Approx. Time Difference
19 hrs, April - September
21 hrs, October - March
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, cultural awareness, finances and more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
“New Zealand is an amazing country with so much to offer. The outdoor activities are endless and the education is very unique. As a biology major, I find the structure of the courses allows for more hands-on experience as well as interesting field trips. Most classes are run by several specialists sharing with you their exceptional array of knowledge on the subject matter. The scenery is out of this world as well, leaving you speechless at times. You will fall in love with the genuine niceness of the people here, and leave with so many phenomenal memories. You’ll definitely want to come back for more!”
~ Sabrina Littee, UC Santa Barbara
While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Local UCEAP Support
Campus EAP Office
The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
UCEAP Systemwide Office
The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).
Student Finance Accountant
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762;
Fax: (805) 893-2583
Bookmark your UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets and Payment Vouchers, and policies.
Study Center Abroad
Professor Ivan Reilly, from the University of Auckland, administers UCEAP programs on site in New Zealand. Professor Reilly serves as the UCEAP Liaison Officer and advises students on academic matters, assists with housing problems, and provides information on cultural events. On-site staff routinely monitor local and international conditions and provide support, counseling, and safety advisories.
Key UCEAP Study Center Contacts
Office Phone: (calling from the U.S.) – 011 64 9 373 7599 ext. 88786
Office Fax: (from the U.S.) – 011 64 9 373 7457
Emma Luxton-Reilly, UCEAP Programme Coordinator
Phone (calling from the U.S.): 011 64 9 373 7599 ext. 88786
Professor Ivan Reilly, UCEAP Liaison Officer
Urgent/after hours; Ivan’s cell (calling from U.S.): 011 64 21 300 712
Urgent/after hours; Ivan’s cell (calling within New Zealand): 021 300 712
Study Center Location on Campus
NZ UCEAP Study Centre
Fisher International Building, Building 804, 7th Floor
18 Waterloo Quadrant
The University of Auckland
Auckland 1142 NEW ZEALAND
Address for Regular Mail
Professor Ivan Reilly
University of Auckland
Department of Math
Private Bag 90219
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland 1142 NEW ZEALAND
For DHL and FedEx Deliveries
Prof. Ivan Reilly, NZ UCEAP Study Centre
Department of Mathematics
Level 4, Room 405, Building 303
38 Princes Street
University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand University Contacts
After you have received an offer letter from your host university, feel free to communicate directly with these representatives:
The University of Auckland:
Sarah Sung and/or Sherry Fan
Study Abroad and Exchange Officers
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 NEW ZEALAND
Old Choral Hall
Building No. 104, Room G40
7 Symonds St.
University of Otago, Dunedin:
Celia Corteletti, International Office
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054 NEW ZEALAND
Phone: (011-64-3) 479-5293
University of Canterbury, Christchurch:
International Relationships Office
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140 NEW ZEALAND
Phone: (011-64-3) 364-2987 ext. 4864
The University of Waikato, Hamilton:
Kendra Corey, International Office
The University of Waikato
Private Bag 3105
Hamilton 3240 NEW ZEALAND
Massey University, Palmerston North:
Sienna Campbell, Student Mobility Coordinator
Private Bag 11222
Palmerston North 4442 NEW ZEALAND
Phone: (011-64-6) 356-9099 ext. 86019
Victoria University of Wellington:
Zoë Kazurinsky, Victoria International
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140 NEW ZEALAND
Phone: (011-64-4) 463-6794
Phone Number Codes
U.S. international code:..........011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
New Zealand country code:......64
Add city code (for example, Auckland city code is 9)
Approximate Time Difference
19 hours, April through September
21 hours, October through March
In this program you enroll in host university courses in your major or related fields, or in special-interest courses relating to New Zealand. You will meet with an academic advisor at the host university who will help you finalize your course of study based on your preparation and the actual course offerings for the year.
University education in New Zealand is highly specialized and courses tend to be designed for advanced students. Because the normal undergraduate degree program is a three-year program, third-year courses in New Zealand correspond to UC fourth-year advanced courses and generally require more previous knowledge than those at UC. Consult with your UCEAP Liaison Officer or host university academic advisor about the background required for particular courses, especially before enrolling in third-year courses.
Courses are typically categorized to correspond to your level of study. New Zealanders refer to course levels as stages or parts (e.g., a part one or stage one course is designed for first-year New Zealand students). Instruction is divided into lectures, seminars, tutorials, and labs or practicals. The tutorials are small discussion groups during which students take short exams, write and analyze papers, and discuss lectures and readings.
Advanced classes frequently follow the seminar format. You are expected to have strong writing skills and be more academically independent than what is usually expected at UC.
Glossary of Academic Terms
Although we share the English language with them, New Zealanders do not always use the same words in the same way. Below is a brief glossary of some particularly confusing terms that are useful in the world of New Zealand academia.
||Degree program or program of study|
||Student handbook or university catalog|
||College or school within the university|
While on UCEAP, you are required to take a full-time course of study and enroll in a minimum of 21 to 24 UC quarter units each term. The number of courses you take depends on your host university and the courses you’ve selected.
The usual course load is approximately four classes per semester, but this varies by university and the specific courses selected. First-year New Zealand courses will usually appear on the UC record as lower division, while second- and third-year courses will usually translate to upper-division courses at UC. Consult a department advisor regarding the background required for particular courses, especially those offered at the third-year level. You will be given considerable flexibility in planning your academic program, but you should plan carefully and be aware of course prerequisites. Follow the advice of the International Office staff on course difficulty and course load.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Students enrolled in the spring program may extend to the year option. Submit the Departmental/College Preliminary Approval to Extend (DPA) prior to departure and activate it once abroad by contacting Professor Ivan Reilly or Emma Luxton-Reilly in the UCEAP Liaison Office located in Auckland. They will help you complete the final step, which is the completion of the Request for Final Approval (RFA).
There is no option to automatically extend participation from the fall semester to the following spring term. If you are a fall participant and you wish to stay for the spring, request to submit a separate application for the spring term. Let your UC study abroad advisor know if you are interested in this process.
Get acquainted with New Zealand and your new host city and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites, such as Lonely Planet
, are excellent resources. You can keep up with current events in New Zealand by reading articles in magazines and newspapers, such as the New Zealand Herald
Before going to New Zealand, it is important to know at least some basic information about the country and its people. Below is a list of 20 questions that will test your knowledge of New Zealand:
- Who is the prime minister?
- On what system of government is the country run?
- What currency unit is used?
- What are the three main islands that comprise New Zealand?
- What are the two main bodies of water that surround the country?
- Is January or July considered the middle of winter?
- What type of climate does the country have?
- What is the country’s largest export?
- What is the capital city?
- What is the largest city?
- What is the population?
- What is the general history?
- What is the name of the country’s indigenous culture?
- What kind of greeting is the hongi?
- What is a Pakeha?
- What is a Kiwi (in addition to the fruit)?
- What are the country’s official languages?
- What are the country’s main religions?
- What are some of the popular sports?
- What is New Zealand named after?
