International Students’ Common Room

common room

Education is expensive in New Zealand and students get very little in return

This section is for International students to get together and discuss studying and living in New Zealand.

New Zealand needs your money but do you need New Zealand? Would your hard earned cash be better invested elsewhere where you’re going to see a real return on your investment?

The country makes $4.28 billion a year from international students, the fourth biggest industry behind dairy, tourism and meat. But students get very little in return and are often subject to exploitation, intimidation, fraud, corruption and abuse.

Update: read

Qualifications in doubt at big school for international students: NZQA (NZ Herald 19 April 2017)

One of New Zealand’s biggest schools for international students has repeatedly failed to meet minimum educational standards and there are doubts over whether many of its qualifications are genuine, according to two damning reports by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

The reports show NZQA has taken the unusual step of placing four statutory conditions on Cornell Institute of Business and Technology, because of concerns about the legitimacy of its cookery programme and serious doubts over its assessment practices in both cookery and business qualifications…

To start your research you should read the following three articles in the NZ Herald, written as part of its Student Visa Scandal series

The Student Visa Scandal

International education in New Zealand is designed to bring in as many students as possible, concentrating on revenue rather than high-level qualifications. It offers students a pathway to immigration through part-time work as they study and post-study work visas. And it has targeted India, where millions of people seek to escape a lifetime of poverty and corruption and some are prepared to cut corners for a better life in New Zealand. Not surprisingly, the system appears wide open to abuseread on

False hopes, used as cash cow

“…I had an Indian learner who had originally come to the institution to do the diploma in business. However, his English was so low that he was moved to the ESL section in the hope that his English would improve. Despite our best efforts, he stayed in that class for more than six months without improving. He became very depressed and told me that his family had mortgaged their farm in order to pay for him to come here. He twice asked me to marry him (or find him friends who would) so he could get a visa in order to bring his family here. All the teachers were aware of his struggles, but the institution kept him because he was a cash cow and continued to give him false hope that he would eventually be able to do the diploma. The kid was working through the night to support himself, and would fall asleep in class.”

‘Sleep with me if you want your visa’ boss tells student worker

Ananya* left her first job in New Zealand when her supervisor told her she would have to sleep with him to get her residency.

She was shocked that the man, a fellow Indian, could suggest such a thing – not only because it deeply offended her but because she had assumed that kind of behaviour would not happen here.

“I want residency but it doesn’t mean I have to sleep with someone – because I am a lady – or that I have to pay someone. I just moved from India because I don’t like corruption everywhere.”…

…Ananya says she once went for a job interview with a recruitment agency, where she was offered a three-month fake job, if she paid the agency $50,000.

She also knows a woman who was temporarily in charge of a jewellery shop, who paid $40,000 for a job letter declaring she was a retail manager to get her residency.

Then there was a man who paid $10,000 for an accountant’s job to get his residency visa. The “job” lasted three months, she says. He is now working as a bouncer.

Ananya, who is 37, admits she was hopelessly under-prepared for life in New Zealand at first. She came from a middle-class family – her father was a doctor – and she had slept in the same bed as her mother until she was 31. When she arrived in Auckland and got her first ATM card she had no idea how to use it.

Ananya arrived here with two arts degrees, a post-graduate diploma in business management and two years work experience in human resources. But she discovered that counted for little in New Zealand and she would effectively have to start again. She did a graduate level diploma in business management but found, like most of her immigrant classmates, that she couldn’t get a job in her chosen field without “Kiwi work experience”… read on

NZ Dream turns to nightmare for international students

Hardeep Singh’s introduction to the New Zealand dream was working seven days a week in an Ashburton dairy. When he did get paid it was no more than $8.50 an hour.

One day Singh’s boss ordered him to work for a week in another dairy in Christchurch. He got no money for travel or living expenses, so when the dairy was shut, he slept on the floor…Singh worked at least 60 hours a week but was not paid for his first two weeks work and received no holiday pay. He was dismissed in a text message.

Another student, Harpal Bola, who worked for two and a half months without a day off, was refused leave to see a doctor for an infection…”The staff endured these substandard and unlawful terms and conditions of their employment largely in the hope that they would eventually move on to better employment and, with it, the prospect of permanent residence in New Zealand for themselves and perhaps also their families.”

AUT business school researcher Danae Anderson, who has surveyed 483 international students for her PhD, says this is the mindset that keeps migrant exploitation going…read on

If you are an Indian or Chinese student thinking about studying in regional New Zealand (because you’ve been told it will give you bonus points for residency) it is essential you read this report: International Students Ripped Off, Lied to About Residency Bonus Points for the Regions.

Planning to work while you’re studying? Take a few minutes to read about the Indian pizza delivery man in Napier who was beaten up by youths “just for funHe said it wouldn’t happen in India because strict parenting kept younger people at home late at night.

The floor is open to you to talk about student life in New Zealand. Please used any language you choose but do read our comments guidelines first.

Here’s a link to get the ball rolling:  International student visas expanded

79 thoughts on “International Students’ Common Room

  1. I was considering doing my post grad study in Auckland (University of Auckland). But apart from the ridiculously high international student fees I am now doubting it would be a good decision. I’ve spent 3 Months in NZ in 2014 and although as a white European almost fluent in English ( but not a native speaker) I had to face much less prejudice and racism over there I have to say what I’ve read on this page is absolutely true. I lived with 2 white girls in one of the most expensive areas in Auckland and they HATED the Asians. And although I got along with them very well and they were friendly I would not consider us friends. They would not invite me to go out with them and when offering there help would be rather surprised if you actually accepted their offer. All my friends over there were other international students/immigrants and I made some really good friends in NZ, but none of them is a Kiwi. When meeting a Kiwi in Spain this year she even told me herself that only when she started travelling and moved to Europe she would realise how different things are here and how easy it is to make REAL friends. Kiwis may seem extremely friendly but they don’t actually mean it. I hate when someone’s smiling all the time and promising all kind of things while they actually don’t believe anything they’re saying and wont do anything to help you. It turned communicating with them and organising things a nightmare. They never keep their promises. I liked the beaches and the countryside in general, as I’m an “outdoorsy” person and love hiking,mountainbiking etc. but I also enjoy visiting an art exhibition, going to concerts,…. and even in Auckland there’s not much on the offer. I know we are pretty spoiled here in Europe when it comes to that but seriously?? What do people DO in their freetime ( rhetorical question, they smoke and drink and go to the beach or have a BBQ). And to be honest, there are many countries which can offer as stunning views and beaches and landscapes PLUS all the amenities of a modern, safe country (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany….).
    The longer I’m back in Europe the more I’m doubting it would be a good idea to go back to NZ. I did have a good time, but I now realised it was only because of my international friends and the things we did together and because everything was new and exciting.I was lucky enough to spend a summer there and even then it was bloody cold at night and the house was damp ( we’re talking about a 3 Mio dollar villa here!) Because of course why would it have central heating and double glazed windows???
    I’m glad I found this website as all you’ll read about Nz online is propaganda from the government to attract tourists and students to get their money.

