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"Kia Ora!" : Welcome to Auckland
– The City of Sails


The staff would like to welcome you to Auckland Language Centre. We look forward to your arrival and to making your stay enjoyable and successful.

To help you prepare for your trip we have compiled the following information, which we believe will help you adapt more quickly to a new country, climate, college, customs and lifestyle.

Awesome Auckland
Located on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour and with a population of 1.3 million, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, and the centre of NZ’s business and culture.

In Auckland you can enjoy theatre, the arts, restaurants, sporting events, outdoor activities and more. The central business district, where ALC is located, is surrounded by some beautiful parks and reserves, and just a short drive away are located some of Auckland ‘s finest beaches.

Auckland is a multicultural society, drawn from many ethnic backgrounds, where Maori European and Asian cultures mix in an atmosphere of friendly tolerance. If you have any further questions, please contact us at:

21 Federal Street, P.O. Box 105 035,
Auckland, New Zealand
Phone : 64 - 9 - 303 1962 Fax : 64 - 9- 307 9219
E-mail: info@akldlang.co.nz
Website : www.geosnz.com

Language Difficulties
Most of you may experience some difficulty speaking English. This is natural. You will be using conversational English which is probably different from what you were taught in high school. It will take time to become proficient in your speech. When you talk with your host family, teachers or friends, ask them to speak clearly, slow down or repeat themselves. These people are excellent sources of new words and phrases. Ask them for help with your pronunciation and vocabulary. They will be happy to help. If you become tired and frustrated when you do not learn as quickly as you would like, relax and slow down. Be patient. It takes time.

Asking for help...

If there is something you don't understand, or something you are not sure how to deal with, ask someone for help or advice. If you do not ask, we cannot help you.

"I don't understand. Can you explain this to me?"
"Can you help me please?"
"I am sad / confused / homesick. Can I talk with you about it?"
"I would like some help with homework / English / new friends"


Weather
Auckland has very changeable weather and has been said to have 'four seasons in one day'. The climate ranges from warm to hot summers to cold crisp winters. It does not snow in the city but skiing is very popular in the mountains a few hours drive away.

November to April is warm to hot (Max. 18 – 30 degrees C)

May to October is cool to cold and often windy and wet (Max. 7 – 18 degrees C)


What to bring

Clothing

  • light, comfortable clothing for the warmer months (T-shirts, shorts, sandals etc.)
  • wind proof jacket, pullover, jeans, jacket and strong shoes or boots for the colder months
  • raincoat and strong umbrella, as Auckland can get wet and windy
All types of clothing can be purchased in Auckland.


Food
All Asian products and most European food products are readily available in Auckland and you do not need to bring these with you. As New Zealand has been an isolated country for many years and is relatively free from pests and harmful insects there are very strict quarantine laws controlling the importation of food and plants.

Do not bring any plant or animal material in to the country (eg. Mushrooms, fruit, Chinese herbs, pork, noodles, spices etc.). However, if you must bring any of these please remember...The following classes of goods must be declared on your New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card:
  • food of any kind
  • plants or parts of plants (alive or dead)
  • animals (alive or dead) or their products
  • equipment used with animals
  • equipment such as camping gear, golf clubs, and used bicycles
  • biological specimens.

Passengers who fill out the Quarantine section of the declaration card incorrectly, risk an instant fine of $200. This is in addition to the prospect of a fine of up to $100,000, or a prison term of up to 5 years for serious breaches of the New Zealand Bio-security laws.
Please see the New Zealand Customs service website for more details:
http://www.customs.govt.nz/index.htm

Students travelling on a Student Visa
Students on a student visa need to comply with certain conditions:
1. Students must have an attendance level of 80%
2. Students must notify ALC of any change of address
3. Students must meet course requirements
4. Students may not work unless you have applied for permission to work and hold a work permit and work visa.

STUDENT VISA

Student visas are for all students who are enrolled for 12 weeks Full Time or more.

