Ready to Go to New Zealand
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a passport?
YES! Please visit the U.S. State Department travel pages (www.travel.state.gov/passport) for the most up-to-date information regarding passport application and fees.
Do I need a visa?
Yes, students are required to procure a student visa prior to the start of the program. Please click here for more information.
What about insurance?
Students participating on Arcadia University programs in New Zealand are covered by insurance policies that are selected by the New Zealand universities. The New Zealand government requires that all international students be covered by a health and travel insurance policy that meets their levels of coverage in several areas. We incorporate into our program fee the cost of the coverage which the New Zealand universities have chosen.
The insurance provided for students going to New Zealand includes some travel, baggage and personal items coverage. It does not provide cover if students travel outside of NZ during their semester break.
Will I get the courses that I requested on my initial application or course selection form?
There is no guarantee you will get the specific courses that you requested but university staff in New Zealand will do their best to ensure you get your first choice of courses. The earlier we know your preferences, the greater chance we have of getting you into these courses. In addition, please remember that many students modify their choices once they are in New Zealand.
Will my credits transfer back home?
Only your home college can answer this question, so be sure and safe -- ask now, and obtain all the approvals you'll need. For more information regarding credit transfer policies, please visit the "Credits/Grades/Transcripts" section of our website.
Should I make copies of my papers?
Yes. Many home colleges want to review the work you completed overseas before final credit is awarded. Unless you make specific arrangements with your tutors prior to departure, final exams and/or papers will not be returned to students. It is important to keep copies, therefore, of your papers, reading lists and syllabi from all of your courses.
How much money will I need initially?
About $150 for meals and basic expenses during the orientation. Take travelers checks in U.S. dollars. Take an ATM card that's linked to your U.S. primary checking account. If it is linked to Plus or Cirrus systems, your card will work in thousands of cash machines throughout the country. Make sure you know your PIN in numbers (see Banking in New Zealand for more information).
For Cirrus customers, the Cirrus Cash Machine Locator phone number is 800-424-7787. Plus customers should visit www.visa.com for Plus cash machine locator information. Both organizations provide information for cash machines located worldwide.
Should I take my computer?
Most students bring their computers with them, so they have the convenience of writing essays and reports from their flats and can skype/facebook/email at their leisure. You will need to have an adapter so that your U.S. plug will fit in the NZ socket but these are easy enough to buy once you are in New Zealand.
What should I do about making phone calls?
To phone the U.S. from New Zealand, dial: 001 + area code + number.
There are several options you may wish to consider for keeping in touch with friends and family back home. Former students have often found a combination of the below options provided them with the best opportunities overseas.
Host-country mobile—to help you integrate with locals and provide a deeper cultural inclusion, Arcadia often recommends students purchase a mobile phone after arriving in-country. During Arcadia orientation our staff will speak to the benefits of have a host-country mobile and explain how they can be purchased.
It is important to keep in mind that while these phones should help you connect with others in-country, they may not be the most cost efficient option for long conversations back to the United States.
International cell phone—many U.S. cellular phone companies provide international phoning options, so an existing cell phone can work any where in the world. This allows you to keep your same number and contact your friends and family just as if you were home.
One thing to remember when deciding whether to bring an international cell phone is any calls to your number from new friends in-country will be made back to the United States and not local.
Skype or VOiP—phoning home over the internet is an inexpensive way to keep in touch with others. Students and their family can sign-up online prior to departing and plan ahead about when to connect.
It is important to remember that internet access, reliability, and strength may be vastly different to what you are familiar with at home. Often times, students describe this difference as one of the most significant of their time abroad. Be sure to review your program’s housing information to learn if internet is provided or available.
International calling card—often the most inexpensive and manageable way to call home, International calling cards can be purchased either before departing or in-country. Calling cards allow for a specific allotment of call credit to be available for your conversations.
Telephones may not always be provided in your accommodations, so it is important to check your program’s housing information. All long distance calls from land lines are cheaper on weekends and after 6 p.m. during the week. You will find lots of cards available that offer competitive rates.
Is there any financial aid to study abroad?
Arcadia University has a scholarship fund for accepted students. See the Fees and Financial Aid section of our website or call our office for further details.
Ask the study abroad adviser on your campus about other financial aid possibilities and investigate the Stafford loan and the Plus loan scheme.
What's the weather like?
The weather in New Zealand is extremely changeable. You will sometimes experience four seasons in one day, so it's advisable always to keep an extra piece of clothing close at hand—even on a sunny day. There is rarely snow in winter—except in the alpine areas—but winter can be cold, windy, wet and dreary. New Zealand's seasons are opposite of those in the United States. Summer in New Zealand is from December to February. Autumn lasts from March to May. Winter is from June to August. Spring spans September through November.
Will I feel culture shock?
New Zealand may not be "shocking," but it will certainly be different. Returning students report feeling "out-of-it" when they arrive overseas and when they first return to the USA. Read the section on Culture Shock for more detail.
What happens when I arrive in Auckland?
There will be plenty of signs with instructions when you arrive inside your airline terminal. Follow the ones that say "Arrivals" and you will eventually get into a line for non-residents. You will wind your way around to immigration control officials, where you will show your passport (which contains your visa), landing card and certification letter. Officials may ask a few questions, but nothing daunting.
After the official stamps your passport and deems you fit for entry, you'll head for the luggage claim carousel. Check on the overhead monitors to see where your plane's baggage has been unloaded.
Finally, you'll move on to customs. At customs, you'll head for the "nothing to declare" channel unless you are carrying goods that exceed the duty free limit.
IMPORTANT: New Zealand's economy is very dependent on agricultural and horticultural produce, thus it's extremely important that harmful insects and diseases are not inadvertently brought into the country. As a precautionary measure, you may be approached by an officer with a sniffer dog and required to complete a form asking you to declare any foodstuffs and/or plant/animal products you may be carrying and any recent contact with farm animals. Generally, you can bring in commercially packaged confectionery, but it is advisable to come with as little as possible.
After passing through customs, you'll walk out into the arrival hall and Director Jane Gunn-Lewis will be there to meet you. Jane will accompany you to the hotel and give you a phone card so that you can ring home and let your family and loved ones know that you have arrived safely.
How soon after the program concludes will I receive my Arcadia University transcript?
We will send an official copy of your transcript to your home school and an unofficial copy to you. Transcripts for fall program students are usually issued by the end of February. Transcripts for academic year and spring program student are usually issued by the end of September.
Your transcript will be withheld by Arcadia University if you have an outstanding balance on your account resulting from nonpayment of the program fee (in whole or in part) or special course surcharges, any late fees or returned check fees, damage charges, library fines or other unmet financial obligations as deemed appropriate by Arcadia University.