Insurance for incoming students

To enrol as an international student at the University of Canterbury you must have medical and travel insurance for the duration of your study.

Students1 skiing MtHutt

Mandatory insurance for international students

Having medical and travel insurance is a legal requirement under the NZQA Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

For insurance purposes, an international student is:

  • Any student who does not have New Zealand citizenship
  • Any student who is not a resident of New Zealand (i.e. does not have a valid Residency Permit issued by New Zealand Immigration in their passport).

Period of cover

Immigration New Zealand requires you to have insurance that covers your entire stay in New Zealand until the date your visa expires. Your insurance cover must include the expiry date of your student visa, even after your enrolment at the University of Canterbury has ended.

If you graduate or otherwise stop studying, you must make other arrangements for insurance for the rest of your stay in New Zealand until the expiry date of your student visa. Studentsafe also offers Visitsafe-Express policy to cover this period.

Minimum insurance cover requirements

There are minimum insurance cover requirements international students must policies must meet. Please check here to see the requirements your insurance policy must have. In addition, if your policy is not already listed under the approved insurance policies below, you must complete an insurance policy assessment form no later than five weeks prior to the start of your study at UC.

Studentsafe: UC's default insurance cover

Studentsafe University Insurance is UC’s current default insurance cover. Every student intending to enrol at UC is covered by the Studentsafe university policy from the time they leave home (up to 31 days prior to enrolment) to when they arrive to complete enrolment at UC. 

If you intend to enrol at UC, you do not need to buy your own insurance before you leave home. You can buy Studentsafe university insurance when you complete your enrolment in New Zealand.

If you do not want to purchase Studentsafe university insurance you must arrange approved insurance that meets the minimum requirements for a travel and medical insurance policy.

Approved insurance policies

A number of insurance plans are available that meet the minimum requirements for international students. The following insurance plans have been assessed and are compliant for studying in New Zealand.

When you arrive in New Zealand and come to UC to complete your enrolment in person, you must bring a certificate of insurance that proves you have insurance cover. This certificate must show the start date and expiry date of the insurance.

Your insurance must cover your enrolment from the official enrolment start date to the expiry date of your current student visa (or at least to the end date of your current enrolment if your visa is issued for the whole duration of your study programme).

If your insurance cover is not listed above you must apply to have your cover assessed at least four weeks before you complete your enrolment in person.


Email this form along with your insurance policy to

Access to healthcare

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded healthcare while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be responsible for the full cost of that treatment. To find out if you are eligible for free healthcare, visit Immigration New Zealand.

The UC Health Centre provides healthcare to students at UC and is conveniently located on campus. When you visit the Health Centre, the cost of your appointment can be billed to your insurance company directly if you have used one of the approved insurance providers listed above.

If you have an accident and require emergency treatment, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand. To find out more, visit the ACC website.

Australian students

If you are an Australian resident who is entering New Zealand, you will be given an indefinite New Zealand Residence Permit by immigration at the New Zealand border when you enter the country. This means that you are a New Zealand resident. Insurance is not compulsory for New Zealand residents on valid indefinite permits.

If you are in Australia on an Australian Temporary Residence Visa, you do not qualify for a New Zealand Residence Permit at the New Zealand border and therefore you must purchase an insurance policy that is specific for international students, or an insurance policy from an insurance company based in Australia (the Australian insurance policy may need to be assessed and approved by the University of Canterbury).

For more information, visit the Immigration New Zealand website.

Dental procedures

Dental procedures are generally not covered by travel and medical insurance. It is recommended that you have your teeth checked thoroughly before you leave your home country. Dental treatment in New Zealand is generally considered to be more expensive than elsewhere.

Emergency assistance


To contact Studentsafe in New Zealand call toll-free on 0800 486 004.

If you are travelling outside New Zealand and an emergency occurs during your travel or stopover, you can phone +64 9 486 6868. Collect calls will be accepted. Call your telephone operator in your country and ask to place a collect call. Call charges will then be paid by the insurance company from anywhere in the world for advice when you need it.

If you have a minor loss or event while travelling, keep all records and receipts then make a claim when you arrive in New Zealand.

Other policies

For students who have purchased other insurance policies, please check your policy document for emergency contact details.

More information

Admissions and Enrolment - Student Insurance
Phone +64 3 364 2459
Location Student Services Information Desk on Level 1, Matariki Building.