Fifteen staff and 33 international students in Hawke's Bay have been left in limbo after their education provider put itself into voluntary liquidation.
FutureCol NZ offers NZQA-approved courses in cookery, information technology and management in Hastings and Queenstown.
Some students said the cancellation of their course meant they had only two weeks before their student visas expired and they did not know what they would do.
"I was shocked when I was told. All the students were crying."
Another cookery student from India said he had been offered another course in Auckland but it was too far, too expensive, and with only two weeks left on his visa he did not have enough time to arrange it.
Another had been offered a place at Eastern Institute of Technology in Napier but that course cost $5000 more than the $10,000 he had borrowed for the FutureCol course.
"The decision was made due to the fall in international student numbers and the rigid funding regime currently in place for domestic students," FutureCol chief executive Bharat Guha said.
All students had been offered an alternative place to continue their studies, he said.
Fees paid by students were protected by the Public Trust Fee Protection Scheme, Mr Guha said.
NZQA said it was told on 27 February that FutureCol would be ceasing operations and all the students had been advised of an alternate provider if they wished to continue their studies.