Gap Year

New Zealand


Paid Gap Year in
New Zealand


Live & work in as a School Assistant in one of our many partner schools across both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.


With bustling cities, stunning scenery and endless adventures, it’s no surprise New Zealand is a popular gap year destination. Filled with mountains, lakes and glaciers, New Zealand has everything to offer. Whether you want to spend your time bungy jumping over the Waikato River, exploring the Māori culture with a trip up Mount Hikurangi or relaxing on the 15,000 kilometres of coastline, New Zealand has it all.

With so much to do, there’s never a dull moment during a gap year in New Zealand. Adrenaline-aficionados will be spoilt for choice when it comes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The unique environment lends itself to all manner of adventures, from mounting climbing and white water rafting to zip lining, skydiving and abseiling. Canyoning and caving are ideal ways to explore the natural beauty of New Zealand, with a chance to explore remote forests, world heritage sites and undiscovered waterfalls and natural pools. Take on The Routeburn Explorer in stunning Mt Aspiring National Park, explore the exquisite Kaueranga Valley and plunge into the depths of Waitomo with unforgettable tours and excursions.

If you want to take things a little slower, there are still numerous ways to explore this spectacular country. Relax in the Hanmer Springs, walk the volcanic terrain of Whakapapa or spend your time whale watching, dolphin spotting and penguin seeking as you take in the mesmerising landscapes which surround you.

When you’re considering your post-school options, there’s lots to think about. Whether you want to further your education or get straight into work, a gap year can be a valuable and rewarding experience. In addition to this, you’ll see many employers and universities are now encouraging gap years, so you could enhance your prospects by taking some time to explore another country and culture.

Of course, choosing the right destination is key to making the most of your gap year. 

What’s more – participants from around the world travel to New Zealand for gap years; keen to experience everything the country has to offer. This means there’s a great network of fellow Letz Live participants (Explorers) waiting to share their experiences with you. You’ll meet friends for life and build a global network whilst you live, work and play on the iconic islands.

Applications for July 2020 are now open!

Contact our office for placements commencing in January 2020.

Closing Dates (July 2020)

The sooner you apply, the better! To be fair to all applicants, closing dates must be strictly enforced. Therefore applications must be submitted in-full prior to the closing dates that are listed below for your convenience. 

  • Australian residents: Mar 22, 2020.
  • EU / UK residents: Dec 15, 2019.
  • South African residents: Dec 15, 2019.
  • The rest of the world: Dec 15, 2019.


Placements for our New Zealand Gap Year Program commence late January and mid July.


Our New Zealand Gap Year Program typically requires a commitment of 11 months. From time to time, some schools may require placements to be shorter than 6 months.


In addition to complimentary food and accommodation, participants can expect to receive between NZ$150 and NZ$250 per week as an allowance throughout the school term.

Lewis B review

"I’ve had no regrets on my gap year and would certainly recommended it for anyone in decision whether to go ahead with it. I’ve made lifelong friends with many people I’ve met here, from all over the world- some Kiwi, English, Australian and South African. I have also learnt many important life skills – interacting with adults and learning how to conduct myself in a professional workplace. Some may feel also a bit daunted at the fact you are going away for a year- one year is a long time but the school holidays break up the year and it just flies by. I’ve never felt homesick and you just get used to living here! Letz Live have been great in organising this opportunity for me."

Lewis B
Greta W review

"When one year ago I considered taking a gap year, the prospect of spending one year on the other side of the world away from family and friends seemed scary. And it is – in the beginning at least. But it is 110% worth it. I have always enjoyed traveling and meeting new people. On my Gap Year I have travelled the North and South Island of New Zealand thoroughly, visited Melbourne and Sydney and went to Samoa as well as Hong Kong. Thinking about how much I have experienced, how many amazing and inspiring people I have met whilst traveling and working and how many lessons I’ve learnt it just seems surreal. I would do it again any day.”

Greta W
Josh S review

“Without a doubt, my gap year has been the best thing I have ever experienced. I was given the opportunity to become a role model for the hundreds of children at my school. As a young man who loves his sport, I’d have to say the highlight of my working year would be the time I spent helping to coach the under 10’s rugby team to premiership victory. If you’re looking for a life-changing experience, then a gap year with Letz Live is definitely the way to go.”