Requirements :

  • Students must attend 20 hours minimum study per week to maintain their student visa status.
  • Students who are in New Zealand on a tourist visa need to speak to their respective countries counselor in regards to their eligibility. Counselors are available between 12:15 – 17:00 Pm Monday to Friday

Process :

Step 1
The registrar, upon receiving the students registration form from the agent or individual student shall issue an initial letter of acceptance stating the students name, date of birth , period of and study and course type.

Step 2
Upon full payment of tuition fees the registrar will then issue a receipt of payment and final letter of acceptance stating the students name, date of birth , period of study , course type and that all fees have been paid.

Step 3
Overseas Students
The receipt of payment , final letter of acceptance and pre-departure report are first faxed and then express couriered to the agent and respective New Zealand Embassy in that country.

Agents will then apply for a students visa on behalf of the student.

Step 3
New Zealand based student
The receipt of payment and final letter of acceptance are issued to the local agent or the individual.

Agents or the individual students will then apply for the student visa.
Students already studying at Auckland Language Center who wish to apply for a students can get a student visa application from the Registrars office. Councilors are available to help student with any enquiries they may have.

Central Auckland
New Immigration Service
450 Queen Street
P O Box

Ph 914 4100 Fax 914 4118

Please ask the Registrar for more information, or see the New Zealand Immigration services website:

IMMIGRATION "Full Details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employments in New Zealand while studying , and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service, and can be viewed on their website at http://www.immigration.govt.nz/

Health Cover
Auckland Language Centre has agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral care of International Students published by the Ministry of Education. Copies of the Code are available on request from the this institution or from the New Zealand Ministry of Education website at http://www.minedu.govt.nz.


HEALTH AND TRAVEL INSURANCE

"Most students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand unless they are :

  • A resident or citizen of Australia ; or
  • A national of the Unit Kingdom in New Zealand; or

The holder of a temporary permit that is valid for two years or more.

If you do not belong to one of these special categories and you receive medical treatment during your visit, you will be liable for the full costs of that treatment. We strongly recommend that you have insurance that will cover the cost of medical treatment in New Zealand for the duration of your stay in New Zealand. We also strongly recommend that you obtain insurance to cover your travel to and from New Zealand.

Medical treatment in New Zealand can be very expensive. Students are advised to carry health insurance to cover against medical and hospital expenses. Auckland Language Centre can organise insurance for you. If you need health insurance please complete the following forms and return the two Southern Cross Healthcare forms to "The Registrar".

Download Health Insurance Application Form PDF

(You will need Free Acrobat Reader Software to view the PDF)

Banking
If you are staying in New Zealand for more than 12 weeks you should open a bank account. Most savings accounts come with a plastic "cash card" which you can use to access automatic teller machines (ATMs) 24 hours a day to withdraw and deposit money. All the major banks are located close to ALC and we will assist you during orientation with opening a bank account if you need one.

Postal Mail
Please ensure that any mail that is sent to you by post has your name clearly written in English script, with the word Student on it.

Example: John Smith - Student
  Auckland Language Centre...

Your arrival in New Zealand
If you have reserved an airport pick-up, a representative of our transfer company will meet you at the airport. Look for the ALC sign. If you cannot find the representative, please wait in front of the flower shop and our staff will come and find you.

Very Important: Please put the Kiwi picture on your bag so that we can recognise you!

Your first day at Auckland Language Centre- Orientation
On the Monday that your course begins you must attend enrolment and orientation day.

On this day you will complete an English test to assess your level of English and follow a special orientation program for new students.


What to bring:
Passport
Letter of Acceptance from Auckland Language Centre
A pen and paper

Programme:

9:00 am Introduction to the Registrar
9:05 am English Placement Test and Interview
10:15 am Introduction to the Student Services staff
10:30 am Morning break
11:00 am Walk around downtown Auckland
11:30 am Orientation in your own language with student services staff
12:15 pm Lunch break
1:15 pm Afternoon class for full-time students

In our orientation program you will learn how to use public transport; you will find out more about visa regulations, about homestay and other accommodation issues, about the structure of the academic program at ALC, timetable details, holidays, school policies and facilities, recreational activities and more. There are also two questionnaires for you to complete to help us to improve our service.


