New Zealand

Study Costs

The cost to complete university courses varies with major and institution chosen. All prices in this article are in New Zealand dollars. Most undergraduate bachelor degrees cost between $22 000 and $32 000. Some degrees like medicine and veterinary science will cost much more. Postgraduate degrees range from $26 000 to $37 000 to complete, and doctoral degrees cost between $6 500 to $9 000 per year.

Some universities offer scholarships to help cover study and living costs. Check with your chosen university for options.

In addition to covering study fees, international students will have to prove that they can support themselves financially while they study. When applying for a student visa in New Zealand, international students will have to prove that they have $15 000 per year to cover their expenses.

Accommodation Costs

There are accommodation options to suit every lifestyle. Halls of residence (costing $200 to $300 per week) are on campus accommodation offering single or shared rooms and communal living areas. Meals are usually provided.

Homestay accommodation (around $180 per week) is renting a room from a local family. You’ll be included in every day family life and experience New Zealand as the locals do.

Private rental accommodation, whether as a single or sharing the cost with other students, is also available. For shared rentals expect to pay between $70 and $150 per week. Bills like electricity, water, and heating will need to split between occupants.

For short term stays hotels may be an option.

Search accommodation in New Zealand.

Health Insurance

The New Zealand immigration website states that non-residents should obtain private health insurance from their own country, though some working visas may allow non-residents to use health services at a low cost. Treatment for injuries caused by accident are free.

International students require health insurance to obtain a student visa. Health insurance can purchased from your home country or New Zealand.

Compare health insurance policies.

Work and Study

International students can work up to 20 hours per week during study periods, and unlimited hours per week during study breaks. Check your visa for specific conditions of when and how many hours you can work. If your course of study requires work experience to complete the course these hours don’t count towards the 20 hour per week limit.

Students can begin working on the date specified on their visa, and are not allowed to work as an independent contractor or prostitute. A New Zealand bank account is necessary to receive payment for work. Most students will find suitable work in the retail or hospitality sectors.

Post-study work visas are available if you would like to continue working in New Zealand after completing your course of study, and some courses may give you the qualifications to apply for residency as a skilled migrant.

Living Costs

New Zealand’s minimum wage is $12.60 per hour, or $630 for a 40 hour week.

Living costs vary between cities, with Auckland being the most expensive New Zealand city to live in. Savings can be made by choosing public transport instead of owning a car.

A New Zealand government survey conducted in 2016 found that the average cost of living was $1299.90 per week. This includes accommodation, gas, electricity, phone, groceries, internet, transport, health insurance, clothing, and entertainment.

You’ll need to file a yearly tax return if you are in New Zealand for more than 183 days and are not considered a non-resident. More information on tax obligations here.


International students will need to obtain a New Zealand bank account in order to pay bills and receive payment if they are working. Students can obtain a bank account before they arrive in Australia by applying online with their passport through the bank’s website.

New Zealand’s currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ).

Major banks in New Zealand include:


Buses are the main form of public transport in New Zealand cities. Trains are available between major cities, and ferries can take you between the north and south islands.

City specific information here, including maps.

International students can get concession prices on public transport with a valid student identification card from their study provider.

Foreign driver licences can be used for up to 12 months in New Zealand, as long as they have not expired.

Health and Safety

New Zealanders have a life expectancy of 81 years, which is just above the average life expectancy of other countries, 80 years. New Zealand’s high living standards, good health care, and low pollution make it a healthier place to live and study than other countries.

New Zealand is a relatively safe place to live and study. New Zealand has a homicide rate of only 1.2 , which is much lower than the average of all other countries, 4.1.

Phone and Internet

Buying a New Zealand SIM card for an existing mobile phone is the easiest way for international students to make phone calls while they are in New Zealand. Prepaid and contract options are available for phone and internet use.

To make an international phone call from New Zealand, first dial 00, then the code for the country you’re calling, then any local area codes and the phone number.

Education System

New Zealand Education System