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Travelling to New Zealand

Student Information

Setting up a bank account

New Zealand has several major banks:

We suggest you search each bank’s website for “international student” to see what package they’ll offer you.

You can open a New Zealand bank account and deposit money into it before you leave home. We can give you a letter at orientation with proof of your New Zealand address after you arrive. You will need to take this to your local branch to activate your account.

Buying things in New Zealand

In New Zealand there are a few ways you can pay for purchases.


EFTPOS card – this card comes with a ‘PIN’ number which lets you access your bank account; you can also use it to get cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs) 24 hours a day

Credit card – these are widely accepted although some retailers add a surcharge for using a credit card


If you need to bring medication into New Zealand, follow these simple steps:

Keep your medicine in the original container with the label on

Make sure your name is clearly stated on the label

Have a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor explaining why you need to take the medicine

Have no more than a 3 month supply

Declare the medicine on your Passenger Arrival Card

If you are unsure whether your medicine is legal in New Zealand, check with the New Zealand Embassy in your home country before you leave.

Predeparture Checklist

Travel documents

Air tickets

Police Clearance


Medical and travel insurance documents

Money (New Zealand dollars)

Credit card

Driver's licence

Vaccination Pass

Medical records and personal medication

Extra passport photos

Your favourite music

Contact details of your friends and Families

Restricted and Banned Items

New Zealand has strict laws on what you can bring into the country. Items that you must not bring include:

Drugs (unless they are prescription medication and you have a letter from your doctor explaining why you are carrying them)


Flammable goods (such as gas cookers or lighters)

More than NZD$10,000, or the equivalent in foreign currency (cash)

Any animals or insects (alive or dead)

Feathers, shells, plants or flowers

Fresh foods, including meat

Some packaged goods, such as certain cheeses

There are also security regulations about carrying liquids, aerosols or gels in your hand luggage.

If you are unsure, please declare to immigration on arrival at the airport.

What To Bring

Plenty of warm clothing; even when arriving in summer, Canterbury has been known to have “four seasons in one day”!

Photos of family and friends to help you stop feeling homesick

An electrical adapter; in NZ the electrical supply is 230/240 volts at 50 cycles and uses ac 20 current (you can purchase this in New Zealand)

Personal medication prescribed by your Doctor

Originals and copies of:


Travel insurance documents

International Driver's licence

Academic records (if necessary)

Vaccine Pass