University Intake Timeline: New Zealand


If you’ve decided that a university in New Zealand is your choice for further studies, and you’re in the process of figuring out your next steps, then you’ve come to the right place! We recommend a well-planned and structured timeline, to ensure that each required step is completed in a timely manner. While each student’s timeline will differ based on a number of individual factors, we’ve put together a timeline for you to get an idea of what yours could – and should – look like.

Universities in New Zealand generally have two intakes in a year. In terms of the ‘semester system’, with which we are more familiar in India, each intake refers to an independent semester – however, unlike the Indian system, students can choose to commence their course in either intake, based on which is best suited to them or their chosen programme.

The Hurray Overseas Education Consultant team has put together some information on the intakes so that you can decide on your choice of university.


  1. Intake 1January or February (with certain universities/programmes commencing in March)

  2. Intake 2 – July (with certain universities/programmes commencing in August)

The exact date of intake will differ as per the university, and sometimes as per the programme, particularly in the case of postgraduate programmes. Certain vocational programmes have additional intakes in the months of March, April and May. As and when you decide on a particular university and/or programme, remember to keep note of the specific intake dates in order to plan accordingly. 

The following timeline is based on the assumption that you would be opting for the July intake in 2021, which is often preferred by Indian applicants.


Step 1: Research and selection – June-July 2020

  • This is the step that most of you reading this post, are probably on – researching which universities and programmes are best suited to what you want to study in New-Zealand. You may have started earlier or later – but by the end of July you should preferably have chosen the universities and programmes to which you wish to apply.

Step 2: Clearing standardised tests – July-September 2020

  • You are most likely aware that for admission to university programmes in New Zealand, which are taught in English, you would be required to provide proof of sufficient proficiency in the language. All New Zealand universities accept a number of English proficiency tests as proof of the same, such as IELTS, TOEFL and PTE Academic.

  • Other important entrance exams that certain programmes demand include GRE or GMAT.

  • Before you can apply to a university, preparing for and clearing these tests is essential – this three to four month period (though you may certainly begin earlier), is meant for just that.

  • Plan to take the test, leaving yourself with enough time to get your certificate, in time to process your application.

At Hurray we offer specialised training courses especially for IELTS and PTE – enrol with us, and we will ensure that you are prepped and ready to take the test on time, and clear it with the required score – or higher!

Step 3: Applying to university – October-December 2020

Application deadlines

For intake 2 (July) – the deadline is usually between April-May. 

  • Each university will have differing application deadlines. Additionally, particularly in the case of postgraduate programmes, individual programmes may have differing deadlines. 

  • Certain universities also have recommended deadlines for international students, though they most often process applications received after this date as well.

  • It is essential to keep track of the exact deadlines for your preferred programmes.


  • Several of the universities are ranked among the best in the world – thus entry becomes quite competitive. Certain programmes may have limited seats and will close applications once they are filled, with later applications being considered for the following intake.

  • Furthermore, international students require time to apply for and receive their visas, book flight tickets and relocate internationally.

  • For these reasons, we recommend completing and submitting your application well in advance of the recommended or final deadlines.

  • Assuming you are applying for intake 2 i.e. July 2020, you should be prepped and ready to submit your application, with all the necessary supporting documents – including your Statement of Purpose, college essays, Letters or Recommendation and so on, as applicable to your programme, by December 2020 at the latest.

  • If you have identified a scholarship that you wish to apply for, it will have its own deadline – in this case you will have to process your admission accordingly.

Step 4: Notification of acceptance and preparing to relocate – February/March-June 2021

  • You are likely to receive notification of either acceptance or rejection within a few weeks of you submitting your application – presumably somewhere in February or March.

  • If accepted, the institution will send you an 'Offer of Place' letter and once you’ve paid the fees, the institution will send you a ‘Confirmed Offer of Place’ document.


  • The next important step is your Visa application

  • Along with the application form, you will have to submit your Confirmed Offer of Place document, your passport and additional other supporting documents as required, including a medical certificate, a police certificate of conduct, and proof of sufficient funds to return to your home country.

  • Once you lodge your application, you can expect to receive your visa in approximately 2-3 weeks, or a month at max.

  • Depending the entry date on your visa, which will be determined by the start date of your programme – and depending on how much time you would require to find accommodation and settle down in your new home-city – you can book your flight tickets accordingly.

Step 5: Commence study! – July 2021

  • If you follow the steps as specified till here, you will be settled and ready before it is time to enter university. 

  • As per the intake date of your programme, you will have an Orientation Week, following which, your programme will officially begin.

Based on your specific dates, your timeline may have variations – but you can nonetheless use the above structure, keeping in mind the number of weeks each step requires, in addition to the key dates for your preferred programme, and plan accordingly.

But why do it all by yourself? The Hurray Overseas Counselling team has the expertise required to help you plan your timeline, as well as to carry out each step to success. To learn how we can tailor our services to your exact requirements, book your one-on-one counselling session now! Reach out to us via email:, or phone: 8971357928, for more details.

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