Preparing for your trip to New Zealand

Make sure you prepare for your trip to New Zealand and your first few days in Auckland.

Learn about New Zealand

Before you arrive in New Zealand you’ll want to learn about what it’s like to live and study here. Auckland is the country’s economic hub and biggest city – vibrant and busy, but with clean air and beaches, easy travel and friendly people.

Check the websites below for information about transport, costs, and things to do and see in Auckland and New Zealand.

New Zealand Tourism website
Study in Auckland (Auckland NZ website)
Auckland Transport website
Ensure you have the correct visa (New Zealand Immigration website)

Find accommodation

When you're away from home, living on campus at AUT is a great way to settle in and make new friends in a comfortable and secure environment. We have student accommodation at our City and North Campus. There are also many private accommodation options in Auckland.

If you’re under 18 years of age when you start studying at AUT, you aren’t able to live in AUT accommodation. You must live with your parents or designated caregiver, or in a homestay.

Find accommodation

Book your transport from Auckland airport to your accommodation

You should fly into Auckland International Airport. Make sure you arrange your travel from Auckland Airport to your accommodation before boarding your flight to Auckland.

Check the Auckland Airport website for information about transport options.

Transport information (Auckland Airport website)

What you’ll need at the airport

As well as your luggage and passport, bring:

  • Offer of Place
  • Visa
  • Driver’s licence (you can use your licence for a year – after that you must get a New Zealand licence)
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Emergency cash (around NZD$300 will get you through the first few days)
  • Insurance certificates

Items to bring to New Zealand

You should be able to buy anything you need here in New Zealand. There are some things you might want to consider bringing with you.

Electrical items

If you bring electrical items, make sure you bring the correct adaptor (or you can buy one here).

Electricity is supplied in New Zealand at 230 volts, 50 hertz.


University students dress casually, but you may need formal clothing for special occasions. You will need clothes for winter and for summer, and you should bring a waterproof jacket.

Prescription medication

Most medication is available in New Zealand, but check with your doctor first. If you are bringing prescription medicines you should:

  • Have a note from your doctor (in English) that says:
    • The name of the medicine and what it is for
    • How much you need to take
    • Who your doctor is and their contact details
  • Keep the medicines in their original packaging
  • Have enough to last you for three months

Items you shouldn't bring

Start your study in New Zealand the right way by not carrying banned biosecurity items in your luggage. New Zealand has very strict laws to protect our environment and industries from pests and diseases.

Don’t pack:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Food (cooked, uncooked, fresh, preserved, packaged or dried)
  • Plant products

There are also prohibited Customs items you can't bring into New Zealand. If you are unsure if you can bring an item, declare it when you land in New Zealand. You can be fined if you don't declare something.

To find out more visit the Biosecurity and Customs New Zealand websites.

Biosecurity New Zealand website
Customs New Zealand website

Cost of living

You should budget for minimum annual living costs while you’re here. It’s a good idea to research living costs properly before you come to New Zealand.

Cost of Living on New Zealand Education website

Money and bank accounts

It’s a good idea to open a bank account here. You’ll learn more about banking during Orientation. To open a bank account you’ll need:

  • A letter from your home bank
  • Proof of your home account, like a copy of a statement
  • Your passport
  • Proof of enrolment at AUT

You can change foreign currency and travellers’ cheques easily at the airport, or at banks in and around Auckland. One NZ dollar = 100 cents.

You can check exchange rates online.

WU currency converter website

Medical help

If you need urgent medical help in the first few days after you arrive, ask at your accommodation where the nearest accident and medical centre is. They are usually open seven days a week.

Once you are at AUT you can use the student health centres on campus.


In a medical emergency, call 111.

Check before you travel

Have you got a valid student visa? Is your insurance plan in place? Find more details:

AUT abides by the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021

The Code sets out minimum standards of advice and care that you can expect and provides a procedure that you can follow if you have concerns about the treatment you receive from us or an AUT registered agent.

Responsibility for pastoral care of international students under the Code is for the duration of enrolment.

More about the code


iStudents Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. It helps international students resolve disputes between students and their education provider.

It is important that you have raised any complaint with AUT using the Student Feedback Form before engaging iStudent.

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