Information for New Zealand students

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Study at NZMA

By studying in New Zealand, at NZMA, your child is making a giant leap towards a bright, successful future.

Their journey will be exciting, rewarding – and sometimes very challenging. But rest assured, NZMA is here to support and guide them. We are 100 percent committed to making sure your loved one succeeds in their study and employment goals.

NZMA is a part of ACG’s Tertiary & Careers Group. ACG is a leading independent provider of educational services providing a range of programmes: Pre-school/Kindergarten, Primary, Middle and Senior School education, English Language courses, University Foundation Studies for the University of Auckland and AUT University, and Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees in digital media and design, hospitality, cookery, business, health, early childhood education and more.

NZMA is a signatory to the New Zealand government’s Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. This means it’s our job to make sure your child is safe and properly cared for while they’re studying with us. We have a wide range of support services available to our international students, free of charge. Read more about them below:

Support for International students

Orientation Days and Induction Week

It’s really important that students attend these programmes as they outline campus rules, regulations and course content and also give students a chance to meet their fellow classmates and tutors. It’s a great start to their NZMA studies. 

Student Support

Our staff are here to help each student with any challenges they may experience – not just in regards to their studies, but also with personal issues, or other situations that might be creating obstacles to study. Our friendly team are also able to help with budgeting advice and information about accommodation and living in New Zealand.

The Phoenix Program: Strengthen Your Life Skills

To help students focus on their learning, we offer presentations and guest speakers with expertise in a variety of areas. These presentations will boost students’ knowledge in areas like budgeting, health and wellbeing and effective communication. They will also highlight different New Zealand laws and regulations, like our tax system and employment law.

NZMA Careers

NZMA’s dedicated employment service is made up of a team of highly-experienced Employment and Careers Advisors. They’ll help your child map out the right study and career paths and will assist them with finding part-time and full-time employment in New Zealand. International students can work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) while they’re studying Level 4 & 5 Cookery, Level 5 & 6 Hospitality, and Level 5, 6 or 7 Business, so long as they have a VOC (variation of conditions) on their student visa. They can also work full time during the school holidays. Then once they’ve graduated, they can apply for a 12-month Graduate Work Permit. The team at NZMA Careers will offer them guidance and support throughout this process to make sure they get a good start to their career.

Visa Assistance

NZMA is authorized to process online visa applications, so students can organise this on campus through our Student Services Centre rather than having to go to Immigration New Zealand.

English Language Support

For international students studying with us, tutors are always on-hand to provide English language support, especially during the first year of study.

Accommodation Support

NZMA can arrange homestay accommodation, and also help students arrange other types of short-term and long-term accommodation. We can also pick students up from Auckland International Airport when they arrive, and take them to their accommodation for a charge. Please email admissions@acgedu.com to find out more.

Frequently asked questions

Seeing your child head abroad for study is a big thing – and you probably have a lot of questions! We hope to answer a few more of them here:

Is Auckland a good place to study?

Yes! Auckland is consistently voted one of the top cities in the world to live and study in. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and is also the country’s economic and education hub. It is a modern and vibrant city, well known for its mild climate, glorious scenery and very friendly people. Auckland is ranked third our of 230 world cities for quality of life (Mercer Consulting Quality of Living Survey 2015).  

Is it expensive to live in New Zealand?

New Zealand is an affordable study destination, with a high standard of living but lower costs than Sydney or London. International students should allow approximately NZ$15,000 per year or NZ$1,250 per month for living costs. 

How much does it cost to study at NZMA?

Courses vary, so check out costs on the individual course pages of our website. 

Do students have to pay extra for the uniform?

Most of the uniform is included in the course and resource fees, however students will need their own business shirt and black shoes. For a full breakdown of uniform requirements check out our International Student page.

Do students need medical insurance?

Yes. International students must have appropriate medical and travel insurance while they’re in New Zealand. Comprehensive medical and travel insurance is available through NZMA for NZ$500 per year.

How long is the academic year?

Each year consists of four 10 week terms with holidays in between each term.

What time does class start and finish?

This can vary based on the programme your child is studying. Most classes run either between 9am – 1pm or 1pm – 5pm. We may also run some evening classes. Cookery students will have different hours that may start at 7am. Where possible, all students are given the choice of when they would like to come to class, and we do our best to accommodate these requests.

How many hours should be spent studying outside of class?

Every course is different, and some weeks of the course there’ll be less extra work than others, depending on when assessments and assignments are due. In general though, around two hours of extra study a day should ensure students stay on track.

What happens if students don’t attend classes regularly?

It’s really important students have full attendance – if they miss out on work it can be very difficult to catch up and can really jeopardise their chances of success. If international students don’t come to class regularly, or withdraw from their course, we have to inform New Zealand Immigration and their visa might be revoked. For more details, check out our refund policy in the International Student Enrolment Form.

Can students buy food on campus?

Yes! Every NZMA campus has a fully-functioning student-run café, serving great food and coffee at bargain prices!

How do students get to and from campus?

All NZMA campuses are well-situated for public transport, and students may be entitled to travel discounts. Check the individual campus pages for more details.

What is there to do in Auckland?

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, so there is plenty to do! From world-class educational facilities and metropolitan shops, restaurants and nightlife to adventure sports, pristine native forests, unpolluted rivers and beaches – we have it all on our doorstep in the City of Sails.

What sort of food do people eat in New Zealand? Is food expensive?

New Zealand is a melting-pot of different cultures, which means we enjoy food from all over the world! It’s much cheaper to buy food and cook at home than to eat out. The cheapest place to shop is usually the large supermarket chains, although you can get some great deals on fresh produce from local fruit and vegetable shops. New Zealand meat (including halal) can also be bought from local butcheries at competitive prices, and there are a host of locally-run ethnic stores.

Do students have to pay for textbooks, or are they included in the course fees?

No. The tuition and resource fees cover all basic requirements for the course, including all course materials.

Do students have to pay to use the computers on campus? Is there WIFI?

No. This is all included in the tuition fees. We also provide students with free access to a cyber suite to have access to a computer and the internet outside their class hours.

Should students buy a laptop?

Though useful, laptops are definitely not compulsory or required. There are computer suites on campus, so even if students don’t have a laptop or computer where they are staying, they’ll be able to get their required work done.


How will my child get to class, especially on the first day?

If they are staying in a homestay, their homestay family will take them to school on the first day and show them where and how to catch public transport. NZMA Sylvia Park is located right next to a major public transport hub, so trains and buses from all over Auckland all come within a few short steps of our campus.

If I’m worried about my child’s studies, who can I contact?

A good person to contact first is your educational agent (if applicable) or otherwise you can email admissions@acgedu.com

What can students do if they don’t get along with their tutor or another staff member?

The best way to deal with the situation is for the student to try and resolve the problem by discussing it directly with the individual staff member. However, if they don’t feel comfortable doing this, or if they are struggling with a language barrier, one of our student support staff will be happy to help. Options for support and guidance are clearly outlined during a student’s orientation at NZMA.

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