Support for international students during COVID-19: 1 May 2020

International students are valued members of our community. We want to ensure they stay safe and have access to the information, care and support they need.

As you may be aware, some international students are currently facing financial hardship for a range of reasons. Many are not able to earn additional income from part-time work because of COVID-19, while others have had unexpected disruptions to their accommodation arrangements. Changes to the economic situation in their home country will impact their financial circumstances here.

We know there are many great examples of student support and care already and we appreciate the great work you’re doing at this time to support students. However, at this critical time we want to ensure that you can help them to access all options available to them, including following up to ensure they have got the support they need and addressing any barriers they may have.

Under the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, providers have an important responsibility for the care and well-being of students.

We thought it would be useful to share some other resources that international students, who are in need, can access.

Other options

  • Embassies: Students can contact their embassy in New Zealand here.
  • Local groups: Community, faith-based and cultural groups are providing support to those in need. To find out what is available in your area, contact Citizen’s Advice Bureau: complete the form at here or phone 0800 367 222.
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups for essential supplies: This service is intended for
    people who don’t have any other options available to them. It operates seven days a week from 7am to 7pm. Students can find their local group on the CDEM website. They can also ask to speak with a translator.
  • Foodbanks: Students in urgent need of food or other essential items, can get food parcels from a
    foodbank in their region on the New Zealand Foodbanks website. We suggest students have their
    student ID with them when they call.

Please encourage students to come forward to get the help they need. If you have any questions, please contact: Sahinde Pala, Director, Student Experience & Global Citizens, Education New Zealand
P: +64 27 433 4615;

Talk to our team

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If you would like to ask us a question or request more information, please detail your enquiry using the form below. If you would like you can contact us directly on 0800 800 300, email us or use the contact us form.

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