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Study and work in New Zealand

Study and Work in New Zealand – Know All About It

by Anamika Sharma
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Study and work in New Zealand – Gaining work experience while pursuing studies in New Zealand can be beneficial for international students. Working while studying helps them develop interpersonal skill, communication skill, confidence, teamwork, time management and earn a few extra money to manage expenses of living abroad. However, students must understand that there should be a balance between study and work so that it doesn’t affect their academic obligations. Having a student visa while students study and work in New Zealand allows them to work for up to 20 hours per week during a course term.

In this article, we have covered information about study and work in New Zealand. The information includes work permits for international students in New Zealand, work opportunities, employment rights and other such topics.

Study and Work in New Zealand – Eligibility to Work in New Zealand

Working while studying in New Zealand for international students is subject to certain terms and conditions. The international students coming to New Zealand for studies must hold a valid student visa. It is specified on the student visa whether the student can work in New Zealand while continuing his/her studies. If allowed to work, the international students who wish to study and work in New Zealand get to work for up to 20 hours per week during the academic sessions. Also, they cannot work as employers, they can only work as employees. If the study program has practical experience as one of the course requirements, the students are allowed to work.

Let’s take a look at the conditions that foreign students need to fulfil in order to start working while studying in New Zealand.
S.No. Level of education Eligibility conditions
1. Tertiary students
  • The candidates must be pursuing a full-time program in New Zealand and the duration of the course should be of at least 2 years.
  • The international students must be studying to earn a New Zealand qualification that gains points under the Skilled Migrant Category.
  • The international students are also eligible to work part-time in New Zealand while studying if they are pursuing a foundation program for at least academic year at level 4 or higher on the New Zealand Qualification Framework at an education provider in Canterbury.
  • The part-time working students can also work full-time but only during the scheduled breaks such as summer/winter break or Christmas and New Year holiday. However, the candidates must be studying full-time and their course is worth 120 credits or more.
2. Research students The research students pursuing masters or PhD programs from a tertiary institution in New Zealand can work for any number of hours as there are no restrictions on their working hours.
3. English language students
  • In case the duration of English language course is more than 6 months, the international students can work part-time. They must have obtained an International English Language Testing System certificate with an overall band score of 5.0 and the score should not be more than 2 years old. Also, the language course must be a full-time basis.
  • In case the duration of English language course is more than 14 weeks, the international students can start working while studying. However, the students must be studying this course at a university or a high-quality education provider.
4. Secondary school students
  • The secondary school students can work part-time for 20 hours a week during the school year if they are in the last 2 years of secondary school. They can work full-time at the time of Christmas and New Year holiday periods.
  • The students below 18 years must have written permission from their school and parents/legal guardian that they can work on a part-time basis.

Read ‘Scholarships for Indian Students to Study Abroad if you wish to explore funding options.

Study and Work in New Zealand – Basic Work Rights in New Zealand

The first rule of working in a foreign land is to have a basic knowledge of work rights of that country in order to make sure that you are working in a safe environment and are treated fairly by the employer. The policies in New Zealand make sure that foreign workers enjoy the same work rights as natives of New Zealand do. Highlighted below are the basic work rights that international students wishing to study and work in New Zealand must know about.

  • The employer must provide the students, who are going to work with him/her, a written employment agreement.
  • The employer must not charge any fee from the student for providing him/her with a job.
  • The employer must pay the working student at least the minimum wage set by the government. (Currently, the minimum pay in NZ is NZD 16.50 per hour.)
  • The working students are entitled to get paid annual holidays. (In New Zealand, employees get 4 weeks of paid time off from work which the employee earns after working for a full year.)
  • In New Zealand, the employees must be given paid rest breaks and unpaid meal breaks.
  • The employer can not take money from the wage of a working student unless it is for a lawful purpose, is reasonable, and the employee has given his/her written consent.
  • The employer must provide a safe workplace to the working international students and not discriminate against them. The employees should be treated fairly and with respect.

Study and Work in New Zealand – Part-time Job Opportunities in NZ

Working while studying in New Zealand helps students to manage their living costs, gain work experience which may be helpful in the future, make new friends and also, get familiar with the local culture. Having a number of businesses running, New Zealand offers international students with part-time and casual work opportunities that usually coincide with their academic schedule. Find a list of job options that will suit the study schedules of international students.

  • Cooking in restaurant or café
  • Working as a waitress or waiter
  • Working as bartender
  • Working as a salesperson in a retail shop
  • Administrative or clerical jobs
  • Working as fruit pickers or tailorsColleges Admissions, Study Abroad, Login with user details, find Courses, Exams, Scholarships

Click here to know about part-time work opportunities for international students in Australia.

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