Regular class times
Regular school days are structured as follows:

Morning Class 9:00 am – 12:15 am
(Morning Break 10:40 am –11:00 am)

Lunch 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

Afternoon Class 1:15 pm - 3:15 pm
(Afternoon Break 2:20 pm - 2.30 pm)

In addition to regular classes you may also be involved in a number of excursions and activities outside the classroom.


Teaching Methods
Our teachers are dedicated to helping every student to learn English as quickly and effectively as possible. The emphasis is on communication, and a wide range of resources and the most up-to-date and appropriate methods are used to ensure that every learner achieves their potential.

Teachers at ALC use a blend of proven approaches and challenging new ideas, and take into account a range of learning styles and cultural backgrounds. You may be a little surprised by the new style of lessons in your first week, but will soon find that you are able to communicate with others in the class and become independent outside the class. Please remember to tell a teacher about any individual difficulties you may have; they will always be happy to help you.


Homestay
Living in a homestay is an ideal way of quickly becoming familiar with a new culture and environment, and there is greater progress in English language skills. All homestay hosts of Auckland Language Centre speak English as the first language in their homes, and are otherwise very diverse in their ethnic origin, religion, age and family situation.

In an ALC homestay you will be provided with a furnished single room, breakfast and dinner on weekdays and three meals on weekends (if you are at home). We will do our best to find a homestay situation which matches your interests and preferences, however it is rare to find a "perfect match".

While you cannot think of yourself as a guest in a hotel, you must also realise that you are not at home with your own family. Expect things to be done very differently, Meals, chores, rules and responsibilities will be different. Family structures also vary because of the many races, cultures and ethnic origins that exist in New Zealand. Every family has a different way of doing things, different values, and different expectations of the family members. Learning to fit into the family will help you to understand New Zealand cultures and values.

If you become unhappy in your homestay situation, please speak to someone in the Homestay department. If after discussing your situation you would still like to move out, you must give two weeks notice to your homestay family and to ALC.

Cost of Living (per week)
If you are planning to live independently, ie. not in a homestay, you can find shared accommodation from $80-$130, or rent a one-bedroom flat from $130-$200. You should budget approximately $10 for electricity and gas, $60 for food, $40 for public transport and at least $30 for miscellaneous expenses such as telephone, medical costs, entertainment, etc. In total, you should expect to be spending $250 - $300 per week.


Student Services
The Student Services Department assists with finding suitable accommodation and can help you with a wide range of issues including employment, legal and financial problems, academic counselling, visa issues, recreation, etc. Furthermore, the Student Counsellor is available to discuss, in strict confidence, any difficulties and personal problems (homesickness, health issues, etc) that you may have from time to time.

How to contact FIELS with complaints
If you have a complaint which our staff have not been able to satisfy, you may wish to write to another organization.

Our school is a member of FIELSNZ - The Federation of Independent English Language Schools of New Zealand. You may write to the Secretary of FIELSNZ at P.O.Box 2577, Auckland.

If FIELSNZ is unable to help you, please contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Their address is P.O.Box 160, Wellington.

Or you can contact the International Education Appeal Authority, C/- Ministry of Education, P.O.Box 1666, Wellington.


What is the International Education Appeal Authority (IEAA )?

The IEAA is an independent body established to deal with complaints from international students
About pastoral care aspects of advice and services received from their educational provider or the provider’s agents. The IEAA enforces the standards in the code of practice.


How can I contact the IEAA ?
You can write to the IEAA at :
The International Education Appeal Authority
C/ - Ministry of Education,
PO BOX 1666
Wellington
New Zealand

In the case of an emergency only you may ring the following number after you arrive in New Zealand.

0800 106 108

All the staff at Auckland Language Centre wish you a safe journey and look forward to welcoming you to Auckland!



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