Here at BTI we prioritise supporting our students throughout their journey with us. International students have a dedicated coordinator to contact with for any queries or support.
International Student Handbook
Your accommodation must be arranged before you arrive in New Zealand.
There is no onsite accommodation available at BTI. However, we are close to plenty of other options for international students here.
Options for international students at BTI:
Many first-year BTI students arrange private board or home-stay accommodation with a New Zealand family. You will live as a family member, have your own room, and be provided with all meals. Current costs are approximately NZ $230-280 per week. New Zealand law does not allow you to work for a family in lieu of board payments.
There is an administration charge if you would like us to arrange accommodation for you. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible after being accepted into BTI if you would like us to do so, enclosing the administration charge of NZ$300 to cover costs. You will also need to complete a completed Student Information Sheet so that we can match your preferences to where you stay as much as possible. This is available upon request.
The International Student Coordinator will oversee this process.
Payments to your Homestay Hosts are made directly to them on a regular basis (weekly or fortnightly) after you arrive.
Private rental or other options
You may prefer to stay in a flat with other students. You would then be responsible for providing your own food, and looking after yourself. You could usually expect to have your own bedroom, with shared living and bathroom facilities. Costs can vary a great deal. Have a look at the Tauranga rentals section of Trade Me or search the internet for other Tauranga homestay or rental options and costs.
There is an Accommodation Directory available at Reception of both private board and flatting possibilities. Please request this by email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that these places, though offered to BTI and frequently used in previous years by other students, have not been checked for suitability by staff here.
Christian accommodation New Zealand
Wherever you end up staying, it is very important that you keep BTI informed of your contact details (and those of your next of kin/emergency contact) at all times, and immediately let us know any changes to those during your time here.
Information about renting a house or flat that you may find useful:
The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act
Tenancy Tribunal information (If you have problems with a landlord)
Tauranga has the second largest number of sunshine hours in New Zealand! The area is often called the ‘sunny Bay of Plenty’. Find out more about our current weather, overall climate, temperature range and so on at https://www.metservice.com/
If you have a complaint relating to a BTI course, please refer to the general student policy: Student Concerns & Complaints
If you have gone through BTI’s complaints process and your complaint is not resolved, you can contact NZQA. For information about making a complaint: www.nzqa.govt.nz/assets/Providers-and-partners/Code-of-Practice/int-students-make-a-complaint-updated.pdf
or visit the NZQA website at: www.nzqa.govt.nz/about-us/make-a-complaint/make-a-complaint-about-a-provider/#heading2-3
If your complaint relates to contractual and financial disputes, please refer to www.istudent.org.nz/ which is the appointed operator of the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS).
For information about DRS: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0042/latest/DLM6748715.html?src=qs
For community services: https://www.tauranga.govt.nz/community/community-services
For events in Tauranga & surrounds. https://www.mytauranga.co.nz/
How much work will I be expected to do?
Each course will require students to complete a mix of in-class time and your own study, often including some online activities.
Most programmes will require workload equivalent to a full-time job – 40 –50 hours per week. There may well be requirements outside regular hours – such as practicums, marae visits etc.
Fifteen credit courses carry an expectation of approximately 150 hours. Many students for whom English is an additional language will need to allow more time than this however, if they are slower at reading and writing in English.
Lecturers expect that students will be self-directed in their learning and attend lectures and do the reading required as the semester progresses.
When you study abroad, your daily routine, culture, and the attitudes of people around you are no longer familiar. The process of recognizing, understanding, and adapting to these changes is called culture shock.
Much of our behaviour, like gestures, tone of voice, how we wait in lines (or don’t wait), and interact, rely on collectively understood cultural cues. However, we don’t actively pay attention to these — they’re our unspoken norm. In a new country, we become more aware of these cultural differences because they are different from our norm. This act of feeling disoriented and processing new ways of life, attitudes, and cultural norms is by definition “culture shock”.
See https://naumainz.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz for tips and stories from students around the country.
