Pre Departure Information
ARRIVING IN AUCKLAND
Northcote College will arrange for someone to meet you at the airport. It could be your homestay family, your agent, a family friend or a Northcote College staff member. They will be waiting in the public arrival area. Please look for the card with your name on it. If you get lost please wait in the MacDonalds Restaurant area and we can find you. Do not leave the airport. 24 hour Phone number: Margaret MacLaurin, 027 4810013
New Zealand has strict laws regarding what you can bring into the country to screen out unwanted pests and diseases. You must not bring any animals, insects, fresh foods (including meats and fruit) and some packaged goods. If you are not sure about what you have, declare it and Customs can look at it. You can check on www.customs.govt.nz
It is wise to plan your arrival a few days before school starts. This gives you time to adjust to the new times.
Valid passport with student visa, letter of offer, receipt of payment of fees, personal information such as ID card, medical prescriptions, copy of medical and travel insurance, scientific calculator, extra passport size photos, contact telephone numbers, some local currency.
Travel Tips: Photocopy all important documents (passports, credit cards, travel insurance) before you leave home. Leave a copy with someone at home and keep another copy with you, separate from the originals.
New Zealand has a very modern banking system and almost everybody has a bank account. It's the safest, most convenient way to manage money..
Accessing your money. When you have opened your account you will be given an account number. With this account number you are able to make deposits (including international payments) and withdrawals immediately. You will also be sent in the mail an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) card. ATMs, also know as cashpoint machines, money machines or 'hole in the wall', allow you to withdraw money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are widely available throughout New Zealand.
GST - Goods and Services Tax
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is New Zealand's main type of tax apart from income tax. All goods and services are subject to a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) usually included in the displayed price.
New Zealand Post Shops are open every day except Sunday. Some Post Shops in large Malls are open. You can buy stamps at New Zealand Post Shops, visitor information centres, stationers and supermarkets.
There are 2 convenient shopping centres near to school at Highbury (Birkenhead) and Northcote.
Both have a range of goods, restaurants, postal services, bakery, fruit shops, supermarkets, banks and fitness centres. There are other larger malls nearby at Glenfield and Takapuna.
The City Centre is also about 10-15 minutes by car or ferry. Movie Cinemas are in the city and Takapuna. Convenience Stores can be found located in most residential areas. They sell mainly food items. New Zealanders use the word ‘dairy’ to describe these shops. Most shops are open during working hours, usually 9.00am to 5.30pm, from Monday to Saturday. Late Thursday and Friday night and Sunday shopping is also common. Some shops such as takeaway food outlets and those attached to petrol stations are also open for longer hours.
The uniform is worn by students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12. Year 13 has a dress code. The uniform requirements are strictly enforced. Uniform is purchased from a local shop. If you play on a school sports team then you may need to purchase a Northcote College sports uniform.
Students usually come to school by bus, by car or by walking. The best way for you to travel independently around Auckland is by bus. You will be given a student I.D. card which will allow bus travel at student prices and will also get cheaper entry into some places. International students are not allowed to drive while studying at Northcote College.
PHONE CALLS AND INTERNET
New Zealand’s international code is 0064. Auckland is 09.
Local phone calls are seven digits. Area codes consist of two digits. The first is zero. Phone calls are free to call within the Auckland area. Calling cards are an economical way to call home and are readily available from local shops. Calls to numbers starting with 0800 or 0508 are free.
Please ask your homestay family before using the internet. Homestay arrangements do not include the use of the homestay computer or internet. If you are a person who uses the internet a lot, you may wish to consider bringing your own laptop to New Zealand and then organising your own intent connection. There are internet cafes at the local shopping centres and computers are available at school for use during the lunchtimes.
Being in a new country is an exciting experience. There are many new learning opportunities with changes in food, language and physical surroundings. There are many new people to meet. Sometimes the feelings of excitement can change to anxiety and stress because there are so many decisions to make. Everyone experiences some degree of cultural fatigue when they arrive in a new country. The good news is that over time you will get used to the new environment and things will become easier. Bringing photographs and other small things from home to decorate your room may help ease the transition into a new culture.
The Auckland region is surrounded by some magnificent waterways. The physical nature of our country; the length of the coastline; the accessibility to rivers and lakes; the relative affordability of visiting a community pool and the popularity of private pools – all increase the need to be ‘WaterSafe’.
Swim only at lifeguard patrolled beaches and always swim between the red and yellow flags. Lifeguards are trained to assess the safest areas for swimming and they mark those areas with red and yellow flags. Follow the advice of safety signs. For more information on surf beaches visit www.lifesaving.org.nz
THE NEW ZEALAND TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Learning in New Zealand may be different to what you are used to in your home country. Students participate in their learning – i.e. teachers and lecturers may expect you to ask questions of them and provide ideas for discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You won’t appear stupid by asking questions. Please come to the international office if there is anything that you don’t understand or which is worrying you about school.
The national qualification in the senior school is NCEA. For more information on the NCEA and about university entrance please go to http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/about/index.html.
(For more information on New Zealand education, please go to www.minedu.govt.nz)
Please download the pre-departure booklet for further information: download.