FAQ

Visa to New Zealand

If your course is less than three months in duration, you need to apply for a visitor’s visa before coming to New Zealand, unless you are from a visa-waiver country, in which case you can get your visitor’s visa on arrival. Students on visitor’s visa may study up to three months. Some of the countries that are on the visa-waiver list are Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Switzerland. For a full list, please go to the website www.immigration.govt.nz.

If you are coming to study for more than three calendar months, you need to apply for a student visa. Student visa applications can be lodged online on www.immigration.govt.nz. If you are studying a short course on a visitor’s visa and would like to study more than three months, you will need to apply for a student visa for the duration of your next course. You can change to student visa without leaving the country.

  1. Passport: a page with photo and your personal details
  2. A recent photo 3.5x4.5 cm
  3. An offer of place from a language school
  4. A bank statement in PDF format which confirms that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your course and your living expenses (1,250 NZD per month/15,000 NZD per year).
  5. A job certificate. You need to provide it if the following conditions are met: 1) you have a job; 2) the duration of your course doesn’t exceed 6 months; 3) you are not sponsored by anyone. Otherwise, this document is not compulsory.
  6. Certificates from your previous English courses. This evidence of your previous language experience is significant. Please, don’t ignore it!
  7. Evidence of your tight connections with your home country: a marriage certificate, birth certificates of your children, a real estate certificate etc. These documents show that you are a bona fide student who intends to come back home after the end of a course.

Pre-paid air tickets are not a compulsory part of your visa package unless you are a citizen of a country with low student visa approval rate (less than 80%). Go to www.immigration.govt.nz for more details.

If you are undertaking a short course on visitor’s visa, you are not allowed to work. If you are applying for a student visa, you may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week if your course meets certain criteria, for example:

  • If you are enrolled in an English language courses of at least 14 weeks in duration at a Category 1 institution
  • If your course is at least two years in duration
  • If you are a tertiary exchange student and enrolled in a course of at least one academic year

You may be allowed to work full-time during vacations if you are studying in a full-time programme of at least one academic year in duration. Also, Masters by research and PhD students have unlimited work rights.


Visa to Australia

Yes, you must apply for a student visa regardless a duration of your course and your citizenship. Light requirements are applicable for New Zealand citizens only. 

1.       Passport: a page with photo and your personal details;

2.       A recent photo 3.5x4.5 cm;

3.       An offer of place and a confirmation of payment (CoE) fr om a language school;

4.       A bank statement in PDF format which confirms that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your course + your living expenses (1,655 AUD per month/19,830 AUD per year) + return air tickets. Evidence of funds can include money deposits, financial institution or government loans, scholarships or sponsorships. The annual income option requires a student to provide evidence of personal annual income of at least AUD 60,000. For students accompanied by family members, the requirement is at least AUD 70,000. The income demonstrated must be the personal income of your spouse (who is not coming with you) or parents. Wh ere both of your parents are working, their combined income can be considered for this requirement. Evidence must be in the form of official government documents such as tax assessments. Evidence in the form of bank statements or information directly from an employer is not acceptable;

5.       OSHC insurance for the entire period of your stay in Australia. You can buy it via Tambook or your education provider;

6.       A job certificate if you are an employee;

7.       Certificates from your previous English courses. This evidence of your previous language experience is significant. Please, don’t ignore it!  

8.       Evidence of your tight connections with your home country: a marriage certificate, birth certificates of your children, a real estate certificate etc. These documents show that you are a bona fide student who intends to come back home after the end of a course.

All documents must be translated into English by a certified translator who must sign and stamp a translation. Multipage documents must be scanned to one PDF-file. It’s better to scan an original version of a document in your native language and a translation of this document to one PDF-file. When you save documents, please, name them properly, for example, “You name and surname_offer of place”.