    • No country is perfect, and NZ is no exception, but I don’t really understand why so many Indians and Chinese want to live here now. India and China both have some very good educational institutions and jobs. I am a New Zealander but have also lived in Australia and the UK. A lot of the problems migrants have here are the same as the ones they face in other countries. Some comments about New Zealanders on this site are rather unfair. If I said the same things about a particular race or nationality, I’d be called a racist. There are good and bad people everywhere! I’d suggest everyone does quite a bit of research into their job prospects etc before moving here. Bring enough money to live for 4 months and enough money to leave if it is not for you. I meet a lot of migrants through my work and the majority of them say they are glad they came. The ones who are not happy are usually people who prefer to live in bustling cities. It is true that there are many migrants doing jobs beneath them. You must make sure your qualifications are recognised before coming here. Speaking from experience (as I have lived in 4 different countries) it is almost always harder to live abroad than in your own country. You need to think carefully about whether you are willing to take risks or not. Good jobs are difficult to find and you need to earn more than the average New Zealander to secure permanent residency. NZ is a small country and there aren’t many large companies.

  2. Judge for yourself how inviting the NZ job market is,
    and how “intellectual” and reasonably paying the NZ job market is:
    Student loan borrowers seeking bankruptcy as millions in debts wiped due to insolvency
    Last updated 10:53, October 1 2016
    NZ Union of Students’ Associations president Linsey Higgins, left, says graduates abroad are struggling with …
    NZ Union of Students’ Associations president Linsey Higgins, left, says graduates abroad are struggling with interest-laden loans to the point of declaring bankruptcy.

    Overseas graduates declaring themselves penniless are among the 483 debtors whose $18 million in students loans have been wiped by bankruptcies.

    Inland Revenue has revealed the latest figures as the amount owed by student loan defaulters tips over the $1 billion mark. The 10 biggest overseas debtors owe more than $300,000 each.

    Some are dying in debt. Ministry of Education figures show that, in the year to June 2015, $19m of student loan debt was written off because of the death of the borrower. That compared with $16m written off because of bankruptcy.

    Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says Inland Revenue does not seek to bankrupt anyone solely because of their student debt.

    But student leaders say the crackdown on defaulters is treating bright young Kiwis seeking careers overseas like “traitors”.

    It’s funny how people don’t tell the locals “you should have done your research first” and “if you didn’t get picked for a decently paying job, maybe you need more “New Zealand experience””.
    Maybe the people who comment are fully aware that if their words hit too close to the bone … there might be an “accidental data breach” and their personal information will become public knowledge.
    Social control through intimidation and private information disclosure, is very powerful.

  3. Namaste,I am planning for a post graduate diploma(PGDipSci) in biomedical science at University of Auckland.What are chances of getting job as lab attendant or a tutor.I am a veterinary science graduate but have to pass the qualification examination,for which I want to prepare during my stay.Also,whether masters by research after PGDipSci increase the chances of job.Thanks.

    • You make the miscalculation of “the more qualified I am, the more in demand I will be”.
      NZ businesses REALLY only want NZers. Full stop.
      You may luck into a interim spot, but unless you are from NZ, your chances are slim.

  4. Attention: Admin

    I write for The Wireless website (part of RNZ). I’ve recently reported on migrant exploitation in NZ (

    Following on from this, I want to explore the issue of PTEs offering low quality eduction to international students for inflated prices. I saw that several people have spoken about their experiences on this forum. Is there anyone you can put me in touch with regarding this issue or anybody you think I should talk to?

    Sorry for getting in touch in this way! I couldn’t find an admin contact anywhere.

    Kind regards,


  5. i am just planning to study in New Zealand for graduate diploma in accounting in Ntec…the agent is providing me info that …its the best instituion to study having part time working facilities and having pr facilities and outcome after graduation i.e global recognition or able to move to Australia ….is it true?!?!?

  6. Good news! Your single room that you booked at Victoria University Katharine Jermyn Hall, has now become shared accommodation – you will now have the benefit of exchanging ideas with your very own roommate /sarcasm
    “Victoria University hall students paid for single rooms and got put into bunks
    Last updated 16:18, February 18 2016”

    “”Everyone is so angry and everyone’s parents are going mental, some people’s parents want to sue the hostel for doing it,” Victoria University first-year student Izzy Louisson said.
    She must have been indoctrinated differently from international students, we are told that on Orientation Day at University in New Zealand that “lawsuits don’t happen in New Zealand, we are not as litigious as Americans” or maybe they spout that BS to international students because those are the people who can afford to haul shysters to court over dodgy deals …

    On the other hand, another reason (unprinted) why students are angry at having to share rooms is that they can’t have sex without an audience present (but that is a flimsy reason as they make enough noise for the floor to hear anyway – my experience. Just think “The Walking Dead”-style, lots of movement, moaning and bumping noises)

  7. I’ve got an offer from the University of Auckland for a Bachelor of Nursing degree. I’m a mature international student from Holland and I’m hoping to stay in New Zealand after graduation, if I can get a job. Does anybody know about the job prospects in New Zealand for nursing graduates from the UoA? Better or worse than elsewhere in New Zealand? Are international nursing students less likely to be employed, despite of good grades and references? From what I’ve read, the University of Auckland seems like a good university, but does anyone here have any experience/know someone that has studied nursing there or in New Zealand? I’m very motivated for this degree, but the the tuition fees are quite steep, which means I will get a terrifying loan. Any help/thoughts/advice are very much appreciated!

