Cost of Studying & Living in New Zealand
New Zealand uses the New Zealand Dollar ($NZD) as their currency.
Institutions in New Zealand are permitted to set their own tuition fees. This means that what you pay will be different depending on your institution of choice. International students can expect to pay between $22,000 and $32,000 for a bachelor’s degree, and between $26,000 and $37,000 for a postgraduate course. However, if you choose a course such as medicine, engineering or veterinary science, your fees are likely to be higher. All PhD students pay the same, which is $6,500 to $9,000 per year. For information about the cost of your specific course, contact your institution.
There are scholarships available for international students at all levels, including students wanting to gain a PhD. These scholarships are offered by the institutions themselves, or the government. Contact your institution to get more information about your eligibility, or use the official New Zealand scholarship directory.
Living costs depend on where you choose to live in New Zealand. As in most countries, the bigger cities will require a larger living budget than the smaller cities and towns. It is recommended that you allow between $15,000-$27,000 per year. If you will be studying in New Zealand for more than one year, you will be required to prove that you have at least $15,000 to support yourself for the first year. If you are studying for up to a year, you are required to prove that you have at least $1,250 for each month of study.
If you have a student visa, you are able to work up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full time out of term time. Students completing Masters by Research or PhD are able to work full time throughout their studies, including term time.
In order to study in New Zealand, you might have to purchase health insurance. This will depend on where you are from. If you hold a student visa, you are not eligible for publicly funded health services. The exception to this rule are students from Australia and the United Kingdom or PhD students. These students are entitled to publicly funded health care for immediately necessary treatment only. If you are from any other country, or need to access further medical treatment, you will need to make sure that you have valid medical and travel insurance throughout your stay. Your chosen institution will be able to provide more information regarding this.
Funding to study in New Zealand
As an international student, you may be eligible to a scholarship or funding assistance if you wish to study in New Zealand. Scholarships and bursaries are offered by institutions, as well as the government and other official organisations.
Individual institutions will likely offer a variety of scholarship and bursary opportunities for international students, which will all have slightly different requirements. You will be able to find out more information about what options are available, if you are eligible, and how to apply if you contact your institution of choice.
Find out more about funding your studies in our Funding and Scholarships for International Students advice article.
How to Apply
New Zealand does not have a centralised application system for international students, meaning that you will be required to apply to each institution individually. The institution that you choose to apply to will be able to provide you with more information about specific requirements. In general, you will likely be asked to provide proof that you can understand the language of tuition to a high enough standard, your academic transcript, and travel/health insurance for the duration of your studies.
Want to study abroad but not sure on how to begin? Take a look at our advice article on Deciding to study abroad: The first steps.
New Zealand Student Visas
If you will be staying in New Zealand for more than 3 months, you may need to apply for a student visa. Students from Australia or other countries that have an agreement with New Zealand do not need to apply for a visa.
Once you have your visa, you can stay in the country for up to four years and have permission to work up to 20 hours per week. You must be enrolled with an approved institution and have the money to pay for your course.
You can either apply for your visa at your home country’s New Zealand embassy or consulate, but the application fee is 10% cheaper online.
For more information about visas, please visit the New Zealand Immigration website.
There are three official languages in New Zealand; English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Te Reo Maori became an official language in 1987. NZSL, the main language of the deaf community in New Zealand, became an official language in 2006.
With only 3.7% of the population speaking Maori, the language is in danger of extinction. Authorities are working to make sure this doesn’t happen, implementing Maori classes in schools, as well as television channels broadcasting exclusively in Maori. Studying in New Zealand would be a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in a historic culture, picking up some Maori language and NZSL.
The majority of courses are offered in English. If your native language is not English, you may have to prove that your English skills will meet the teaching standards. If you do not, it is common for institutions to offer language programmes to improve your skills. Contact your institution if you want more information about this.
Auckland is located in New Zealand’s North Island, and is the largest city in the country. The city has the highest Polynesian population in the world, and is widely multicultural. Auckland is recognised as important in the fields of commerce, the arts and education. There are many tourist attractions, including the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower. In 2016, Auckland was rated one of the most liveable cities in the world.
Sitting on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is the country’s fourth most populous city. After the English invasion, the old Maori settlement was renamed after Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton, the commander of HMS Esk. The city was initially an agricultural service centre, but now has a diverse economy, with education and research playing an important part in this. The city is home to roughly 40,000 higher education students and 1,000 PhD-qualified scientists.