You’ve passed your exams, have your diploma in hand…and are now trying to figure out what’s next. Whether you studied abroad during college or have yet to make it beyond U.S. shores, New Zealand offers plenty of options to study, live and work long-term. 

Graduate School in New Zealand

If you’re looking to move to New Zealand and continue your education, applying to one of New Zealand’s eight universities is an excellent option! New Zealand universities have strong academic programs with four of the eight ranked in the top 250 universities in the world. 

Students can apply for Post Graduate Certificates, Diplomas, Master’s Degrees and Ph.Ds in New Zealand. International students studying for their Ph.D in New Zealand actually receive domestic tuition rates which makes New Zealand an ideal country for getting your Ph.D. 

TEAN can help facilitate full degree applications abroad at no cost to you. Once you have your offer letter from the New Zealand university, you’ll need to apply for a student visa in order to be able to enter the country and commence your studies.  Like with the working holiday visa, the visa process for U.S. passport holders is completely online and the visa is electronically tied to your passport number. 

University of Otago campus in the sun
University of Otago campus | Photo by Ryan Murtaugh, Cal Poly
Explore Degree Programs in New Zealand


Working Holiday Visas

Another way to move to New Zealand after graduation is to look into a working holiday visa. A working holiday visa allows you to move to New Zealand and provides working rights so you can get a job while you’re living and traveling throughout the country. 

The working holiday visa is a one year visa and the application process is relatively straight forward. It’s an online application and electronic visa so you aren’t required to send your physical passport anywhere. Currently, the working holiday visa is free for U.S. passport holders applying for the visa outside of the U.S. 

Once you receive your working holiday visa and arrive in-country, you’ll need to be sure that you also then apply for an IRD Number (Inland Revenue Department) for tax purposes, which will be required by your employer once you get a job. 

When searching for a job in New Zealand, it’s a good idea to check websites like Seek and Trade Me but it’s also worth checking notice boards as hostels, cafes and community areas. Another good option is to register with a temp agency and they can place you on short and long term assignments. 


An internship in New Zealand is another great way to spend a significant amount of time in New Zealand while getting international work experience at the same time,. There are semester- and summer-long internship opportunities in New Zealand across various academic disciplines and several locations within New Zealand. You can intern for credit or just for work experience in New Zealand. TEAN offers an internship program both in the summer and semester for current students and recent graduates. 

For more details on the benefits of interning abroad, check out the What I Gained from an Internship Abroad TEAN blog post!

Mackenzie Wangler at her PR Internship in Auckland
Learn More about Interning in New Zealand


As an Au Pair

An au pair is a young person from overseas that is employed by a host family to take care of their children and sometimes assist with house work. In exchange for this child care, the family provides room and board along with a weekly wage. There are a few different organizations that you can register with in order to become an au pair for a New Zealand family. The visa requirement is a working holiday visa. 

Other Visas

Immigration New Zealand offers a variety of other visa options including the Silver Fern Job Search visa which is for highly skilled young people (20-35 years old) who want to live and work in New Zealand long-term. This visa is used to search for jobs in the long-term skilled employment category including in industries such as engineering, health and social services (such as general practitioners, clinical psychologists or medical lab scientists), science and technology (such as software or web developers). It’s a 9-month visa and there are only 300 Silver Fern Job Search visas granted per year.