  8. As an international student, paying 5x the fees …
    be aware that university administration, may treat you like dirt just because there is a labour dispute
    (In return, I suggest international students – who pay loads more than locals – march together with students asking for cheaper fees …
    but of course, if “face” is important to you (or the university students AND administrators band together to keep you in the dark) … you may decide to exclude yourself.
    After all, model minorities … sit down and do what they’re told, lest they get accused of being “ungrateful” or “barbaric”. LOL, words change the behaviour of people who are perfectly entitled to show their displeasure):
    Frustrated students of Auckland’s AUT University are holding off applying for graduation because their lecturers are withholding their exam results.

    Academic staff are on strike and are refusing to upload all grades to the university’s online database until an agreement can be made with their employer.

  9. can u suggest how is cpit in christchurch for it graduate diploma?? i have from india in ece and main purpose to go to nz is pr.. should i go or not??

    • To get a PR, you have to:
      1) Meet points requirements in your Expression of Interest
      2) Have enough money to tide you over when your student visa expires while your Expression of Interest is still pending
      3) Have been in New Zealand for over 2 years continuously

      (Oh, and remember: your Expression of Interest can be rejected at any time AND your application fee won’t be refunded).

      A Permanent Residency Visa (PRV) is more certain if you earn NZD90,000 and above (average wage – that employee representatives say is unrealistic – is NZD72,731). So you have to earn better than the average wage for that.

      Straight from the government:

      Good luck!

    • Hi Shalini, Christchurch is not a great place anyway particularly after the earthquake in 2011 and the issue of racism is huge there. A graduate diploma cannot fetch you a job in NZ current economic scenario. Locals themselves are struggling for jobs.

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ekaterina. I am very much grateful to you for providing me all your valuable feedback and suggestions.

    Let me think of traveling somewhere into the EU countries for further studies.

  11. Greymouth’s polytechnic is being accused of rorting course credits and inflating numbers with “ghost students”.

    In a letter to Labour’s David Cunliffe, the Search and Rescue Institute of New Zealand (SARINZ) accused Tai Poutini Polytechnic of putting lives at risk.

    Mr Cunliffe asked in Parliament how the polytechnic could compress a one-year course into a one-week course and get full funding for it, and also enrol tutors as students to get extra money.

    “In a letter Tony Wells, acting general manager of SARINZ, asks: ‘Are students aware that as SAR responders their lives are being forsaken so the polytech can make money?’

    “Also Mr Wells says Tai Poutini is inflating student numbers by enrolling tutors as ‘ghost students’ to boost funding and rort the system.”'ghost-students

    Students beware

  12. I m not sure if this is the right place to include this. I assume the site admin will take the decision what to do with this.
    I am a Sri Lankan, came to New Zealand for IT studies after getting fooled by the study abroad agents in our country. They are promoting NZ studies saying that students are able to get in to jobs as soon as they are out from the university/college with the one year graduate job search visa. Then when they find the study related job in Skill shortage list they can get PR and settle in New Zealand etc etc.

    If any student from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippine reading this, who are planning to come to NZ for studies aiming for PR or finding a job in NZ after studies, please think twice thrice and more….. more…… It is not simple as they say. Do not waste your or your parents’ hard earned money go waste.

    I am on my graduate job search visa after level 7 IT Graduate Diploma. I have my IT degree from Sri Lanka and have more than 6 years of experience in IT as a Systems Administrator and Network Engineer. I am on my 9th month on graduate job search visa and it is almost going to end in 3 months. I have applied for more than 680 jobs and had several phone interviews, skype interviews, face to face interviews and interviews with job agents. As far as I know most of the interviews went well. I managed to answer the technical questions well and had good conversations during the interview. But for some reason they do not offer the job. Some give the feedback saying you don’t have NZ experience. Some say we found a better candidate but I could see the vacancy still exist in the job website for many more weeks after that. Basically they are looking for a suitable Kiwi candidate for the job. I have tried most popular job search method here “door knocking” in most IT or IT related companies in the city I’m staying. No luck. I have almost given up looking for jobs and planning to pack my bags to go back. Especially during the last 3 months of job search visa the employers and job agents don’t even look at our CVs because they know the visa extension is doubtful. I wasted almost NZ$ 35,000-40,000 which I got from Sri Lanka + about NZ$ 15,000 which I earned in NZ, doing cleaning jobs and pick packing jobs.
    We had 11 Asian students in our batch and only one Indian student managed to get a decent IT job through one of his relatives who was working here in an IT company and through his reference. Two guys started working in a farm as fruit pickers and one Nepali student went to work in a cattle farm because he did not have any other way of paying back his loan which he has taken to come to NZ. One other got in to a driving job as a Truck driver. One got into a contract job for 3 months in a telecom call centre because she had some call centre experience previously and she was good in talking all rubbish but not work. She was scoring the lowest marks during studies and from others help she passed the exams and assignments. The guy who was the batch top with lots of IT skills and experience went to work in a farm and girl who was talkative got at least a job for 3 months. This is New Zealand. One other batch mate was determined to get out of this laid back country and got admission with a scholarship in a university in European country for master’s studies. I think he was the luckiest to escape from NZ. The rest is like me doing odd jobs in odd timings to survive. With odd jobs you can earn money to survive but saving is far from reach with rent, food and tax.
    I am taking my time to write this thinking that this might be helpful to take a wise decision if anyone is planning to come to NZ thinking of getting to a study related job after studies. If you have money you can throw then it is not a problem to try NZ. I know most of us from Asian countries work hard to earn and save money. Some students have taken loans to come to NZ for studies thinking a future here. Please do not waste that hard earned money giving to NZ colleges and agents to get rich. Especially I heard that some agents are taking money from students to send them to NZ. Actually agents should not take any fee from the student as they get a certain percentage from the college or university for introducing a student. Please read NZ immigration website for information.

    Do some homework to learn about the job market and life in NZ. This is not a paradise. Even for Kiwis there are no jobs. I know a work mate who is Kiwi, qualified and rained as a high school teacher working as a pick packer in the same warehouse house that I am working. Unemployment rate in NZ is higher than Sri Lanka. Tax rate is very high especially if you are earning a higher salary. There are lots of problems which you will not see from outside. I have met Asian’s got married to Maori, Fiji Indian’s or Asian’s with refugee status to get PR here and living lives in hell. Once I met an Indian guy his mother was very sick in India but could not even send money because he has to give his daily earnings from the farm to his Maori partner for her drinks. He was literally crying. Some students have tried committing suicide because they could not payback the loans in their home country and there is no hope here either.

    If you really want to study in NZ get admission in a University. There are colleges coming up and going down like mushrooms, they just want your money. Even if you pass out, the qualification is not recognized. If you really want to study and go back to your own country then NZ is a good country as they are more focus on practical rather than theory. Do not come to NZ thinking of staying here. Especially for Asians, this is not a good country to stay with all the racism issues, drug problems, and very high unemployment rate.

    There are brain surgeons’ driving taxis. Qualified accountants doing motel cleaning. IT engineers working as container loaders/unloaders and as construction labours. Veterinary surgeons’ working as cattle farm assistants. Pilots doing caregiving jobs in rest homes. They all are with NZ qualifications not anywhere else.

    NZ needs blue collar workers and not skilled professionals. NZ Immigration should encourage farmers, construction labours, carpenters, masons and cleaners if they don’t have Kiwi people to do this kind of jobs. It is waste of knowledge and professional skills of these graduates that they have to work as blue collar workers after finishing their higher degrees. A person who has experience working as a farmer will work much efficiently and effectively in a farming job than a graduate. Milking a cow does not need a degree! Simple!

    Please do not listen to the agent thinking what they say is 100% true. Think about the situation after your studies if you don’t get a job in the related field. There are so many student have retuned back to their own country after one year graduate job search visa failing to find a job. People who come with PR can’t find jobs. Finding a study related job in one year is not an easy task. It is almost impossible. There is no skill shortage in IT actually in New Zealand. There are so many IT graduates looking for jobs both local and international students. The shortage could be in qualified people with 10-12 years experience. But for this kind of positions they do not hire foreigners. They want a Kiwi for this type of a senior jobs. At least a native speaker, even if they can’t do the job properly.

    I can write pages and pages about this. Simply my advise is do a lot of research before you take the decision to come to NZ. Talk to at least 10 people who has studied in NZ. Go through the immigration NZ website in detail. Contact people from social media websites who are already in NZ or who has gone back to their home country after studies. Do not listen only to the agents for NZ colleges.

    Hope this will be of some help.

    • Hi, Charu. I am sure this is the right place for your message and thank you for it. I completely agree with you. Like you, I wasted a lot of money (worth of one two bedroom flat in my city Tashkent and all my personal cash savings) for studies in this laid back country and for their low level education. I had Graduate Diploma in Accounting. Education is lousy. Tutors just take tests and give marks, but not a real knowledge. I had to run out of this ‘God’s ass’. I will not even try to stay here because don’t want to give my money to NZ government anymore. Except for a lousy education, I have got serious problems with my health. There is something wrong with their climate and especially sun. What worries me is why this website’s content is not open to public, i.e. when I googled any information before my arriving to NZ, I saw only beautiful websites with butterflies and beaches. Why this website is not looked up through Google searching engine, why is it not on FB? If more people could read all this, they would think more deeply about this. If I could read not only positive comments about NZ, I would never come here.

      • Hello Ekaterina, I am experiencing the same currently at the University of Otago. The tuition is extremely expensive and the teaching is terrible. The staff refuse to address any issues I have. They throw copious amounts of information at you, call it a lecture but there is no focus on knowledge or learning. My mom paid about $50,000USD for me to be here and in a few days I will leave. I didn’t even apply for next year as I want to leave here as soon as possible.

    • What Charu says is generally right. I lived in New Zealand for 18 years. If you are asian and now thinking about studying overseas, it’d be better to go to Canada. Facing the reality, many of the local people in New Zealand do not like asians and they think their country is being invaded by asians, despite asian students pay huge amount of momey to New Zealand institutes. It will be extremely difficult for you to have Kiwi friends, because New Zealand locals do not like the ‘social time’. So many of them are afraid of human relationship. They prefer to spend time alone. So, it will be therefore hard for you to improve your english in NZ. Let’s not have negative view on them. It’s just …who they are. Let them be in peace. And let’s stay away from that country. It’s better for your wellness, that way.

    • Hi Charu, your message is so true for so many foreigners in NZ. New Zealanders will not give you the job but as you already know are waiting for a british or kiwi applicant. Even if they are less qualified than you they will get the job. I have had the exact same experience as you. Coming to New Zealand was the worst mistake ever.

    • hi, i am also planning to go nz for graduate diploma in it from cpit..thanx a lot for sharing such information could u please name the institute from where u did graduate diploma ..and also i would like to share one more important thing my relatives are settled in nz and even no one comes back to india after they left for nz means they got pr over there.. my uncle, on of my neighbour and one of my cousin sister..

    • I’m very grateful that I read your comment. There was a seminar ago here in my city in philippines about how to migrate to new zealand. After listening to the hype I made up my mind to move there early next year but my father cautioned me to make first a research about it. Now after reading here on this site I completely changed my mind. I’ll either go to Canada or just stay here on philippines. I hope things there will be better for you guys.

  13. Hi,
    I’m thinking of exchanging to NZ from Canada this coming February 2016. I was hoping to get some insight into whether Auckland or Christchurch would be the best spot for an international student coming to NZ. I like to explore, especially hike (tramp I suppose, from what I hear the kiwis call it), enjoy the outdoors and definitely cater to my academics. I know my friends also want to come and visit me, so I’m thinking of the best and cheapest location for me to explore and tour with them to reach the rest of the country.

    let me know, any insight or information on this decision is helpful.


    • “best and cheapest location”. You may find something, but it won’t be cheap and [coming from N. America] you’ll have to lower your expectations quite a bit, so might not be better.
      NZ does have nice scenery, but if you’re coming from Canada, you’ve seen as good or better. And very little of anything in NZ would be considered cheap [in a $ way].
      The South Island is very much more rural in all aspects. Many of the “attractions” [Queenstown, glaciers…] are there.
      Is this for your junior year abroad?

    • Wherever you go tramping, make sure to let the police in the area (and maybe the YMCA or scouts) know when you leave and when you expect to be back.

      It’s much better than winding up having an “accident” and “nobody knows what happened or where you went”.

      And pay for travel insurance. Things can get very expensive when you are uninsured and injured overseas!

    • Hi,
      Are you planning to study in a University? In my view Auckland would be expensive than Christchurch. Eg. housing/renting will be much expensive. South Island has many places to explore.

