What to expect when you’re studying

Study can be challenging – especially when you’re living in an unfamiliar place or are new to New Zealand.

As a student, you can expect to receive a high standard of education, and to feel safe and well cared for while you study.

The Code sets out how education providers are required to support the health, safety and wellbeing of students.

The Code has a principles-based approach that acknowledges the diversity of students, providers and their communities, and that there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to learner wellbeing and safety.

What you can expect

As an international learner, or a domestic tertiary learner, your provider should help you to be:

  • safe, physically and mentally
  • respected and accepted for who you are
  • supported in your learning and wellbeing 
  • connected with your social and cultural networks. 

In addition, international students can expect that:

  • the marketing and promotion information you receive before you enrol is clear, complete and accurate, so you can make a well-informed decision about whether an education provider is the right choice for you
  • you will receive enough information and support to help you with your enrolment, including understanding the legal obligations you have, and that you will receive all the proper documentation
  • education providers’ agents give you reliable information and act with integrity and professionalism.

More information for international students

NZQA will shortly be releasing summaries of the Code in different languages for international students.


Your education provider is your first point of contact for any complaint you have. For students travelling from other countries, this includes any complaint about the agents your provider uses.

Each provider must have a complaints process in place for you to go through, and they must tell you what that process is. Follow that process to see if your complaint can be resolved by your provider.

If your education provider has not resolved your complaint, you can contact the following organisations:

Domestic tertiary students

International students

If you are in doubt about who to contact, you can contact NZQA. NZQA is a government organisation, who can provide an independent assessment of your complaint and will either investigate your concerns or explain what you can do next.

You can contact NZQA through this form, or send an email to code.enquiries@nzqa.govt.nz

If you need more information on the complaints process, contact NZQA on 0800 697 296.

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