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When you're working for a charity overseas, you can apply to keep your student loan interest-free for up to 24 months.

You'll be treated as though you're still in New Zealand.

Qualifying for an interest-free student loan

To qualify:

  • the main reason you travelled overseas must be for volunteer work (or work for a token payment)
  • your overseas volunteer work must be for an approved charitable organisation. 

The organisation that you’re volunteering for must either:

  • be on the approved charitable organisations list at the time we grant the application
  • have been on the list when you did the work, if you've completed it.

You can apply if the work you do is to relieve either:

  • poverty
  • hunger
  • sickness
  • the impacts of war
  • the impacts of a natural disaster.

You can also apply if the country you work in is on the OECD list of countries receiving development assistance, and you're working to either:

  • improve the economy
  • raise educational standards.

List of approved charities

Letter from your charity

If your organisation is on our list of approved charities, you'll need a letter from them confirming your details and the kind of work you do for them. Find more information on 'Volunteering overseas when I have a student loan'.

Volunteering overseas when I have a student loan


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Last updated: 28 Apr 2021
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