When you first arrive

Settle into life in New Zealand by checking out the campus, Wellington city and your new accommodation.

Your first day in Wellington

Once you’ve been taken to your accommodation, you could:

  • contact your family to let them know you’ve arrived safely
  • walk around the city, catch the bus or train, or take a campus or city tour—ask your flatmates or other students which are the safest or quickest routes
  • find your way to the Victoria International office
  • get to know your roommates, homestay family or other students sharing your accommodation
  • find out where your closest convenience store, supermarket and post office are located
  • notify your friends, family and Victoria International of your new address
  • open a bank account and set up a NZ phone.

Don’t worry about course selection or enrolment—everything will be explained at International Orientation.

General info about life in NZ

In New Zealand:

  • there’s only one timezone. We’re 12 hours ahead of GMT, or 13 hours during daylight saving—you can check the time difference from your home country on timeanddate.com
  • all the tap water is fresh and safe to drink—but don’t drink directly from rivers or streams
  • the sun is especially harsh, and you’ll get sunburnt much faster than you would at home
  • you need to be over 18 to buy cigarettes. Smoking is banned from all indoor public spaces, workplaces and public transport
  • you need to be over 18 to buy alcohol, and will be asked for ID if you look under 25
  • buying, selling or using illegal drugs is punishable by large fines or prison time
  • there are 12 public holidays throughout the year.

Find someone to show you around

Campus Coaches

Register with Campus Coaches to help you find your way around. Your campus coach will be a current Victoria student, and they'll introduce you to our campuses and services during your first week here.

International Buddy Programme

If you’ve signed up for a buddy, get in touch to meet up with them. If you haven’t organised one yet, complete the sign up form to be matched up with a current student who can show you around Wellington and help you get settled in.