Study Abroad in New Zealand

Posted by

To study abroad in New Zealand, the student who intends to study there ought to know a thing or two about the country where they will be getting their degree.

You ought to know that New Zealand is a place for nature lovers, a place with opportunities to view and explore beautiful landscapes, enjoy the hospitality of the locals and experience a new culture.

As you read, you’ll discover the uniqueness of this country which includes the few universities of high standards available in the nation.

So let head straight into what we have.

Education System of New Zealand 

The education system of New Zealand is modern. It combines proven, traditional principles with innovation, creativity, and fresh thinking in its way of study

Education in New Zealand is student-centered. Students have the opportunity to discover and develop their potential along a number of possible pathways, academic and/or vocational.

In New Zealand, higher education focuses on the individual, challenging him/her to make own discoveries. Traditional ideas are welcomed, and a climate of healthy debate are accepted.

There are about 2,500 primary and high schools in New Zealand. To begin schooling, a child will have to be 6 years of age and the age expected for a child to leave high school is 16 years.  

High School in New Zealand 

In New Zealand, there are three types of schools found in their education system and as a student who would want to study abroad in New Zealand, you should know them and make your choice on what type of school you would love to get enrolled in.

  1. State schools: These schools are funded and owned fully by the government or state.
  2. State integrated schools: Owned by the government but has compulsory fees attached to their system
  3. Private schools: receive 25% of state funding but are owned by private individuals and they charge per term or year.

Students at high schools learn and write exams in order to achieve a good result in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). This certificate gives them entrance into higher institutions and mostly this certificate is for students in public schools. High schools offer some vocational subjects, like tourism and computing.

Some schools mostly private schools offer other certificate exams such as the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and the International Baccalaureate programs (IBP). These certificates like e NCEA, also ushers the student to any higher institution of their choice.

To know more about the NCEA, tap here

University System in New Zealand

New Zealand has 8 state-funded universities, 16 Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) that came together to form the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST), and 550 Private Training Establishments (PTEs), which include English language schools.

The programs offered in the universities are mostly research-led and academic rather than vocational.

ITPs and a few larger PTEs offer vocational degree-level education but these PTEs tend to offer a few special vocational programmes, mainly at certificate and diploma level.

Top 8 Universities to Study Abroad in New Zealand

Seeing that there are only 8 universities in the whole of New Zealand, Below are based on Times Education ratings

  1. University of Auckland 
  2. University of Otago 
  3. Auckland University of Technology 
  4. University of Canterbury
  5. University of Waikato 
  6. Victoria University of Wellington
  7. Lincoln University, Canterbury 
  8. Massey University

10 Best Programs to Study Abroad in New Zealand

Here are some of the best ten programs to study abroad in New Zealand for students.

  • CISabroad
  • American Institute of Foreign Study
  • IESAbroad
  • University Studies Abroad Consortium
  • University of Otago
  • Pacific Discovery-Gap year, summer and semester programs abroad
  • BCA Study Abroad
  • Carpe Diem Education
  • Higher Education Consort for Urban Affairs

Top Courses to Study Abroad in New Zealand

In as much New Zealand offers all the courses. There are courses with the most students across the country and below are the top 8

  • Animation
  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Business
  • Engineering forestry
  • Hospitality
  • IT and Computer science
  • Agriculture

5 Things to know before Studying Abroad in New Zealand

Every place has its uniqueness and peculiarity and because of this, foreign students needs to know a few things about the place before traveling there. Here’s a few things worthy of note before you travel or while you study abroad in New Zealand

  1. Pack for a Chilly Weather: In New Zealand, you could experience the four types of weather in a day but aside that the cold weather is mostly the type of weather one would experience in NZ. So it is advisable to pack a lot of sweaters, hoodeies, jackets and wooly clothes. You all need to know, the higher the altitude, the cooler the temperature. This is for people who love going for hiking or any outdoor activities.
  2. Getting a Maori Tattoo might get the locals offended: When getting a tattoo in NZ, always remember the Maori culture. In this culture getting a tattoo is a rite of passage and is honorable. Individuals with tattoos are called, “moko” and are looked upon as holders of knowledge of the tribe’s tradition, ritual and language. As a foreign student, be careful on the type of tattoos you might fancy and want to get drawn on your skin
  3. There are only 8 universities in New Zealand: In the whole of NZ, there are only 8 universities, 4 of which are public universities and the other 4 are private universities. The public universities are as follows: Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, Massey University, University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington. These universities range from 17,000 – 33,000 students. For the private universities, there are the Lincoln University, University of Waikato and University of Canterbury. These universities range from 3,000 – 12,000 students.
  4. Enjoy New Zealand without spending more: To live in New Zealand is not expensive as most people think. A meal could cost you less than $15. Discounts are given to students also and cities like Auckland and Wellington have a lot of free events.
  5. You Can Study Abroad in New Zealand At Any Time: Timing is not an issue when you plan to atNo matter when you want to study abroad in New Zealand, it’s the perfect time.