If you cannot answer these questions, spend some time researching New Zealand. As a UCEAP participant, you are a “foreign guest” representing the UC system. It is not necessary to know everything, but you will find it tremendously helpful to have a solid working knowledge about New Zealand’s government and history.
You will also need to understand the local culture and history. The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King is useful. These other sources should help you prepare prior to departure:
These other resources will help you prepare for your departure:
- Fodor’s New Zealand
- Insight Guide to New Zealand
- Lonely Planet’s A Travel Survival Kit and the walking guide Tramping in New Zealand
- Traveler’s New Zealand
- Frommer’s, Insiders’, and Michelin Guides
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
The program begins with a mandatory UCEAP orientation program in Auckland. Orientation sessions cover issues of practical concern and provide information on life in New Zealand, the academic program, and the role of UCEAP in your participation. Check the calendar above the UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist
(PDC) for the mandatory UCEAP arrival and orientation dates. See also the Arrival Information on the Pre-Departure Checklist
All students are required to participate in the ALL-UCEAP orientation in Auckland. Accommodation will be reserved and provided for the five nights of the EAP orientation (this cost is included in your EAP fees). If you plan to arrive in New Zealand before the official UCEAP arrival/start date, you will need to make your own arrangments and plan to pay for your room and meals prior to the orientation.
In order to be kept informed of any program changes, keep your address, phone number, and your primary e-mail updated in MyEAP. Check e-mail announcements from UCEAP regularly.
The start date of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances, and you are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for travel arrangements.
Host University Orientation
In addition to the all-EAP orientation, each host university will hold its own orientation. Both UCEAP and host university orientations are absolutely mandatory and each offers different information. Check the calendar above the UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist
for the date of your host university's orientation for international students or study abroad/exchange students. Check also your host university website as well as your offer letter for any updates or details concerning their international students’ orientation and semester start date.
The all-EAP orientation date is set to accommodate the varying orientation and semester start dates of several universities. This can result in a gap between the end of your UCEAP orientation and the beginning of your host university orientation. Budget for the possibility of a time lapse between UCEAP orientation and your host university orientation. You will be responsible for personal expenses during this break, including lodging, food, and transportation.
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Traveling to New Zealand
You must make your own travel arrangements to Auckland, New Zealand. You will be crossing the International Date Line. When departing from the West Coast, you will need to allow about three calendar days for the flight from California to Auckland. Check the calendar tab on your participants page
for the mandatory arrival date. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket.
You are advised to avoid Fiji on the way to New Zealand. In recent years, Fiji has experienced political problems including coups and their aftermaths, and severe weather conditions, including tropical cyclones. Flying to New Zealand via Fiji can cause unfortunate delays in your arrival for the program. If you wish to visit Fiji, consider doing so on your return flight.
Because flights are sometimes changed or canceled, you should confirm your flight schedule about two weeks before departure.
Do not ask others to carry any items abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines may not allow you to take them or customs abroad may charge you a high duty. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.
Following the UCEAP orientation in Auckland, you will travel to your host university and attend their orientation for international students/study abroad and exchange students (except for students attending the University of Auckland, who will either stay in Auckland or leave for personal travel prior to the start of the UoA orientation). Most students travel by bus (coach) from Auckland to their host university destination; this can easily be arranged after arrival in Auckland. Each NZ host university begins on a different schedule. You may find that you have a very short gap between the end of the EAP orientation and your mandatory host university orientation, or you may have more time to bridge between the orientations. Past students have used the extra time to do some traveling around New Zealand with students they have met at the EAP orientaion, or go apartment hunting if they plan to live off campus during the semester.
Financial Aid Students
Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Student Visa Requirement
In order to study in New Zealand, you must obtain a student visa from the New Zealand consulate. For directions, see the New Zealand Immigration
website. Helpful guidelines are also posted on your UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist.
Single-semester students: Be aware that if you choose a student visa that is longer than six months, the cost of your (mandatory) New Zealand national insurance will increase accordingly. Since the fees for New Zealand national insurance are added to your UCEAP fees (except for University of Canterbury students), you will notice the associated higher cost of insurance on your UCEAP account.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen, contact the New Zealand consulate to learn about special entry requirements related to your citizenship. The application process for non-U.S. citizens often takes much longer than for it does for U.S. citizens. To avoid delays that could affect your ability to participate in UCEAP, start the visa application process right after you receive the Letter of Offer from your university.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Students who are granted DACA are strongly encouraged to consult an immigration attorney to evaluate the risks of potentially being unable to re-enter the United States and any impact that participation in UCEAP might have on any deferred action application. If you are undocumented and have not been granted DACA, we strongly encourage you not to leave the country.
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
- Your favorite personal hygiene products to last the first two weeks abroad (shampoo, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc)
- Any medical supplies or prescriptions you require (please review the "Medications" section of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad)
- Wet weather gear: a good raincoat, an umbrella, and waterproof shoes (or mutilple pairs of shoes so you can wear an alternate pair as wet shoes dry)
- Warm coat or jacket for cold, wet, and windy weather
- Gloves or mittens
- Casual clothing that can be layered
- Warm clothes for a cold winter (especially if you are studying in the South Island); homes in New Zealand do not have central heating!
- One formal outfit for formal events
- Lightweight clothing, shorts, and T-shirts if you will be in New Zealand during the warm season
- Extra pair of tennis or running shoes
- Hot water bottle or other hot pack (wheat, flaxseed) for colder weather (again, as above, central heating in New Zealand homes is not standard)
- Athletic gear and workout clothing
- Sleeping bag
- Lightweight gifts for hosts and new friends (for example, CDs, T-shirts with state or UC logo, or California scenic calendars).
Climate and Dress
New Zealand’s climate ranges from subtropical in the north to cool in the south. The seasons are reversed—summer begins in December and winter begins in June. Summers are long and warm. Rain falls throughout the year, with more rain in the winter. New Zealand winters are generally mild. Since the NZ academic year runs from mid-February through late November, you will miss most of the warmer weather unless you plan to stay on in NZ for personal travel after term II is over.
The weather in New Zealand from January through March is warm to mild, with frequent periods of short-duration rain. From June through September, the weather is cool and rainy; temperatures will usually average in the mid-50s on the North Island and the low 50s on the South Island. On the South Island, you will need to add layers for warmth, both indoors and outdoors since homes in New Zealand do not have central heating. Because rain is unpredictable and can come at any time, an umbrella and a raincoat are essential, as is at least one warm coat or jacket and a pair of gloves or mittens for cold evenings. In September and October the temperatures begin to warm up a little, and from November onwards the weather is mostly pleasant.
Winter apparel is usually layered; men wear sweaters (called jumpers by locals) under suit coats and women wear cardigans, jumpers, or suits. Also plan to take lightweight clothing if you will be in New Zealand during their summer; shorts and T-shirts are common in the NZ summer.
Neat, casual dress is generally adequate for all but the most elegant restaurants or entertainment venues. Some universities hold balls during the year at which formal wear is required. Clothing costs in New Zealand are generally no less than in California, with the exception of T-shirts, running shoes, and athletic wear, which are especially expensive; it's best to pack your favorites from home.
Unless otherwise noted, bedding is not required, but a sleeping bag is recommended for traveling or for use as an extra comforter, especially in the colder areas of New Zealand.
