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Study in New Zealand

Education Cost:

Studying abroad can be an expensive affair. However, an efficient budget plan can help you manage your living expenses more effectively. Before you depart from India, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in New Zealand.

1. Tuition fee is your prime expenditure

Your expenditure on the tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. There are many high-ranking universities and colleges in New Zealand with their own fee structures. To cover tuition fees, you will need between NZ$ 22,000 and NZ$35,000 a year (indicative).

Most commonly humanities, education and arts courses are cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for these programs is around NZ$ 40,000 (indicative).

S.No.Study ProgramCost (in NZ$)*
1Undergraduate degree$20,500 - $25,000 annually
2Postgraduate diploma and degree$19,000 - $29,000 annually
3MBA $31,000 - $50, 000 annually
4PhD $6,500 - $9,000 annually

*Please note that all figures are indicative

2. Where will you live? Calculate accommodation costs

Most universities in New Zealand offer on-campus residence facilities called the Halls of Residence to international students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option, however you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself. These will generally cost you around NZ$270 per week. You can choose from either fully-catered or self-catered Halls of residence.

You can also opt for an off-campus accommodation wherein you can share apartments with other students from India or live in a homestay with a local family. In such cases, you should be open to adjusting to a different lifestyle than India. Living in shared apartments or flatting can cost you around NZ$120. Remember, the rentals vary from city to city.

If you reach before the date of tenancy, you can book a temporary accommodation at youth hostels such as the YMCA. These are quite value-for-money and a great avenue to meet new people and learn the new ways of the city.

3. Cost of your student visa

In order to study in New Zealand, the first step is to secure a valid student visa and that comes with its own costs (approx. NZ$ 270).

4. Living expenses in New Zealand

You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not over spend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a tertiary student budget in New Zealand comes between NZ$ 13,000 and NZ$ 16,000 per academic year (indicative). You should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:

  • Communication expenses: As a student from India, you’d be frequently calling your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts in order to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget.
  • Books and supplies: Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. For instance, books for engineering, law, medicine and pharmacy can be pricey. You can manage this in your budget by opting for second hand books, buying digital versions or even securing a library membership.
  • Personal expenses and incidentals: Your daily expenses will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself.

5. Keep safe. Consider health support and insurance

It is mandatory for all students travelling to New Zealand from India to get a medical insurance before the commencement of their program. Several New Zealand schools and universities have initiated comprehensive health insurance plans for international students, but that is applicable as long your program is ongoing and ceases upon completion.

Certain colleges may not offer any insurance, and hence you will have to arrange for a private medical insurance. The average cost for medical insurance ranges between NZ$ 200 – NZ$ 700 a year (indicative). Extensive health and support services are readily available for all Indian students in New Zealand

6. Transportation. Know how much it will cost to move around

Unless your institution provides with a shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport.

For short distances

You can make use of regional trains, buses, and subways. This can range anywhere between NZ$120 and NZ$250 per month (approx. figure, subject to fluctuate with changing economy). It is a good idea to get monthly passes (such as Auckland’s HOP Card) for travelling to college and back as these can be fairly cheap.

For long distances

For travelling between different cities, you can avail any of the following options:

  • Long-distance bus
  • Rail
  • Air
  • Ferries and water-taxies

7. Don’t ignore your taxes

Indian students in New Zealand cannot work without acquiring their Inland Revenue Department number or simply called as the IRD number. With this, you are allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. If you choose to work along with your studies, your earned income will be taxable.

Education System:

Academic excellence, experienced faculties, globally recognised qualifications, brilliant teaching approach and abundant research opportunities, the education system of New Zealand will give you an exposure like never before. Learning here comes with an international outlook that prepares students for employment across the globe.

Study levels

Education in New Zealand is categorised under five stages:

  • Early childhood: for ages up to five years
  • Primary school: for ages 5 to 10 years
  • Intermediate school: for ages 11 to 12 years
  • Secondary school: for ages 13 to 18 years
  • Tertiary education: 18 years and above

The highest level of education and qualifications at all levels is provided by the universities which offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. There are many flexible pathway programs as well that are provided by a variety of institutions in the system to help gain admission into these universities.

New Zealand also has many lot of Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Private Training Establishments (PTEs) that offer vocational degree-level education, certification and diploma.

Qualifications framework

The foundation of New Zealand education system lies in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF). Secondary and tertiary qualifications that come under the NZQF come with quality assurance and global recognition.

Higher education

Under its tertiary education system, New Zealand offers advanced degrees, which can be categorised under bachelors, masters and doctoral. New Zealand has eight funded universities that offer higher degree-level education, 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) offering vocational courses degree and over 700 Private Training Establishments (PTEs) offering certificates or diplomas. All of these qualifications are highly sought after and recognised globally. Teaching may take place in large group lectures or small group tutorials.

Type of institutionQualification offered
UniversitiesUndergraduate degree, postgraduate diploma/degree, PhD
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs)Graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, certificates
Private Training Establishments (PTEs)Certificate, diploma

Pathway programs

A great way for international students to enter higher level education is through pathway programs. These include foundation courses and English language programs that offer additional support or assistance international students may require so as to get accustomed to a new way of learning.

Fee structure

New Zealand offers an array of value-for-money educational programs. Tuition fee vary on the type of course and its duration since each institution has its own fee bracket. As with most other countries, medicine, engineering and MBA programs can be slightly more expensive than other courses. To cover tuition fees, you will usually need somewhere between NZ$ 22,000 and NZ$35,000 a year (indicative).

Financial aid

In order to reduce your tuition fee expense, you can turn to certain financial aids available. These may include scholarships, grants, bursaries and fellowships. These aids are provided by the government as well as private institutions. Since a lot of students apply to these scholarships, we recommended you to apply in advance to beat competition.

Pedagogy in New Zealand classrooms

With a teaching style that continually evolves, New Zealand offers a highly supportive environment for international students. Offering hands-on approach for teaching, the faculty members do not hesitate to mould their teaching approach to suit the needs of their students. Unlike various other western countries where classroom size is generally big, New Zealand’s teachers prefer teaching students in small groups and engage students via various class activities.

Academic year

New Zealand offers two intakes under its higher education programs – July and February. Admissions for vocational courses may also be available in March, April and May while pathway programs may have additional dates available. Always check for available intakes in your course of preference.

Learning English

Since all your classroom learning and communication in everyday life will take place in English, it is important for you to be proficient in the language. If your command over the language is limited, you may be advised to enrol for an English language program before the commencement of your program of study. These courses may be full-time or part-time and are provided by a range of private institutions and universities. Please note that language courses in the universities may be full-time.

Partner Institutions

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Auckland University
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Auckland University of Technology
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University of Canterbury
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Victoria University of Wellington
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Massey University
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Lincoln University
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University of Otago
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University of Waikato