Health and support services in New Zealand
Here’s a lowdown on the support services available for you!
It can be a little challenging to cope with the changes in your environment when you move to New Zealand for the first time. With a new set of customs and norms, adjusting into the culture takes a little time, and you may need some assistance to absorb it all smoothly. Don’t worry if you struggle to adjust, or feel alienated or unhealthy, there are a range of support services available to help you out.
In case you get hassled at any point, you can reach out to:
Pre-arrival support guide
Many institutions offer a pre-arrival support guide that includes details of medical insurance available, accommodation options, strategies to budget living expenses and other necessary details to settle in.
Campus support services
Dedicated to support international students via various orientations and programs. These may include supportive and educational workshops, cultural celebrations and academic support. Sometimes, they also help with student accommodation and employment/internship opportunities.
Student associations on campus
Most universities and colleges have their own student associations, which help international students manage their various activities along with academics. Some universities also have a dedicated international student association to offer unbiased support to students from another country.
For instance, the University of Auckland offers health and counselling services that help ensures the wellbeing of all inter-cultural students. The University of Waikato has a students’ association that bridges the gap between the students and the administration.
On-campus counselling sessions
Many Kiwi institutions have well-experienced counsellors to assist its international students suffering from any academic, personal or social issues.
Every Kiwi institution has dedicated staff to ensure international students have a stress-free time in their country. In New Zealand, international students are protected by the code of practice that every institution must adhere to in order to support its international students crowd.
This code of practice at the NZQA website.
Student associations off campus
Various student associations outside of campus work for the welfare of national and international students.
New Zealand has a national representative body for tertiary level students called the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations that stands for almost 400,000 students in over 40+ colleges/universities that work for student rights and support.
Support for students with disabilities
Most universities and institutions offer special support to international students with disabilities, but it is best to communicate the same at the time of application to discuss if any special arrangements need to be made for you.
For instance, as an initiative, the University of Auckland through its Student Disability Services offers a range of support for its disabled students such as practical help and advice, emotional encouragement, study planning, crisis management, and liaison with external agencies.
Make sure you have a health insurance
While most universities and colleges also provide health insurance facilities to international students, you might have to arrange for it on your own if your institution doesn’t provide one before your departure. Discuss with your IDP counsellor for details regarding your best health insurance options in New Zealand.
We recommend you get registered with a local doctor or a medical centre located in your campus when you arrive in the country.
Differently-abled students can check for free or subsidised health and disability services in New Zealand. These include:
- Subsidised primary healthcare services such as doctor’s visits
- Discount on prescribed medicines
- No cost public hospital services
- Support services in case of disabilities
In an emergency
If you happen to face any emergency, call the toll-free number 111. This is a common number that can be used for fire, police, ambulance or search and rescue.
Some other emergency contact numbers you should keep saved are:
- For medical emergencies: 0800 611 116
- To report a traffic incident: *555
A great way to come prepared to face various challenges of settling into a new country is by attending one of our pre-departure sessions , where we prepare you for your life in New Zealand before you leave. These sessions are free to attend. Just walk into any of your nearest IDP offices to know more.
Updated on June 24, 2020
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