Preparing to Study
Domestic or International
The steps you need to take will be different depending on whether you are an international or domestic student.
Domestic students are defined by the New Zealand government as New Zealand citizens (including students from Tokelau, the Cook Islands and Niue); or holders of a residence class visa (this normally includes Australian citizens and permanent residents).
International students are students who are not classed as domestic.
Fees and Finance
You will need to consider the financial aspects of your time of study. We can talk to you about your options, including ways to fundraise if you need help with this.
Fees for each qualification are published on the relevant page.
Individual modules can also be studied:
$125 per module - for (indicative) credit
$40 per module - for audit only (no credit)
Please note fees are subject to an annual review.
Requests for fee discounts can be made in writing with your study application. Any discounts are provided only according to the availability of additional funds, approval of the college administration, and according to criteria set by the college.
Living costs for single students for one year are approximately NZ$20,000. Each student is responsible for their own financial support. The administration and faculty are available to advise students in their fundraising efforts.
A fund is available for temporary assistance for emergencies that may occur. We encourage graduates to make some financial contribution to assist future students, in recognition of the support they themselves have received.
If you're an international student, it's important you get the right visa to study in New Zealand.
By law, SPBC may only enrol international students if they hold the correct visa for the intended course of study. We must refuse or terminate enrolment of any prospective or current student not holding the required permits (under section 40(1) of the Immigration Act 1987).
SPBC must follow Immigration New Zealand (INZ) guidelines and advise INZ if an international student's enrolment has been terminated.
Upon acceptance to study at SPBC, international students are responsible to make their own application to INZ. Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on right to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available from INZ.
NZ Ready is an INZ planning tool designed to provide information to help students plan for moving to and living in New Zealand.
English Language Requirements
All lectures and assignments are done in the English language at SPBC. International students will need to provide evidence of their proficiency in the English language. This is a legal requirement, and important for student success. SPBC Student Affairs can help explain these requirements when you apply.
According to New Zealand law, international students are required to show:
i. English is their first language and provide verifiable evidence of proficiency in the English language such as:
1. Previous primary and secondary study in English:
a. completion of all primary education and at least three years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13), or
b. completion of at least five years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13)
*at schools using English as the language of instruction are eligible for enrolment at all levels of the NZQF.
2. Previous tertiary study in English:
International students that can provide clear evidence of completion of a tertiary qualification of at least three years’ duration with English as the language of instruction in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States, are eligible for enrolment at all levels of the NZQF.
ii. Or, if English is not their first language, they must demonstrate English language proficiency and ability to work at the required level by the following acceptable methods:
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
For Level 5 study: 5.5 with no band score lower than 5
For Level 6 study: 6 with no band score lower than 5.5
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Minimum Result on Paper-based test (pBT): 550 (essay 5 TWE)
Minimum Result on Internet-based test (iBT): 79 (writing 20)
Cambridge English: First Certificate in English (FCE)
Minimum Result: 47
Cambridge English: Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
Minimum Result: 47
Please Note: Students from countries with lower than 80% approval for student visas must:
undertake and achieve the IELTS or TOEFL score above, or
achieve an NCEA Level 3 along with New Zealand university entrance requirement, or
have a bachelors degree of at least three years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, the UK, or the USA.
Health and Travel Insurance
Having the right insurance is a legal requirement for international students. It reduces your risk of getting caught out in an emergency.
Eligibility for Health Services for International Students
Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for full cost of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health.
Accident Insurance for International Students
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides accident insurance for all New Zealand residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website.
Medical and Travel Insurance for International Students
International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. The core components of insurance include, but are not limited to the following:
insurance must be purchased from a reputable and established company
insurance must commence the minute students leave home from the airport on the way to New Zealand
cover any trips overseas or home during the period of study
high sums insured and medical benefits
emergency evacuation and repatriation
accompanying relative cover
personal effects cover
personal liability cover, and
the insurer must provide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week cover.
All medical and travel insurance policies must be verified by the Student Affairs office before you enter New Zealand.
Special Note for Australian Students regarding Health Care
Although Australian citizens are entitled to some medical coverage in New Zealand, we recommend you purchase International Students Insurance, which covers unexpected costs such as emergency repatriation, lost luggage, dental, optometry, etc. Without insurance coverage, these costs are the responsibility of the student.
Please contact the Student Affairs office with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Housing and Accommodation
We may be able to help you find suitable housing and accommodation during your studies, if needed. Tell us as early as possible if you want help with this.
Assessments or recommendations on accommodation are made by SPBC in accordance with the provisions set out in the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 sections: 4.2.9, 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3, 4.3.4.
The college provides on-campus student accommodation, depending on availability. Student housing is modern and comfortable, with four three-bedroom houses, and one studio apartment offering wheelchair access. All houses are air conditioned, and have their own kitchen, laundry, and bathroom facilities.
The costs range from $225-$300 per week for a one bedroom apartment and $360+ per week for a three bedroom apartment, including electricity, internet, and water. These costs are shared by the occupants.
The on-campus accommodation is next door to SPBC's main building where classes take place, and is within walking distance of shops and public transport options. See also: Facilities.
There are other types of accommodation in the city of Tauranga. Some of these have been assessed for suitability by SPBC. Accommodation Assessment reports can be requested from the Student Affairs Office. Assessed and/or non-assessed accommodation in Tauranga can include:
Flatting – This is shared rental accommodation and can vary from two to five bedroom houses with their own facilities. A student can expect to pay between $170 to $190 per week for a place in a flat. Costs for food, electricity, phone and water are in addition to this. A quick internet search will turn up local rental agencies that provide listings.
Boarding (Homestay) – This is when a student lives with a family. Usually electricity, phone, water and food are included in the total cost. This can vary between $180-$220 per week.
All costs noted above are estimates only. For information on the rights and responsibilities of tenants in New Zealand visit the Tenancy Services website.
Living and Studying in New Zealand
You can find out more about SPBC student life here.
Below is a list of sites (not published by SPBC) where you can find out more about living in New Zealand - the lifestyle, culture, language, and tourism opportunities, as well as information about studying and working here.
We recommend browsing these sites before you arrive:
NauMai NZ – Information for International Students
Official government site for international students, with information and suggestions to help before you arrive and once you're studying and living in New Zealand.
Discover New Zealand
Official portal to government information on studying, living, working and travelling in New Zealand
Getting around Tauranga
Transport and other information for international students from Tauranga's education sector
Things to do in the Bay of Plenty
Tourism information for the Bay of Plenty region.
A funny, but useful, introduction to how New Zealanders ("Kiwis") speak, shared by a local tourism operator.
Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning
Students transferring to SPBC from other schools of Biblical studies may apply to have their learning recognised.
Generally, two types of recognition are used:
Credit Recognition and Transfer (CRT) Using CRT, SPBC may recognise credits you have gained while learning with another institution, and apply these to your SPBC qualification. It can help you avoid repeating material you have already studied.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Using RPL, SPBC may award you credit for experience, skills or knowledge you can demonstrate, even if these may not have been obtained in a formal institution.
Applications for CRT or RPL must be submitted using the relevant form available from SPBC, well in advance of the start date of the course/module for which you are seeking recognition. Supporting evidence must be provided with your request, including documentation such as learning transcripts and course syllabi of your previous studies, and in some cases a personal interview.
For more information and to apply for recognition, contact the Dean of Academics, David Nelson: email@example.com