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School of Optometry and Vision Science

Guidelines for international students

Welcome to the School of Optometry and Vision Science at The University of Auckland.

We are the only Optometry programme in New Zealand and are accredited by the Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand (OCANZ) meaning graduates may register with the Registration Board and begin practice upon completion of their degree. We are also one of the first schools in Australia and New Zealand to have a therapeutic endorsement for our graduates.


Facts about our programme

  • Length of programme: 5 years full-time
  • Start date: Semester 1 each year (late February/early March)
  • Number of eligible applicants each year: approximately 400
  • Number admitted each year: 50-60
  • Approximate GPA required for admission: 7.0 (A- average)
  • Average starting salary for graduate optometrists: NZD$60,000

As the University of Auckland is a research-led university, your courses will incorporate the latest findings and perspectives in Optometry, including the research carried out by your teachers. Being a small school, we offer excellent support to international students. You will get to know the staff and your fellow students well as your progress through your degree.


Things you need to know


  • Ensure you have an emergency contact person available and notify relevant people of their details.


  • Ensure you have a passport that is valid for at least six months after you return.
  • Arrange for the appropriate visas. Determine if you are able to study and work or whether each requires a separate visa.
  • What do you know about your home country? Be prepared to be a cultural ambassador for your country.


  • Ensure all documentation is correct, verified if necessary and is received by the university well ahead of the deadline.
  • Ensure you meet deadlines for admission, enrolment and fees payments for courses.
  • Make copies of all necessary academic documents as well as other key documents e.g. identity cards, birth certificate, passport, airline tickets, prescriptions, visa etc.


  • Clear any current debts.
  • Plan ahead if income tax needs to be filed.
  • Arrange a Power of Attorney for someone you trust to make bank deposits and transfers, pay credit card bills etc.
  • Arrange cash in NZD (or bring some cash to be converted into NZD on arrival).
  • Try and work out a budget for rent, food, clothing, books and other incidentals prior to departing for New Zealand.


  • Health and Accident Insurance. Ensure you have cover for the entire period you will be away. Baggage and other travel insurance is also recommended.
  • Vaccinations are not required prior to entry to New Zealand however we recommend you check with your doctor or a medical professional prior to departure.
  • Ensure you have sufficient prescription medications for the time you will be in New Zealand.


  • Flight bookings – search for the best deals? Open-ended ticket with flexible dates or do you want a firm booking?
  • Driver’s License – do you intend to drive while in New Zealand? If so you are advised to obtain an International Driver’s License.
  • Luggage – take as little as possible. A backpack is easiest to carry. Check out voltages before deciding which electrical devices to bring. Alternatively ensure you have an adaptor.
  • Guidebooks – consider purchasing a Lonely Planet book on New Zealand either before you leave or when you arrive.
  • Consulate – familiarise yourself with details about your consulate in New Zealand

Remember – above all you are an ambassador for your country and your family while in New Zealand.

You can find more information for international students here.