Paid Gap Year in New Zealand

Live & Work as a Gap Assistant in a New Zealand Boarding School
11 Month Placements Only


Experience all the thrills and adventures of a New Zealand Gap Year with a paid position in a leading school with Letz Live.

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 bungee 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 something for everyone.

Our New Zealand gap year programmes are designed for individuals between 18 and 25 years old who want to explore the Middle Earth. It’s the perfect opportunity to take an organised adventure after graduating from high school or before entering the workforce.

All successfully placed participants are appointed to the programme will be done so under the Work Exchange Scheme.

How Letz Live prepares you for your gap year

New Zealand is one of the most popular gap year destinations. Its stunning scenery and bustling cities have something to offer everyone whether you prefer fast-paced adventures or laidback exploration. We’re partners with renowned schools across the North and South Islands, making your gap year preparation easier.

So what's included in a Gap Year placement?

Placement at a leading New Zealand School

A full-time placement as a Gap Assistant in a leading New Zealand school, carefully selected by the Letz Live team. You can be rest assured that there will be a great placement ready for you, with well-equipped accommodation for your time in New Zealand.  The confirmed placement will be best suited to your individual interests, attributes and skills. The placement will also provide you with food and accommodation and you will also be PAID! 

Work Exchange Scheme

Letz Live is approved by the New Zealand Immigration Department to welcome all participants on the New Zealand programme under the “Work Exchange Scheme”. This is a unique opportunity and visa that allows you to spend a maximum of 12 months living and working in New Zealand. All NZ programme participants must abide by the Work Exchange Scheme guidelines and requirements for the duration of their placement (these are provided to you prior to your departure).

Trusted & Reliable Placements

We have worked with some placements since our inception in 2005 so we’re well versed on the local surroundings and the placement itself. We visit our host placements on an annual basis to ensure their continued suitability to host Letz Live participants.

‘Welcome to New Zealand’ 3-day Orientation

Best known as the place for “gappie” networking, our 3-day orientation is an exciting time and is held in Auckland, en route to your placement. Your Letz Live team organises your accommodation, daily breakfast, welcome dinner plus leisure activities to get to know your fellow participants. You’ll complete your “Gap Training” (see below) during the orientation also. Onward transfers are coordinated from the closest airport to your school. 

Dedicated ‘Country Manager'

Your Letz Live Country Manager has personally experienced their own gap year living and working abroad at a young age. Your Country Manager will be your key point of contact in the lead up to and throughout the full duration of your placement in New Zealand.

We are only ever an email or telephone call away. If for whatever reason our New Zealand team are unable to assist you, you will have the added support of our team in both Australia and the United Kingdom. There is always a crew member ready to support our Gap community.

Dedicated 'Travel Coordinator'

Our in-house travel team, are available to all participants seeking advice, guidance and support when planning for their personal travel. If our travel team are unable to provide you with a competitive option, we have contacts around the world who might be best placed to assist. 

Training Course + Certificate

Letz Live’s programme provides unique training of the New Zealand Boarding Schools Association certificate course (they have a dedicated training module for working in New Zealand schools).  The in-country training provides all participants with comprehensive knowledge of boarding school life and ensures they are well prepared for responsibilities and duties. This ensures you arrive at your placement ready and prepared for the placement ahead.

Life Essentials

When you arrive in New Zealand, we will provide you with a local New Zealand mobile telephone SIM card, provide guidance on registering for a New Zealand bank account and complete relevant taxation requirements. Simply put, we make sure you’re all set up to live and work in New Zealand – legally! We will even through in some international money transfers so you can send or receive money from home.

Network of Participants

All participants are invited to an exclusive social media group with fellow Letz Live participants bound for New Zealand. It’s a great way to get to know who is also travelling to New Zealand and share plans throughout the year.

Life Experience

By living in another country, you are forcing yourself to take charge and gain independence. While we’ll be on hand to offer guidance, the thrill of blazing your own trail and making a life for yourself in a foreign setting is enormous, and the personal growth that you’ll experience is immeasurable.

Let us simplify the application process for you.

Applications for January 2025 placements have closed. We're happy to accept and process late applications, however preference in the first instance may be given to those who applied by April 2, 2024.

Application close time!
Uk travel


Placements commence in late January & mid July annually.



11 months placements with occasional 6 month opportunities



Approximately NZ$200.00 – NZ$350.00 per week in addition to food and accommodation during the school term.

Application and Programme 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 your interview with the Letz Live team.

Only applicants who are offered and subsequently accept a placement will be charged the remainder of the programme fee should they wish to proceed with the placement offer.

OriginApplication FeeProgramme Fee
AfricaAUD $125.00ZAR = R24,995.00
Europe & United KingdomAUD $125.00GBP = £1,350.00
Everywhere ElseAUD $125.00AUD = $2,690.00
Returnee ParticipantAUD $125.00AUD = $1,500.00


Applicants for our New Zealand Gap year programme must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 25 years old at the time of their arrival into New Zealand
  • Hold a valid passport from one of the following countries: Botswana, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA or Zimbabwe to be eligible for the Work Exchange Scheme
  • Have no serious pre-existing medical conditions
  • Be double vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to work in a school as per New Zealand requirements
  • Have no prior convictions; all participants are required to provide a Police Clearance from their home country
  • 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)

Australian and New Zealand passport holders are not eligible for this programme

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some commonly asked questions regarding our New Zealand Gap Year Programme. Can’t find the answer to your question? Get in touch with one of our friendly team today and request an information pack!