Check the Key dates for all the key dates for each programme
Also make sure you allow plenty of time to apply for your visa
If you have a licence in your own country, you can apply for an International Driver’s Licence before you leave. This is valid for one year before you need to take the New Zealand driving tests. Check with the New Zealand Embassy in your own country for further details of requirements: http://www.nzembassy.com/
For information and advice on driving laws and road traffic safety in New Zealand visit:
NZ Road Code Info: www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/
Overseas drivers driving in NZ information: www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/visiting-drivers/#driving
Buying a car and driving in NZ: https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/live-in-new-zealand/getting-started/transport#section–1
See also “Moving around in Tauranga”
You should always check the conditions of your student visa to see if you meet the requirements to be allowed to work, and the restrictions on the type of work you will be allowed to do. You can also apply for a variation of conditions at a later date, as long as your student visa is current.
For more information, check out page 7-8 of the Student Visa Guide –
Please check the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website for changes to the minimum wage:
If English is an additional language for you, you are also required to satisfy English language requirements in order for us to consider your application. If English is your first language, you will need to demonstrate competence in literacy along with all other applicants.
Please note that all your lectures will be in English. You will be expected to write essays, give seminars, take your own notes, interact with children and/or teenagers and adults and do all your assignment work in English.
IELTS results are valid for a period of two years only after the date of examination.
All applicants to the Bachelor of Counselling programmes for whom English is an additional language will be required to provide certified IELTS Academic results at an average of 6.5 across the four categories of listening, reading, writing and speaking, with no score lower than 6.0.
All applicants to the Bachelor of Social Work programmes for whom English is an additional language will be required to provide certified IELTS results with a score of 6.5 or higher for each component of the academic version of IELTS.
All applicants to the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) programmes, for whom English is an additional language, will be required to provide certified results with a minimum band score of 7.0 for each component of the academic version of IELTS.
Students coming to us from the bilingual teaching programme at The University of Freiburg in Germany need only a signed letter from their English professor regarding their English proficiency level. No additional IELTS test is required.
For other acceptable internationally recognised English proficiency outcomes:
International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand.
Health requirements change from time to time. Please check the most up-to-date information on:
Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on
entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website at
Some countries (eg, Australia and the UK) have reciprocal agreements with New Zealand for free medical treatment – check with Immigration New Zealand or your nearest Embassy for details.
1. General Practitioner (GP)
For urgent, less serious health concerns, call or visit your family doctor (GP)
2. Accident and Medical Clinic (urgent care)
For urgent, less serious health concerns when you are not able to see your GP or after hours.
Second Ave Health at 19, 2nd Ave, Tauranga (07-577 0010), opened from 8am – 9pm
3. Hospital Emergency Department
For medical emergencies, call 111 for an ambulance or go directly to
Tauranga Hospital, 829 Cameron Road, Tauranga.
There is a Health Centre (Bethlehem Family Doctors) on Elder Lane immediately opposite the BTI Campus, comprising doctors, nurses, and a psychologist (https://www.bfd.co.nz/
Please see below for useful links to help you find a GP as well as links to other helpful websites.
Counsellors available in the Tauranga area:
Doctors’ visits are approximately $80 (NZD).
Health requirements for entry into New Zealand change from time to time. Please check the most up-to-date information on:
Advice on contraception and issues of sexuality issues see Family Planning Association www.familyplanning.org.nz or ring 578 8539
Smoking, drugs and alcohol are all forbidden on this campus. For a further list of health resources, contacts and fact sheets on a wide range of topics:
Can I sit the IELTS exam in New Zealand?
Yes. There are IELTS testing centres in Tauranga (Waikato University – Tauranga Campus), Rotorua, Hamilton and Auckland.
You will be responsible for the fee. However, it may be cheaper for you to sit it in your home country. Check the IELTS website for details:
Please note IELTS results are valid for a period of TWO years only after the date of examination.
If you have a complaint that relates to contractual and financial disputes, please refer to www.istudent.org.nz/ which is the appointed operator of the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS).
For information about DRS: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2016/0042/latest/DLM6748715.html?src=qs
Once your application has been received, we usually arrange a telephone or Skype interview with a panel of staff from BTI, unless you live near enough to come in person.
