Staying healthy while you study is important. You can access a range of healthcare services on campus—make sure you also get immunised before you arrive.
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.
To minimise health issues while you are in New Zealand, we recommend you have a health check by your doctor before you travel. To ensure we can provide you with best practice care it is requested that you bring with you your translated medical notes, specialist letters and a list of medications. Not all medications available overseas are available here in New Zealand so it is important that you consider this in advance of your travel and book a GP appointment well in advance to avoid interruption to your supply and to ensure safe arrangements can be made.
To protect yourself from preventable illness while you are studying, you should 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 on campus, 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.
Getting medical help
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
Call 111 for an ambulance. The ambulance in Wellington is free and will take you to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
During business hours
You can see a doctor or a nurse at Kelburn or Pipitea campuses. 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, but you may need to wait some time to see a nurse or doctor.
If you are feeling unwell but are not sure whether you need to see a doctor, call Healthline 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, you can take this to any pharmacy in town to receive your medicine. There is a pharmacy conveniently located in Easterfield building on Kelburn campus.
If you are on regular medication and want it to be sent from your home country, there are rules you need to follow. You should also find out about bringing prescription medicines with you when you travel.
Your Studentsafe–University insurance should cover most of your medical expenses. It is a good idea to understand what your insurance policy covers before you need medical help—pre-existing conditions need to be declared and might not be covered by your policy.
Unless you are on the 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 insurance, and some consultations can be billed directly to Allianz if this is your insurer. Conditions that cannot be direct billed to Allianz include pre-existing medical conditions, contraception, genital health, sexual health, fertility, screening tests, acne management. If your consultation is not direct billable but 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, as long as 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 afterhours and other medical services, you may need to pay upfront. Keep all of your receipts and medical notes, and talk to the International insurance adviser about making an insurance claim.