Healthcare and wellbeing
Staying healthy while you study is important. You can access a range of healthcare services on campus and in Wellington.
Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington has excellent services that can help you stay well. These include a Student Health service, professional counselling, and a recreation centre for fitness and fun physical activities.
You can also get in touch with our international student advisers if you have any questions about your health and wellbeing needs while you are studying.
If you cannot get immunised before you arrive in Wellington, 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.
While you are in New Zealand, you may need healthcare at some time. New Zealand doctors, known as General Practitioners (GPs), are available on campus. Find out more about healthcare in New Zealand at NauMai NZ.
In an emergency
When in New Zealand, phone 111 for an ambulance. You can also call this number for the police or in case of fire. The ambulance in Wellington is free and will take you to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
During business hours
Once enrolled, you can see a doctor or a nurse at the Kelburn or Pipitea campus. Our Student Health team provides a full range of services, including for mental and sexual health. You will need to make an appointment.
If you need to see a doctor outside of business hours, you can go to the Wellington Accident & Urgent Medical Centre in Newtown, which is near Wellington Hospital. It is open from 8 am to 11 pm. You don’t need to make an appointment before you go. You may need to wait some time to see a nurse or doctor, so take this into consideration.
While in New Zealand, if you are feeling unwell and are not sure whether you need to see a doctor, phone Healthline for free on 0800 611 116. You will receive advice and information from a trusted health professional.
If you are given a prescription by your doctor in New Zealand, you can take this to any pharmacy to receive your medicine. There is a pharmacy conveniently located in Easterfield building on Kelburn campus.
As an international student, you are required to have appropriate medical and travel insurance to assist with your health costs, including mental health and wellbeing costs, while you are in New Zealand. However, there may be additional fees for specialist services, so it is important to find out if additional costs apply.
Your Studentsafe–University insurance will cover most of your medical expenses. It is important to understand what your insurance policy covers and what may not be included.
Unless you are on the MFAT-funded New Zealand Scholarships programme, you are not eligible for free public healthcare in New Zealand. Your treatment will only be covered by the public health system if:
On campus, your consultation fee with Student Health is often covered by your StudentSafe insurance, and some consultations can be billed directly to the insurance company, Allianz. Conditions that cannot be direct billed to Allianz include pre-existing medical conditions, contraception, genital health, sexual health, fertility, screening tests, and acne management.
If your consultation is not directly billable and is covered by your insurance, you need to make a claim to your insurance provider. If you have another type of insurance, you will have to pay upfront and arrange a claim with your insurer later.
If you take your prescription from Student Health to the pharmacy on Kelburn campus, and it’s for a direct billable condition, you won’t need to pay for your medicine upfront—they can invoice Studentsafe directly.
For appointments with after hours and other medical services, you may need to pay upfront. Keep all of your receipts and medical notes, and talk to the International Student and Insurance Advisor about making an insurance claim.