Preparing to Study

If you intend to apply to study one of our courses, you will need to make sure you are prepared to study with SPBC.

The topics on this page cover some of the essentials.

Domestic or International

The steps you need to take will be different depending on whether you are an international or domestic student.

Learn more.

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.

Study Fees

Please note fees are subject to an annual review.

Living Costs


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:

Please Note: Students from countries with lower than 80% approval for student visas must:

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: 

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:

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.

On-Campus Accommodation

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.

Other Accommodation

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:

If looking at off-site accommodation, consider the location of the college, and your transport options.

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:

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:

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: