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What to bring with you

What to bring with you?

The first thing any new arriving passenger needs to think about before boarding the plane, is making sure they have all of their documentation in order. To do this it is best to make a check list. Keep all of your paperwork together in a folder that you can bring on the plane with you. We have included some items below that you will need to consider.

  • Have your full Letter of Offer or Acceptance Letter from UCIC

  • Original high school transcripts and English language test results (if applicable)

  • Any documentation that came with your student visa, if this is on email, then print the email.

  • Bank Account details or statements to show proof of funds to NZ Immigration when you arrive

  • Your contact details and your parents/family contact details in your home country

  • The address and phone number of where you are staying in Christchurch

  • Your passport which contains your student visa – remember to keep these safe and with you at all times

  • A copy of your medical and travel insurance policy

When you are on the flight to Christchurch you will be given a New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card by the cabin crew on the plane. You may request to receive this arrival card in your own language otherwise it will be in English. If you are unsure of any of the questions or answers then you can ask a member of the cabin crew for assistance. If you are still unsure then, do not answer the question and when you land at Christchurch Airport, you must approach a member of Immigration Staff to assist you. Take a look at what the New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card looks like, so you can be prepared.

Biosecurity Hazards

New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws which are designed to protect our beautiful, clean natural resources. Because of this it is against the law to bring certain items into our country. This includes plant, seed and nut products, untreated timber products and any outdoor/hiking gear that may have soil attached to it. There is an extensive list available via this link: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/travel-and-recreation/arriving-in-new-zealand/

If you are unsure about any item that you have packed, then simply declare it on your Passenger Arrival Card and speak to a customs officer at the airport. If you declare an item you are unsure of you will not get into trouble, the friendly customs staff will help you determine whether or not it is permitted. Just remember, when filling out your arrival card – if you are unsure about any items you are carrying then tick YES on the Passenger Arrival Card and speak to a customs officer. They will be happy to help you.

What to Pack in Your Suitcase

No matter what time of year you come to New Zealand it is best to be prepared for some changeable weather, so it is always wise to pack some warm clothes. Christchurch is known for its beautiful blue skies and low rainfall, but that does not mean that it doesn’t get cold in winter or that it doesn’t rain…it does! Most people in Christchurch will always carry a jumper or cardigan with them at most times of the year, in case it gets chilly in the evenings. Bring a power adapter so you can charge your phone/laptop as soon as you arrive. And bring a USB charger for the plane. Luckily there are many shopping malls all around Christchurch so if you do forget to bring something with you; you can buy it here when you arrive.

Tip: It is also nice to bring a memento or comfort item from your home to help you settle in and feel more comfortable in your new surroundings.

The ‘Just in Case’ check list

Even though you may have organized your airport pick-up and you feel you have everything under control, there are a few things that you can do to make sure you are fully prepared if plans change at the last minute, if there are any delays or if you haven’t accounted for something.

Cash: In New Zealand we use the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). You should take a small amount with you when you are coming, just in case of any emergencies. You can get the NZD from all major banks, Bureau de Change outlets and of course at the airport money exchanges. $300 dollars in cash should be sufficient to cover for any unforeseen emergencies.

Debit/Credit cards: If you are taking debit or credit cards with you, make sure you call your bank before you leave and tell them that you are travelling and where you are travelling to. This way you are guaranteed that your cards will work in a foreign ATM machine and they can advise you of any charges or restrictions.

Medication/Prescriptions: If you are on any prescribed medicines then visit your doctor and ask them to provide you with a doctor’s note declaring that the medication is yours and you need to bring it with you. Make sure this note is on official headed paper and translated to English. If you require medical services while you are here it is a good idea to bring your medical history/records and any immunization records also.

Contact Info: We have mentioned it before but it is very important that you have all of your documentation and your family’s contact information with you. This includes your new address in Christchurch.

Phone: You can bring your mobile phone with you. This way you will be able to keep in contact while you are travelling to New Zealand, especially as most airports have free WIFI. Also you can pick up a local SIM or Micro SIM card at any airport. Some phones may need to be unlocked before you can use a local SIM so check with your service provider at home, as you can get this done before you leave and then get connected as soon as you land.

Adaptors and Chargers: You are going to want to stay connected to your family and friends back home so make sure you pack you chargers for your electronic goods such as laptops and mobile phone and don’t forget an adaptor so you can plug it in over here.