Josh S
Mitch S review

“Letz Live has been a real asset for my gap year. As an (initially) inexperienced traveler, it was great to fly with a group of other ‘Gappies’ and the Letz Live team. Our accommodation and transfers were all organised for us in advance, but more importantly, Letz Live provided invaluable advice and a wealth of traveling experience. I’ve benefited the most from this ongoing support throughout the year. Its great to have Letz Live contact us regularly to help us organise our flights and tours (not to mention the discounts they have provided us with)“.

Mitch S
Sam W review

Taking a year out and travelling to New Zealand has been one of the best decisions that I've made. I've had the opportunity to live and work in a school where I was instantly welcomed and made to feel part of a community surrounded by people who are iincredibly friendly and hospitable. Sport is one of my passions and the college has provided a platform for me to develop my coaching skills. This opportunity provided me with a school-tour to Canberra (Australia) coaching the schools First XI cricket team. I have made what I hope to be lifelong friendships with people from all over the world - Kiwi's, South African's and even Australian's!


Sam W

BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE!! Even better than I could have possibly imagined. I left the UK full of uncertainty and worry. But now looking back I don’t regret a thing, perhaps not having enough time to do all I wanted, from going over the Tongariro crossing to Bungee jumping in Queenstown to traveling around the globe at Christmas. It’s near impossible to pick out an individual highlight, but the thing I will look back on most fondly is the experience of being a gap assistant especially at my school - which was fantastic. The sense of independence yet still having someone watch over you is the perfect way to begin adult life. Meeting so many new people eases the burden of leaving all your friends and family at home, and with technology makes it easier to keep your family updated of what you do. Anyone reading this who is unsure of whether to do a gap year or not, think of it as a leap of faith; if you jump you will not regret it and if you pass up the opportunity you’ll be left regretting it for the rest of your life !

Michaela  review

Exactly 353 days ago, I left my family, friends and everything else I knew behind to explore another country with people I had never met. Little did I know that this would be the greatest decision of my life. 

Not only has New Zealand shown me some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, but it has also allowed me to grow as a person in so many different ways. The freedom of a gap year has made me more financially responsible and helped me figure out all the things I want and don’t want out of my university experience in the years to come. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy sailing. There’s ups and downs at work, with your roommate and other gappies you spend loads of time with but all in all the pros by far outweigh the cons.

I wouldn’t change anything at all.


Just 18 days after finishing school last July I found myself on a plane to New Zealand and about to start the most incredible year of my life. I’m working at a school in Christchurch as a Gap Assistant, helping out in areas such as sport, the Learning Centre and of course in the boarding house.

I’ve had the most incredible opportunities at the school: coaching rugby alongside an ex All Black, being taught how to row by an Olympian and getting to explore some of the best countryside New Zealand has to offer. And all whilst being paid! I’ve also been travelling during the school holidays. 

 Of course, it’s not all play and requires a lot of hard work at times, but it has been so unbelievably worth it.


My time here has been amazing, not only have I learnt more things about myself, like how to be more independent but also about how to see from other peoples perspectives better. New Zealand  has been amazing and it is so beautiful, especially in the ways that you would not expect, for example how clear the stars are here or how rapidly the scenery can change over the course of a few miles.

I've seen amazing places and this year has definitely changed me for the better which I've been very grateful for, and in that aspect I'm sad to be leaving because I know how much here has made me happy but I am also looking forward to seeing my friends and family at home and starting university soon.



The New Zealand Gap Year Program includes:

  • Your placement as an assistant at a leading New Zealand school, carefully selected by our team (we visit our host placements annually to ensure their continued suitability to host our participants)
  • A dedicated ‘Country Coordinator’ and 'Program Manager' who will be your key point of contact in the lead up to and throughout the full duration of your placement with us
  • Ongoing and unlimited support from our New Zealand based team
  • In-country orientation course upon arrival, including 2 x nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast and welcome dinner
  • The opportunity to see and explore Auckland during orientation
  • Visa sponsorship (required to partake the program)
  • ‘Duty of Care’ course in conjunction with the Australian Boarding School Association as required by the Australian Boarding Standard
  • Local New Zealand mobile phone SIM card
  • Discounted travel insurance policies and tour rates throughout New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific islands and throughout South East Asia
  • 2 x complimentary international money transfers and instructions for establishing a New Zealand bank account
  • Plus much more!