  14. Hi I am planning to study at Cornell. I am just afraid I will not have a job to sustained my expenses. Could anybody advise me?

  15. I would like to add my story here. I am an international student from Uzbekistan. I came to New Zealand in February to study at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), Hawke’s Bay. I paid NZD 18000 for one year Graduate Diploma in Business, and I don’t even count those money which I have been paying for homestay and books and other necessary stuff. So, totally I have already paid about NZD 30000. I am so disappointed with this polytechnic, they provide an absolutely lousy education. One of our papers in the last semester was just shortened because EIT could not organise facilities for it properly (it was a part of the software practical lessons for Accounting). And for us students not to complain, they just gave us additional marks for the total paper. Now I am having my second semester. And it is amazing, I have one paper which they advertised on their stupid website as an indusrty based learning project, for which they would place a student to a real company for an internship. Now, they cannot do it. And I cannot find any a company here in this rat hole Napier by myself. So, if I don’t take this paper which is one of the four ones required in this semester, I will not get my Diploma.

    The coordinator of the program pushed me away when I was trying to discuss my worries. I approached another one. Ok, this one has just promised to help, but he is unsure and asked me to do my own searches. I don’t know with whom to talk. All they just smile and do nothing. Also, organisation is so poor. Secretaries confuse enrolment data, lose or miss information.

    Homestay…it is a real miracle for me. The family are good in the way of talking and smiling, like probably everyone here, but absolutely indifferent. When I applied for a homestay family, I filled in an application form, about myself and my preferances. So, I didn’t eat pork and lamb, and any fried, fatty or spicy food. This woman is so stupid and has such a poor memory. She cooks fried food, lamb and pork with huge piece of fat almost everyday. On the other days, she cooks curry. I don’t know how to explain to her. Also, this cold house, cold bathroom. I take regularly Ibuprofen so as not to get cold, but recently I have started to feel pains in my chest. Hopefully, this will not go to pneumonia or anything worse. I pay NZD 215 per week and have a terrible food and a cold room for that. Also, the woman buys cheapest coffee and tea for me, as well as bad quality fruit. So, I can’t understand for what I pay this money. For this a dog like life?!

    Ok, I would endure all this stuff if my education were good. But all this New Zealand ‘great’ education which they scream about on their websites is a great fake. I have no idea, maybe NZ universities are normal, but polytechnics are absolute crap. We are cash cows for them, they only eat our money and their domestic students pay just miniscule fees. Also, this terrible weather with a burning sun and the cold wind for the same time… I look 5 years older now compared with the time I came here. I hate this country. Hopefully, I will have a chance to leave it soon.

    • Hi Ekaterina

      I myself have studied at EIT for my bachelor degree as an international student, and I agree with all of the comments made by you. EIT has a pathetic standard of education and the staff aren’t helpful. Without mentioning the name, did you had a chat with the marketing lecturer who is a Uzbek himself, he is quite helpful. In any case, I understand your concerns and if I can help you in gaining an internship in a major consulting company in NZ, please let me know your CV. The only problem is that you have to move to Auckland for that.
      If you leave your email here, I can pass on some details.


      • Hi Vigilante,

        Thanks for your comment. But I can’t move to Auckland now)))) I know the man whom you wrote about.
        I think I will go on with settling this, let us see what it will come.

        Thanks again for your kind words.


        • No problem Ekaterina

          I completely understand the situation you are in, i was in your shoes myself not too long ago. You should approach the aforementioned lecturer and explain your situation, he is very helpful. As about the Industry Based Learning course, it is a sham and a joke really. I completed my 45 credit Business Project ( very similar to IBL) working for a Vineyard cum restaurant, and had to make things up to graduate, because kiwi business are full of morons even stupider than what you could fathom.

          Hawkes Bay is one amongst the poor areas of New Zealand, with barely any economic strength except farming and most people who live there are rednecks. You will find that its full of losers and tossers, and EIT admin is in shamble, as the apples usually don’t fall to far off the tree. Ones you have paid them the money, their friendliness disappears. I particularly hate this ‘South African’ women in International department, she is racist to the core. While the business school admin staff is full of jokers, the front end ladies barely have any qualification, except high school. And the marketing department is run by same loathsome bunch of low IQ, lowly qualified people. And I can tell you from my personal experience, universities are no better, they are, in fact much commercial that EIT, and you would just be a number for them.

          I managed to pull myself from Hawkes Bay, and it was a real hard work and had to move to Auckland to find opportunities, and i trust me, i have seen it all here and it took some real effort to get where I am right now, that why your situation rhymed well with me. My suggestion is to keep yourself very calm, and just work through it, focus on finishing the course and follow the assessment structure, you goal should be to get good marks and forget about ‘gaining knowledge’, because it ain’t gonna happen there.

          Anyways, the best you could do is to put up with this and keep your hopes up. If you are having too many issues with your homestay, i suggest you go the EIT villas, and the trick there is to find the right villa, as some of them are full of morons. So go to the villa which has older demographics of residents. One thing you will fin d is that the villas are warmer and well insulated with no mold issues, plus its about NZD130 last time i checked, you can ‘burn’ electricity as much as you can to keep yourself farm and cook your own food. Its the best you can do for yourself, because remember you need to keep your health good, otherwise you will find yourself in depression. Keep your hopes high and make an informed decision to leave, as opportunities are very low in this country.

          Other thing i would suggest is to make friends with fellow International students, and have somebody to talk to, kiwi aren’t open to make friends with people from other country, and if they do, they do it for a purpose and are full of ‘usury’ , so keep the ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ relation with them. They are very insular so its not worth having a friend who is at par with you.

          And like i said, If you ever need help, this forum is full of valuable information and some good bunch of people who have been through a lot. So, if you ever need a support network, feel free to post.


          • Ok, I understood your point. And many thanks for all your suggestions! You know, if I had found this forum before I came here, well, probably, I would not come at all…))) My country is not ideal, but I think to pay so much a fortune for this fake…well…But, when I was looking for any information about New Zealand that time, there were only popped up those stupid similar blogs of those praying to ‘sacred earth’ of the long clous country. And everybody on those websites was so happy about this ‘heaven’. Well, now understand this.
            Anyway, I will try just to get through to the end.

