New Zealand established One Million hardship fund for international students

The New Zealand government established a one-million hardship fund for international students who are experiencing financial hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Applications must be submitted from education providers and organisations. Individual international students and education agents are excluded from submitting an application.
  • Funds will be provided to international students by education providers and organisations who are granted the fund
  • The maximum amount for each request is $20,000.
  • Applications must be submitted via this provide link.
  • The application is opened from 21 May and will be closed until further notice.

For details, please refer to the International Student Hardship Fund official website.

ISEA offers Free Education Agency Membership

International Standards Education Agents (ISEA) are pleased to advise that we have decided to offer a Free Education Agency Membership to education agents who promote New Zealand as a study destination.

The free ISEA Agency Membership opportunity is valid for the period 1st June 2020 to 30th September 2020.

Benefits of becoming an ISEA Education Agency Member

  • Access to industry updates via ISEA Agent Newsletters and announcements
  • Education Agencies will have access to contact ISEA with any industry related questions. This excludes any questions for individual course enrolment and student visa application processes and documentation checking.
  • Have a voice – access to participate in initiatives for the sector
  • Discount for joining the ISEA Training and Accreditation programme
  • Discounts for participating in industry events and workshops

If you would like to become an ISEA agent member, sign up for the ISEA Education Agent Membership now.

Why New Zealand is an ideal study destination?

New Zealand has provided international students with sufficient and prompt support in various ways during the Covid-19 pandemic. The New Zealand Government’s quick response and actions have demonstrated that New Zealand is one of the best study destinations for international students.  Below details some of the key points where International students have been supported through Government Agencies and Education Providers.


  • Flexibility with online learning: Education providers were supported by the New Zealand Government to launch online learning platforms to ensure students could continue to study.
  • Student support and counselling services: New Zealand Government agencies and education providers have been proactively involved in ensuring student support and counselling services have been made readily available for students who require extra support.
  • Wage subsidy programme: The New Zealand Government released a wage-subsidy scheme to assist employers to continue to pay wages. International students have also been able to receive the wage subsidy through their employer.
  • Financial support: Many New Zealand education providers have assisted students with hardship support, for example, covering rental payments during the lockdown period.
  • Visa extension: Immigration New Zealand automatically extended a number of temporary visa categories where students or workers were impacted and had expiring visas.
  • Student visa a priority: Immigration New Zealand is currently prioritising visa applications for international students who are already in New Zealand
  • Flexibility on work rights for student visa holders: Immigration New Zealand amended the work rights for international students working in essential businesses temporarily.
  • Repatriation: International students were allowed to take domestic flights and transportation to connect to international flights to leave New Zealand during the lockdown period.  The New Zealand Government worked with a number of other Governments and Embassies to support repatriation flights.
  • Free testing and treatment for Covid-19 related cases: The New Zealand Government covers all expenses for testing and medical treatment for people who are affected by Covid-19. This applies to everyone including international students and tourists who are already in New Zealand. 


To keep you updated with the news and policy changes in regard to Covid-19 in New Zealand, please refer to the New Zealand Covid-19 Page summarised by ISEA.

ISEA June 2020 Online Agent Training is open for registration

ISEA are pleased to advise that we will offer a second round of Online Agent Training in June.

The next sessions for online training have been set as follows:

Monday 8 JuneNew Zealand Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm1.1 The New Zealand International Education Industry

1.2 Promoting New Zealand as a Study Destination

Wednesday 10 JuneNew Zealand Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm1.3 The New Zealand Education System

1.4 Enrolments and Procedures

1.5 Code of Practice

Monday 15 JuneNew Zealand Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm1.5 Code of Practice (continued)

1.6 Immigration

Wednesday 17 JuneNew Zealand Time: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm2.1 English Language Sector

2.2 School Sector

2.3 Tertiary Education Sector

The training will be delivered via the Zoom platform. We will send you a URL link to join the training prior to each session.

Please ensure you

  • Have a computer (individually) with a camera and microphone available
  • Have downloaded and installed Zoom Client for Meetings in your computer
  • Have created an account with Zoom

Please note

  • The training will be delivered by Rachel, the ISEA director.
  • A presentation will be shared to your screen for each module during the training.
  • Please take notes as required throughout the training.
  • An online quiz will be included for each module. This is not a test but a way to help each one of you to understand the training content clearly.
  • We encourage you to engage with us during the training by asking questions and sharing your knowledge and experience.
  • A set of training documents will be posted to you after the training.

Book the training now at [email protected]

ISEA successfully completed the first online agent training

Due to national lockdown and travel restrictions, ISEA has moved agent training sessions to be delivered online.

ISEA successfully delivered four sessions of online agent training for a small group of education agents from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in the middle of May. Thanks to all agents who agreed to take the training online.

New Zealand government agencies and education providers have been proactively to support international students during the Covid-19 pandemic. ISEA believe New Zealand remains a promising and ideal option for students looking to study abroad. Therefore, now is a great opportunity for education agents to get prepared for the industry recovery as borders start to reopen in the coming months.

ISEA will continue to offer online training to assist and support education agents who promote New Zealand as a study destination.

New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 on 14 May 2020

New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 2 at 11:59 pm on Wednesday 13th May 2020.


At Alert Level 2,

  • Most businesses are allowed to open with safety restrictions.
  • All early learning centres, schools and tertiary institutions will reopen from Monday 18 May 2020.
  • Public facilities such as museums and libraries will reopen with safety restrictions.
  • Gatherings are allowed but the number of attendees is limited to 10.
  • People are instructed to keep their distance from others in public


To keep you updated with the changes about Covid-19 in New Zealand, please refer to the Covid-19 page summarised by ISEA, where you will find all information relevant to the international education industry.

2020 NCEA Exam Changes due to Covid-19

The Government has advised that NCEA exams this year have been pushed back 10 days for 2020 and will start on 16th November instead of 6th November.

The amended examination timetable is available here.

For details, please refer to the NZQA and Ministry of Education website.

Education agents please liaise with schools and your students as this may affect departing flights for some students who have arranged their trips.