Students under 18 years

Victoria University of Wellington has special obligations to students under the age of 18 to ensure you are well looked after while studying in New Zealand.

Our obligations to students under the age of 18 form part of New Zealand’s Code of Practice for the pastoral care of international students. The Code of Practice governs all of the processes and support we provide for our international students.

For our younger students, we will make sure that:

  • you have safe, supportive accommodation
  • you have regular meetings with our international support team
  • your parents or guardians are informed about your progress and general wellbeing until you turn 18 years old.

Go to the NZQA website for full details of what is covered in the Code.

If you will be under 18 at the time you complete your online enrolment, this information applies to you. Please ensure that your parents or guardians also read and understand this information.

If you have any questions, contact the International team.

Parental consent

Your parents or legal guardians must sign our parental/guardian consent form pdf54KB before you can complete your online enrolment. You will not be able to enrol at Victoria University of Wellington until we receive this signed form.

The parental consent form allows parents and guardians to note which languages they speak. If English is not a preferred language, the University will provide parents with letters and emails in their preferred language.

Make sure your parent or guardian completes this form and returns it by email to the International team.

Student support

You will meet with your International Student Advisor once a trimester to discuss your wellbeing and academic progress. Your advisor will contact your parents once a trimester to discuss your progress.

Your advisor will also make sure you are aware of any restrictions that apply to you as an under-18-year-old living in New Zealand. For instance, it is against New Zealand law for a person under 18 years of age to purchase alcohol or cigarettes.

Find out more about the support we offer all international students.


To ensure you are safe and well looked after, you are required to live in one of the following types of accommodation while you are studying in New Zealand:

  • in a homestay organised by the University’s approved provider, Host Families New Zealand
  • in University accommodation in a catered hall of residence (meals will be provided for you)
  • with your parents—your parents must confirm that they will be living in Wellington until you turn 18
  • with a caregiver designated by your parents—if your parents choose a designated caregiver, they must complete the designated caregiver agreement form pdf51KB and return it by email to the International team. If you will be living with a designated caregiver, staff from the University will visit your accommodation to ensure it is suitable.

Under the Code of Practice, you may not live in any other type of accommodation while you are under 18. All accommodation is subject to the approval of Victoria University of Wellington.

If you will be living with a designated caregiver, staff from the University will visit your accommodation to ensure it is suitable.


While you are studying, you need to advise us of any plans you have to travel, as we are responsible for your wellbeing.

If you wish to stay away from your accommodation overnight, or travel outside of the Wellington area, you must:

  • notify your homestay family, your hall manager, or your designated caregiver
  • meet with your International Student Advisor to discuss your travel arrangements.

When your advisor agrees to your travel plans, they will contact your parents to discuss and seek confirmation from them.

After you have applied

  1. Once you have applied and been accepted to study, you will receive an Offer of Place that identifies you as being under 18.
  2. The International Student Experience team will be in touch before your enrolment is complete to make sure we have your signed Parental Consent form and that your accommodation is confirmed.
  3. If you are in New Zealand, you will need to organise one of the accommodation types above. It is important to apply for our halls of residence as early as possible.
  4. Your International Student Advisor will welcome you at International Orientation, and talk to you about how they will keep in touch during your studies. If you are studying outside New Zealand your International Student Advisor will get in touch with you online.
  5. Once you turn 18, the above requirements are lifted. The International team is still available to support you and help with any questions or issues during your time at the University.

Find out what else you need to do to get ready for your study.