New Zealand is not an immediate choice for students in Hong Kong, but improvements in immigration policies that came into force earlier this month make it easier for international students to work and study in the country. Under the new rules, the pool of international students eligible to work while studying in New Zealand will be increased, allowing Year 12, Year 13 (equivalent to Forms Six and Seven in Hong Kong) and English-language students meeting certain criteria to work there part time. The number of hours that eligible students can work while classes are in session will be expanded to 20 hours a week from 15. Students taking courses of at least 12 months will be able to work full time in the summer. There are three entry points for graduating Form Five students to begin studies in New Zealand. They can apply to high schools (state, private or integrated), where they will complete the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 3. Students have to study four to six subjects relevant to their intended course of study at university. Sufficient credits in the NCEA enable a student to apply for university entrance. The second option is foundation studies, one-year courses designed to help students meet the basic degree entry requirements for tertiary study in the country. Entry requirements for foundation studies are grade D or above in five subjects. Applicants must meet English language requirements of a 5.0 to 5.5 score in IELTS, or 500 to 525 in TOEFEL. Alternatively, academic, vocational and professional courses are available at certificate and diploma level at polytechnics and private teaching establishments. Subjects covered include creative media, hospitality and tourism, health science and beauty therapies, environmental studies, aviation, sports and recreation. Qualifications usually enable credit transfer to university degree programmes. Living costs in New Zealand are lower than in other English-speaking countries - an estimated NZ$12,000 ($64,000) to NZ$20,000 a year in addition to tuition, which ranges from NZ$6,000 to NZ$19,000 a year, according to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.