Check your health needs

To make the most of your studies, it’s important to manage your health from the start—even before you travel.

We recommend you:

  • get your health checked by your doctor before you leave for New Zealand
  • let us know important information about your current health and any additional health support you may need (whether physical, mental, emotional, etc) before you study in Wellington
  • have your teeth thoroughly checked and treated before you leave your home country—dental treatment is generally not covered by StudentSafe University Insurance, and it can be very expensive.

Our goal is to provide you with the best quality support during your study, and this includes health, disability, and counselling needs. You can be sure that any information shared will be kept private and used only to determine the best way to support you and help you make decisions about your study, with your wellbeing in mind.

What to bring

To ensure we can provide you with the best care during your studies, bring the following with you to New Zealand:

  • your medical notes (translated into English)
  • your specialist letters (translated into English)
  • a list of needed medications
  • optional: proof of COVID-19 vaccination. You are not required to be vaccinated to enter New Zealand, but check the vaccination requirements of your airline and any countries that you are transiting.

Not all medications available overseas are available here in New Zealand, so it is important that you consider this before you travel. When you arrive, please make an appointment to see a GP as soon as possible to ensure you can continue to take your medication in New Zealand. Some medication has restrictions, or may not be available in New Zealand, and you may need to make a plan to either import or change your medication.

Bringing or importing controlled medicines into New Zealand

In New Zealand, licences are required to import and export controlled drugs—unless you are carrying them with you or in your belongings when entering or leaving New Zealand and you meet the requirements. Please ensure you have a copy of the original prescription from your specialist or physician, and an accompanying letter from either stating that you have been prescribed this medicine to help manage your condition.

No more than 3 months supply can be imported. Before leaving your home country, we recommend contacting Medicines Control to find out how your medicine is classified by New Zealand Health authorities. You can find out more information on the Medsafe website. For further information, please email Medicines Control.

One particularly difficult class of medications in New Zealand to import is the stimulants used for ADHD such as methylphenidate, dexamphetamine and lisdexamphetamine. Other brand names include Ritalin, Concerta, Vyvanse and Adderall.  As these are ‘controlled drugs’, these medications usually cannot be imported other than bringing a maximum of four weeks supply in your luggage. To continue your prescription or have your prescription changed, you legally need to see a New Zealand registered psychiatrist for assessment, endorsement, and advice. Your clinician should send a referral letter to a private psychiatrist in New Zealand at least three months before your arrival in New Zealand to avoid any delays. They need to assess you every two years. You can find a list of psychiatrists online.

Getting immunised

To protect yourself from preventable illness while you are studying, make sure you get fully immunised before you travel to New Zealand for:

  • measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
  • meningococcal ACWY
  • pertussis (whooping cough)
  • varicella (chicken pox) immunisation is also recommended.

If you cannot get immunised before you arrive, you can arrange this at Student Health, ideally before your classes start. There will be a cost for the meningococcal ACWY, pertussis, and varicella immunisations. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunisation is free.

We also recommend you get the flu vaccination when it is available at the start of winter. This is free for all students through Student Health.