Personal safety

All international students in New Zealand require medical and travel insurance. 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.

If you become injured or have health problems, there are a number of options available to you:

On campus

For general health problems, contact the Unitec Health Centre to make an appointment to see a doctor.

Private consultations

Please visit this Government Website that provides up-to-date information about healthcare providers, referral expectations, services offered and common treatments if you need a doctor.

Emergencies

If you are severely injured or ill, you can access treatment at Auckland City Hospital’s 24-hour Emergency or Casualty department.

In an emergency dial 111. This will connect you to an operator who will put you through to the service you require: Fire, Ambulance or Police. This is a free calling number from your landline or your mobile phone. The front of the telephone book has other emergency numbers. Please also notify the International Office Emergency Line by dialling the International Emergency Number: +64 21 829 510.

Unitec Security

If you are involved in / witness an incident on campus, please ring the Unitec Security Line on 0800 10 95 10. They are available 24/7.

For more information, please check the Unitec Security Page.

Safety

New Zealand has been ranked as one of the safest countries to live in. However, it is important to take precautions and to trust your instincts. Just like any country, do not leave yourself vulnerable in any situation you feel uncertain about. Watch the Safety in the City video to make the most of your time here.

The following are some safety measures to keep in mind:

  • Tell a friend, flatmate or Unitec staff member if you are going away and when you are expected to return
  • Carry only small amounts of cash with you and keep valuables hidden
  • Do not walk on your own at night
  • If you are on campus and feel unsafe, call Unitec security on 0800 10 95 90 and ask for assistance
  • Always lock your room, house and/or car
  • Don’t accept rides from strangers and do not hitch-hike
  • Don’t travel in any vehicle if you think the driver has consumed alcohol or has been using drugs
  • Don’t borrow or lend large amounts of money
  • Always read a document before signing it - if you cannot understand the document we can provide support and/or a contact for an interpreter
  • Keep your receipts for all large purchases.

Culture shock

Arriving in a new country is exciting but "culture shock", feelings of disorientation and anxiety, are common. Even if you are from an English speaking country, there will be things about New Zealand that seem strange or unfamiliar. Although everyone experiences culture shock differently, some common signs and symptoms are:

  • Feeling homesick, sad, frustrated, depressed angry or/and lonely
  • Feeling worried about your health
  • Headaches and pains
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Feeling overwhelmed by small problems
  • Feeling shy and insecure.

Some suggestions for coping with culture shock are to:

  • Stay in touch with friends or other people you trust
  • Exercise, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy food
  • Use English as often as possible, if it’s your second language – confidence with English will help you adjust more quickly
  • Learn as much as you can about New Zealand culture, values and attitudes, and try to respect them
  • Be open to learning new things and spend time doing things you enjoy
  • Keep your sense of humour.

We understand the challenges international students face living in a new culture and we try to offer services to help you adjust. Orientation is a good opportunity to find out as much as you can about student clubs, services and your courses. Remember to be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much too soon. It takes times to adjust and feelings associated with culture shock are common.

Talking with someone about your feelings or concerns can help you feel better. Please contact the International Office or make an appointment to talk with a counsellor at Unitec’s counselling centre.