Frequently Asked Questions
What does the schedule look like on a DTS?
Each day you will have activities such as, lectures, work duties, (general duties around the base) and evening activities. Each week will also include small groups, outreach prep, one-on-one mentoring and local outreach. There are also weekly corporate events you will participate in such as base worship and intercession (prayer). Your weekends may occasionally have organised activities but many will be free for you to explore the beautiful area and have some study and rest time.
Who are the teachers?
Live guest lecturers are the norm. Those who teach are usually other YWAM leaders nationally or internationally, local YWAM staff, and other reputable speakers who are involved in the church and/or missions locally or internationally. Occasionally video lectures may be used.
Is this DTS accredited? Will I gain a qualification?
Our Discipleship Training Schools are registered with the University of the Nations but not for the purposes of accreditation as the UofN is not an accredited University as stated on their web site. YWAM Queenstown maintains an affiliate relationship with the UofN.
What is the University of the Nations?
Our courses are registered with YWAM’s international network of tertiary level education/training known as the University of the Nations (UofN). YWAM Queenstown is an affiliate of the University of the Nations.
DTS is the foundation course, which acts as a pre-requisite for further training within any of YWAM’s University of the Nations 450 affiliate campuses internationally
The UofN is not registered/accredited as a university in New Zealand however credits gained from a DTS at YWAM Queenstown are recognised worldwide by all other UofN campuses. Many Christian colleges and bible schools worldwide also recognise the DTS and give transfer credits. It is advised that you contact your individual education provider to discuss their policy and procedures associated with credit transfer.
What weekend activities are there?
Your weekends may occasionally have organised activities (such as local outreach or an arranged trip) but most will be free for you to have some rest time, explore the beautiful area and have some study/homework time.
Queenstown is also known as the “adventure capital” of New Zealand. From hiking to fishing to bungy jumping to jet boating or snow sports during the ski season – there is something for everyone here! If adrenaline isn’t your thing, there are lots of lovely little shops to explore and cafes to relax in.
Click on this website for some ideas!
Where will I stay?
Accommodation will be dormitory style with shared rooms and shared bathroom facilities. Living together in community is a great way to get to know people from diverse backgrounds and it is a lot of fun! We value community by eating lunch and dinner together.
Outreach accommodation varies by location and may be anything from staying with local families, to bunking on a church floor, a guesthouse, or being hosted by a local YWAM centre.
Except in exceptional circumstances, due to the live-learn philosophy of Youth With A Mission, students are required to be resident for the duration of their course.
What do I need to bring?
Don’t worry! The DTS Registrar will provide you with a list of things you will need to pack before you come.
Where will I go for my Outreach and how is that decided?
Your school leaders will pray over options for outreach locations and these will be communicated to you early in the school (or beforehand if already set). At the beginning of the DTS, you may be asked to pray over the location options, your school staff will also pray and seek God about who should be on which teams, and the final decision will be made by staff. Some teams will serve in multiple locations on outreach and others may focus on one location for the whole 2-3 months. We have a significant focus on the Pacific and South-East Asia, but we can send teams anywhere in the world.
Is there an age limit?
You need to be at least 17 years old when the DTS starts. There is no upper age limit but you will need to be in good health and physically able to complete outreach phase.
Who can apply for a DTS at YWAM Queenstown?
Do I need to prove language proficiency if I am from overseas?
If English is not your first language, you do not need a formal English test score in order to apply. However, please note that all training run at YWAM Queenstown is run in English; you will have a much deeper learning experience if you can understand what the speakers are saying and can communicate easily with the other students and staff. That being said, your English will improve greatly by being here. Pray about it!
As part of the application process we may ask for further evidence of your ability to communicate and understand adequate English or request a telephone interview.
Do I need a visa? How do I apply for a visa? What type of visa do I need?
If you are not from New Zealand or Australia, you will need an appropriate visa for New Zealand.
You are responsible for making sure that you are on an appropriate visa at all times, that suits the purpose of your visit, and that you comply with any conditions of your visa.
A visitor visa permits short-term study (under 3 months) within New Zealand (as a DTS or DBS lecture phase is 12 weeks it complies with visitor visa study conditions).
If you are from a visa-waiver country you may be eligible for a 3-month visitor visa on arrival (6-months if you are from the UK). Three months is sufficient, as you will be leaving for outreach phase within that time. For more information about the visa waiver visa, and list of eligible countries, see here.
If you are not from a visa-waiver eligible country, or do not meet the requirements to apply on arrival, you will need to apply for a visa in advance.
To research all other options, please visit Immigration New Zealands’ website.
Please note, we do not sponsor visas for students.
How much does the school cost?
Please see our costs and finances page for the current DTS price. Your Lecture Phase fees include tuition, accommodation, all meals, wireless internet access, some additional costs, and outreach phase fees. For more information, please contact our Registrar.
Are there any other costs?
As well as your ticket or transport here, you will need some ‘pocket money’ for a few incidental personal costs – such as toiletries, laundry, snacks, postage, coffee shop visits etc. We recommend including a pocket money amount in the total amount you are fundraising for.
Your outreach fee covers everything needed for your outreach including airfares, food, outreach visas, ministry expenses etc. It does not cover any immunisations etc that you may need to update, or personal equipment you may need to purchase prior to leaving – for example sleeping bag, torch, mosquito net.
If you are from overseas, you will need an appropriate, valid visa for New Zealand to study with us. There may be a fee for this depending on your situation.
How do I get from the airport to the base?
The base is 5 minutes from Queenstown airport (ZQN). Please provide your flight details to the Registrar and we will pick you up for free. We will also pick you up if you arrive by bus (Frankton bus stop is closer to the base than Queenstown bus stop).
How and when do I pay my school fees?
Your lecture phase fees should be paid before the first week of Lecture Phase. We can accept a wide range of payment options in a range of currencies. The DTS Registrar will advise on what is most convenient based on your situation. Your outreach phase fees are due during the Lecture Phase. Your school leader will communicate details regarding fees for Outreach to you as soon as possible during the Lecture Phase.
Is financial assistance or scholarship available for students?
As all of our staff and students trust and rely on God for the finances they need to live and study, we are unable to provide discounts, financial assistance or scholarships. We firmly believe that God is our source of provision and believe in His faithfulness. We are privileged to stand in the place of prayer and partnership together and see the ways God provides!
Do you have any advice or material regarding fundraising?
Yes. We are working on getting some faith and finances resources onto this website, but in the meantime, please contact the DTS Registrar who will provide you with resources to help you with your fundraising.
What is Queenstown like? What is the weather like?
Queenstown is a beautiful resort town in the south of the South Island of New Zealand. (You may recognise the scenery from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.) The Queenstown-Lakes district has a population of less than 30,000 but over 2 million tourists visit each year. The surrounding mountains and lake means it is popular with tourists and backpackers year-round and with skiers and snowboarders in the winter. Queenstown is also known as the Adventure Capital of New Zealand and, according to Travel New Zealand, there are 220 adventure tourism activities!! Queenstown is fairly compact so it’s easy to walk around and there are regular bus services to the main attractions.
If you are from overseas, remember that the seasons are ‘upside down’ in the Southern Hemisphere so winter is June-August and summer is December to February. Queenstown has long warm days in summer and winters are cold. The weather can vary day-to-day – people are not joking when they say you can experience all the seasons in one day in Queenstown!