            Kind wishes,


    • Hello Ekaterina,

      I’m really so sad of your situation there and also thinking about me who have planned to come over there coming Jan’16 for doing my PG Diploma in Business Studies at AIS (Auckland Institute of Studies). In this case, what would be your suggestion to me for my future plan.



      • Siddiq

        Keep these facts in mind before you make your decision

        The quality of education here is appealing
        Kiwis are smug, low grade people
        Racism is rife
        Islamophobia is so prevalent here that you will be taunted upon and marginalised ( your name being Mohamed)
        New Zealand economy is in a crisis situation now, and it will get worse in two years
        Auckland is a shit place to leave, with extremely high rents and no public transport
        The education here, is of no worth anywhere, or even here, because kiwis like to recruit fellow monkeys with no qualifications
        The educational agents honeytrap students, because kiwis pay them a heck lot of money to keep bringing new recruits

        Now, my question is WHY DO YOU WANT TO COME HERE? Could you please elaborate upon what you think and what you have been TOLD??

        The best plan for you, will be to CANCEL the trip to NZ, and save yourself from this troublesome society filled with gangs and rednecks.

        • Dear Vigilante,

          That was an excellent reply with showing the real picture of Kiwi’s behavior and attitude. Thanks for saving my life from hell.

          Special thanks to E2NZ website, which helps International students like us to know the reality of living in NZ and dreams of young dynamic getting shattered and screwed up after studies.

      • Hello Sid,

        Thanks for your kind words. What I can say is that EIT, that polytechnic where I study, is a really low level, underdeveloped place for taking a normal practical knowledge which will make you able to find a good job. I am not sure aboout AIS, maybe it is a better place, maybe not. I guess those who studied at AIS will give you a better advice.
        Anyway, I would like to ask you to be very careful before coming here and giving away your money, first of all, we interntaionals are ‘cash cows’ for the NZ government.

        Good luck,


      • And Sid, I absolutely agree with Vigilante on the educational provider’s capacities and staff. Amazingly, during my lectures the tutors like to show old powerpoint files with abstracts from the textbooks and just read them to us…))) This is at EIT. Also, they don’t even have a normal level computer classes. In my first semester, they cut off an Accounting info systems course and didn’t give all the material. They taught us Excel, can you imagine this?? We 30 and something old professionals, are taught Excel! What about accounting professional software programs which are required by employers in NZ??? No way!!!))))) But they scream on their website that they make their students ready for a real international job market…)))) LOL

      • And, Sid, of course, this is your life and obstacles and you will make your own decision…but what for me, if I found this blog before my leaving for NZ, and if I knew all the information before (not only ‘pink colored heaven’ adds on the websites of the interested sides), I would never come here, to this ‘rat hole’, and never spent so much money for this fake.

  16. ” inexperienced and appallingly inept.” Which seems to be an accepted standard, if they are a kiwi because they don’t know anything different.

  17. I’m a mature international student who’s been working part-time for the past four years in a skilled position (organisation has about 1,000 employees). Observations about working life:

    On the surface and in the media, there is a lot of hype about Auckland priding itself on being a tolerant society, but none of that translates to reality on the ground level. The new hires in my team are all children or relatives from someone in the office. Nevermind that the position is actually a skilled one, and shouldn’t be given to teenagers or university freshmen who’re on their first job — and certainly shouldn’t be given to anyone without an interview or a recruitment test assessing job suitability. Needless to say, the attrition rate is mind-boggling as such hires are ill-equipped to handle the demands of the job, which is actually an easy one if you had the skills in the first place. NZ has a small population and there’s simply no competition, hence nobody bothers to hire responsibly. I was hired by the then-middle manager from Canada, who left about six months after I came on board. He took recruitment seriously (didn’t see any trouble about contacting my ex-employers overseas through email for references), and the diversity of employees in the team was obvious. After he left, well, all the new hires have been white, mostly male, inexperienced and appallingly inept. This is insulting to the staff who have stayed; I’ve had five years of work experience in this industry and to know that some kid got this job just cos dad works here is horribly offensive. Kiwis love deriding Asia and the Middle East for being corrupt, but these widespread ground-level instances of nepotism in New Zealand where family members can be hired for skilled work is shrugged off or swept under the carpet.

    I’ve mentioned the inept colleagues but honestly this just needs to be discussed. NZ’s “she’ll be right” attitude (which I guess is okay in a social context) is frankly disgusting in a professional setting. Again, a lack of competition only worsens the situation. Nobody is motivated to put in any effort whatsoever, and due to being the only one who knows what I am doing, people gravitate towards me to get everything done. What I find even more appalling is that there are no annual work performance reviews. Meaning nobody cares or values your work, and employees lack accountability when they fuck up, which is all the time. And cos Kiwis are afraid to take someone to task for errors, the only response is “It’s okay, everyone makes mistakes; she’ll be right” which is pretty fucking annoying. There is making mistakes and there is being jackshit at your job. There is no professional pride whatsoever. Nobody is pegged to any level of achievement, so it doesn’t matter that they only do 30% of the work (badly) and leave the more capable team-mates to pick up the slack. And obviously, the efforts of the people who do the lion’s share of the work go unnoticed. Repeated meetings with management to discuss equitable remuneration always end up with the same result — the company has “no budget”. Oh, but it always seems to have the budget to hire crap, inexperienced people. I have nothing against my team-mates; it is not their fault they are inept, it is the fault of the people who hired them despite knowing they are unskilled.

    Yes, I know I should have left a long time ago, but the fact is that it pays me well enough to cover the weekly rent and groceries and petrol, on just three shifts a week. However, given what I’ve just told you, I’m woefully underpaid if you consider that a kid fresh out of high school is drawing the same base salary as me, a mid-level professional. Unbe-fucking-lievable!

    • Oh, my God. You are so right. This is my work experience exactly for all the years I have been here. And since I do not talk about these experiences with other kiwis, I had the feeling that I was going mad. But here you and all other bloggers here have opened my eyes that I am not the only one thinking this way. The lack of discipline, integrity and competence in Kiwi companies is absolutely shocking. This is a low life society, who prefer to smoke drugs, drink themselves stupid and swipe all and every problems under the carpet. They do that in their personal life and at work. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

    • Unless someone recorded or took notes while the spiel was going on to sell New Zealand to those international students, it’s going to be hard to pin those responsible down.
      Because they will then claim “those students misunderstood what we were saying, as they are not native speakers of English” which happens to be a racist way of looking at things

  18. And some further background info. on Virat Vij

    SLEUTH: Director and co-owner of the Curry House, Virat Vij, who used his detective skills to catch a thief.

