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Working in Queenstown & Wānaka

Many students choose to work to help cover their costs while living and studying here. The retail, hospitality, tourism and customer service industries are thriving here. There’s also an up-and-coming tech industry that is growing. Students are usually looking for work on a casual or part-time basis to work with their study schedule.

Working as a student

Most international students are able to work part-time, for up to 20 hours per week while studying. Some institutions also offer the opportunity of full-time work during internships.

Working in NZ

New Zealand is a value-for-money study destination, with a cost of living similar to other OECD countries. Working can be a useful way to cover living and study expenses. Use the government sites below to learn more about working in New Zealand:

Money & Tax

In order to work in New Zealand, you’ll need to see up a tax code known as an IRD number. Here’ are some helpful links for taxes, and banking.

Finding emloyement

As a result of Queenstown’s strong tourism infrastructure as a year-round resort there is ample opportunity for you to secure full-time or part-time employment in the many hotels, adventure operations, restaurants, cafés and bars as well as retail outlets. You can explore  popular job marketplace sites below:

Internships explained

What is a course internship

An internship involves being placed in a job role relevant to your course of study, happening within the course program itself as part of the curriculum. Typically lasting nine months, though durations may vary, internships give students the opportunity to dive deep into their chosen field before officially joining the workforce.

Once the internship program wraps up, students head back to the classroom with fresh experience and knowledge. Educational institutions have recognised that this structure not only encourages students to further invest in their learning but also nurtures critical skills that can't be fully acquired within the confines of traditional classroom settings. Such a model effectively prepares students to smoothly transition into the workforce upon graduation.

What are the benefits of an internship

Aside from gaining invaluable work experience with a reputable industry player, interns appreciate the chance to earn while they learn. A fully paid internship usually covers, on average, around 1000 hours of minimum wage or more, which greatly helps with managing living and study expenses.

Throughout the internship period, students work as bona fide employees of the host company, often benefiting from in-house training and hands-on experience. This practical approach enables interns to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom and its real-world application, enhancing their CVs with relevant industry experience even before completing their studies.

This model can give students the perfect jump-start in the workforce, not to mention the confidence to own their first post-study role.

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Validating your chosen course through experience.

My nine month internship started in the restaurant at the Hilton, working alongside the head chef and the operations manager. I also cross-trained in Front-Desk where I deal with customer service and conferences and events.

Cross-training here [The Hilton Hotel, Queenstown] in Conferences and Events has really proved to me that I really want to pursue a career in the events industry.

Anika Harrison | Completed a 9 month internship at The Hilton Hotel

Diploma in Hospitality Management, Queenstown Resort College

Students Queenstown

Visa Information

In Queenstown & Wānaka, we’re fortunate to have a portion of international students choosing us as their study destination. Our international students come from many parts of the world including Malaysia, United Kingdom, Vietnam, India, China and more.

International students enjoy being immersed in ‘kiwi’ culture and bring their own traditions and cultures with them. New Zealand offers a number of visas that allow you to study*. Learn more about visa requirements here:

*Once you have your letter of offer for your course, you can begin your visa application. Be mindful when choosing your programme intake that you have allowed enough time for the processing of your visa.

Find your study match

Start your career in one of the world's best tourism hubs. Each institute has its own character, and you will find the perfect match for your education goals.