeping connected

  • telephones, including mobiles and public telephones
  • computer and internet access, including wifi
  • making calls inside New Zealand
  • making overseas calls
  • using the New Zealand post system
  • support and community groups

Managing my finances

  • initial expenses
  • ongoing expenses
  • budgeting advice
  • setting up a bank account
  • accessing your money, including EFTPOS, telephone banking, internet banking and going to a branch
  • using an ATM, including ATM locations near your home and study
  • paying bills
  • account statements
  • banking hours, services and fees
  • safety when carrying money

Working in New Zealand

  • working while studying, including entitlements
  • finding work (e.g. newspapers, university job boards, online)
  • earning an income, including when to pay taxes

Email any suggestions for and contributions to this page to code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz.


Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us newzealand.govt.nz