Information for International Students

10 Very, Very, Very Good Reasons Why You Should Choose New Zealand and
Ardmore Flying School for Your Aviation Education

1Price vs Quality - Efficient Delivery = No Quality Compromise

At Ardmore Flying School, we believe that you deserve to receive the very best training. We ensure that your training programme will allow you the best opportunity to gain employment once you have graduated. International airlines are now appreciating that students who embark on “low cost/low quality” training are unsuitable for the job without comprehensive retraining. The New Zealand training system is recognised for its high quality and comprehensive syllabus. That’s why more and more international airline customers are choosing New Zealand and Ardmore Flying School.


2Competitively Priced - Value For Money

Our training programmes will meet the price test. Compare our programmes line-for-line with your cheapest quote, we will show you the difference.


3Experience - There Is No Substitute

Learn within one of the worlds oldest and most respected flight training industries.

The New Zealand flight training industry started in 1915 with the onset of the First World War, so the industry here is well established with protocols and standards forged over many, many years of practice. Our instructor courses are among the toughest in the world, so our teachers are all equipped to deliver the very best quality of training. Ardmore Flying School is NZ’s largest privately owned flight school, operational since 1961 & under the same ownership since 1978. The management team alone at Ardmore Flying School has combined industry experience of 176 years in aviation training, including airline, helicopter, military, GA instructional & “warbirds” experience.


4Variable Training Conditions - Dynamic Environment to Fine Tune Your Skills

The New Zealand geographical environment is world renowned for its beauty and diversity. Within a very short distance, you can experience the beauty of the surrounding oceans, to the majesty of our native forests, rolling hills, mountains and magnificent beaches. The range of climatic conditions also challenge your skills, delivering to you a far higher understanding of the business of aviation. Airlines now recognise the risks of employing “fair weather” pilots, those graduates who are only used to flying over flat ground on a cloudless day. By training in NZ with Ardmore Flying School, you will become a more skilled and competent pilot better qualified to cope with all the meteorological and geographical challenges you will face in your aviation career.


5Student Fees Protection Programme - Fee's Protection From Flight School Failure

Ardmore Flying School, like all NZ education providers, is required by New Zealand law to ensure all student funds paid in advance are locked away in a Public Trust or lawyers trust account. This means if a NZ flight trainer encounters financial difficulty, your funds are safe and there is no risk of losing your fees paid in advance. This programme is uniquely New Zealand.


6International Recognition of Aviation Documents & Qualifications

Easily transfer your qualifications to your home country.
When you obtain a New Zealand aviation qualification, you can be assured that your training will be recognised by your home regulator and air transport operators. Your NZ training will position you as a respected professional pilot, as the international aviation industry puts real value on the New Zealand license/qualifications. You can be confident that the level of your training will ensure you pass those flight tests or evaluations with the assurance that your technical knowledge is more in depth and comprehensive, so you are more capable of demonstrating your competency as an aviation professional.


7Employment Pathways - Your First Aviation Opportunity

For suitably qualified graduates, Ardmore Flying School has an internship programme, designed to give graduates their first start in their aviation career. We employ all our future instructors from our internship programme. International students who graduate with our Diploma in Aviation (Flight Instruction) are eligible to apply for an “Open Work Visa”, which will allow them to potentially start a career with us. But be warned, our standards are high, only top performers will be considered.


8Lifestyle - Enjoy New Zealand's Way of Life While You Train

New Zealand is famous for its relaxed and “outdoorsy” lifestyle, where work/life balance is important. While we can’t stress enough the importance on being focused in your studies, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy everything that New Zealand has to offer. Based in Auckland (NZ’s largest city),
Ardmore Flying School is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and beaches, with opportunities for students to take in some of our natural attractions and activities. You will also fly over some of the worlds most beautiful terrain.


9Modern Equipment - The Latest & Greatest

All our equipment is kept up to date and relevant, and maintained to the very highest standards. We operate a large fleet, so aircraft availability is never an issue. We also maintain a low instructor/student ratio so that you get the very best personal attention during your training.

But make no mistake, whilst we provide all the latest facilities and equipment, you are still required to do the hard work required to achieve your aviation ambition. Only you can do this.


10Advanced Training - Getting You

Ardmore Flying School allows you to put the "finishing touches" on your CV by providing all the advanced training you require to be "employment ready". By completing our advanced courses, you will be better equipped to demonstrate a higher level of competency with any potential employer.


So enquire now to join us to start your aviation adventure!

helicopter view

Arriving in New Zealand

Ardmore Flying School requires all overseas students to arrive 1-week prior to the start of their course. Once you arrive, we organise your collection from Auckland International Airport and you will be delivered to your accommodation. During this initial 1-week period, students will go through orientation at the school and meet instructors and other students. As part of the orientation, you will be made familiar with Ardmore Airport and its operational procedures. You will also have time to complete any medicals and other administration tasks (i.e.uniform fitting, opening bank accounts etc) before the course work starts.