Insurance for Personal Posessions
Consider having additional protections for your property, as in spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
UCEAP's travel insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage. UCEAP strongly recommends you to examine the details of the UCEAP travel insurance benefits and to purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss.
You may decide to purchase additional coverage, especially for high-value electronics (e.g., computer, tablets, camera, etc.). If you decide to do so, purchase supplemental coverage before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. You can safeguard your belongings from damage or theft by locking your room and securing money, travelers checks, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase a ticket that allows changes to the return date.
The estimated airfare amount in the UCEAP Program Budget is based on the cost of a changeable round-trip student ticket.
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
- Contact information for finance questions
- How to estimate the cost of your program
- Budget instructions and information
- Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
- UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
- Banking before and after arrival
- Fees and penalties
- Loan information
- How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
- Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget
. Program fees are subject to change.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
- Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
- Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
- Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions
Before leaving the U.S., exchange U.S. $50 to $100 for New Zealand dollars at a bank (the process may take a week or longer). Besides providing an opportunity to become familiar with the foreign currency, the funds will be useful on arrival for snacks, transportation, and unexpected purchases. It may be possible to exchange money at the airport after arrival, but exchange rates are often unfavorable and the office may not always be open.
Take enough money to cover expenses for the first two months; it usually takes that long to become financially established. Travelers checks remain the safest form of currency for traveling and they can be exchanged almost everywhere. International postal money transfers usually take seven to ten days to arrive; cable transfers take three to four days.
Financial Aid Students
Receiving financial aid on time can be a problem abroad due to delays in processing and mailing checks. Be knowledgeable about your program fees and understand how your financial aid will be applied toward these fees. Disbursements can be issued only after the financial aid package is approved and fees have been met.To minimize delays, sign up for the eRefund option in MyEAP. Information about this option is detailed in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
. If you are in the year program, you are responsible for applying for your financial aid for the coming academic year. Contact your UC campus financial aid officer for acceptance information. It is wise to establish plans to receive backup funding and temporary loans to cover emergencies that may occur while you wait for financial aid disbursements.
It is possible to open savings and checking accounts after arrival. There are banks on or near most university campuses. Because interest rates vary, it usually pays to shop around for the most suitable bank. Once an account has been established, it is easy to cash international money orders, U.S. traveler’s checks, and checks from the U.S. for a small fee.
Checking accounts in New Zealand are more costly than in the U.S. There is no such thing as free checking (although it may be possible to arrange special student accounts with low fees); however, checks are easier to use and cash. By law, checks must be deposited into the account of the person or company named and cannot be cashed by an individual. This is particularly useful when checks are issued to large organizations or businesses.
Banks issue statements only if there has been activity in the account. Banks in New Zealand usually do not return checks to customers, but this can be arranged by request. Banks usually are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and are closed on Saturdays and special bank holidays. You will need to close all accounts before you leave New Zealand.
Past participants report that the best way to obtain money is through an ATM. In New Zealand it is just as easy to use an ATM as it is at home. ATM cards provide a convenient way to get cash. It is also easy to tell where the card is accepted by matching the logos on the ATM card with those displayed on the ATM.
To use an ATM card, you must have an account at a bank or credit union in the U.S. (open one prior to departure if you do not have one already). The card is usually connected to a checking or share draft account. Check with the bank to make sure you can use an ATM to access funds in New Zealand. Banks issue a personal identification number (PIN) with ATM cards. This should be all that you need. Once abroad, you can use the ATM card to withdraw money from a U.S. account. There is no waiting period; money deposited in the U.S. is immediately available for withdrawal abroad. There may be limitations on the amount of cash accessible per transaction and there may be fees. Check with your bank to see what options are available and note your bank’s fax or e-mail in case any problems arise.
Financial Obligations Abroad
You are responsible for paying your debts abroad. The program is impacted when students fail to settle debts. If you leave unpaid charges abroad, you are subject to disciplinary financial and academic penalties imposed by the University of California.
Computer labs are available at all universities. After arrival, you can ask your advisor, either in the International Students Office or in your major department, about e-mail accessibility. Overall, the host universities have good computer facilities available to students.
If you own a laptop, take it to New Zealand. Professors usually require typed papers and computer facilities are crowded toward the end of the term.
New Zealand is located within one time zone. When California is on daylight saving time and New Zealand is on standard time (for example, in September), New Zealand is 19 hours ahead of California. When California is on standard time and New Zealand is on daylight saving time (October through March), New Zealand is 21 hours ahead of California.
Remember that what you ship abroad must later be shipped back home.
Shipping often results in more expense and trouble than anticipated. Take a good look at what you plan to ship and decide if the items are really necessary and worth the effort and expense. Do not ship computers, laptops, or cameras, especially if the items are new (they may be subject to expensive duty charges). It may be less expensive to pay the airline an excess baggage fee than to ship goods abroad (and pay customs duty upon arrival).
Mail service within New Zealand is comparable to other world postal operations. Airmail service to the U.S. is reliable, with letters arriving in about 5 to 15 days. Post offices in New Zealand are generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 8 p.m. on Fridays.
If you are unable to stay within the airline luggage restrictions and feel it is absolutely necessary to send goods abroad, you can ship items through the U.S. Postal Service, surface mail, international freight forwarders, or cargo services of international air carriers. Be aware that there are customs restrictions depending on the service used.
All packages must be sent directly to your residence or some other prearranged location. You may only have packages sent to the Study Center if you are placed at the University of Auckland, where the Study Center is located. Packages will not be forwarded to other cities.
You must be present when shipped luggage arrives abroad. Study Center offices will not collect luggage shipped in advance, and staff will not pick up luggage that must be claimed at a customs office or dock. Luggage must not be sent to in-transit locations.
You are responsible for selecting, securing, and paying for your housing (even if you are on financial aid). Each university has a housing office where you can obtain information about on- and off-campus housing. The most practical accommodations are at the university colleges and halls of residence. Most UC students live in university halls of residence or other university-managed facilities, at least for the first term. UCEAP students have also rented private flats (apartments) and shared rental houses. These vary in quality and cost and are at a premium near the universities, but most students have reported good experiences with private rentals.
University-specific housing information is usually included with the orientation packet and acceptance letter from your host university. (If housing information is not included, contact the host university directly and request the information.) Carefully note the duration of accommodations contracts; the duration may be for a full year and you may be responsible for that entire time.
University accommodations are generally closed during holidays and other times when the university is not in session. At some host institutions, extra lodging costs are charged during orientation, school breaks, and holidays.
The following are brief descriptions of halls of residence accommodations at each host university.
The University of Auckland
There are several residence halls availalbe, including Grafton Hall, International House, and University Hall. These halls provide three meals a day, seven days a week; sporting facilities (cricket, rugby, netball, etc.); single or double bedrooms; and the opportunity to take part in campus life, social events, and sports tournaments. The residence halls, particularly Grafton Hall, are the best housing choice for study in Auckland.
There are also several university-managed facilities near the campus. See student comments below for more details.
