Southern Institute of Technology

Selandia Baru Selandia Baru




Most people know New Zealand as a great rugby nation or the place where Lord of the Rings was filmed. But it’s also home to some great academic institutions, which offer a unique and exciting kind of student life. One of these is the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), which was founded in 1971. It’s a polytechnic university not far from some of New Zealand’s most-loved places (especially when the rural Telford campus is a part of the conversation, as well as the main campus in Invercargill, South Island).


SIT offers over 200 courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels of study, including several graduate diplomas and certificates. Its many practical and research-based subjects are taught by excellent tutors and lecturers. SIT aims to prepare its students for successful careers, and the facilities, schools, and technology it uses are all essential to that process.


There are just over 2,000 international students at SIT currently, and all of them are part of great student communities. All of SIT’s campuses and accommodation options have everything students will need, domestic or international. Plus, housing for international students is cheap, and there are financial support options available for students who need help (even if the need appears unexpectedly).


Studying abroad and getting used to living in a new country can be difficult for international students but SIT makes it as easy as it can be. It offers lots of great scholarships in partnership with the New Zealand government and runs lots of extracurriculars to help make settling in simple. The beautiful New Zealand landscape definitely helps, but there are also dedicated support services and English language programmes to help students who don’t speak it as a first language improve their skills.


Learn more about studying at SIT:


Teaching quality

Entry requirements

Scholarships & funding

University structure


Student support

Graduate outcomes


Teaching Quality

The teaching quality at SIT is famous around New Zealand and across the rest of the world. Lecturers and tutors deliver quality teaching and skills training, and the university’s education mission is about both delivering academic knowledge and equipping students with important skills that will give them good career prospects.


SIT offers over 200 programmes and courses across a range of disciplines. Applicants can study at undergraduate, postgraduate and non-degree levels. Whether they are interested in architectural technology, engineering, or hospitality, they can learn about their chosen field from some of the best minds in New Zealand at SIT.


Teaching draws on knowledge and experience. Faculty members work hard to make sure that students are always able to get the most out of their studies. There are all kinds of seminars, events and research projects happening across the academic year so that student working/learning lives can be as fun and practical as possible.


The high-quality teaching at SIT has allowed many of its students to win awards for their supported efforts. For example, SIT engineering student Laura Greenaway won first place in a national prize, the NZDE (New Zealand Diploma in Engineering) National Award, in August 2022.


The university itself is also award-winning, and so are the faculty members. The School of Nursing recently received five-year accreditation, and a citizens science project focused on microplastics won the Environment Southland 2021 Environment Action in Education Award.


Entry Requirements

There are general university requirements for entry into SIT. These depend on the country from which the student is applying. Domestic students must get certain grades and levels of education to get into university in New Zealand, and international students can apply with equivalent qualifications from their home country.


For example, to study a bachelor’s programme, a student from Japan must have completed one year of tertiary education in a recognised tertiary institution, while an applicant for a bachelor’s programme from the UK must have successfully completed 12 years of secondary school, including Year 13.


Each course programme will provide more information about what the specific entry requirements for that course are. An example of a course-specific requirement would be for the information technology master's programme. Any international applicant to that course must have previous relevant university qualifications.


This will mean either a bachelor’s in IT or a related subject, a graduate diploma in IT or a related subject or a postgraduate certificate/diploma in IT or a related subject. Plus, they must have scored a minimum grade of B in any of those to gain admission. Students are advised to make sure they know the university entry requirements for their specific course before submitting their admission application.


English Score Required

English is the language of teaching at SIT. International students will need to prove their level of English ability and understanding before getting onto the course they’ve applied for. Each of the courses will have different English language requirements, and they may change depending on the level the student is studying at.


There is a range of accepted English proficiency testing methods at SIT, and they all come with their own minimum scores, including the Pearson Test of English (PTE), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


To give an example, applicants for a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology will need to get a minimum overall IELTS band score of 6, with no individual band scores below 5.5. This is a commonly requested score, in fact. The graduate diploma in Music at the MAINZ Auckland campus also asks for an overall IELTS band score of at least 6, with no individual band scores below 5.5. Postgraduate applicants usually need an overall band score of 6.5, with no individual band scores below 6.


International students who don’t speak English as a first language are also invited to enrol in one of the intensive English language programmes that SIT offers if they don’t meet the minimum English score required. These courses are run at the Southern Lakes English College, and the skills learned are the same skills tested by the IELTS: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.