Enrolment Criteria

1. Must be 18 years old

2. English - English is the international language for aviation and all classes are taught in English. Students need to meet IELTS (Academic) score of 6 (no bands less than 5.5) to sit this course.

3. Immigration - All international students must hold a Student Visa to study in New Zealand. Please refer to our Immigration section for more information.

4. Medicals - Students must obtain a NZCAA Class 1 medical prior to commencement of the course. Please refer to our Medical section for more information.

5. School Requirements – Students must meet the equivalent of a New Zealand NCEA Level 2. Please refer to our English Skills section – NZ NCEA Level 2 equivalent document.

6. Logbook of previous flying.

If your previous flying experience was, in full or in part, obtained while enrolled in a CAANZ or ICAO approved or recognized course and you desire to qualify for full credit, please make sure that you are able to make your logbook available for inspection by Ardmore Flying School and CAANZ and/or that you obtain a record (transcript) of training from the school you attended.

Final credit awarded will be based upon a review of logged pilot time and demonstrated flight proficiency as evaluated by the Chief Flying Instructor when you commence training at Ardmore Flying School.

Immigration Requirements

All international students require a student visa from Immigration New Zealand to enable them to study in New Zealand. Our enrolments team are well versed in the student visa and immigration requirements for international students and can assist with their application.

All applications need to be made through your local New Zealand Embassy. The visa process usually takes between 6 – 8 weeks, please allow enough time to for this to be processed.

Alternatively, talk to our enrolments team about our International Induction Programme, allowing you to visit us at Ardmore to view our facilities and complete our enrolment processes. We can then arrange your student visa on your behalf.

Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service, and can be viewed on their website at:

Pastoral Care

We aim to provide a happy and memorable experience for students studying with Ardmore Flying School.

Our enrolments team will assist you to settle into New Zealand by helping you open a bank account in Papakura, obtain a New Zealand cell phone sim card, organise the purchase of your aeronautical equipment, maps and CAA stationary.

At this time we will discuss any personal needs you may have and your training requirements.

If you need to talk to someone about problems or difficulties you may be having, you can speak to our enrolments team. They offer a free and confidential service to help you seek assistance with any issues related to your studies, accommodation, health, money, adjusting to life in New Zealand or work.

Ardmore Flying School has also agreed to observe and be bound by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by the NZ Ministry of Education. Copies of the Code are available on request from Ardmore Flying School or from the NZ Ministry of Educations website at:


It is a requirement of the NZ CAA for all pilots in New Zealand to hold a current Class Medical certificate appropriate for the licencing they hold.

As aviation students at Ardmore Flying School, you must hold a minimum of a current Class Two Medical certificate prior to solo flight during the PPL practical flying. If you are training to be a professional pilot, for peace of mind we urge you to obtain a Class One Medical before starting.

Medicals can only be completed with an accredited Aviation Medical Examiner(AME). Medicals are valid for five years for private operations and one year for commercial operations if you are under 40 years old.

Wearing glasses should not prevent you from gaining a medical or restrict your licence in any way, providing you can meet the vision standard when wearing them.

A listing of approved overseas medical examiners is located on the CAA website.

English Skills

English is the international language of Aviation. The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority requires all applicants for a NZ pilot licence to be able to fluently read, speak and effectively understand the English language. All instructions are given in English.

When English is a second language, applicants are required to meet a minimum of Grade 12 with English scores of IELTS 6 and TOEFEL (paper based) 550 or (iBT) 80. We have specialist aviation English schools that we recommend if the applicant’s written or spoken English is not fluent.

Visit these websites to find your nearest testing location for assessment:

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s proven English language test.

IELTS was one of the pioneers of four skills English language testing over 21 years ago, and continues to set the standard for English language testing today.

Over 7,000 organisations and more than 1.7 million tests are taken each year around the world trust. IELTS is recognised as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true-to-life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation.

The TOEFL® test is the most widely respected English-language test in the world, recognized by more than 8,500 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 130 countries. Wherever you want to study, the TOEFL test can help you get there.

Ardmore Flying School delivers its own English Language training, for International Students who may not meet the current requirements for entry into NZ.

Enquiries for International Students are referred to our Regional Managers (for China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Gulf States, PNG & Pacific Islands).


Full details on entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website at It is a government requirement that you have insurance that will cover the cost of medical treatment in New Zealand for the duration of your stay in New Zealand and that you obtain insurance to cover your travel to and from New Zealand.

Ardmore Flying School recommends Southern Cross Healthcare and is able to assist you in completing the necessary documentation. Please contact us to obtain a quote.

Most students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand unless they are:

  • A resident or citizen of Australia; or
  • A national of the United Kingdom in New Zealand; or
  • If you do not belong to one of these special categories and you receive medical treatment during your visit, you will be liable for the full costs of that treatment.