Some students choose to rent or share a private flat off campus. Since you arrive prior to the Auckland semester start date, you are in a good position to locate a private rental.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students
- 5–10 minute walk to city campus
- Newest Hall of Residence (opened in February 2012)
- Single bedrooms for 442 students, mostly younger students
- Music room with piano and drums
- Game room with pool table, foosball, air hockey, and Sky TV
- Residents receive membership to the University's Recreation Centre, only a few minutes away
- Five minute walk to city campus
- Very social atmosphere
- Kiwi/Maori cuisine in the dining hall
- Strict rules about visitors and overnight guests
- About a 15 minute walk to campus or to city shopping
- Convenient buses to central to area
- Near the Auckland Domain (public park)
- Catered meals and cleaning services
- Known for friendly and helpful staff who take a personal interest in residents
- Social atmosphere; the hall sponsors many events and activities including dance parties, scavenger hunts, outings, holiday celebrations, costume parties, formal dinners, etc.
- Facilities include a lounge, game room, music room, study floor, basketball/tennis court, lawn area, dining hall, and TV room with a large projector and screen (great for movie nights)
- Residents include about 250 undergraduates of all grade levels and grad students; good mix of Kiwi and international students
- High demand for this hall; apply early
Parnell Student Village:
- About a 15–20 minute walk to campus
- Right next to Newmarket, the Auckland Domain, and the museum
- Each flat comes fully furnished and houses 4–6 people
- Rooms are singles
- No meal plan (self catered), but you have your own kitchen
- Property has a yard complete with barbecue and volleyball net
- Residents include international and Kiwi students
- Open to both undergraduate and graduate students
- Privately owned building near the university campus
- Very close to the supermarket in downtown Auckland
- Self-catering flats
- Average cost is about NZD$290/week for a studio apartment
- Excellent security
- Known for being clean
- Minimum noise levels
- Shared kitchen facility, which includes a cooking range
- Stovetop included in suites, but not in the studio flats
- University-managed facility
- Conveniently located close to campus
- Enforced rules such as noise restriction and locked doors after 10 p.m., alcohol bans during exams, and supervision (RAs and Admins)
- Catered, communal meals in a cafeteria (no kitchen or cooking facilities)
- Residents include a mix of first-year Kiwi students and international exchange students
- Social atmosphere; easy to meet a lot of friends at hall events and parties (theme parties, volleyball tournaments, film nights, pool games, etc.) and trips to local sites such as the zoo
- Facilities include a study room and music room with two pianos and a drum set
- Deluxe double rooms are generous size with private bathroom and entrance
- Students often complain about the food, but appreciate that they don’t have to cook
Wellesley Student Apartments:
- An AUT building (Auckland Technical University)
- Most likely room with AUT and other American students (not a diverse mix of people)
- Apartments are spacious and the location is prime
14 Whitaker Place Flats:
- University housing off campus
- A 5-10 minute walk to campus
- Good for mature/independent students
- Fully furnished single, private bedrooms
- Wireless/Cable Internet included
- Flats include private kitchen, bathroom, and living room
- Bedding and dishware provided
- Relatively safe
- Laundry wash/dry is NZD$2 each
- Reasonable rent
- A great place to feel a part of a community (organized events—though not as many as the dorms provide)
- Majority of students are international, but also a mix of Kiwis
Huia Residence Hostel:
- Located at the corner of the bridge and Grafton Road, and close to the university, the Auckland Domain (park), Mt. Eden, and Hobson Bay
- Right across from the link bus stop (convenient for grocery trips)
- A social environment; it helps students acclimate quickly
- Single, private rooms
- Strict no alcohol policy
- Very clean and inexpensive
- Optional meal plan; you can do your own cooking and grocery shopping
- Kitchens on each floor with 10 burners for cooking, a microwave, hot water heater, toaster, sink, and freezer (the rooms have refrigerators)
- Bedding (sheets and pillows), towels, kitchenware (cooking utensils, pots/ pans) provided
- Practice room with a piano, lounges on each floor with satellite TV, and downstairs common area with a pool table, couches, and large TV for movies or sports
- Not ideal for upper-classmen as it feels like a freshman dorm (i.e., it’s highly regimented, there is less freedom)
- The demographics are roughly half international students of all class standings (many Americans and Canadians) and half Kiwi 1st-year students
- Free movie rental setup with a good selection of DVDs
- Many students complain about the 24-hour helicopter landing pad on top of the adjacent hospital
Homestay:“I lived with a family in Hillsborough, which was a great experience spending most of my time with Kiwis. However, Hillsborough was rather far away (about a 30–40 minute bus ride) which made it difficult to spend evenings with other students my age. Living with a family also made it easier to be living in a foreign country without my own family and they were able to show me around parts of Auckland and NZ that I might not have seen without them.”
Private flat:“I lived in a flat for my time in Auckland. During orientation I searched for flats online and found one close to campus and town very quickly and easily, it was just a matter how much I was willing to pay. I enjoyed living in a flat mostly because it wasn’t the dorms, which weren’t appealing to me. It was nice having a place of my own without a bunch of freshmen and made it feel more like I was really living in New Zealand. I found flatting to be pretty inexpensive and definitely a positive experience overall. I ended up living with a Kiwi student who I met only through the listing of the flat. It ended up working out really well. The only real drawback to flatting I’ve seen is that it hasn’t been as easy to meet Kiwi students as it may be in the dorms. It was really nice, however, to have a place to be able to offer to other Americans to stay if they were passing through Auckland or as a place to get together with other exchange students outside the dorms. If you’re up for finding a flat during the month or so you have in New Zealand before school starts (like I said, finding a flat isn’t a problem) and don’t feel like the added stresses of electricity and internet bills would bother you, then I’d definitely recommend flatting.”
University of Canterbury
Since the earhquakes of 2010-11, there is extra pressure on the private housing market and it may be more difficult in Christchurch to find private accommodation than in other New Zealand cities. On-campus housing consists of university halls of residence or university flats located adjacent to the campus. Hall accommodations are in single or double rooms and a full meal service is provided. Flats consist of six single bedrooms with shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom facilities. Flats are self-catering, but there are also cafeterias nearby in the student union. While every effort will be made to accommodate your preferences, you cannot be guaranteed your first choice of housing.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students
- Apartment-style housing offered by University of Canterbury
- Located across the street from the university
- Ten-minute walk to classes, the gym, grocery store, and Bush Inn shopping complex
- There are bus stops, restaurants, and shops all nearby
- Buses pick up on both sides and are super convenient as you can check their arrival time online
- Moderately priced compared to UC, but expensive compared to other student housing in NZ (about NZD$250/week)
- Rental agreement is lease-only (beware of harsh penalties for breaking the lease)
- Very clean and well taken care of
- Decent sized rooms, each with a large, opening window and a heater
- Internet is pay-by-data, which isn’t uncommon and pretty fast
- The refrigerator is 3/4 size
- Dominated by American exchange students
- Maintenance comes fast if you have a problem
- Most of the housing only has a microwave oven, not a full oven
- Very social and easy to make friends who like to travel (RAs organize events if you want to take part)
- If you want to live with Kiwis, look on “trademe” and try to find a flat
Palmerston North Campus
Most UCEAP students will be located on the Palmerston North campus. You can live in a catered, single-room hall of residence or a self-catered flat on campus. The catered halls offer one or two meals a day, seven days a week. The self-catered flats consist of five to six single furnished bedrooms with shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom facilities.