Please, pay your attention that you may be required to undergo health examinations as part of the visa application process, check the Health Examinations information on the DIBP website. There are specific requirements for arranging a health examination. An online system known as eMedical processes health examinations results electronically and these are forwarded to DIBP for assessment. If you do require a medical examination outside of Australia, you must contact an Australian panel doctor in your country. A list of doctors is available from Immigration Panel Doctors www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Help/immigration-panel-physicians

Pre-paid air tickets are not a compulsory part of your visa package but are an advantage.


Booking a course

When you search on Tambook you’ll find only the best offers from New Zealand’s and Australia’s top language schools, not available anywhere else. You can also be sure you’re making the right choice: search for schools that best suit your criteria, then compare and select the best offers – all without paying booking fees.

There are absolutely no costs for using this site.

We do that by using our established relationships with New Zealand’s and Australia’s leading language schools to negotiate the best rates for you. 

If you don’t need a visa to travel to New Zealand, you should starting planning your trip at least six weeks in advance. If you’re heading to Australia and don’t need a visa to travel, you should begin planning three months in advance.

Please check Immigration New Zealand or Australian immigration websites on visa processing times. 

  • For New Zealand: 27 days (1 month)
  • For Australia: up to 3 month

For help with your visa get in touch via email or online chat.

Bookings are usually processed within five working days. You’ll be updated on the status of your booking when it changes.

You should be automatically emailed your booking confirmation right away – you should check all the details are correct. You’ll receive the invoice within two working days. 

If you want to confirm your enrollment, it’s easy to call or email the school. Remember to include your full name and student number, which you will find in the offer of place. 

Double check ALL details on your booking confirmation, including your first and second name, school name, duration of study and accommodation details. If any of the details are incorrect email info@tambook.com with your full name and student ID (from the offer of placement).

If the details are correct, pay the school and accommodation fees at least four weeks before your course starts. 

The payment must be made at least five weeks before your English course start date

To snap up your best offer and avoid fluctuations in currency exchange we recommend paying the invoice within 24 hours after receiving it.

Within three working days, but sometimes can take up to five.

If you’re already in Australia or NZ and have a student visa or visitors visa or you are from list of the counties who doesn't need a visa, you can start studying English at the next available intake date: usually within a week for General English, varies for other courses. You should allow up to five working days for your payment to be processed. You’ll then be ready for when your course begins – Monday is for General English only, other courses have set start dates.

Please double check your current visa status, you might need to apply for a new visa.

You’re most welcome! We’re always happy to see you, answer any questions and share local secrets – we even have a special souvenir for students who visit!


Living in New Zealand

Depending on which country you come from, you may find some things in New Zealand are cheaper and some are more expensive. According to Mercer’s global 2016 Cost of Living survey, New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, is ranked at 98th place while Wellington is at 123d place out of 209 cities across five continents (1 is the most expensive and 209 is the least expensive). If you compare to some other cities included in the survey - Hong Kong (1), Zurich (3), Singapore (4), London (17), Guangzhou (18), Buenos Aires (41), Sydney (42), Moscow (67), Sao Paulo (128) – living in New Zealand seems to be cheaper than in many other countries.

Some examples of prices for common items in 2016 according to Statistics New Zealand:

  • Bread $1.55
  • Milk 2L $3.60
  • Fish and chips $5.91
  • Apples $2.52
  • Lamb $13.89/kg
  • Beer – glass (400 ml) $5.87
  • Petrol – 91 octane $2.11/L

New Zealand has mild, maritime climate with moderate rainfalls and a lot of sunshine. The warmest months are December, January and February, and the coldest are June, July and August - the opposite to Northern Hemisphere. In summer, the average temperature ranges between 20-30 degrees Celsius. The average winter temperature is 9-15, although in mountainous areas and in the South Island winter temperatures can drop to below zero. Winter usually brings the wet weather with snow in the south and rain in the north. 

Students in New Zealand usually wear casual clothes to class: jeans and a t-shirt, little or no make up for girls. If you go out to a café or a restaurant, tidy and casual clothing will also be acceptable. Nightclubs often have a dress code. Usually sports clothes, jandals and in some places jeans will be considered inappropriate.

