Early Start International

If you are an international student, you can get a head start with your studies to make your transition to studying in New Zealand easier.

Information on Early Start and Covid-19

Due to the uncertainty around travel as a result of COVID-19, Early Start may be offered either as an online programme or in both online and in-person formats.

Once the New Zealand government outlines the next steps for international students to safely enter New Zealand, we will communicate this to all students.

See our Covid-19 updates page for the latest news.

Get a head start

You can begin your studies with an intensive academic English writing course three weeks before Semester One starts. There are no additional tuition costs for Early Start for International Students. 

As an Early Start student, you will develop and enhance your academic writing skills - an important skill for all Bachelor of Arts students - while benefiting from dedicated student support as you transition to university life in New Zealand.

How to join

Contact Anna Frisk for next steps on how to join and enrol in the Early Start for International Students, or contact Nancy Gao to find out more about engagement activities.

Anna Frisk

Nancy Gao


You will need to meet the University of Auckland English language requirements and have an offer of place to start your Bachelor of Arts. This programme is designed for international students who do not have prior experience living in New Zealand and speak English as a second language.


During the first three weeks of the programme, you may be able to enjoy:

  • A Pōwhiri – a Māori welcome ceremony at the Waipapa Marae
  • Social events with peer mentors and University clubs such as quiz nights, movie nights and international food events 
  • Regular check-in chats with your peer mentors and Student Support Adviser
  • Activities in the Auckland area

Early Start Schedule

  • 9 February: Welcome orientation and the first day of class for Academic English Writing 101 for Early Start students.
  • 10 - 26 February: Continue intensive class schedule of Academic English Writing 101 and enjoy engagement activities with the Early Start cohort.
  • 1 March: All other classes begin for Semester One. Early Start students will start three additional courses and continue with a reduced schedule of Academic English Writing 101.
  • 2 April: Last day of class for Academic English Writing 101. Early Start students will have the opportunity to focus on their three remaining courses during the final six weeks of the semester.
  • 4 June: Last day of classes for regular Semester One courses.

Academic English Writing 101

This course guides you through the process of writing academic expository and argument essays. It begins with planning using brainstorming including freewriting, mind mapping, listing and outlining.

It then moves on to the structure of an essay, developing an introduction with a strong thesis statement, paragraphs including topic sentences with logically developed supporting sentences and conclusions.


Anna Frisk | International Manager

Nancy Gao | International Student Support Adviser