If you want to mingle with local students, the catered accommodation is a better option. Keep in mind that the local students are first-year students (approximately 18 years old). Power is included.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students: “Palmerston North was a nice central place to live because it made jumping to other places over the weekend very easy. Having lived in on-campus housing, I can say that living with younger students can either make you feel young again or like the grandma of the bunch. So choose housing carefully according to whether you’d like to relive all the chaos of past dorm experiences or if those really hard classes you’ll be taking require more Zen-like environments.”
Students live in self-catered apartments a few minutes from the campus. The apartments consist of five single furnished bedrooms with shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom facilities.
Power and phone service are additional charges. You are encouraged to stay in the university apartment since inexpensive accommodation in Wellington is difficult to find.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students: “I spent the fall semester living at ‘The Cube Complex,’ Massey/Wellington’s 9th floor ‘modern’ apartment building. I lived on the top floor in a five-person flat. We had a glorious view of Wellington Harbour from our lounge window, but for the first three weeks of my time there the elevator was out of service, and hiking nine flights got to be a little old after not too long. The Cube seemed to be populated predominantly by incoming Kiwi freshman, and rowdy parties were common. I found myself spending most of my time with other (older) international students, who had gotten more partying out of their systems, but also made some great Kiwi friends in the building. I appreciated having my own room (all the rooms in the Cube are singles, though apartments vary in number of rooms). In the winter, the rooms got very cold, as there is no heating in the Cube (perhaps this is normal?). In retrospect, I’m glad I lived in the Cube because of the great friends that I made, and the feeling of inclusion in the university environment. However, if I were to do it again, I might choose either a smaller, cozier residential complex, or an apartment.”
Students live in self-catered university apartments a few minutes from campus. Flats consist of four to six single furnished bedrooms with shared kitchen, living room, and bathroom facilities.
Power and phone service are additional charges. There are free shuttle buses from the accommodation to the campus. You are encouraged to stay in the university apartment since inexpensive accommodation in Auckland is difficult to find.
University of Otago
You can choose to live in a catered or non-catered hall of residence located a short distance from the main campus and city area, or in a shared student flat (apartment). You are also welcome to arrange temporary accommodation in advance and look for more permanent accommodation after arrival in Dunedin.
The February semester of any academic year is Otago’s busiest semester. There is pressure on the available student accommodations close to campus at this time of year and you may find it difficult to secure suitable and affordable accommodation close to campus. Most accommodations are located close to campus and it is unnecessary to drive or use public transport to and from the university (students usually bike or walk). The halls of residence are centrally heated, but if you stay in a flat or apartment you will find it necessary to purchase a space heater and warm bedding (there is no central heating in Dunedin), and to bring warm clothing.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students
- Mostly international students and a few Kiwi students
- Private rooms
- Fully furnished
- Flats are usually pretty nice, close to campus, and often in complexes with other University Flats
- You have the option of choosing how many people you want in your flat (six is the maximum)
- Spacious, clean, modern, and relatively affordable
- Residents pay for water, electricity, food etc.
- No insulation or central heating
- A lot of independence
- Easy application process; you find out housing assignment before arrival in Dunedin
- A really good place to meet people (social experience)
Toroa International House:
- Short walk from campus and close to downtown, nightlife, supermarkets, etc.
- As a residence hall, there are rules and regulations to abide by (e.g., no parties three weeks before exams, playing music too loud, rules for cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, etc.)
- It is warm, comfortable, well-organized, and spacious
- Staff are incredibly helpful and the resources available are unparalleled
- Great common room with movie selection, large-screen TV, BBQ, pool & foosball tables
- Numerous planned events and activities create a sense of community
- 120 residents with an international feel
- Flats are well equipped with a full kitchen
- Linens provided
- Heaters make it very comfortable during the cold winter months
- The rent is expensive, but a lot is included; Toroa charges a single rate for all the heating, water, electricity, and lockout rescues, while regular flats make you pay as you go
- Gates surround the entire perimeter of the grounds
- Good academic support network
- Most of the time Toroa is a quiet community (if you’re one to party often, Toroa might not be the right choice)
Private Accommodation:“I chose not to arrange accommodation before I got to NZ, because I had a friend’s house to crash at while I searched for housing. The Otago accommodation office had a list of people looking for flatmates. It was a tad stressful, having only a week before school started, but I found a place within a five-minute walk to Uni (on Union St. West). It’s a large house with ‘studio’ rooms. There are eight rooms in the main house, and five rooms in the back house. I live in the back, and go inside the main house to use the kitchen, laundry, etc. Since it’s a studio I have a fridge, microwave, and kettle in my room, but other than that, it’s just a normal room."
“Cons: It’s rather expensive. I pay NZD$180 a week (but that’s still cheaper than what I was paying in California!). Pros: Central heating included. I was warm all winter long! And I think that made a huge difference in my experience. Also, cleaners come twice a week and clean communal areas."
“There are definitely pros and cons between living in a regular flat and living in an international hall. Since I’m here for a year, it’s nice to have a quiet place to come back to, and there aren’t parties all the time to distract me. That is also a con, because it was a lot harder for me to meet other international students and find friends that were just as motivated as me to go on trips on weekends. However, I have made a lot of Kiwi friends. Living in a house with studio rooms also means there isn’t any ‘flat drama,’ which tends to happen when people end up with flatmates they don’t get along with.”
“I decided to find a room outside of the university-owned flats in an attempt to keep myself from only socializing with other Americans. While I succeeded in that, I think it had more to do with my joining the tramping club than who I was living with. The pros of my situation include cheaper rent than those living in the university-owned housing, a more central location, and getting to know one of my flatmates. However, there were many cons. These include a very small room (for which I was paying slightly less than my flatmates who had rooms 2 or 3 times the size of mine), incredibly cold temperatures in the house in the winter, faulty plumbing, and putting up with my flatmates’ dirty dishes. I believe that most of this can be chalked up to the fact that I did not know any of the people in the house prior to moving in and was not able to see the house itself, save for a few pictures I was sent. I think you take more of a risk when you live outside of the university-owned flats. I suppose the take home message is that finding a private room in a flat is like any other risk: there can be big rewards or big losses.”
The University of Waikato
You may live on campus in a single room in a university hall, in a flat (apartment), or in a rented room in Hamilton. There are four halls of residence: Student Village, College Hall, Orchard Park, and Bryant Hall.
All halls except Orchard Park, which is self-catering, offer a communal dining room, lounges, separate TV rooms, laundry facilities, central heating, and linens and blankets.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students
“The housing situation in New Zealand is really relaxed. Don’t stress on finding a place before you get there. It is quite easy to find a flat or a dorm. It depends on what your preferences are. I chose to live in a flat because there was no big town centre. I lived in Raglan for the first semester and then moved to Hamilton for the second. The most helpful suggestion I can give you about flatting is to bring heaps of warm clothes and prepare for a cold winter. The insulation in New Zealand flats isn’t good and they have no central heating. It’s not uncommon to be able to see your breath in your own house. Just crank up the space heater and get used to it. Besides you don’t want to spend that much time in your flat anyway; go travel and see the country.”
