Student safety guide for Indian students in New Zealand
Stay safe. Follow these safety tips while staying in New Zealand
Ranking second on the Global Peace Index 2018*, New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the safest countries in the world. All universities and colleges in New Zealand pay extreme attention to the safety of their students on campus. As an international student, you’ll have access to various points of contacts for any kind of emergency. Don’t worry, 24-hour security is provided at most campuses. Having said that, it is important to take some precautions to remain on the safer side.
Your university security service can help
Almost all campuses in New Zealand have a special body to ensure the safety of their international students. So, as the first step, check if your institution offers one and keep the security officer’s number saved in your phone.
Various institutions also offer services like shuttles and security escorts to drop you to your accommodation or stations after hours. Some go a step further and have their own mobile apps with a direct line for students to get in touch with the security. Also, there is CCTV surveillance and security that work round the clock on the premises.
If, at any point of time, you feel unsafe in and around you campus or accommodation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your college authorities.
What to do 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 have saved are:
- For medical emergencies: 0800 611 116
- To report a traffic incident: *555
- Reach the Language Line if you face difficulty communicating in English with the New Zealand Police on 0800 656 656. This service is available from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Monday to Friday and Saturday between 9.00 am to 2.00 p.m.
Stay alert when outdoors
- You must always be aware and vigilant about your surroundings. Trust your instincts and move away from areas where you feel uncomfortable and are not familiar with.
- Avoid travelling alone especially during the night. Pre-book a taxi or have your friend drop you.
- Walk on well-lit streets, preferably in a group. Carry sufficient emergency cash.
- Do not accept rides from strangers.
Navigate safe through the city
- Unless your institution provides with shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport.
- For short distances, you can make use of regional trains, buses, and subways.
- Take some time to study the routes in New Zealand properly. Get familiar with the area and check the latest maps for directions. Stick to well-lit routes.
- New Zealand laws are different from India. So, learn them beforehand to avoid breaking them unintentionally.
Keep your money and documents safe
As an international student, you must keep all your documents safe with you at all times. Your passport, identification, visa papers, and immigration forms should always be kept in safe place. If you prefer to use cash, keep it in various places instead of a single location. It is always a better option to use a card rather than cash.
Do not carry your passport when you go out exploring. If you do not have a permanent place to live, contact your university’s international support team to get you campus storage facilities.
Have fun, but with care
Exploring new venues and enjoying your new surroundings can be exciting but before taking a trip to these areas, research and look up any information you can find on that place to see whether it is safe for you to go venturing. Inform your friends and family about your plans beforehand. You can also share your live location with someone you trust.
Always stay connected
Always keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts at all times. Here’s how you can always remain connected:
- Get a local number and share it with friends, family, university office and your roommate
- Always keep your phone charged and on ringing when not in a classroom
- Whether you're going to another town or to the nearest shopping mall, keep someone informed
- If you feel unsafe at any given time, share your live location with someone you trust
Make friends – use the buddy system
Venturing out into the city is both fun and safe if you have some friends along. Various universities in New Zealand have special programs like “Buddy systems” to assist international students to settle in a new environment.
Your IDP counsellor will brief you about all the precautionary measures before you leave from India during your pre-departure session so that you are well prepared for the new challenges ahead.