    So, it doesn’t seem to bear out his other comment: He says his income is “very minimal” and his motivation is solely to help Indian people to “make a better life. To make people happy and make progress, that’s all”.

    Having heard the story from his manager about the earlier confrontation with the man in the Rattle and Hum, he thought this must be the culprit.

    Hmm, can even afford to pay a manager. Yes, he is making “very minimal” income (sarcasm).

    I suppose people wanting to get one side of the story on promises to international students from the source, can speak to Mr. Virat …

  19. Follow up to Mr. Virat’s “honest” statements:

    “Some others, in their early 20s who also had proficient English, say with hindsight they feel they could have looked into the information they were told. However, at the time they had no reason to doubt it. They had spoken with Virat Vij, NMIT’s international market manager, on Skype while still in Nepal.

    “Virat told us so many things, we had so many expectations. He told us there were lots of opportunities going on in New Zealand. When you arrive here, he will come to pick us up and everything will be done by him. He told us not to bother about anything. Just come here and he will do everything. From picking you up, to getting you accommodation to getting you to jobs. Everything.”

    They said Vij told them they would find work easy because they were Asian. “We believed in Virat. That’s the main point. He made every expectation so high that we trusted him so much.

    “There are lots of Nepalese in this problem.”

    The group were desperate for any job to get by. They did not want to be dependent on their parents.

    They say they will tell their friends back in Nepal not to come to Nelson, and business by NMIT is being placed over their well-being.

    “They are just focussing on visas.”

    Questioned by the Nelson Mail, Vij says he has “only helped students”.

    He says his income is “very minimal”(comment: despite being co-owner of a restaurant?) and his motivation is solely to help Indian people to “make a better life. To make people happy and make progress, that’s all”.(I guess those promises that turn out to be empty air are part of the deal).

    My comment? It sounds like another “community representative” that is “doing their job” (of pacifying the people in their community). Seriously, people should start recording these charlatans, and putting up those clips on Youtube. Shame early, shame often!

  20. Seems some people are being misled:

    Vij, who also co-owns the Curry House restaurant in Bridge St, said he had come from a poor family in India and had been able to succeed in life, getting United States citizenship before establishing himself in Nelson.

    “I have always told students . . . if you have the right attitude, the right heart, the right skills and the right English, you will find opportunities wherever you are.

    I wonder if he will repeat those statements to those international students educated in skills shortage areas, proficient in English, but unable to find work in New Zealand?
    But of course, there is that “unexplainable quality” that gets people employed … including fraudsters?
    Simple views of the world, are usually held by simple people …

  21. International students are only seen as cash cows in NZ! I have seen international students accent being mocked at, being disrespectful towards them is seen as cool by Kiwis who in mu opinion do not even possess brains as much as a Chimpanzee does ! I started in this shithole called NZ as an international student years ago but finally with a lot of courage and determination stuck around to recover my hard earned money invested here. The respect and regard for qualified immigrants especially Indians who have an advantage with the English language is very less. Its all about who you know in this country and not what you know !! Its all about references. Recruitment consultants are just crap and con artists and they advertise positions that don’t even exist! The universities and polytechnics here are just into making money and do not give a damn whether the their students get jobs after completion of their studies. In short my suggestion would be to leave NZ if anyone wants to make it big careerwise.

  22. I’m a Graduate in Mechanical Engineer. I’m doing Business management level 7 is there any chance of getting a good jobs like business consultant or office administration staff types of jobs? I’m Indian by the way.

    • Forget about it, you will be lucky to have a job as a ‘sales assistant’ in some electronic shop here. Your time, education and money here is an utter waste of your time, to put it very bluntly and crudely.

      I work in one of the largest management consulting firm in NZ, surrounded by morons who are barely high school pass, but i am yet to see a bright grad with Indian/asian ethnicity, working as a business consultant to ‘white’ kiwi business. They just don’t take color as well, as americans/Canadians do. No wonder, NZ is backward nation. They like it dumb and white here, and the smarter whites have already left the ship!

      I am sorry if i sound disappointing , but i like to ‘spill’ the truth from the pressure packed container of lies that have NZ marketing (read crookery) have been peddling amongst the migrants, and eventually meddling with our lives.

      Make a decision and get away from here as soon as you can.

  23. A large part of the New Zealand economy is based upon the shattered dreams of unsuspecting would be migrants that have been mislead. Those that do stay compete with an already desperate existing population for low paid jobs causing resentment, which is sad, but somewhat inevitable whenever increasing numbers are forced to fight over less and less.

    If you’re looking for a depressing way to fill in a few hours:

    1)Look up the skills shortages list and see what types of people we supposedly “really need”

    2)Then go to the Seek or Trademe job search websites and try to find advertised positions for these “desperately needed” skills that we are apparently so short of. There should be plenty right?

    Seeing as we are on a science theme, take the following case in point. The text below is from the Department of Labour’s immediate skills shortage list:

    Science Chemist (including
    Analytical Chemist)
    One of the following qualifications:
     Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (NZQF Level 7)
     Bachelor of Science with Honours in Chemistry (NZQF Level 8)
    a minimum of two years’ relevant post–qualification work experience in an analytical
    North Island,
    Waikato/Bay of
    Plenty, Central North
    Island, Wellington

    Yet if you search for “Analytical Chemist” on Seek there have only been three positions advertised in the entire country in the last 30 days, one of which is an entry level position, and one of the others is only for a 6 month term. Trademe only has two positions advertised, both of which were also advertised on Seek.

    Immediate skills shortage? I don’t think so.

  24. Do you know what happens to international students who do not get the course-related skilled employment after the 3 years that they are allowed to obtain after graduating from a Level 7 or 8 study in a PTE?

    • “Do you know what happens to international students who do not get the course-related skilled employment after the 3 years that they are allowed to obtain after graduating from a Level 7 or 8 study in a PTE?”

      They become unemployed, run out of money, go back to where they came from I guess?

