Pre-Arrival Information for International Students

Payment of Tuition Fees and Accommodation

Payment of Tuition and Accommodation fees are required four weeks prior to your start date. Payment can be made by bank transfer or via credit. If you do prefer to pay via credit card there will be 2.5% surcharge that applies to all credit cards.

Obtaining A Student Visa

All International students must have a valid student visa to study at Southern Lakes English College.

When renewing your student visa you can either apply at the College or send your application to Immigration New Zealand.

Applying for a Visa at College

International Students currently studying at Southern Lakes English College may be eligible to apply for their visa through the Student Services Team. There is a $250 admin fee that occurs.

Apply through Immigration New Zealand

Visit for information on requirements and the application process.

Visa applications can be made online or using paper form. To make sure your applications is accepted you will need to provide all information required at the time you submit the application.

Processing Time for Visa applications onshore

New Zealand Immigration standard processing times is 25 working days.

Work Right on Student Visas

International students may be eligible to work while studying. Conditions of eligibility are explained as this link

For information on your employment rights and responsibilities visit

Health Care and Insurance

Applying for insurance cover is easy and can be done directly through Southern Lakes English College at the time or after your enrolment. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to add insurance. See Southern Cross Insurance –


Southern Lakes English College has Four Student Residential Houses. Please see what great options we have to offer.

We also offer students the option of homestay. This is a great way to experience real New Zealand life with New Zealand families.

Arranging Travel

Most International flights to New Zealand arrive in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. From these cities, a domestic flight is required to travel to Queenstown. It is important to book a domestic flight at the same times as you make your international booking.

Airport Transfer 

Queenstown Airport is located 15 minutes’ drive from the Queenstown centre.

If you are new international student we can arrange your airport pick on your behalf.  If you would like us to arrange an airport pick up for you than please contact us at along with your name, arrival date, time and flight number. You will than receive a airport pick confirmation outlining arrangements at the airport.


You could also take the bus from Queenstown airport to your destination. See the bus timetable via link below.

Your First day at College

On your first day of College it is important that you bring the following documents with you.

  • Passport;
  • Proof of insurance;
  • X2 Passport sized photographs.

You will also complete a placement test so we can ensure you are placed in the most appropriate class. You will than attend orientation and receive a welcome pack in which you will be given lots of information about the school and Queenstown.

The Cost of Living

Most students will stay in our Student Residences or homestay. Other students will stay in a flat and will share the cost of living together with other students. Our student accommodation prices include all extra costs like electricity.

Accommodation Price List

Cost of Living in Queenstown

Estimated costs of flatting per person for a flat of 4-5 people

Rent at $200-$250 per week (for a house/flat of good condition);

Groceries at $70 per week;

Electricity/Gas at $50 per week (this will fluctuate in winter season);

Internet Cost $20 per week;

Additional Costs

Other Living Costs students may/will incur;

        • Clothes;
        • Travel;
        • Entertainment;
        • Mobile phone;
        • Toiletries;
        • Snacks/lunches.

Currency and Banking

Local currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). There are 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.

Information regarding the current foreign exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar against your currency can be found at

It is important to note that you should have some New Zealand cash for immediate costs (eg. airport costs or transport). You may need further funds in the form of travellers cheques which can be readily cashed. There is foreign exchange office at the Queenstown Airport and in the town centre. We strongly recommend that while in New Zealand you do not carry large amounts of cash around with you or leave cash in your room.

We suggest opening a bank account as soon as possible after arrival. There are a number of banks with branches in Queenstown including

  • ANZ
  • BNZ
  • Kiwibank
  • Wespac

Automatic teller machines can dispense cash 24 hours a day. You can also purchase goods using EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) at nearly all retailers.

Any major amounts of money may be sent in the form of a bank draft, but electronic transfers are, in most cases, the most efficient method of sending funds to New Zealand.

Student Handbook

Click here to download the PDF file.