The New Zealand International Students’ Association is an umbrella body that brings together international student leaders nationwide. NZISA represents the collective voice among international students studying in New Zealand.

The goal of NZISA is to address issues and concerns faced by international students in New Zealand. NZISA is the bridge between students, education providers and policy makers. NZISA conducts research into international education and best practice within the sector to help strengthen existing policies to better accommodate international students in New Zealand. NZISA works closely with the Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Auckland Agency Group (AAG), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and the Human Rights Commission (HRC). NZISA is routinely engaged in the policy discussions for the International Student Wellbeing Strategy and Change Proposal for Post-Study Work Rights. Past engagements and consultations include the proposed International Education Strategy 2018 – 2030 and the Education Summit 2018.

NZISA is an active advocate for international students’ welfare. NZISA organised a Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference in September 2018. The Conference aimed to inform and empower international student representatives so that they can return to their student communities as advocates, change makers, and vessels of quality information. At the same time, NZISA ran a nationwide research campaign against labour exploitation in New Zealand. The data gathered gave insight into the realities of working in New Zealand as an international student.


Despite being a young student body, NZISA has achieved tremendous milestones, in particular, gaining the support from seven out of eight New Zealand University student associations, working together with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and forging relationships with embassies around New Zealand to better support international students.

In 2018, NZISA alongside the Ministry of Immigration and the Ministry of Education helped develop proposals on extending the post-study work rights of international students. International students who obtain level 7 and above qualifications may now apply for an open three year post-study work visa (previously one year sponsored visa). Through this NZISA aims to ensure that international students will be able to continue to contribute to New Zealand after the conclusion of their studies.

In 2019 NZISA worked together with MBIE on developing proposals to combat labour exploitation of migrants and international students. These proposals are currently in the public consultation process and have a strong potential of reducing the number of exploited students in New Zealand.

NZISA hopes to continue the good relationship with its partners, to bring better a quality of life for international students.

See also: Meet the Team