Getting ready to go

Times Square New York.jpg

Booking Your Travel

You are responsible for arranging your own travel to and from the host university. It is strongly recommended that you do not purchase your tickets until you receive the official letter of acceptance from the host university. Be aware of any fees that may be charged to alter a booking. Ensure you have accurate semester dates and check the validity period of your visa before booking your flights.

Do not arrange any travel away from your host university during the semester while lectures are in session. Some of our partner universities have mandatory class attendance requirements.

Orbit Travel: discounted flights and a drawing for a $500 Travel Voucher

Massey’s unique relationship with Orbit Travel means you can have all the benefits and discounts we’ve negotiated for business travel and possibly win free money. Exchange students who book their flights through Orbit by the deadlines below will go into a drawing for a $500 Travel Award that will be awarded each semester. The Travel Voucher will be good for any travel booked through Orbit during the following twelve months. Orbit logo.jpg

  • 15 August for semester 2 exchanges
  • 15 December for semester 1 exchanges

You get other great benefits as well if you book through Orbit:

  • Highly competitive rates and fare levels for all suppliers across the market.
  • Access to All of Government Airfare deals on 5 participating carriers.
  • Orbit can sort all your travel documentation needs such as visas, passports and foreign currency.
  • Orbit minimises the impact of travel disruptions by having a back-up plan for you.
  • The smart, all-in-one Orbit Travel App for Android and Apple mobile devices, manages your travel requirements anytime, anywhere, with real-time updates straight to your phone.
  • Access to Orbit services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can contact Orbit’s dedicated Student Exchange consultant by email, by calling (06) 350 5522 option 2, or by stopping by Orbit’s office on the Manawatu concourse.

Host University Orientation

Most universities provide an orientation for new students to the university. Check the host university’s website for details. Attending orientation is mandatory at some universities. Even if the orientation is not compulsory, it is strongly recommended as a great way to learn about your host university and country and meet other students.

Host University Accommodation

After you have been accepted, you should apply for accommodation at your host university, if you have not already done so. Accommodation options vary at each partner university, so you will need to investigate your options, including on-campus and possibly private off-campus accommodation. Most partner universities have an Accommodation Office that will process your application for campus accommodation and may be able to provide advice on private accommodation. You should check any deadlines or special housing arrangements as early as possible - some universities require students to book accommodation before you know whether you have been accepted for admission to the university.

Generally, off-campus accommodation is less expensive than on-campus housing, but this varies from city to city. Transport costs and frequency may make living on campus relatively more convenient. Remember that there are advantages and disadvantages to both flatting and living in university accommodation, so take into consideration your financial situation and preferences when researching where you will want to live. Estimated housing costs often can be found on the host universities’ websites.

Enrolment at Your Host University

Some host universities will allow you to enrol in courses before you arrive on campus. Others require you to make your final course selection when you arrive. Make sure you are aware of the procedure for your host university and meet any enrolment deadlines. It is common for exchange students to change their original course selection for a variety of reasons. It is very important that you check your new course selection with Massey if you make changes to the courses you originally had approved for your exchange.

There is no guarantee your new courses will be credited to your Massey programme if you don't get prior approval for your new course selection. Contact us if you make any changes to your course selection to be sure you will be on track to complete your degree. 

Enrolment at Massey

You should not be enrolled in any Massey courses unless you have been approved to take a Distance course during your exchange. You will be charged for 60 credits of Massey tuition fees in your normal programme of study during your exchange semester.  Massey will also verify with StudyLink that you are enrolled full time on exchange so you continue to receive your usual StudyLink entitlements.  


If you wish to continue to receive your entitlements to a student allowance and/or the student loan scheme while on exchange, you need to download and complete the StudyLink Overseas Study Application form in addition to your usual StudyLink online application. You need to wait until you have been officially accepted by your host university before completing this form.

On page 1 of the Overseas Study form, question 8, please select that you are enrolled at a New Zealand tertiary education provider. For question 8c, tick the first box ("on a recognised overseas programme"). Please send your entire completed form (hard copy) and any supporting documentation to the Student Mobility Coordinator at Massey University, who will complete pages 4 and 5 and forward the form to StudyLink on your behalf. Please note that the International Relations Office staff are the only Massey staff authorised to complete this section of the form.

StudyLink recommends that you designate a parent or other close relative/friend as an agent while you are overseas. If any problems arise with StudyLink, your agent will be able to act on your behalf while you are away. If you wish to appoint an agent with StudyLink, complete the relevant section at the end of the Overseas Study Application Form. You should also complete the Massey University Agent Authorisation Form to allow Massey staff members to release information to your appointed agent. Send your completed Agent Authorisation Form to Enrolments (PN 610) at Massey University or hand it in at Massey Contact.

Contact Massey's StudyLink liaison if you have any questions regarding the Overseas Application form or StudyLink.

Health and Travel Insurance

Medical treatment overseas is often privatised and very expensive, making insurance extremely important. You agree to purchase a Studentsafe Outbound insurance policy for the duration of your exchange when you sign your Outbound Student Exchange Contract. Your exchange approval will be cancelled, even if you have already booked your flights, if you do not provide proof of Studentsafe Outbound coverage.

Massey University students get a 25% discount off the standard rate for Studentsafe Outbound. Use the promo code 360OSE when purchasing your coverage.  You will receive confirmation of cover immediately after purchasing your insurance.

Some host universities have compulsory medical insurance schemes you will be obliged to join as well. Your host university will provide you with the details of their plan and requirements.

Safe Travel

Safe Travel is the official source of advice for New Zealanders travelling or living overseas. We recommend you check their website for current travel advice for the region where you are intending to travel. It is recommended that you register with Safe Travel so that the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade can contact you if there is an unforeseen crisis in the region, or if you have a family emergency while you are overseas. You may also wish to consider registering with the New Zealand Embassy or Consulate in the country where you will be living during your exchange.


You will need a current passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of return to New Zealand. Apply for one at least three months before your expected departure date if you don't have a passport. Once the passport is issued you should then apply for the appropriate visa.

You are responsible for checking the immigration requirements for the country of your exchange and any other countries you plan to visit while overseas. Be sure your visa allows for multiple entries if you plan to leave your host country more than once during your stay. Refer to the university page for your exchange through Where Can I Study? for a general outline about the visa requirements. Check with the relevant country's Embassy or Consulate if you have questions about immigration requirements.

Documents to take with you

You should have the following in your carry on luggage when you leave New Zealand:

  • Copy of your host university acceptance notification
  • Enough cash to support you for at least a couple of days
  • Your passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date you intend to return to New Zealand
  • Visa, if required.  Students on exchange in the USA must also take their original DS-2019 or I-20 (visa documents).  It is helpful to also keep copies of any documentation you used to apply for a visa (such as proof of finances, DS-2019/I-20 and SEVIS fee receipt for the USA, etc). 
  • Return air ticket
  • Studentsafe Outbound Policy Certificate
  • A list of important contact details for home and in the host country
  • Information about any health conditions, prescription medicines, glasses, etc. This will help you to replace lost items or to establish your health history with a new doctor in the host country.
  • A copy of your immunisation record (some host universities or accommodation providers will require this)
  • Your driver's licence
  • Photocopies or scans of your itinerary, passport data page, visa and insurance certificate. Give a second copy of these to a family member or other key person at home.