What is not included in the Letz Live programme fee?

Your airfares, travel / health insurance (a visa requirement), visa & entry clearances in addition to police clearances / Working with Children permits are not included in your programme fees.

When are you notified if your application has been successful or not?

Assuming that you have applied prior to the relevant application closing dates (see above), we aim to notify application as per the below schedule.

• January Intake: Applicants notified between June and August
• July Intake: Applicants notified be the end of March

How may placements do you have in New Zealand?

On average we have anywhere between 85 and 100 international participants in New Zealand annually. These placements cover both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

Where does your fee money go?

Programme 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.

What support is available to me whilst I'm in New Zealand?

All destinations are served by our Country Managers. Unlike some other organisations, all our staff are full time (paid employees) who are on hand to assist you should the need arise. We do not outsource our operations nor do we “resell” other programmes. Our Country Managers are your point of contact prior to, during and following the completion of your placement with Letz Live.  They’re even on hand to greet you during your in-country orientation programme at the commencement of your Letz Live placement and will drop by during your time in New Zealand to see how you’re going!

Can you help me with my flights and visas?

Absolutely! We have access to some great airfare rates and can provide assistance with your comprehensive travel insurance policies that we can offer in-house. Alternatively, if you’re looking at booking with a travel agent who is local to you, we have some great partnerships with reputable agencies around the world.

What happens during the term breaks / holiday periods?

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!

Can you be placed with a friend?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of school programs 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.

How many gap assistants are placed at the same school?

Every school is unique in their requirements although we presently have no schools that take a single gap assistant. Therefore, you are likely to be placed at a school in New Zealand with at least another young person on the Letz Live programme!

How much does a gap year in New Zealand cost?

A gap year in New Zealand on the Letz Live programme includes full-time placement at a leading boarding school as a boarding house assistant. You have the opportunity to travel this beautiful country on the school holidays. There is so much to do and discover on a gap year in New Zealand. Check out our New Zealand Destination page for ideas.

What visa will I travel on to New Zealand?

Letz Live is approved by the New Zealand Immigration Department to sponsor suitable individuals who wish to partake our gap year programme in NZ for a maximum of 12 months. This programme is called the “Work Exchange Scheme”. We provide all participants with the necessary documentation and instructions on how to obtain the relevant visa. All participants (excluding New Zealand passport holders) undertake their placement under the terms as specified by the Work Exchange Scheme.

What does the programme fee include?

The fee 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 position within a school that will provide you with an allowance!
  • Food and accommodation for the duration of your placement (throughout term time)
  • Our famous ‘Orientation’ program which is held prior to the commencement of your placement
  • Orientation includes, 2 nights accommodation, meals, training course + you meet countless other participants!
  • A dedicated ‘Country Manager’ who will be your key point of contact in the lead up to and throughout the full duration of your placement with us
  • New Zealand mobile phone SIM card
  • Access to a variety of discounted tours throughout your trip
  • Gappie support group so you can meet other participants prior to departure

How the gap process works

Apply online

Send us your Gap Year application for your chosen destination & programme. It’s as simple as that!


Face-to-face online interview.
We discuss your preferences, the placement & the programme.

Offer accepted

We put forward your application with partner schools. It’s up to you to accept the offer, then pay the programme fee.

Take off

Our in-house travel team can assist with flights, advice, insurance & visas for a smooth start to your Gap Year.


Vital ingredient!
Our Global HQ is available + our travel team for travel ideas + your country manager.

Explore the Land of the Long White Cloud

‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ paints an image of endless adventures. It’s a suitable nickname for New Zealand, where different types of adventurers never run out of things to do. Think of overnight kayaking through world-famous fjords, bungee jumping, skiing down huge mountains in fresh pow, surfing the fabled points of Raglan, and jetboating. You can visit the Lord of the Rings set and look for Hobbits, head to beaches where penguins and seals just happen to call home and road trip across two of the most beautiful islands in the world

Your paid time off also gives you the opportunity to discover Maori culture — read their stories carved out into wood and stone, dance the haka in different occasions and learn the idea of whānau (family) and become part of the tribe.

Experience all of this and more on your gap year in New Zealand.

Let us simplify the application process for you.

Explore New Zealand on your Gap Year

Nick Hare, the founder of Letz Live, returned to Australia late in 2004 after a Gap Year in the UK. He made lifelong friends and learned immeasurable life lessons during his time away from home. He wants other young people to have a similar experience, with Letz Live making gap year preparation easier for you.

On a Gap Year programme, you get to spend an entire year living and working like a local. This gives you a better understanding of New Zealand culture than any tourist vacation can. Also, spending time on the other side of the world can help you have a better grasp of how things are at home and what you really want to do with your life.

Let our team take you on a journey of a lifetime. Fill out an application form to become a Gap Assistant in New Zealand today.

Video credit: Flo Lunnon 2020 New Zealand Gap Year Student

Letz Live provided invaluable advice
Mitch S
Want to read more from past gap participants?