Walking alone at night
If you think someone is following you
If a driver stops and asks you for directions
For more information: https://www.police.govt.nz/advice/personal-community/keeping-safe?utm_source=newzealandnow.govt.nz and https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/guide-to-crime-prevention-english.pdf
Information regarding sexual violation – what it is, and NZ laws related to it. www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/sexual-assault-and-consent/understanding-sexual-assault-and-consent
To find out about New Zealand law and your legal rights visit: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/default.aspx
The following websites also contain useful information on a range of issues: CHECK – this is a large list to maintain! Can we find a place that would refer to these eg, https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/safety
The Citizens’ Advice Bureau provides free advice on many areas of NZ life and law
The Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 – information about guarantees for goods and services:
The Disputes Tribunals Act 1988 – relates to small claims:
The Education Act 1989 – about student rights and responsibilities relating to education in NZ:
The Fair Trading Act 1986 – about the supply of goods and services, and product safety:
The Human Rights Act 1993 – information about harassment and discrimination
The Immigration Act 1987 – regarding student responsibilities relating to visas/permits
The Land Transport Act 1998 – also relates to driving
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 – categorises drugs into levels of harmfulness
The Motor Vehicles Sales Act 2003 – buying and selling vehicles
The Residential Tenancies Act 1986 – about accommodation
The Sale of Liquor Act 1989 – information about legal ages to buy and drink alcohol
The Smokefree Environments Act 1990 – for the legal age to buy cigarettes, and where smoking can occur
Many students find that study in New Zealand is very different from what they are used to. New Zealand educators value active participation in class. Students are expected to ask questions and also be expected to complete background readings during the coursework. Teachers facilitate your learning, but do not provide all that you will need to know.
Have a look at the Study in New Zealand website: https://www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/
BTI staff are available to support students every step of the way. Learning advisors can arrange one-on-one sessions, give access to online tutorials and resources, and offer ongoing advice and assistance. See Learning support
We do not recommend carrying large sums of cash on your person. Opening an account in New Zealand is fast and easy. To open a bank account in NZ, you are likely to need your passport, proof of your residential address in New Zealand, and student visa. Some banks may ask for the Tax Identification Number (TIN) from your home country and some may also ask for a New Zealand IRD tax number.
Using a card is the most common way to pay in New Zealand, even for relatively small purchases. Debit cards are known as EFTPOS and can be used at most places to pay for goods and services electronically. ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) allow you to withdraw money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Information on banks https://www.internations.org/go/moving-to-new-zealand/banks-taxes
Cycling in NZ
Taking the bus to BTI
A local Hopper bus service from the centre of Tauranga city to Bethlehem (Route 62) is available which picks up and delivers students to the campus www.baybus.co.nz/tauranga-western-bay/tauranga-and-western-bay-june/bethlehem/
The International Coordinator is available to help with any issues you may have while you are studying in New Zealand.
International Student Coordinator:
Phone: +64-7-562 2952
Academic & Language Support
The Academic Support Team are also available to help you with any academic issues from essay writing and referencing, and English language support through to study skills and time management. Contact a Learning Advisor at email@example.com or 07 562 2949.
See also Student Wellbeing
Bethlehem Tertiary Institute views recreation as a spiritual activity that refreshes the whole person, so we encourage students to participate in various forms of re-creation throughout the year. The activities listed below, some campus sponsored, some student initiated, are just a few of the recreation experiences that you will have the opportunity to pursue.
Have a look at this website for walks, parks, tracks and other recreational options in the area: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/things-to-do/walking-and-tramping/track-categories
New Zealand is generally a safe place to live and work but there are some differences from your home country. See https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/safety
BTI is committed to the safety and wellbeing of international students – students can contact the International Coordinator or any staff member with concerns.
See also Student Life
Most shops are open 7 days a week (except for some public holidays)
Protect your skin and eyes from damaging UV radiation – especially when outdoors from Sept to April
Tauranga is the city with the largest population in the sunny Bay of Plenty.
More in formation and photos can be found on:
http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/ for the local newspaper online
https://www.newzealand.com/nz/tauranga/ for ideas of attractions and things to do in the area
http://www.tauranga.govt.nz/ for Tauranga city council information including local libraries
http://www.baycourt.co.nz/ for what’s on at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre
Immigration NZ has different requirements for different visa holders. You should check the conditions of your visa carefully before you come.
You will need to check this with the teacher registration body in your own country before you come.