“I lived in a private residence with other UCEAPers. It was really cheap and really nice to be able to cook our own food. I would recommend trying to live with some Kiwis in addition to just Americans.”
Victoria University of Wellington
It is recommended that you live in a residence hall. Independent housing in Wellington is expensive and difficult to find.
You are eligible to apply for accommodation to all the halls of residence offered at Victoria University. There are several catered and self-catered halls from which to choose.
Quick Facts Shared by UCEAP Students
University Hall—Study Abroad apartments:
- Big rooms in a nice house
- Great location; proximity to Victoria is 5-10 minute walk and close to Zealandia nature area that offers a less urban backdrop
- Easy to connect with other study abroad students as well as Kiwi flatmates that are fun to hang out with
- A lot of Americans
- The location is perfect; close to the Kelburn campus and an eight-minute walk downhill to the heart of town
- Easily accessible to buses/cable car
- Close to the Sunday market (corner of Vivian and Willis) with fresh and cheap produce every Sunday, and other great food places: Aro Fish n’ Chips, French Bakery
- Cozy 4–5 person flats
- Nice size rooms and shared bathroom
- Self-catered (cook your own food)
- No-charge laundry facilities
- Free university Internet through Ethernet (con: uni Internet doesn’t allow access to IM or Skype)
- Perfect for older, independent students who want to socialize/have fun, but still have space to get work done
- Great place to meet people from all different countries and cultures
- If you are looking for the crazy dorm experience, this is not the place for you
- Coming from anywhere, you have to climb up the steep hill or stairs and you’re usually carrying things; it’s a mission but great exercise
- 15–minute uphill walk to campus and the Botanic Gardens, 20–minute walk to the main downtown area (coffee shops, bars, clubs); and the New Zealand Parliament is only half a block away
- About three hundred residents
- Very small 3-bedroom flats
- Fully furnished with a washer/dryer, bedroom furniture, and kitchen with basic cooking and cleaning supplies (no oven)
- Always clean and warm, even in the winter
- About one third of residents are American or international students (the rest are Kiwis)
- Well maintained building and excellent management and staff (RAs care about keeping Stafford a healthy and safe place)
- This is not a place to party
- Strict rules about visitors and noise
- If space and rules don’t concern you, Stafford is the place to be in terms of location, health, and community
- Conveniently located near campus and downtown
- Double studio rooms include a kitchenette and bathroom
- Many first-year Kiwis were as excited to make new friends as I was
:“Instead of going with one of the many student accommodations/hostels, I chose to get to Wellington and try to find my own accommodation. I looked on trademe.co.nz
, which is the equivalent of Craigslist. I looked on trademe during January before I headed over to NZ, and there were countless listings of people who needed flatmates. However, once I arrived in Wellington right before university started in late February, the demand for housing had drastically risen and the flat hunting became very competitive, especially since I wasn’t going to be staying for an entire year. So I ended up living in a backpackers for about three weeks while I scoured trademe every day and went and looked at countless flats all over the city.
“Fortunately I did find housing, though, with two awesome Kiwi girls from Wellington. The flat was perfect, located centrally on upper Cuba Street so I was only twenty minutes from campus and basically right in the heart of town. I really enjoyed having my own flat as opposed to living in university-run housing because I am very independent and like doing my own thing. I heard from several friends that stayed in Stafford House or one of the other Uni-owned buildings that there were strict rules about visitors and afterhours, and most of them got tired of that, especially since they were adults of 21 years old. The only thing I would recommend if you chose to find your own flat is to attend the welcome week activities and try to meet as many people as you can in the first few weeks because you do miss out on meeting people by opting out of student housing. Other than that I thought it was great, plus by walking the city so much trying to find flats, you really learn your way around your new temporary home rather quickly.”
In general, food and produce are expensive in New Zealand. Fresh vegetables are available throughout the year. Dairy products are plentiful; New Zealand has good domestically produced and imported cheese. Yogurt, sour cream, whipping cream, and cottage cheese are also available. Butter is inexpensive, usually costing about the same as table margarine. Table margarine is made from vegetable oil and is similar to American margarine, except it is not as flavorful. Vegetarians should be aware that "cooking margarine" is made with animal fat.
Restaurants are plentiful and widely varied in cuisine, ambience, and price. First-rate restaurants are usually comparable in cost to American restaurants. Drive-in or fast-food restaurants are rare. Asian cuisine is widely available and inexpensive. Mexican cuisine generally is not available and many UC students mention missing Mexican food while abroad. Although there are such familiar establishments as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC in major cities, you will also discover new foods like meat pies and New Zealand fish and chips. Sandwiches are available at many small shops at lunchtime. Many restaurants are closed on Mondays and reservations are essential on weekends at popular locations. Many of the best bargains are found at BYO (bring your own) restaurants. Various guides to dining out are available at newsstands or bookshops. Many pubs, especially in the city center, offer counter lunches and meals in addition to drinks.
Basically, do not tip in New Zealand. Tipping is not a usual practice there. Locals almost never tip for service. It is unnecessary to tip in bars or cafeterias, and barbers and hairstylists do not expect to be tipped. Tipping taxi drivers is optional.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
All university towns in New Zealand have adequate public transport, usually buses. There are bus routes serving the campus in each town. This is crucial if you decide to live “in town” rather than in University accommodation.
The towns in which the university campus is suburban or on the edge of town, rather than close to the city center or Central Business District (CBD), are Hamilton, Palmerston North, and Christchurch. It is relatvely easy to get accommodation close to campus in these towns.
Getting around by “Shanks’ pony” (walking) is the main form of student transport in all towns, but be forewarned that most cities in New Zealand are hilly. The main exceptions are Palmerston North and Christchurch, where cycling is very popular. Cycling is, however, dangerous in Auckland and Wellington. Access to a car for weekend trips out of town is very useful. Car parks are scarce and expensive in Wellington and Auckland, however, where commuting by car to campus is not advised.
Student Unions and Clubs
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while abroad is an excellent way to meet people and integrate more fully into the community.
Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad.
Some New Zealand universities offer membership in student unions. A union membership fee usually allows access to films, dances, concerts, sporting events, and sporting equipment at reduced rates. With a university identification card, you may get discounts for most commercial films, performances, and exhibitions.
Young people in New Zealand are very outdoors-oriented. There are many opportunities for hiking (called tramping), mountain climbing, nature walks, “orienteering,” sailing, bird watching, fishing, beach activities, and water sports. Every university has a variety of sports and outdoor clubs. UCEAP alumni advise joining one or more clubs, which offer excellent social outlets as well as affordable opportunities for outings and for rental of all kinds of gear (sports equipment is expensive in New Zealand).
