Cost of Living and Studying in New Zealand

Fees and affordability in New Zealand

The popularity of New Zealand among international students has increased substantially in the last few years. The country is popular among the student community for its low tuition fees and affordability. Let us discuss this aspect in some detail.

Cost of Studying in New Zealand for International Students:

There are quite a few public and private organizations in New Zealand that offer amazing training and projects to the international students. The advantage of studying in the country is that education there costs lesser than most European countries and America. In addition, the biggest motivation for international students is that New Zealand’s universities provide funding to their students.

Tuition fees at public universities

The national government supports the public universities of New Zealand. The advantage of pursuing higher studies in public universities is that students receive top class education at the most affordable costs.  However, it is important to remember that the tuition fees for pursuing any course or programme in a public university depends on that course or programme. The fee structures are different for different programmes. The fees for studying arts or social sciences could be NZD 20,000, whereas for science and engineering it could be NZD 25,000. To study dentistry, one may need to shell out NZD 75,000.

Tuition fees at other type of institutes

Private institutions of higher education charge more fees than the public institutions. The tuition fees of private universities could be double for the courses mentioned along with their fees, in the previous paragraph.

Most affordable universities in New Zealand

Whenever a student decides to pursue higher studies abroad, he or she first researches about the costs, and finally searches for the most affordable educational institutions in that country. Here is a list of the most affordable universities of New Zealand, along with the average tuition fees:

Affordable University Average Tuition Fees
University of Canterbury 12250 NZD/year
Lincoln University 10700 NZD/year
University of Auckland 12000 NZD/year
Massey University 28000 NZD/year

Tuition fees at top ranked universities

When a student decides upon a country where he or she wants to go to pursue higher studies, the first thing that causes concern is the fees charged by the educational institutions there. But another very important aspect is certainly the quality or rank of the universities in that country. In combination, these two factors result in students’ looking for the top ranked universities that offer courses and programmes at affordable costs. The following list may help:

University of Canterbury -12250 NZD/year

University of Otago-16000 NZD/year

Study in New Zealand Requirements:

There are some basic requirements to study at these universities in New Zealand. Before applying to the universities, one should be aware of the cost of studying in New Zealand and other application requirements. Here is the list of required documents:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Photographs
  • A Valid Passport
  • Letters of Recommendation where needed
  • Previous Degrees and Certificates
  • Statement of Purpose / Application Essay
  • Resume / CV
  • Proof of  minimum required Monetary Funds

New Zealand Study Intakes:

There are two main intakes for the universities in New Zealand, as given below:

  1. January Intake
  2. July Intake

There are some universities that also accept the application throughout the year and there are no deadlines. It is advisable to check with the university first before applying for any course, as even if there are deadlines, they will vary with the universities.

Study in New Zealand Scholarships

When it comes to studying abroad, international students look for scholarships available in their country of choice. New Zealand offers quite a few scholarships to its students. Here is a list that can help:

The New Zealand Excellence Awards- The NZEA features as many as thirty-five scholarships across all the eight universities, offering opportunities for Indian students to experience the country and excel in the various courses and programmes it offers.

The Korea-New Zealand Agricultural Cooperation Scholarship- This  scholarship is given to Korean students, and gives them the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

The Generation Study Abroad Excellence and Travel Awards- These scholarships are for students from the United States who want to study for a semester in New Zealand.

Living Costs in New zealand:

Living costs in New Zealand are different for the various cities students usually live in. as it is the case with every destination, the urban areas are more expensive and the living costs go down gradually as you move away from the city centres. The average requirement for the international students, without the tuition fees in New Zealand would be between 15000 NZD to 25000 NZD for a year. The immigration of New Zealand asks for the yearly amount of 15000 USD as the sustainable proof.


The accommodation costs in New Zealand vary from 7000 NZD to 12000 NZD. The costs also depend largely on the lifestyle choices of the students. Private accommodations are the most expensive, at 180 NZD per week, the flat accommodations are 120 NZD per week. The student dormitories, hostels and halls are shared by the students, and they are 200 NZD a week.

Food costs

There is a myth that food costs a lot in New Zealand. The fact is, food is quite affordable, and does not take away a lot from a student’s wallet. A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs NZD 8.95, whereas one at McDonald’s costs NZD 4.97. Apart from meals, one can enjoy regular food and drinks at very affordable rates.


Due to the small population, public transport is rather restricted to good bus service between only the main centres and cities. Usually, people drive their own cars. The country has an affordable car rental service which is used extensively by its people. The major train lines are between Auckland and Wellington, Picton and Christchurch and Christchurch and Greymouth. Most larger towns have domestic flights to either Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Booking in advance helps to get the cheaper tickets. Sadly, not all airports are connected by public transport.

Extra costs and savings

Health insurance related expenses may add to the cost of studying in New Zealand. Medical treatments are costly there. Purchasing transport passes can save some money.

Therefore, study abroad New Zealand is a great option for Indian students, whether they want to graduate from one of their best universities, or pursue a Masters or some other post graduate degree programmes. The fees are low, and living in New Zealand is an amazing experience. Also, the courses are all conducted in English

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