International and studying from overseas

Ngā ākonga nō whenua kē

Find out about enrolment and requirements for studying with us if you are an international learner in New Zealand or overseas or a New Zealand citizen or resident who wants to study from overseas.

International learners who study with us include:

  • International learners living in New Zealand.
  • New Zealand citizens or residents living overseas
  • International learners living overseas.

Go to the relevant section to learn more about studying in New Zealand as an international learner:


International learners in New Zealand

Open Polytechnic is a NZQA Category 2 provider. If you are an international learner living in New Zealand, with a valid work visa, you may be able to study with us part-time, provided you first meet the entry criteria for the programme you wish to enrol in.

Admission requirements if you have a valid work visa

  • If your study is a requirement of your employment we need a letter of authorisation from your employer (on letterhead). This must confirm that you need to undertake this training as part of your job.

  • If the study is not a requirement of your employment you need to apply for a variation of your work visa conditions (see below).

  • If your work visa is for less than two years you must have appropriate insurance in place to cover medical care. (requirement of Ministry of Health/Immigration New Zealand). To meet the requirements of the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 (Part 6 Outcome 10/5) you will need to give us your evidence of insurance cover.

  • If your work visa covers a period of two years or more, this is not required (Ministry of Health/Immigration New Zealand).

  • If you are studying part time and gaining a qualification while on a work visa, you will not be eligible for any post study work rights. For any queries related to this information you can contact Immigration New Zealand.

Admission requirements when study is not a requirement of your employment

If your study is not a requirement of your employment you must get a variation of your visa conditions before your enrolment can be completed. To do this you must:

  • pay the international fees for the course you wish to enrol in. You will then be provided with an offer of place in order to apply to Immigration New Zealand for a variation of conditions on your visa
  • when you apply to study you must include verified evidence of your right to study in New Zealand.

Learn more about options to vary the conditions of your visa and how to apply for a variation of conditions:


Some courses include face-to-face workshops. If you need to travel to attend the workshop, you need to arrange and pay for your own travel and accommodation. These costs are not included in the fees charged for the course.

Fees for international learners studying in New Zealand

International learners studying in New Zealand pay international course fees. Fees information is in the qualification page in the table in the Choose courses tab, or on the course page.


Studying from overseas

Information for New Zealand citizens or residents or international learners living overseas.

Before you apply to study:

  • Check if the qualification you want to study is available to overseas learners.
  • Check if the qualification has any specific entry requirements that you need to meet.


Studying from across the ditch

New Zealander Nicola Barry talks about how she completed her degree in Australia by studying by distance with Open Polytechnic.  Watch her story now.

Learn more


Fees for learners living overseas

  • New Zealand Citizens living overseas – pay domestic fees (less GST).
  • New Zealand residents living overseas – pay international course fees.
  • International learners living overseas – pay international course fees.

All overseas learners must also pay an international handling charge.

Fee information is on the qualification page in the table in the Choose courses tab, or on the course page. You can also check our study fee page.

Sitting exams from overseas

When you are studying from overseas you can also sit any examinations you may need to sit overseas. There may be costs associated with this, and you will need to organise a venue, which we will help you with.


Language requirements and learner support information

English language entry requirements

We teach all our courses in English.  All international learners must meet the English Language Entry Requirements for the qualification you are enrolling in. All other learners, if English or Māori is not your first language you need to meet our English Language Entry Requirements for the qualification you are enrolling in.

For more information check:

Online study

Study with Open Polytechnic is online. This means you can access all your course materials and submit assignments online. You can also get online resources from the Library.

When you enrol you will get a MyOP account, which means you can:

  • access your courses
  • check your results
  • access your Open Polytechnic email
  • Office 365, which includes online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Learning support

Whether you are in New Zealand or overseas, we support you through your studies. Our academic and support staff are available by email and phone. You can also ask questions and join discussions with staff in your online course pages.

As well as being able to study online, you can also access our library to get readings online.

After you finish your study

When you finish your study, we can help you to continue to study at partner education provider in New Zealand. Get in touch for more information.


Pastoral care of international learners

Open Polytechnic has agreed to observe and be bound by the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021.

See the learner rights and conduct page to get a copy of the Code of Practice. Here you will also find information about immigration, health services and insurance in the International Students section.

How to make a complaint

Open Polytechnic has a complaints and concerns process for all learners.

As an international learner, if you have a complaint or concern it is important that you follow this process. It will help us to work with you to resolve your complaint.

If we cannot resolve your complaint or concern you can contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). NZQA will provide an independent assessment and advice about your complaint.

You can submit your complaint on the NZQA website or to the email address below:


Got any questions?

If you have any questions about studying with us as an international learner get in touch.


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