New Zealand is a beautiful island country that attracts students from all over the world with its numerous scholarship schemes, many of which cover part of the tuition fees, and other expenses.
Example of such scholarships which include the Government of New Zealand Manaaki Scholarships for foreign students, the University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarship and the University of Canterbury International Scholarships amongst others.
Many universities in New Zealand do not require the IELTS or other English exams whatsoever, especially if the prospective international students were taught in English in their home country.
Aside from these numerous benefits, international students can work while studying in the country. Let’s now look in details by addressing the follow questions
Do I Require a Work-study Permit?
Possession of a student visa is what determines if a student is allowed to work in New Zealand or not. International students must apply for an IRD number obtained from either an online application or from New Zealand’s Inland Revenue office before they are allowed to work. This process is done when international students newly arrive in New Zealand and go through the necessary checks with the New Zealand Immigration department.
An international student studying for a Ph.D. or a masters research course at any of the New Zealand universities have no limited time to work. In contrast, all other students are required to work for a maximum of 20 hours in a week except during the Christmas holidays, new year holidays, and other scheduled breaks where the time is limited to 40 hours maximum in a week.
What is the Minimum Wage?
An international student who works part-time is entitled to a minimum wage of 18.90 NZD an hour. The student is also paid during public holidays and breaks. A monthly tax of 10.5% is deducted from this amount if a student earns less than 41,000 NZD in a year.
How to Find Jobs in New Zealand as an International Student?
Most New Zealand universities have student support services that assist international students with how to be employable and navigate job sites for employment.
An example is the University of Otago’s Career Development Center. Universities also recruit students to carry out different part-time jobs such as library assistants, student support specialists, and other of such job positions.
Example of job sites that advertise part-time jobs for international students in New Zealand include:
Students can take up all forms of jobs. The common ones include:
- coffee maker,
- supermarket assistant,
- harvester in vineyards and gardens,
- kitchen assistant,
- sales assistant.
- Teacher’s assistant
- Customer service representative
- RideShare Drivers
- Animal caretaker
- Warehouse Assistant
- Data Entry clerk
- Pharmacist assistant
- Retail Cashier
Exceptions: International students are not allowed to engage in prostitution, self-employment, or freelancing.
What do Employers Look Out For?
- Work Experience: The truth is, employers typically lookout for basic skills that the job requires and the zeal to learn fast. For instance, it will be easier for an international student who loves cooking to easily fit in as a good kitchen assistant.
- English Language Competency: Since English is most spoken in New Zealand, potential employers will hire international students who are either native speakers or have advanced knowledge of English. This is most important for easy communication between the international students and staff or clients in the organization. International students who come from non-English speaking countries can demonstrate their English speaking and writing skills by acing the IELTS exams and demonstrating to their employers that language will not be a barrier when performing their job.
- Relevance of Job to Course of Study: It is recommended that international students choose jobs that align with their course of study. This is necessary for career development and will add a wealth of knowledge and skills that will make them stand out when they settle for a full-time job after graduation.
- Networking and Social skills: This is a crucial employability skill. Jobs like customer service representative, waitress, sales assistant, and roles have to deal with serving customers or solving their challenges. Employers would want to know if a student’s character and social skills will increase the level of trust customers have in that organization.
What are my Rights as an Employee in New Zealand?
International students working as employees in New Zealand are entitled to rights like all lawful citizens of the country. Their basic rights include:
- A safe workplace devoid of employer threats, forceful work to pay off debt, or seizing of passports.
- A written and signed agreement of employment.
- A minimum wage of at least 18.90NZD per hour and paid holidays.
- A workplace devoid of racial, religious, or gender discrimination but embraces diversity, inclusion, and equality.
- International students can seek help from Immigration New Zealand if they are being denied their basic rights as employees. The exploitation of employees is a punishable offense in New Zealand.
New Zealand welcomes international students not just to explore its beautiful landscape and gain high-quality education but also to assist them in settling down after graduation through the post-study work visa route.