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Possible Problems
Studying in
New Zealand

If you want to continue your studies while in NZ there is no problem, simply enrol in another course or continue the one you are and you will receive a new  visa related to your studies. You may also be able to enrol in any course and change your visitor visa to a student visa without the need to leave the country. If you have a registered for a course of more than 12 weeks and want to change the course or institution, you should ask the institution and may need to contact the immigration to check if is it necessary to change the visa.

Nobody likes to read the fine print in contracts and are talking about contract because you will sign a contract with the school when enrolling in a course in New Zealand. In these papers they explain the rules and conditions of attending the school. Often people do not read them or some agent does not mention them al though they must. Each school has the right to have its own rules described in the contract, so there are differences for example about cancellations and refund policy and these are completely out of  any immigration rules. 

Cancellation and refund clauses should be read carefully and are very important when choosing a course. Some problems that are directly connected with the immigration department, such as studying for more than 12 weeks, any changes must be reported, in addition that a new visa will cost you more money. Other issues may also happen is when the educational institution does not want to release the student to move to another institution. That is, in case if you want to leave them in the middle of your studies and start in another course from another institution. Added to this, any amount paid in advance, may not be returned in accordance with the policy expressed in the small print of the contract. Most contracts only provides for returns and cancellations before the course starts and even then, the reimbursement is not 100% and some fees may be not refundable at all such as registration fees etc. You should also call the immigration department in NZ to confirm you if are allowed to change courses and if is necessary to do any visa changes in your passport.

The institutions do not like losing students for the obvious reason that they will be losing money, but also by a number of other side effects. For example, if the student is coming through an agency, and the commission has been paid, they will have to ask the agency to return the commission.. In addition to accounting exercise various other costs are involved. Another important point to keep in mind is that when you choose a course, you are actually signing a contract where it shows quite clearly the established rules and duration, as well as prediction of fines if you want to break it. 

The Government of New Zealand believes that you have come to study, this is your first goal. Therefore, immigration asks the school to report the frequency of international students who take courses over 12 weeks.. If class attendance falls below 80%, they may think you're in trouble. Not attending classes to go to work may affect your visa.In case of attendance problems related to health issue , if they are accompanied by medical certificate they are obviously acceptable, but any other excuses you will need a very compelling reason otherwise, it may terminate your permission to study and you may have even to leave the country. If you have any other problems, even any personal matters you should inform your course. Most of institutions can offer counselling and help, because it is common international students feel depressed missing family or with culture shock.

Many of these problems could be avoided if students do their homework gathering information about the institution, taking testimony from others who have studied there (the institution may provide that) and asking for these details to the educational agent or directly with the institution. Some of the disappointments may occur are related to quality of the studies or lack of discipline in the classroom. For people wanting really to learn and are failing, they should report it to management of the course. If no action is taken al all you could even take the fact to the attention of immigration and NZQA. If you are not learning enough for any other reasons, such as staying close only with people who speaks your language, dating and socializing only with people from your home country, we encourage you to review this strategy.

  Learning problems, if you are not reaching what you expected, this could be solved changing levels or for example moving from General English to Academic, which is more intensive without having major implications, just an internal arrangement. Remember that when enrolling in a course and learning you are investing in yourself and the courses are not cheap, so you have your rights but also duties.

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