My Dunedin Itinerary

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New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar. Dollars are divided into cents; 100 cents = 1 dollar. The following are in circulation: notes - $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, coins - 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, $2.

An eftpos card is the most common way to pay for transactions in New Zealand, even for relatively small purchases. Contactless and mobile payments can be used in many places. When shopping, pay the price marked on the item; bargaining is not the culture. Tipping is not customary in New Zealand and is not required.

Wages and salaries are usually paid directly into a bank account. All New Zealand banks provide on-line banking services across a range of mobile devices.

International students can open a bank account and transfer money before they arrive, but will need to verify their identity before using the account in New Zealand. Students will need a letter from their bank, proof of the account such as a copy of a statement, their passport and proof of enrolment from their education provider. Nearly all major banks have international student packages and provide information in other languages; many have international student advisors.

Banks are usually open from 9am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday, and on public holidays. Customers can access their accounts using a bankcard at an ATM 24 hours a day.

Medical, accident and travel insurance

All international students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. Students need to accept their offer of place then complete the insurance declaration during the Course Enrolment process. The University, Polytechnic and all high schools have insurance available for students.

Insurance is available for international students through Studentsafe. More information is available on the University of Otago Medical and Travel Insurance webpage. It is compulsory for all international students studying at Otago Polytechnic to have Unicare travel and medical insurance. Their package is called NZ Student Plan and more details can be found on the Uni-Care website.

High schools have a relationship with one or more insurance providers that they will offer to students. Most students use this option. Students can use their own private insurance, provided it is adequate.

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but students may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website.

Helpful Advice

Your place of study has more information on insurance and financial advice to help you understand what health care insurance covers.

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