Life in New Zealand

Life in New Zealand

New Zealand is an extremely beautiful country with a multicultural population of approximately 4.8 million people. New Zealand has a rich cultural life, with a mixed population of European, Maori, Polynesian, Asian, etc. New Zealanders are considered friendly and easy going people who love to meet people from different cultures.

New Zealand is an English speaking country with a British heritage, but does not have the regional accents and dialects of Britain or the USA. So you’ll soon find Kiwi is quite easy to understand. The grammar is exactly the same and the vocabulary is 99.9% the same as the United states. Our education system is respected worldwide. If you want to be safe and meet friendly people, New Zealand is the best the English speaking country.

In New Zealand, you can enjoy both urban and rural lifestyle. The country is full of luscious mountains, large forests, beautiful plains, lakes, and beaches. People from all over the world come to New Zealand to visit the dramatic and varied landscapes, colourful oceans and beaches, and snow clad mountains. New Zealand has a temperate climate, and the country is surrounded by the Pacific and Tasman Oceans.

New Zealand is also unpolluted and nuclear free. And even the world famous national parks have no dangerous animals or insects. The low exchange rate and cost of living means you can live, study and travel for 20 – 50% less than other English speaking countries. New Zealand’s great outdoors are clean, green and unspoiled. Uniquely blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches, harbours, mountains, fields, forests and lakes in the world, New Zealand is ready to be explored. Travelling to these destinations are fast and easy, just one hour by air! Pure NZ is our recommended link for more information on visiting New Zealand (site is available in English, Chinese, German, Japanese and Korean).

New Zealand is known for exporting products like fish, meat, fruits, dairy products and timber. The country is also leading in areas like information technology, biological and medical research. New Zealand is also gaining popularity in areas such as tourism and education. All in all, New Zealand is a great place to STUDY, WORK, and LIVE.




New Zealand currency (NZ Dollar) is quite stable. The residents and tourists get a fairly good exchange rate and this further gives them high purchasing power.



New Zealand gave shelter to Europeans, Maoris, Polynesians, and Asians. People from different countries can reside here and maintain their culture and religion. New Zealand law guarantees the freedom of worship, and therefore people from different cultures can easily remain close to their culture and religion.



New Zealand’s transportation system is appreciated by everyone. When a student or tourist arrives, they can easily hire a cab and even avail air, rail and bus services. There are regular flights to different cities from the major airports. The air, rail, and bus fares are also considerably cheap.


Education Sector

Auckland is considered education hub of New Zealand, with internationally acclaimed universities, research centers, top secondary schools, and legion of world class language schools. Auckland region alone has about 50% of total international students that reside in New Zealand.


Industrial Sector

Auckland region also attracted more than $300 million overseas investment in the past few years and has many industries such as: education, manufacturing, distribution and service industries. In fact, most of the creative sector jobs can be found in Auckland. Auckland has a robust infrastructure that easily caters the current and future business needs.



Life in Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand’s biggest and most diverse city, with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. Living in Auckland, you are never more than 20 minutes away from one of the many beautiful beaches. ICL Education campus is located right in the heart of it all in the central CBD. Buses, trains and ferry are a short walk from the campus, making it easy to explore the city. You’ll never be stuck for things to do while in Auckland. The City Centre is by the amazing waterfront with thousands of boats which is why Auckland is called ‘The City of Sails’. Auckland has more boats per capital than any other city in the world! Auckland is the commercial heart of New Zealand, with a wide range of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. In the Mercer Consulting 2016 international survey, Auckland was ranked third in the world for its quality of living, for the third year running. The Auckland City website offers a good insight into all the things you can do in our wonderful city, at any budget. School staff will be happy to help you plan your travel.


Driving in Auckland

We recommend that you discuss with your tutor or a student support staff member before you drive or buy a car while you are in New Zealand. Even if you have a driver’s license from your country it is important to know the NZ Road Code rules for driving and to be aware of Auckland driving conditions and of countryside driving conditions. Many people who are experienced drivers in their own country find NZ rules and conditions quite different.

The School can help you learn and understand the NZ Road Code. It is best to do this before you attempt to drive. The School can also help to arrange driving lessons from an instructor in your own language. Even if you already have a license, we strongly recommend that you have at least two lessons with a qualified driving instructor to familiarize yourself with Auckland traffic rules and conditions. The best advice we can give is that you obtain your New Zealand license. If you are planning to buy a car, we recommend that you talk first to your first language support staff. The car you buy will need to be registered and have a Warrant Of Fitness no more than one month old; this is a legal requirement and will ensure that the car is safe to drive. We strongly recommend that you obtain insurance before driving your car. Your first language support staff can provide information on car insurance as well.