Here are some suggestions of what to bring:

Summer:

  • Swimming gear
  • Sunglasses and sun hat
  • Light clothing, such as t-shirts and singlets
  • Shorts and skirts
  • Sunscreen (at least SPF 15+)
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Walking shoes

Winter:

  • Rain jacket
  • Warm clothes (jumper, long-sleeved tops)
  • Hat, scarf and gloves
  • Flannel pajama
  • Waterproof shoes
  • Umbrella

New Zealand currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). All banks and exchange offices accept USD, Euros and AUD for exchange. Some places charge a small commission for this service. Most banks in New Zealand are open from 9.00 to 4.30pm on weekdays and for limited hours on weekends. New Zealand retailers accept all major credit cards, with VISA and MASTERCARD being the most popular. Cash can be withdrawn any time of the day from a large network of ATMs at banks, shopping centres, along main streets, at accommodation providers and attractions. 

Electricity in New Zealand is supplied at 230/240 volts. You will most likely need a power plug adapter to use in New Zealand, because the local power outlets take electrical plugs with two or three angled pins.

There are a number of mobile service providers in New Zealand, the most popular ones are Vodafone, Spark and 2 degrees. You can bring your mobile phone and buy a SIM card from any provider. Just make sure that your phone is “unlocked”. All providers will have a choice of packages that include call minutes, messages and Internet data. If you are a smart phone user, choose the package that offers the most data. Vodafone at Auckland International Airport offers the best package deals, which are not available in other Vodafone offices around the city.

There are many free WiFi hotspots available in main cities in New Zealand and on public transport. Also, your school will most likely have free WiFi access and computers available for students.

Tap water in New Zealand is generally safe to drink and does not require boiling.

Public bus service is available in all cities in New Zealand. If you are staying with a homestay family, you will most likely have to use bus to get to school. Your homestay family will show you where to catch the bus to and from school. You can pay your bus fare by cash or use a bus card, which will give you a minimum 10% discount on cash price. If you are a long-term student, you may qualify for a student concession. Ask your school if you qualify. Students under 16 pay a child price. Register your bus card online to get a child rate automatically.

Metropolitan train service is available in Auckland and Wellington. You can use your bus card for train service too.

Bus and train service is limited in the evenings and on weekends. Check your bus timetable to make sure you can get a bus home.

Taxi service is widely available in New Zealand. To order a taxi, you can call a taxi company or catch a cab from a taxi stand at all big hotels and main attractions. There is usually a dedicated taxi phone available at all major supermarkets.


Accommodation

Homestay – living with a local family is usually the most popular option with students. You will have an opportunity to practise your English, experience the New Zealand or Australian lifestyle and culture and have the comfort of a family home. You can ask to stay with a family with/ without children, older/younger children, with/without pets, younger/older couple etc. The homestay fee is based on half-board accommodation, i.e. including breakfast and dinner on weekdays and breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekends. You will have a single bedroom and all other facilities will be shared. There could be another student staying in the same family, usually of another nationality.

International students under 18 can only stay in homestay accommodation arranged by the school or with a relative or a family friend. They cannot go flatting or stay in student residence. 

Your school will be able to assist you with accommodation placement. Once you are settled in New Zealand or Australia, you may want to find your own accommodation that suits you better through the Internet or the newspaper.

There will be very few families within a walking distance to school. Most students travel by bus or train. You may have to travel between 30-40 minutes to school from your homestay.

If you are staying in a homestay, your host family will show you how to catch the bus to and from school. Make sure you have your homestay address and phone number with you in case you get lost so that you can call them to get directions or ask them to be picked up.

If you are staying in a hostel or student residence, ask at the reception how to get to school. Also, public transport companies in all major cities have websites available where you can find the bus service you need by entering your home address and the destination. 

You can ask your school to change your homestay family if you are unhappy, but discuss your issue with the school first. A lot of issues arise from simple misunderstanding and can easily be resolved. You will need to wait for 2 weeks before you can change.