Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Why choose OKCNZ?

OKC has over 20 years experience helping people work, travel and study in New Zealand. Conveniently located in the heart of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch cities, our friendly staff and support centres are perfect for you to visit for advice or to keep in touch with family via our free internet service.

2.  I’m an experienced independant traveler. Can I use OKCNZ’s services without being a member?

Absolutely! While OKCNZ offers a comprehensive range of specialised programmes, all services are available on an individual basis. So, if you only need help finding a homestay, internship, or school booking, let us know and we will be happy to help!

3.  Why New Zealand?

New Zealand is famous for its beautiful scenery and abundance of nature. Whether you want to go tramping, work on a farm, study English, experience a laid back lifestyle, party at a club with new friends, learn to surf, or take an organised tour, New Zealand has everything to offer - without the crowds!

4.  What kind of visa do I need?

Depending on your country of origin, visa allocations and requirements will vary. However, the most common types of visa are:
Visitor Visa - you can travel or study for up to three months
Student Visa – for people who wish to study for longer than 12 weeks
Working Holiday Visa – for people aged 18-30, study up to 12 weeks, work for each employer for up to three months, and travel, live and play in New Zealand for up to one year.

5. How do I get a visa?

To find out what kind of visa you require and if you are eligible, visit New Zealand Immigration Web Site or become a member of OKCNZ and we’ll assist you!

6. Do I need travel insurance?

Yes! Travel insurance is protection for you against problems such as lost luggage or expensive medical bills. If you intend to study in New Zealand, travel insurance is compulsory. OKCNZ can assist with arranging travel insurance for members.

7. How do I choose a school?

OKCNZ has working relationships with all the best schools. Just tell us what you’re looking for in a study experience and we’ll find the right school for you! OKCNZ English school introduction is FREE!

8. How long should I study for?

If you’re only going to holiday in New Zealand then taking a four or eight week course is ok. However if you wish to volunteer, work or live with locals then we recommend 12 weeks study. Of course if you’re coming to New Zealand as a student only then it will depend on what type of course you want to do.

9. What sort of accommodation should I choose?

We recommend that while you’re studying at English school you stay with one of OKCNZ’s experienced and friendly homestay families. Homestay is an excellent way to improve your English and adjust to life in a new country. Once you have graduated, OKCNZ members can check our notice boards for a flat to share with friends. Other popular choices of accommodation are Backpacker Hostels, Apartments, or working and living on farmstays and Bed & Breakfasts.

10. How do I get to my homestay?

OKCNZ offers members an airport meet service for your convenience. If you choose to use this service, you will be met on your arrival by a representative of OKCNZ who will either take you to your homestay, or introduce you to your host family at the airport (depending on which city you arrive in). You will also receive an arrival pack with all the information you need for your first few days.

11. Is homestay suitable for me?

Homestay is perfect for anyone who wants to experience the New Zealand lifestyle, meet locals and enjoy company while studying or on holiday. Your host family will provide you with breakfast and dinner 7 days a week, and lunch during the weekends if you are home. You will have your own room with bed, drawers, study desk, lamp and heating. Your host family will do your laundry for you, and if you are studying, help you get to and from school on your first day. OKCNZ has a wide variety of homestay families, with or without children and pets. All OKCNZ families pass a thorough check by our Homestay Co-ordinators, and are police vetted before being accepted to host.

12. How can I keep in touch with friends and family at home?

OKCNZ members can enjoy free internet access at our service centres. We also sell convenient Access phone cards which offer inexpensive international calling rates. OKCNZ has mobile phones for hire for your convenience and security.

13. How do I get to work on a farm?

OKCNZ sell booklets that enable you to choose from many farms throughout the country. Once you have the booklet you can contact the farmers directly to arrange a stay. Length of stay can vary from just a few days to several months. You will be required to work up to six hours a day in return for food and lodging.

14. How can I be a volunteer or do an internship in New Zealand?

OKCNZ has a Volunteer Programme and an Internship Programme. The type of work you can do depends on what you are looking for, what is available and your English ability. The law in New Zealand means that in order to work with children you must provide a report from the police in your country to say that you have no criminal record.

15. How can I get a job?

OKCNZ has a CV writing service available, or you can make your own. Jobs are advertised on notice boards, in local newspapers, and on the internet. However, the best way to get a job is to ask around, and approach employers directly with your CV. The better your English, the more chance you have of finding a good job, although there are many positions available for people with limited English. Ask OKCNZ staff for advice on where to start looking.

16. What is the cost of living in New Zealand?

The cost of living varies depending on where you live. For example a furnished room in a share flat will cost on average $136.50 per week in Auckland, $133.25 in Wellington and $104.50 in Christchurch. Then you will need to pay power, phone, and food, and sometimes gas and water, which will be about another $90 a week. The cost of a bus ride in Christchurch is $2.50 one way, in Auckland the average is $4. In New Zealand a loaf of bread is about $2.50, an international stamp for letters is $2, and a cup of coffee is $3.50. Lunch will cost about $6 a day, and if you want to go to the movies, you will pay about $13.

17. How should I bring my money to New Zealand?

OKCNZ recommends that you bring your money to New Zealand on a credit card or with traveler’s cheques. You can bring a small amount of cash, and open a bank account in New Zealand if you meet the criteria. OKCNZ can assist members to do this. Then you can ask a family member to transfer your money to your bank account direct from Japan.

18. What kind of clothes should I bring?

New Zealand has four distinct seasons. In the summer expect temperatures in the high 20’s, however it does get cool in the evenings. Autumn and spring temperatures are around 15 degrees, while in the winter it can go below zero during the night and only reach 10 degrees during the day. The north of the country, including Auckland, is more humid, but you should always be prepared for rain no matter where you are staying! Our weather can change very quickly, so bring clothes for all conditions.

19. I have decided to book with OKCNZ. How do I pay?

Once you have filled in the application form we will send you an invoice for the amount due. You will then need to arrange to have the amount transferred from your bank account to ours. Our bank account details will be sent to you with the invoice. Once we have received payment we will send you a receipt.

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