August 15, 2018

To All The Brave International Students...

15th August 2018: Personal guide to a 10/10 International Student experience in New Zealand, all the way from arriving in NZ to getting a part-time job.

To All The Brave International Students...

I remember the day I arrived in Auckland - a mixed bag of anxiety, excitement and uncertainty.


If that’s what you’re feeling, know that you aren’t alone, and that you have what it takes to do great and do good while you’re in Auckland.

Below I will give you my best tips on how travelling abroad can be approachable and manageable through simple planning and expectation-setting.

Bonus for the UOA students at the end!

Important things to set up days after touchdown to make your life easier:

1. Getting a Phone Number

I strongly advise you get one from the airport - head over to a Vodafone or Spark store to look through and consider their plans. Joyce, the editor highly recommends Skinny which is also a great company to jump on.


2. Setting up your Bank Account

First things first, we gotta sort that ka-ching.

What you’ll need:

  • Passport
  • Money to deposit
  • Proof of Visa

Step 1: Unlike most countries, you can’t just walk in and set up an account in New Zealand. To be safe, find the bank’s branch number and call them to set an appointment. They will mention who you’re meeting, which branch and what time. Take it all down - New Zealand is particular about punctuality.

Step 2: Arrive at the branch on time and bring the above items with you.

Step 3: The staff member will sort all the details - they will give you a guide on how to manage your online account. TIP, you should probably get your debit card too! In New Zealand it is more common to carry a card rather than cash.

3. English not your 1st language?

There are many services that can help improve your English after you've arrived in New Zealand. You can get help here

4. Part Time Jobs

Next up are jobs! It’s a great way to get some experience which reflects well for future employment.


What you’ll need:

Great job hunting platforms to check out:

  1. Niesh - Jobs are listed regularly on the second tab of the app
  2. Student Job Search
  3. Sidekicker

Get cracking, and best of luck!

5. Set up your IRD Number

For all part time jobs etc, you need an IRD number. This number is used for all details regarding tax, entitlements and personal details so listen up!

Online Application
You can apply for an IRD number online here. If this doesn’t work: Don’t fret! You can do it manually.

What you’ll need:

  • Passport
  • Immigration New Zealand Application number (from your Visa approval email or Immigration New Zealand letter)

Manual Postage

What you’ll need:

  • Your passport
  • Your most recent overseas tax number (if you have one)
  • Your Immigration New Zealand Application Number (from your visa letter), or proof of Student Visa
  • NZ bank account (showing your name/account number) or customer due diligence (CDD).
  1. If the portal’s a little wonky, and you have a valid student visa, download IR742 and IR997.
  2. Bring these to the nearest PostShops or Automobile Association (AA) Driver Licensing Agents. They’ll advise you on how to fill it out and send it off! You’ll get the IRD number within a week usually.

6. Drivers License


Here’s a quick link to get you started!

UOA Student Resources

Psssst, as a UOA student myself, here are some extra resources to get you started!

Finding a Buddy:


The AUSA Buddy program pairs up new international students with a buddy more familiar with Auckland! They are a lovely community and great for finding a supportive friend!

Living as an International Student at UoA

  1. As a IS student, read this to get started on settling down!
  2. Have an issue? Bump an international student advisor an email!
  3. Want more information on living in Auckland? Check out the handbook! There’s even a pre-departure and arrival guide!
  4. Join this FB group to get connected with other students - we would love to have you start a conversation with over 600+ students!


For volunteering, join this to get access to some exclusive opportunities!

How to not get lost

Campus maps should get you going!


Where can I get valuable information on how to survive Auckland?

Friends and fam, the Niesh blog offers some great pieces of information, such as on cheap eats and how the transportation system works. Keep a close eye on this blog and learn more great tips and tricks.

If you want to see more on certain topics, leave a comment! What do you think we need to talk more on? Let us know!