Students with Disabilities
While in New Zealand, students with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation different from what you find in the United States. Every new building and major reconstruction in New Zealand must provide "reasonable and adequate" access for people with disabilities, but most buildings pre-date this requirement. Most facilities have wheelchair access. Some buses in towns and cities are equipped to cater for people with disabilties, but most public transport is not. If you need information on facilities for people with disabilities, visit the Immigration of New Zealand’s website
and the New Zealand Tourism website
If you need accommodations at your host university, you must plan ahead and communicate with your UCEAP Operations Specialist. The host university may require additional information from you to consider your accommodation request. This may include documentation from a relevant health professional. Disability Services are usually not free. For more information, refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, chapter on Students with Disabilities.
For more information:
Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?
You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in New Zealand.
For more information,
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Lodging While Traveling
Holidays and Business Hours
New Zealand national holidays include: New Year’s Day (January 1); Waitangi Day (February 6); Good Friday; Easter Monday and Tuesday; Anzac Day (April 25); Queen’s Birthday (first Monday in June); Labor Day (last Monday in October); Christmas Day (December 25); and Boxing Day (December 26).
In addition to the national holidays, each New Zealand province observes its own local holidays. There are also bank holidays and occasionally proclaimed holidays over the Christmas break. Universities usually close between Christmas and New Year’s.
Stores often stay open until 9 p.m. on Thursday or Friday. Most stores close on holidays. Neighborhood grocery stores stay open longer, but they are not as competitive as major supermarkets.
Bars usually close at 10 p.m. Although hours vary by region, stores are usually open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
While abroad, you must be covered by two insurance policies. The UCEAP Insurance Plan
is paid by the University of California and required for all UCEAP participants.
Know Before you Go
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy
. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law
. Read details in Benefits at a Glance
. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823. It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance. Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter
For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims
ACI at email@example.com.
Your host university in New Zealand also requires a specific national health insurance coverage. Pre-existing conditions are not covered through the NZ national plan but the UCEAP travel insurance will cover you. Payment for the New Zealand national health insurance plan is automatically included with your UCEAP participation*. If you receive an invoice from your host university for a separate insurance policy, disregard the invoice. (Exception: If you are attending the University of Canterbury, you will pay the supplementary NZ coverage directly to the university during enrollment.).
(*The amount that is added to your MyEAP account for the New Zealand national health insurance is based on a 6 month student visa. Students who obtain a student visa for longer than 6 months may be charged and billed for additional costs associated with the longer visa and longer insurance coverage).
Medical care in New Zealand is widely available with well-trained staff and modern, well-equipped facilities. Emergency services are extensive, reliable, and very efficient.
The national health insurance plan will cover medical visits on your host campus. The Student Health Service at your host university provides a high standard of quality primary health care (including health education, health promotion, and preventative care) for all students.
If there has been any change in your health since you submitted your health clearance form to the UCEAP Systemwide Office, you must immediately notify the UCEAP Program Specialist.
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, go to the host University Student Health, and contact the Liaison Officer immediately. The Liaison Officer can recommend a clinic to visit, provide advice about the UCEAP claim process, and help if extended absence is expected.
You can also reach out to the National Healthline
Healthline is a free 24-hour telephone health advice service funded by the Ministry of Health.
Healthline registered nurses assess a person's condition and health needs and recommend the best course of action and a time frame in which to take action. They can also provide general health information and location of services.
If you are sick or injured, you can make an appointment, get treatment, pay up front if specialist treatment is not covered by the New Zealand National Insurance, and submit a claim to the UCEAP travel insurance. If you have questions about the UCEAP coverage and benefits, contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Print a copy of your UCEAP insurance card
. It contains valuable contact information, especially during an emergency or if you need hospitalization.
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.
Know Before you Go
Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter
of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health
web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
A U.S. prescription issued by a physician in the United States will not be dispensed by a pharmacy in New Zealand. The prescription must be issued by a doctor in New Zealand. Some commonly prescribed medications are not licensed in New Zealand and you will not be able to get them. Talk to your U.S. doctor and have a medication plan before departure.
High-quality medication (both over-the-counter and prescription) is widely available at local pharmacies, although the name of the product and the dosage may differ from the U.S. versions.
Bringing medicines into New Zealand on your person or in your luggage
If you are carrying prescription medicines either on your person or in your luggage you must ensure to:
- Declare the possession of those medicines on your incoming passenger arrival card which is lawfully required, and inspected, by the New Zealand Customs Service.
- Have a copy of the prescription from your doctor and a letter from your doctor stating your condition, treatment, and medication regimen.
- Carry the medicine(s) in their original containers, and
- Have sufficient quantity not exceeding three months supply for prescription medicines (with the exception of oral contraceptives which can be supplied in six month quantities)
All other medicines including herbal medicines, dietary supplements and over-the-counter medicines may be imported without the above documentation. Over the counter medicines can be imported only if they are for your individual use.
Anything in your possession that might be considered as a prescription medicine or controlled drug must be declared on your incoming passenger arrival card. If in doubt, declare it.
If you arrive in new Zealand carrying prescription medicine on your person or in your luggage you may only bring it in if you declare it in the Passenger Arrival Card and have no more than three months' supply (oral contraceptives, where a six month supply is permitted, are the only exception.) Read more in the New Zealand Customs Service website, Prohibited Imports
. If after reading all information contained in the Customs page, you need more information, contact www.medsafe.govt.nz; telephone +64- 9 580 9141 or email, email@example.com
The Student Counselling Service at your host university provides confidential counselling for all students to assist their academic and personal achievements.
Your mental health is important to us all. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your study abroad plans and program details with your doctor. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process
Group B meningococcus (Nm B) is the most important cause of endemic meningitis in industrialized countries. There are about 100 cases (confirmed plus probable) of meningococcal disease notified in New Zealand each year. Most cases in New Zealand are caused by group B (62 percent of confirmed cases in 2011). The bacteria is carried by approximately one third of adults in their intestines and for most people it doesn't usually cause problems. Classic symptoms: a headache, stiff neck, dislike of bright light. Other symptoms include, fever, vomiting and diarrhea, confusion and drowsiness. It is important to trust your instincts. If you suspect something is wrong, seek medical help immediately. The vaccine widely available to most people and given throughout colleges and universities in the U.S. does NOT protect against this particular serogroup.
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions while abroad.
Some precautions to take include, include:
- Discuss the risks with your doctor isx-to-eight weeks before departure to discuss a treatmemnt plan while abroad.
- Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
- Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
- Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance.
- Tell others about your food allergy.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter
, Allergies section
Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in any other country or at home. There are steps you can take to manage or minimize risk. Stop and think. Inform yourself of risks you can encounter while traveling and remain aware of your surroundings.
UCEAP strongly discourages participation in extreme adventure sports, such as bungee jumping, sky diving, rappelling, climbing, motorcycling, and kayaking. Injuries and even death result from participation in such activities.
If you choose to engage in such activities, use caution and common sense. Never participate alone, always carry identification, and let someone else know where you are at all times. Before kayaking, check the river conditions and wear a life jacket. When hiking, rappelling, or climbing, carry a first aid kit, know the location of the nearest rescue center, and bring a friend along.
New Zealand has strict marijuana laws. Cannabis use is controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Marijuana is scheduled under controlled drugs, Class C of the Act, and more potent forms, such as hashish and cannabis oil, are scheduled under Class B. Possession of any amount of cannabis is illegal and can result in a fine of up to $500 or even a 3-month prison sentence.