  25. In Design programmes I’m not sure there is much of a difference between Universities and Polytechnics. Our school had a conjoint degree with another University. The credits the structure the assessment systems where all the same as AUT, Massey and Waikato- students used to transfer between these schools. Students from other Universities used to transfer into our program and couldn’t detect that they were any more advanced than our students. But all that aside, if you are an overseas student look at the class lists for the program and make sure they are classes you want to take. Besides that one student there where many students who signed up for our design program wanting a career in 3d modeling, or web design who found out those courses weren’t being offered to them. Even if you can get your course fees back you can not get your airfare back.

  26. I was a lecturer in a University level design school in New Zealand for 20 years. Where I taught, the international student liaisons that went overseas to recruit students would promise anything to get overseas students to enrol in our school. For instance they told one student that wanted to be a fashion photographer she could enrol in the arts program and take fashion courses and fashion photography courses and become a fashion photographer– however after the student spent $20,000+ to enrol and move here she discovered she had enrolled in an arts program that offered no courses in fashion that would prepare her to be a fashion photographer. Once over here, she could not get her money refunded and she was stuck in a course filled with art classes not related to any of her interests in fashion or photography. Other students were promised they could take advanced film classes, animation classes, web classes and after enrolling and moving here the courses were not offered to them. So be warned, the overseas recruiters for schools in New Zealand will say anything to get people to sign up- its all about money.

    • Well … polytechnics aren’t real universities, now, are they?
      On the flip side, there will always be people who try to rort the system for permanent residency, and sometimes things don’t work out for them.
      But again, it’s funny that she couldn’t get her money back BUT we don’t know how far into the course she was when she asked for a refund (there is a period where you can get all of the money back – but that’s usually BEFORE classes commence, and after that the percentage drops very sharply).

  27. An interesting article:

    Census 2013: Immigration at new high

    By Susan Edmunds
    10:45 AM Sunday Dec 15, 2013

    Sixty per cent of migrants arrive under the skilled migrant and business categories. A points system determines who qualifies, based on employment, qualifications, work experience, skills and age.

    That’s unusual by international standards, says Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, deputy vice-chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University.

    Just 35 per cent of migrants come to New Zealand by way of family reunification, compared with 60 per cent in the United States.

    “New Zealand has a very explicit recruitment focus of bringing in skilled migrants to New Zealand.”

    However, it’s still not common for skilled migrants to be able to find a job that actually fits those skills, he says, except for those who can work within the health system.

    It takes a typical immigrant 12 years to get the same wages and type of job that a New Zealand-qualified person would get.

    The “start-up spend” of new immigrants to this country is significant, Spoonley says, as people buy a house, furnish it and buy a car. But most come with some capital behind them to do that. Contrary to popular perceptions, Spoonley says most immigrants remain here rather than moving on to Australia or back to their home countries.

    • Oh, and even if you’re New Zealand qualified, if you “only” began and completed your university studies in New Zealand (in a skills shortage, technical field, that huge amounts of domestic students FAILED, or took TWICE or more times longer to finish, and those that graduated … are only a handful) …
      you’ll have a tough time finding a job commensurate with your qualifications, from my experience if:
      you’re Asian, speak English fluently, are male and don’t have a “Christian” name.

  28. International Students BEWARE!!! New Zealand universities are turning out far too many school teachers for far too few positions. If you do happen to get lucky and get a teaching position in NZ after spending $50,000 for a year of teachers’ college, you should still consider going back to your home country. The Colleges of Education in NZ will promise you ANYTHING just as long as you are willing to pay the costs.

    North American students, in particular, should be advised that in order to live like a real grown-up — not with mom and dad, not sharing living quarters with 4 other people — you will need to earn at least $26,000 US DOLLARS more than the current Kiwi teacher salary in order to maintain a standard of living comparable to what they could have in the USA.

    I have created a cost of living and income comparison for anyone aspiring to come to NZ to become a teacher. I have uploaded the PDF to my Google Drive and you can access it here:

    E2NZ has my permission to publish the above document elsewhere.

    • Thanks for getting the word out about that, I knew that the HUGE numbers of education graduates would be a problem down the road, as when even ENGINEERS can’t easily get jobs … what more teachers, whose numbers at graduation are about 10x the engineers.
      Also, this:
      On the face of it, Massey’s statistics are impressive: jobs for 93 per cent of nursing graduates and 94 per cent of bachelor of teaching grads. But those figures are based on surveys with 60 per cent and 47 per cent respective return rates, meaning half of all Massey teaching graduates and 40 per cent of nursing graduates remain unaccounted for.

      Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says the Government is working on more robust ways to report graduate success. He acknowledges that successive governments have shied away from telling students what they can study, based on job opportunities, except in the most expensive careers such as medicine and veterinary science.

      And he’s still sceptical in the case of teachers and nurses, because with forecasts of future shortages, the long-term prospects for those graduates are good.

      “When you have applied degrees then, yes, you want to try to match the market. We have been underproducing engineers for years and years, underproducing ICT graduates, underproducing people with agricultural science degrees. We are definitely oversupplying photographers, actors and a range of other occupations like that. I just think that nursing and education is more of a short-term, two- to three-year issue . . . They’re a problem right now, but the far bigger problems are the ones where there just isn’t the demand for their skills.”

      The BS is of course, in speaking that there is a shortage of technical qualifications.
      In reality, they want CHEAP LABOUR, with little chance of increments and low job security.

      • Looks like more validation for my previous observation that “people who take teaching qualifications, are the ones who intend to take it easy”:
        Kirsty Johnston Kirsty Johnston is an investigative reporter at the New Zealand Herald.
        The Primary Issue: Teaching – the ‘Plan B’ degree

        5:00 AM Wednesday May 4, 2016
        • Students accepted into teaching degrees have some of the lowest entrance scores across all bachelor programmes
        • Education leaders from seven New Zealand universities wrote a joint letter to government recommending getting the “best and brightest” graduates into classrooms
        • Teaching as a career considered a ‘Plan B’ option in New Zealand
        • Just three per cent of 15-year-olds in New Zealand want to become teachers, compared with 5 per cent across the OECD

        There is really a simple way to tell if any undergraduate is taking their degree seriously, it just means monitoring who gets drunk or doped-up the most over the course of their study.
        Because that means, that course of study can continue (and the qualification gained) even while the student is drunk or on drugs, meaning the requirements for that qualification is easily met by someone who is a drunk or a junkie … something to think about.

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