Living Cost

It is recommended you allow at least $100 per week for general living costs if you are in pre-paid homestay accommodation. Homestay fee is $250 – 260 per week. If you choose to live in a flatting situation (sharing a house with others), you will likely be paying approximately $100 – $150 per week ($400 – $600 per month) in rent, plus a portion of the monthly telephone (approx $45, excluding long distance calls) and electricity rental (approx $60 – $150). You can also expect to pay up to $200 per month for food, depending on the choice and price of the food you eat. These prices also vary greatly depending on how many people you share the house with. Currency Calculator:


Miscellaneous Costs
Bus Pass – per month $85 – 139 (depends on distance)
Movie theatre ticket $15 – 20
Fish’n’chips takeaway meal $4.50 -20.00
Gym membership at City Gym (1 month) $50 – 100
Packet of 20 cigarettes (Marlboro) $18.00 – 25.00
Can of Coke/Soda $1.50-2.00
Daily newspaper $1.20
Big Mac (Burger only) $5.95-6.90
2 litre milk $3.45-3.80
Reasonable “Student Car” $3,000 – $8,000
Video, DVD hire (new release, overnight) $4.00 – 9.00
Internet Café, per hour $2.00 – 4.00
Starbucks Coffee $4.50-6.50
6 pack of NZ beer (supermarket) $10.00-15.00
330 ml bottle beer (bar price) $4.00 – 4.50
T-shirt $5 – $50

ICL recommends two types of accommodation:

– Homestay

– Sharing an apartment



We do our best to find a suitable homestay family for each of our students. The advantages of a homestay are the cultural benefits, the support and comfort of family life and the additional language support. A homestay is an excellent way to learn about New Zealand culture, make friends and practice your English while living in New Zealand. New Zealand families are typically kind, honest and friendly, and they enjoy meeting people from other cultures.

All our homestay families are regularly inspected. The inspector visits the family homes, interviews the family members, and ensures that they are suitable for our students. Students who require accommodation should request their homestay accommodation at least two weeks prior to starting their programme. 

The average time for students to commute from homestay to school is about 1 hour -1.5 hours.

If the school arranges homestay accommodation for you, the minimum period will be four weeks or the full course if shorter. The homestay fee for this period and the placement fee are non-refundable. The School will only book your homestay after receiving your flight details. 


Homestay means that you will get the following:

  • The chance to speak English every day
  • Two meals a day: breakfast and dinner, with lunch in the weekends
  • Your washing will be done

Homestay families will do their best to give you a ‘home away from home’


You are expected to:

  • Obey the “house rules” set by your homestay parents
  • Discuss these rules with your homestay family and be sure you understand them
  • NOT smoke or drink alcohol unless permission is given
  • Call your homestay family if you are going to be late home
  • Be home by 7.30 pm on weeknights unless your homestay family have agreed to other arrangements
  • Sleep at home on weeknights
  • NOT have visitors to sleep over during the week
  • Check with and get the agreement of your homestay parents if you want to ask your friends to sleepover on a weekend
  • NEVER have friends of the opposite sex sleeping in your room
  • Be home by 10.00 pm at weekends if you do not have another prior agreement with your homestay
  • NOT sleep over at a friend’s place, until you have informed your homestay family of your whereabouts and provided a phone number.


When leaving:

You should give two weeks’ notice, before leaving your host family.

If you need to leave your homestay family because of an emergency, you must contact the Accommodations and Welfare Manager immediately.


Sharing an apartment or Flatting

After a few weeks or months of homestay, you may decide that you can manage on your own or you may decide to share a flat or house with others. You should try and share with people who do NOT speak your language so that you can practise English! Check the cost of rent, food and transport and make sure you can afford to change your living arrangements. The advantage of an apartment is that it can be much closer to school and gives you independence.

If you are a student looking for a rental, it is worth discussing upfront with your prospective landlord where you stand on the topic of a shorter term lease or ending a fixed-term lease early.

Fixed-term tenancy agreements are usually for 6 or 12 months. However, many students only want to rent for the academic year (usually February to November) which can cause issues when they want to end the tenancy early to avoid paying rent over summer when they are not there.

It is important to remember that student tenancies are covered by all the same rules as other tenancies and that all tenants are legally obliged to fulfill the full length of their fixed-term agreement. You can reference the Ending a fixed-term early page on Tenancy Services for more information.

All new tenancies must have a written tenancy agreement – signed by both landlord and tenants – setting our important details including’

  • Full names and contact address
  • Address of the rental property
  • Date tenancy begins – and ends, if it’s for a fixed term
  • Bond to be paid, if any
  • Rent amount and frequency of payments
  • Any chattels provided by the landlord, eg. Furniture or appliances
  • Information about insulation in the ceilings, floors and/or walls.

Any conditions added by the landlord must not be in conflict with the Residential Tenancies Act.


Short-term accommodation:
Please contact the accommodation provider directly for information on booking, availability and tenancy costs.
(These accommodation options have not been inspected by ICL Education Group to endorse them.)
YWCA: 103 Vincent Street, CBD TEL: 64-09-377-8763
YMCA: Corner Pitt Street & Vincent Street, CBD 09-303-2069
YHA: Auckland City: 18 Liverpool Street, CBD TEL: 09-309-2802
City Lodge: 150 Vincent Street, CBD
The website for finding a flatmate: Trade Me, Flatmate wanted:
Useful website: Citizens Advice Bureau – Language connect 



Student Welfare / Visa

We have Student Services Officers who can give support in students’ first language. Our staff can speak more than a dozen languages; Mandarin, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Hindi, Vietnamese, Russian, French to name a few. The Student support staff are available if you need to talk to someone about any problems, in both personal and academic issues. We can also refer students to outside professional counselling assistance when required.

