Wananga landing Wananga landing

Insurance for international students

10 November 2023

Health and travel insurance while studying at UC is required to avoid unwanted, high costs relating to medical care and life events.


UC requires all enrolled international students (including doctoral students) on campus to have approved health and travel insurance for the duration of their enrolment (regardless of their visa type).  This is a requirement under the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.   

Immigration New Zealand also requires students to have insurance that covers their entire stay in NZ until the date their visa expires. If a student graduates or ceases to study, they must make alterative arrangements for insurance while they remain in NZ.

General insurance information

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. The cost of an appointment at the Health Centre can be billed to your insurance company directly if you have used one of the approved insurance providers listed. 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.


Dental Procedures

Dental procedures are generally not covered by travel and medical insurance. It is recommended that you have your teeth thoroughly checked and treated before you leave your home country. Dental treatment in NZ is generally considered to be more expensive than elsewhere and you will be required to pay for any treatments up front. Please be aware that altitude from flying can cause discomfort soon after dental treatment so give yourself time to heal before you fly.


Uni Pharmacy

If you are prescribed medication, you can visit the Uni Pharmacy (located in the Undercroft) to have your prescription filled. If your prescription items are covered under your policy and are on the Pharmac list, the Uni Pharmacy will submit a claim on your behalf and you will not need to pay them. If you have prescription items that are NOT covered under your policy or are NOT on the Pharmac List, you will be required to pay for them. The pharmacist will advise you about the cost. The Uni Pharmacy is open to the public and non-students can have their prescriptions filled there too. They would need to pay the Pharmacy directly for their prescription items and then claim reimbursement from their insurer afterwards.


Australian Students

If you are an Australian resident, you will be given an indefinite New Zealand Residence Permit by Immigration when you enter New Zealand. 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.


If you have any questions

Email us

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.