Most Affordable Study Options in New Zealand
November 15, 2022

World-class Education and Most Affordable Study Options in New Zealand

New Zealand has become one of the most sought-after study destinations for international students. And why not?! With its breathtaking landscape and culture, highly trained faculties, a plethora of employment opportunities, and relatively low expenses then Australia, Canada, and the USA, it is undoubtedly a great choice to make!

Let’s Check Some Statistics to Convert Our Opinions into Facts.

You might have heard about QS University Rankings. If not, let me give a brief. So, QS University Rankings publishes a list of the top universities in the world every year. These universities are ranked on various parameters with different weightage – Academic reputation (40%), Employer Reputation (10%), Faculty/Student Ratio (20%), Citations per faculty (20%), and International faculty ratio (10%) to deeply investigate the rate of education that differs institutions impart.

You will be surprised to know that there are only 8 universities in New Zealand and all of them are included in the 2022 QA as well as Times Higher Education League Tables!

Sounds great, right?

So, if you are wondering whether or not to study in New Zealand. It’s undoubtedly a “Yes”.

Still, there would be many questions hitting your mind right now. Like:

  • What are the educational expenses?
  • What are the other expenses that one has to take care of while studying in New Zealand?
  • How can you make your financial journey easy while studying in New Zealand?

In this blog, we will address all these questions and many more. So stay tuned till the end!

Study in New Zealand – Major Expenses

The most important part while estimating the cost of studying in NZ is institutional tuition fees which vary from one institution to another. Let’s check some general cost estimates for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Costs Related to Institution/Programme/Degree

Let’s first dig deep into the aspects of institutions/courses/degrees and check out how will they contribute to your educational expenses.

  • Undergraduate Programs – Tuition fees:
    The yearly tuition fees for international students studying in the universities of NZ range between NZ$ 22,000 – 32,000. If you are looking for doing majors in fields like engineering, dentistry, Medicine, etc. then the fee range would approximately vary between NZ$ 25,000 to 75,000 per year.

  • Post Graduate Programs – Tuition Fees:
    If you are a post-graduate international student willing to study in New Zealand, then you will have to bear a tuition fee cost that ranges between NZ$ 26,000 – 37,000. However, if you are doing a PhD then you will share the same amount as that for a domestic PhD student which would be around NZ$ 6,500 – 9,000 approx.

  • Public vs Private Universities in New Zealand:
    If you are looking to receive top-class education at affordable costs, then go for public universities. The national government supports public universities which makes them a competitive choice for domestic as well as international students. The fee structure will vary with the university and also as per the choice of course or program. For instance, the fees for studying arts or social sciences could be NZ$ 20,000, whereas for science and engineering it could be NZ$ 25,000. If you are looking for mastering dentistry it would cost approximately NZD 75,000. On the other hand, private universities may cost double the amount for the respective courses mentioned above.

If you would like to see the full list of tuition fees and do a cost comparison check out the Te Pōkai Tara site which represents all universities of NZ.

Cost Related to Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, you would either be choosing to stay on-campus which is the residential facility of your university, or an off-campus location whose cost will vary based on your city.

NZ offers various options if you are someone who would like to keep your study environment and living environment separate. You can rent a shared flat with your group of friends or a private flat if you prefer to live alone.

If you choose the residential apartment of your university, on average, it will cost you around NZ$ 270 per week. A self-catered settlement, on average, will cost you around NZ$ 170 per week.

If residing off-campus is your choice, then take care to research your city well. As per Times Higher Education Stats – “Auckland is the most expensive city in the country costing NZ$ 202 per week, followed by Wellington costing NZ$ 170 per week, Christchurch at NZ$ 132 per week and Dunedin costing NZD 14$ per week.”

Cost Related to Student Visa 

Student visa charges are worth considering while estimating the cost of study in New Zealand. The average visa cost depends on the mode of your application which can be either online or offline. If you are applying through online mode, the average cost would be NZ$ 270.

Cost Related to Health/Insurance/Taxes

Certain universities may not provide any insurance coverage. This means that you will need to keep some bucks aside for your medical insurance. The average annual cost for medical insurance would be between $200 to $700.

New Zealand provides a great option for international students to work while studying. You can work 20 hours per week throughout the school year and full-time during breaks. An important thing to note is that the income that you earn would be taxed if you decide to work while you study. Also, without an IRD (Inland revenue department) number, you won’t get employment.

Cost Related to Lifestyle

NZ wants you to prove that you have at least NZ$1500 to support yourself for the first year. But, depending on your spending, eating and living habits you may require a larger sum.

Let’s take the example of weekly estimates of different costs by the University of Auckland (Auckland being the most expensive city in NZ :))

  • NZ$23 (~US$15.50) for utilities
  • NZ$8 (~US$5) for internet
  • NZ$10 (~US$6.75) for a mobile phone plan
  • NZ$8 (~US$5) for insurance
  • NZ$120 (~US$80) for food
  • NZ$35 (~US$24) for transport
  • NZ$55 (~US$37) for entertainment

Apart from this, on average, you may also need:

  • NZ$500 for stationery items annually
  • NZ$45 per visit for your doctor
  • NZ$15 to watch a film in Cinema
  • NZ$10 to enjoy a rejuvenating beer in the bar!

How can You Minimise Your Expenses During Your Study in NZ?

Don’t worry!

There are various options that you can use to make your financial journey easier. Let’s have a look at them.

  • Visa Benefits:
    A boon for international students is visa benefits. Post your education your visa will extend for three more years allowing you to search for a well-paid job. Earn well and pay back all your educational investments in a few years! Additionally, after getting a PR you can avail of a loan for higher education at a 0% interest rate.

  • Grab a Part-time Job:
    If you are a full-time student, then you can work for 20 hours per week. This can help you earn a minimum amount of NZ$ 13 per hour. Worried about how to grab a part-time job? RELAX! There are plenty of options right from markets, libraries, and petrol stations to restaurants.

  • Scholarships will be a Savior:
    New Zealand’s government provides a wide range of scholarships to international students. The official government site will help you to know more.

  • Choose a Combination of Quality and Affordability:
    Look for top-ranked universities that hold a good rank having programs with an affordable cost structure. Like the University of Canterbury – NZ$12250/year and the University of Otago – NZ$16000/ year.


As a student at a New Zealand university, you will get a lot of international exposure which will polish your research and practical skills. With all its universities in the top 3% of the world, there’s no doubt about the credibility and capability of the education system of NZ.

So don’t wait anymore because New Zealand is waiting for you already!

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