Do not attempt to smuggle controlled drugs and temporary class drugs into New Zealand. You will be detained and deported. The importation of such drugs could result in your imprisonment. Be cautious about carrying packages or baggage for strangers.
If you arrive in New Zealand carrying controlled drugs (Class A, B, C, any substance, preparation, mixture, or article) on you or in your luggage (e.g., methadone, cannabis, amphetamine, etc.), you may import it provided that you:
- Declare the controlled drugs on your passenger arrival card.
- Do not have more than one month’s supply of the controlled drug with you – if you have more you will need a license to import from the Ministry of Health.
- Prove to Customs that the drug:
- is required for treating your medical condition
- has been lawfully supplied to you in the country of origin – a letter from your doctor or a valid label on the container with your name and the quantity and strength of the drugs would be sufficient.
You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being.
Staying safe in another country is similar to staying safe in a large U.S. city. Understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant (pay attention to your surroundings; do not walk around while talking on the phone or while listening to music).
If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel. Be proactive about your safety. Be prepared.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and contracted with emergency service and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety.
Steps to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime:
- Assess your surroundings.
- Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.
- Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
- Research potential risks you can encounter while traveling.
- Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking.
- Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety. This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other. Choose your buddy wisely. The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
- Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Know what to do in a possible risk scenario
Locate the nearest emergency exits. If evacuated in a group, remain in the center of the group with as many people around you as possible. Don’t take the lead or straggle behind.
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
(STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
Crime rates in New Zealand are low but have increased in recent years. It is considered by the U.S. Embassy as a medium-threat crime environment. The majority of crimes in New Zealand are crimes of opportunity. Due to unemployment rates, street crime in the major urban areas—such as theft from vehicles, pick-pocketing, and scams—is a routine occurrence, and foreign tourists are frequently the victims. The major urban areas—Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch—continue to lead the country in criminal activity and associated arrests. Observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would in California or in any other major urban area:
- Use common sense and take personal protective measures.
- Avoid walking in isolated, unlit areas at night; do not use shortcuts.
- Keep a basic first aid kit for use in emergencies.
- Report any theft or crime to the police immediately.
- Along with personal safety measures, consider having a good-quality, loud, rescue whistle easily accessible for enhanced security. The loud sound of a self-defense whistle or a personal alarm can cause temporary disorientation and signal for help, giving you the necessary time to get away.
In an emergency, the fire department, police, ambulance, and Land Search & Rescue (LandSAR) can be reached by dialing 111 from any phone.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
New Zealand has a highly-developed mass transit system that traverses most developed areas of the country. Though petty theft can occur, crime does not pose a major threat, and transport is typically considered safe.
All traffic travels on the left in New Zealand. Exercise extra caution when crossing streets on foot. Public transportation is reliable with outstanding safety records and few security concerns except pick-pocketing. The roads in New Zealand have good signage and are well maintained.
Do not drive while in New Zealand. Driving on the wrong side of the road is a leading cause of serious injury and death for U.S. visitors.
As a pedestrian, it is your responsibility to make yourself visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations. When possible, utilize the sidewalk; if not available, you should walk against the flow of traffic. Always obey crossing signals, but make sure to look both ways before crossing into the street. Even if you have the right of way, it is important to realize that vehicles may not always stop. Make eye contact with drivers and pay attention to the environment around you. If you are wearing headphones or talking on your cell phone while crossing the street, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings and take extra care to avoid dangerous situations. Crossing a busy street while blasting music into your headphones doesn’t exactly enhance your awareness.
Earthquakes and other Natural Disasters
All disasters have the potential to cause disruption, damage property and take lives. So it's vital that you prepare now.
Some heavily populated parts of New Zealand are in areas of very high seismic activity. Inform yourself and know what to do before and during an earthquake to protect yourself.
There are thousands of earthquakes in New Zealand every year, but most of them are not felt because they are either small, or very deep within the earth. Each year there are about 150 – 200 quakes that are big enough to be felt. A large, damaging earthquake could occur at any time, and can be followed by aftershocks that continue for days or weeks.
Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths result from falling debris, flying glass and collapsing structures such as buildings and bridges. Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires and tsunami.
New Zealand’s North Island contains a number of active and dormant volcanoes. Although the probability of an eruption affecting a large area of the North Island is relatively low, the probability of an eruption occurring sometime in the future is high.
The New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defense urges people to take personal responsibility for their safety and security in the event of a natural disaster.
During an earthquake, wherever you are, DROP, COVER and HOLD.
- Under a strong table. Hold on to the table legs to keep it from moving away from you.
- Next to an interior wall, away from windows that can shatter and cause injury and tall furniture that can fall on you.
- Protect your head and neck with your arms.
Keep in mind that in modern homes, doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure and usually have doors that can swing and injure you.
New Zealand has more ethnicities than there are countries in the world, according to the 2013 Census. The five largest ethnic groups are European, Mäori, Chinese, Samoan, and Indian. New Zealand regularly ranks as one of most liveable and peaceful countries in the world. Yet despite a strong reputation for social justice and continuing attempts to eliminate disadvantage, inequalities persist; particularly for Mäori, Pacific and other minority ethnic groups.
The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, social status, language, disability, age, and national or ethnic origin, and the government actively enforced these prohibitions.
Racial discrimination and harassment can take many forms. Confronting it requires bravery, resilience and a commitment to equal treatment for all people.
According to the 2013 Human Rights Commission report, discrimination remains a reality for certain groups. Asian peoples and Mäori most likely to experience discrimination.
For more information, refer to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.
To submit a complaint online, www.hrc.co.nz/complaints.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.
Program Suspension Policy
If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.
The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
Educate yourself. Talk to your local university residencial facilities. Most NZ university buildings have audible alarm systems that are activated either automatically or from manual points. All university buildings have EXIT signs. You may be required to participate in fire drills.
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
- Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
- Know how to call the local fire department.
Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
- Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
- Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
- Have an escape plan and practice it.
- Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
- Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
- If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
- Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
In case of fire - Dial 111.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
What Is an Emergency?
An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
- Any life/death situation
- A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
- An arrest
- Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country
In an Emergency
Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
If you are in the U.S.
- During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
- After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If necessary, contact the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland:
U.S. Consulate General Auckland*
23 Customs St. East, 3rd floor
Private Bag 92022
Auckland, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (0) 9 303 2724, ext.2800
Fax: +64 (0) 9 366 0870
Business Hours Emergency Assistance
Phone: +64 9 303 2724 ext: 2900
After Hours Emergency Assistance:
Phone: +64 4 462 6000 (leave a message, and the Duty Officer will return your call)
* Note: U.S. Consulate contact details are for U.S. Citizen queries only.
If you are abroad:
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times. If you have a health or safety emergency, contact the UCEAP Liaison Officer at 021- 300-712. If for some reason you cannot reach the Liaison Officer at his emergency contact number, call the NZ emergency services free number 111 (including mobile phones). The emergency operator will ask for your name, address and the type of emergency. The operator will then send the appropriate service – ambulance, police or fire brigade. Only use the 111 number to call the police when a crime is actually being committed or if life is at risk.
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.