Applicants for our New Zealand Gap Year Program must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 25 years old at the time of their arrival into New Zealand
  • Have a valid passport from their home country
  • Have no serious pre-existing medical conditions
  • Have no prior convictions, with the ability to provide evidence as required
  • Have completed secondary schooling prior to arrival in New Zealand
  • Be willing to undergo a medical examination as part of the visa application (if required by New Zealand Immigration authorities)
Affordable & Inclusive


Application & Program Fees

All of our gap year programs are subject to a non-refundable application fee which is payable at the time of your online application. The application fee includes all costs associated with the processing of your application and interview.

Only applicants who are offered and subsequently accept a placement will be charged the remainder of the program fee.

 Region of OriginApplication FeeProgram FeeTotal Payable to Letz Live
Africa (inc. South Africa) ZAR 990.00ZAR 19,500.00ZAR 20,490.00
Americas (North & South)AUD $125.00AUD $2,690.00AUD $2,815.00
Australia / Asia / Pacific (excl. New Zealand) AUD $125.00AUD $2,690.00 AUD $2,815.00
Europe / United Kingdom GBP 50.00 GBP 1,250.00GBP 1,300.00
New ZealandAUD $125.00NZD $2,690.00AUD $2,815.00
OtherAUD $125.00AUD $2,690.00AUD $2,815.00
Application Procedure


To apply for this program, you’ll first be required to share a bit about yourself by completing an online application form and uploading your photo. Be sure to include as much detail as possible! This will help us to secure the right placement for you.

So, you’ve completed the form. What’s next?

Once we receive your application, we’ll contact your three nominated referees and ask them to complete a confidential online evaluation form regarding your suitability for the New Zealand Gap Year Program. Once we’ve heard back from each of your referees, we’ll get in touch with you via email to arrange a time and date for your face-to-face interview.

Following your face-to-face interview, we hope to be in a position to discuss your application with the ideal school for you in New Zealand!

Apply Now
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Gap Year in the Whitsundays

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Sed porta vulputate


Below, you will find the answers to some commonly asked questions regarding our New Zealand Gap Year Program. Can’t find the answer to your question? Get in touch with one of our friendly team today!
All destinations are served by our Country Managers in addition our our local in-country staff. Unlike other organisations, all our staff are full time - paid employees and are on hand to assist you should the need arise. The Country Manager is your point of contact prior to, during and following the completion of your gap year with Letz Live. Thunk of us as our new friend in New Zealand. We even greet you at the airport when you arrive and drop by your placement school to say hello!
The call is yours! We’re always available should the need arise and can offer you all of the support (or space!) that you may require throughout your placement. Having experienced a gap year ourselves, we understand that sometimes you need a sounding-board and other times you might like to be left alone to experience everything first hand. Either way, we're only a phone call away if you need us.
Absolutely! With access to some of the best airfare rates and travel deals available, we can even provide significant discounts on comprehensive travel insurance policies as part of your visa requirement.
Assuming that you have applied before the application closing dates stated above, we will aim to notify applicants as per the below schedule:

• January Intake: Applicants notified between June to August
• July Intake: Applicants notified between February to March
Program fees are reinvested into the organisation to facilitate ongoing participant support and promotion of our programs. Our goal is to offer opportunities to those travelling on a budget by ensuring that program fees are kept to a minimum.
During the school holiday periods, you’ll be able to explore and travel around New Zealand at your own leisure. Why not make the most of our amazing flight deals and take a quick trip to see Australia, Fiji or even South East Asia? The world is your oyster!
Unfortunately, due to the nature of school placements, we are unable to guarantee that you will be placed with a friend. But don’t let this stop you! There will be plenty of opportunities to explore and travel together during school holiday periods.