Students also have the option to study English language at either the Queenstown or Invercargill campuses. They can gain English language ability at the advanced, intermediate, pre-intermediate, or upper-intermediate levels.



All international applicants must follow the same admission process at SIT. It’s quick and easy, and the university does its best to make sure that students are supported throughout the process. There are nine easy steps between finding SIT and achieving full student admission:


  1. Finding the right course of study (students should check the course programmes).
  2. Checking the entry requirements for the chosen course of study/the general university entry requirements.
  3. Completing and filling in an international student application form.
  4. Getting the required documents together (a valid passport/birth certificate, recent proof of English language proficiency and academic transcripts translated into English, as well as, in some applicants’ cases, a CV, a letter of motivation, a portfolio and references).
  5. Submitting the application and waiting for one of the possible outcomes.
  6. Accepting an admission offer if one is received.
  7. Applying for a New Zealand student visa with SIT’s support.
  8. Paying for tuition and booking flights.
  9. Arriving in New Zealand (students will be picked up from the airport and given insurance and two weeks of initial accommodation at no extra charge).


All international students must get a student visa before arriving in the country to study. They can do this via the New Zealand Government’s immigration website. Admission can seem complicated, so students should be aware that they can contact SIT for help and advice at any time during their university admission journey.


Scholarships & Funding

SIT wants to welcome as many great applicants from around the world as it can. It’s proud of its international outreach and wants to continue to make student life easy and fun for international students. So, it offers several great scholarships and bursaries to overseas applicants and current students that help cover the costs of getting an education abroad in beautiful New Zealand.


SIT is one of only 11 universities offering Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Zealand Scholarships for International Students. Eligible students should be from developing countries, studying subjects relevant to their home country’s needs. Depending on their country, students may apply at certificate, undergraduate and postgraduate levels to get full coverage of tuition fees, funding for living costs and:


  • An initial funding stipend on arrival
  • Medical insurance
  • Consistent pastoral care
  • Travel costs between New Zealand and a student’s home country
  • Assistance with research or thesis costs (for postgraduate students)


American students can benefit from the Generation Study Abroad Excellence Travel Awards. The USA is a partner country in the Generation Study Abroad initiative, which awards students USD 2,000 to help fund their flight to New Zealand. There are also the GSA New Zealand Excellence Awards for institutes of technology and polytechnics (like SIT). These awards provide USD 500 to US students studying for a semester abroad at SIT.


Tuition fees for international students change depending on the level the applicant is studying at. For example, the total 18-month cost for a master’s student is NZD 27,200, while the total academic year cost for a bachelor’s student is NZD 19,600, and the total academic year cost for a diploma student is NZD 16,500.


SIT works with the New Zealand Government, other governments, educational institutions, and other organisations to provide university scholarships and funding opportunities to postgraduate students. Also, students in need of sudden financial help can usually access bursaries and financial aid options if they reach out to the student support team at SIT and explain their circumstances.


University Structure

SIT’s main campus is in Invercargill, but it also has Telford, Christchurch, Queenstown and Gore campuses and a dedicated site for the Music & Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ). SIT also manages a well-respected and well-designed SIT2LRN online distance learning programme.


Each SIT campus is responsible for different faculties and subjects, and there are also several research centres and institutes contained in each faculty/housed on each campus. For example, the Invercargill campus has the SIT Sound facility, where all music and audio courses are taught in a specialist space. The subjects at each campus are organised like this:


  • Invercargill (including Main Campus, Downtown Campus and SIT Sound, mentioned above) and Queenstown
    • Agriculture, environmental and life Sciences
    • Business, Commerce and management
    • Creative Industries
    • Education and language
    • Hair and beauty
    • Health Sciences, sports & wellbeing
    • Hospitality, hotel and travel
    • Information technology
    • Trades and technology
    • Music
      Musical arts
    • Music performance
    • DJ and music production
    • Live sound
    • Audio engineering/production
    • Event management
    • Various short courses
  • Telford
    • Agriculture, environmental and life Sciences
    • Education and language
    • Trades and technology
  • Christchurch
    • Hair and beauty
    • Health sciences, sports and wellbeing
    • Trades and technology
  • Gore
    • Business, commerce and management
    • Creative industries
    • Education and language
    • Health sciences, sports and wellbeing
    • Hospitality, hotel and travel
    • Information technology
  • SIT2LRN Online
    • Agriculture, environmental and life sciences
    • Business, commerce and management
    • Creative industries
    • Education and language
    • Health sciences, sports and wellbeing
    • Hospitality, hotel and travel
    • Trades and technology
    • Blended courses
    • Flexible distance courses


SIT also has some popular and famous research initiatives dedicated to improving research standards and providing excellent resources for students. These initiatives include the SIT Research Institute and the SIT Journal of Applied Science.



