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Health and Support Services

If you ever need assistance, we are here to help

Travelling or moving to a new country is a big change. If you find yourself struggling to adjust, or feel that someone has been treating you unfairly, there are a host of support services available. These support services are provided by your educational institution as well as several government departments.

But as a first point of contact, you may want to contact your IDP representative who will be able to offer you advice and guidance on what your options are and how to proceed.

Get insured

As an international student, you are required by the New Zealand Ministry of Education to have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance. You must ensure your insurance covers you for the full duration of your studies in New Zealand.

You are strongly recommended to purchase insurance before you move to New Zealand, this means that if you get sick or injured upon arrival you will be able to access help straight away. Remember to compare policies and providers to make sure you’re protected with the student health insurance that’s right for you.

Medication and Pharmacies
The availability and use of medication in New Zealand is restricted. You can purchase some medicines in supermarkets to relieve the symptoms of some common illnesses. There is another group of medication that you can only purchase at a pharmacy because you’ll need advice about the medication at the time of purchase.

Such medications are known as pharmacy only medicines and you won’t need a doctor’s prescription to purchase them. However, there are prescription only medicines, which can only be purchased at a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription. You must have seen a doctor in order to get a prescription. 


If there is an emergency, you should call 111. Tell the operator, which emergency service you need. If you don’t speak English, tell the operator what your first language is and wait for instructions. Calls to 111 are free and you can call this number on a mobile phone even if your phone is out of credit.

What is an emergency?
You should call 111 in these situations:

  • Chemical spill or fire

  • Medical emergency

  • Someone is badly injured or in danger

  • A serious risk to property or life 

  • A crime is being committed and the offenders are still there or have just left

  • You have come across a major public disruption, such as trees blocking a road


    A dangerous situation is happening right now or has just happened.



If you’re uncertain about the situation but are still worried, you should call 111 and ask the operator for advice. They will help you work out what to do. If it’s a medical issue, you should call Healthline on 0800 611 116. To report a traffic incident, you should call *555 from your mobile phone.

Safety tips
New Zealand is a very safe and easy country to live in but it’s still best to know what you can do to avoid trouble and what to do if trouble arises.
New Zealand Police offer several tips to help you and your family keep safe, includeing: 

  • Keeping yourself and your home safe

  • Avoiding scams

  • Keeping safe when you are out and about

  • Keeping safe in your car

  • Educating your children about alcohol and drugs 

  • Managing parties with teenagers 


    Keeping your children safe


Health Tips

  • Protect your skin by applying sunscreen before you go outside. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and reapply it frequently if you can.

  • Wear a hat with a wide brim or protective flaps

  • Use close-fitting, high quality UV protection sunglasses

  • Make sure you’re always protected even on cloudy and overcast days – you can still get burnt.


    Keep hydrated regardless of the weather as your body still has the same demands for water. 


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