ICL Graduate Business School is a signatory to the Ministry of Education “The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016”. Copies of the Code are available on request from this institution or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website.

ICL Graduate Business School has agreed to observe and be bound by the Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice 2019.


Student Handbook:

Student handbook – Business Student Support Pastoral Care Handbook



Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service, and can be viewed on their website.


Eligibility for health services

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 be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website.


Accident insurance

The Accident Compensation Corporation 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. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website.

Medical and travel insurance: International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. ICL can organize insurance for students, more details please view this website.


The summary of Code of Practice

ICL Graduate Business School has agreed to observe and be bound by the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice published by NZQA. The summary of the Code is written here and is also available on request from the NZQA website.



When students from other countries come to study in New Zealand, it is important that those students are well informed, safe, and properly cared for. New Zealand educational providers have an important responsibility for international students’ welfare. This summary provides an overview of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice, and provides a procedure that students can follow if they have concerns about their treatment by a New Zealand educational provider or agent of a provider.


What do I so if something goes wrong?

If you have concerns about your educational provider or by an agent of the provider, the first thing you must do is contact the principal, the administrator, 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 processes before you can take the complaint any further. The Code also establishes NZQA to receive and adjudicate on student complaints.
NZQA Website


Student Visa

Our school provides a student online visa application service. Before a student visa can be applied for, students must pay all tuition fees and meet the online visa application requirements. Please talk to us about your online visa application. If you are planning to study for more than three months, you will need a Student Visa. For more information, please check the Immigration New Zealand website.


Visitor’s visa

Visitor Visa is provided for visits up to three months (People exempt from having to obtain a temporary Visa). Citizens of the countries which don’t need to apply for a visitor visa when their citizens come into New Zealand include; Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Korea (South), Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, USA, Uruguay, Vatican City, Zimbabwe. If you are planning to study for less than three months, you need only apply for a Visitor’s Visa. For more information, please check the Immigration New Zealand website.

U18 Students

Under 18 Students

We have special procedures for our younger students here at ICL. We take extra care to make sure that they are happy, safe and enjoying their time both inside and outside of the classroom. Here are some requirements under 18 students and their parents must know about:

  • Pre-Arrival Orientation. ICL will send welcome message by e-mail
  • Parents/Legal guardians and next of kin’s up-to-date contact details recorded by school (overseas)
  • Hand-over plan. Written confirmation from a parent or legal guardian is required (plan for handing over the care. e.g. whether the student is going to another school, the student is going back to his/her country, whether he/she is going to travel etc.
Emergency Phone Number: 021 780 793


Under 18 Accommodation

Under 18 students have 3 options:

  1. Parents/Legal guardians
  2. ICL approved homestay
  3. Designated caregivers

NOTE: Designated caregivers are family or close family friends chosen by the legal guardians of the under 18 year old student. Not chosen by their agents.

They must be approved before they arrive in NZ. If the caregivers do not meet the ICL standards, the school will place all U18 students with ICL registered homestays.

The Procedure includes:

  1. Under 18 Pack– This needs to be Under 18 pack which includes:
    – Indemnity
    – Health& Medical disclosure
    – Code of Conduct
    – Hand-over plan
    – Model release
  2. Inspection– The Pastoral Care Coordinator will visit the home of the designated caregiver to determine that the living conditions are acceptable
  3. Police Vetting– ICL will carry our Police Vetting of all adults over the age of 18 years living in the household (2 IDs are required)
  • If the designated caregiver is approved, the Pastoral Care Coordinator will maintain regular communication with the designated caregiver
  • When the student is in the custody of the designated caregiver, ICL is not responsible for the student’s care (COP2016,26.1.e)


Arrival Orientation

When the parents/legal guardians are already living in NZ or accompanying an under 18 student, they are encouraged to attend the orientation with the student and campus tour.


Regular Meetings with the Pastoral Care Coordinator

All under 18 students will meet with the Pastoral Care Coordinator on a regular basis. At these meetings, students can share any and all issues they have regarding accommodation or their general happiness both in and outside the classroom.


Regular Communication with the Parents/Legal Guardians

The Pastoral Care Coordinator will contact the parents/legal guardians on a regular basis. The feedback form is sent out by e-mail.


Parents of U18 students can contact our Pastoral Care Coordinator, Fiona by email, or by calling 021-780-793
Safety in Auckland

ICL Education Group has safeguards to protect International students’ welfare. We have policies and procedures for students at risk and with special needs. We work with external organizations and community networks;

  • Lifeline Auckland (Suicide Prevention)
  • Problem Gambling Foundation of NZ
  • Mental Health Foundation NZ
  • Epilepsy NZ
  • ADHD Association Inc
  • Raeburn House
  • Asian Family Services
  • Chinese Lifeline
  • Latin American Association

We have partnership with Comprehensive Care and promote “Quit Smoking Programme” funded by NZ.

For those seeking help to quit smoking, please contact Fiona at




Safety in Auckland Guide by the Auckland Council

Safety in New Zealand Hand out