The main Invercargill campus is where most of the student life centres and support services are based at SIT, but the other campuses also have lots of options for study and extracurricular fun. There are great accommodation options available close to all the campuses, too.


Every SIT lecture theatre and learning space is modern and well-designed to give students room without isolating them from their tutors. The SIT library is a popular student activity centre for studying, with places for learning and relaxing, access to over 25,000 books and almost a million electronic books, databases, magazines, and DVDs.


The SITuation magazine is a great resource for any student in the SIT2LRN Online study programme. Published every three months, it features profiles, stories and graduate experiences, along with educational support. SIT also offers brilliant services for international students, including help with everything from accommodation to visa and insurance advice.


Every campus has student communities and student recreation centres for those who want to stay active and try some exciting extracurriculars. SIT’s Christchurch campus, for example, organises regular social events as well as community-based games and challenges.


SITS’s academic and non-academic facilities are amazing, and they’re all designed to give students the best possible quality of life, with room for health and socialising alongside studying and learning. Each SIT site also has lots of food and drink options on and around the campus to feed and hydrate hungry and thirsty students, from natural produce in rural Telford to fine dining in Christchurch.



The best accommodation options for international students are at the Invercargill campus. Students can choose between SIT apartments, Homestay options and SIT flats, all close to the campus. The costs vary depending on the type of student accommodation chosen.


In SIT apartments, students can choose a single or double room. This university accommodation type comes with a shared living room, kitchen, and bathroom, as well as shared laundry spaces. Students cook for themselves, but kitchen utensils are provided to make life a little bit easier. A double room with a roommate costs NZD 120 weekly, while a single private room costs NZD 205 weekly.


The Homestay programme allows international students to live in the house of a New Zealander host. Students can improve their English and learn lots about the native culture like this. They will have their own private room and access to the family’s shared bathroom facilities. The average cost of a Homestay is NZD 250 weekly.


SIT flats, within five minutes of the Invercargill facilities, are self-catered halls with kitchen facilities and shared bathrooms. There are three student houses with up to nine bedrooms per house and a maximum capacity of 17 people, and the average cost is NZD 120 weekly.


There are also private accommodation options offered in Invercargill, including the Apartment Hotel, Karen Court, Dan Davin Village and Kelvin House. These are great options for students who want to separate their studies from their home lives but still be conveniently located near campus. Prices range from NZD 85 to NZD 200 weekly.


Student Support

SIT understands that to get the most out of their studies, students need to be healthy, physically, and mentally. It also wants its students from all over the world to know that it’s here to support them through difficult times. So, the university has many student support services available to all, including international students.


Health and wellbeing student services offered by the university are free, friendly, and completely private. Each student is given an individual student guide who can offer them counselling sessions. There are also options for students struggling with faith-related issues via the university chaplaincy. Students can also get help with any physical problems that require a health nurse or any disability/accessibility issues that need attention.


SIT also offers lots of academic student support programmes to help with study skills, career planning and employability, including the Youth Guarantee Scheme, which provides candidates with work opportunities for free, as well as free training resources for one year.


Overall, student services at SIT are given freely to students when they have any concerns or worries, so no student ever must feel ignored or unheard. This is an institution that takes student wellness very seriously, and it works hard to keep every student happy, healthy, and focused on their studies.


Graduate Outcomes

SIT has been preparing students to make an impact in the world of work since the university was launched in 1971. SIT knows that employers need knowledge and practical experience, so it works hard to give students both. And as the international alumni network grows, SIT hopes to get more students into full-time employment in their chosen field each new academic year.


The quality of education across all SIT subjects is just one part of what impresses employers, but it’s a big and valuable part. For example, in 2021, the SIT School of Nursing achieved a 100 per cent pass rate for all its students. Many of those students are already succeeding in nursing departments and hospitals, both nationally and internationally.


The student employment services available at the university are fantastic. They’re available to all domestic and international students, covering everything from analysing career options and creating a plan for a student’s professional future to job interview techniques and CV writing skills. Thanks to the many career services at SIT, students can always access a career guide and get some expert advice.


In terms of boosting employability, SIT helps connect students to a range of volunteering and work placement programmes. It also runs regular employability workshops (some specifically for international students who want to start their careers in New Zealand). This is a young university already making its voice heard globally, and it’s one of the best possible choices for a diverse, exciting education experience.


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