Tuition Fees in New Zealand 

International students can expect to pay around NZ$22,000 – $32,000 per year with higher fees for subjects like Medicine and Vetirinery science. For postgraduate students, they can pay up to NZ$26,000 – $37,000 per year. This is for international students studying their masters while PhD students pay up to NZ$6,000 – 9,000.

Costs of Studying Abroad in New Zealand

With its few universities, most students think to study abroad in New Zealand would be expensive but that is not the case.

Below are the estimated costs of everything you need as a foreign student.

Living Costs

As part of the student application requirements, you would have to prove you have at least $15,000 to support yourself for the first year. To live in New Zealand, this depends on the lifestyle of the student, location and spending habits and thus you need to have more than this.

The University of Auckland advices students to have a budget of NZ$20,000 – $25,000. Based on location, the capital of NZ which is Wellington and the largest city in the country which is Auckland are the most expensive cities for living costs in NZ.

Here is a breakdown of weekly costs:

  • Utilities – NZ$23
  • Internet – NZ$8
  • Mobile Phone plan – NZ$10
  • Insurance – NZ$18
  • Food – NZ$120
  • Transportation – NZ$35
  • Entertainment – NZ$35


Most universities offers halls of residence for their students and it is affordable, a total cost of NZ$270 per week. Private universities cost NZ$3,276 per week in Auckland and NZ$1,520 in Dunedin.

Scholarships to Study Abroad in New Zealand 

There are government scholarships and also scholarships given by the institution of choice. You can apply to both because they are provided for international students

The New Zealand Government offers full tertiary scholarships for eligible international students to study full-time at any New Zealand education institution or any Pacific university. The scholarships are open to citizens of the following countries: countries in the Pacific, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Carribbean as well as Commonwealth countries. The scholarships cover the following: full tuition fees, a living allowance of NZ$491 weekly, an establishment allowance of about NZ$3,000. Medical and travel insurance are also included in this scholarship. When you need to travel to your country only one or two trips home are allowed, depending on the length of your scholarship. The scholarship also covers research and thesis costs for many postgraduate students

Some universities also offer scholarships and below are a few

  • The University of Canterbury offers the International Scholarship to the best first year international students at the University.  This scholarship is given based on the students score in their entrance exams. The scholarship is worth $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000.
  • The University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship is available for new International undergraduate and postgraduate students who are apply to studying Masters, or students applying to study undergraduate degrees with overseas secondary or post-secondary qualifications. 50 Scholarships are awarded two years (depending on if the student is beginning studies in the first Semester or second Semester), with each scholarship having a monetary value of $10,000.
  • The Victoria University of Wellington is offers the Tongarewa Scholarship. Those applying are only eligible if they are either entering their first year of an undergraduate degree or entering a postgraduate degree programme at Victoria University of Wellington. There are 10 scholarships of NZ$10,000 for Bachelors and Masters degrees and 9 scholarships of NZ$5,000 for Masters degrees only.
  • The University of Otago International Master’s Award provides funding to support international students who are undertaking a thesis-based Masters Degree at the University of Otago. This scholarship includes NZ$15,000 stipend per year with a tuition fee waiver for 1 year calculated at the domestic rate for Master’s study but this fund excludes student services fee and insurance.
  • University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarships:  The scholarships are for talented international students that shows excellence in academic achievements. This scholarship is available to only first time students in either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The scholarship is worth NZ$10,000 applied to tuition fees.

Requirements to Study Abroad in New Zealand

To study abroad in New Zealand, either a university or college as an international student, you will need a student visa. The following documents will be required for the student application purposes:

  • Valid passport – Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your period of stay in New Zealand
  • Completed Student Visa Application Form
  • Application fee payment receipt
  • An offer of place – You need to have an offer of place from a New Zealand institute/university. These forms are usually issued after the tuition fees have been received
  • Letter from your current institution confirming status as an international student.
  • Health insurance receipt: You may be required to bring as evidence health and character certificates, to prove that your intention of staying in New Zealand is genuine
  • Two passport sized  documents to prove evidence of academic or financial status.

Evidence of documents showing student Bank account and also evidence of residence maybe asked of when processing your application

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates as the case may be from schools you attended
  • Test results showing your scores that your college required, such as TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT
  • How you will pay all costs including educational, living and travel costs.

After submission, the process time takes up to 8 – 12 weeks.

6 Reasons Why Study Abroad in New Zealand

There might be individual reasons but as an international student who has made up his/her mind to study abroad in New Zealand, there are a few reasons to add up to whatever reason you must have

  1. Reputable Programs and Universities: The educational system of New Zealand is unique and student focused and thus it is a good reason to study here.
  2. Friendly locals: aside having the best universities, New Zealand has the world friendliest locals, they are called the kiwis. The Kiwis are very welcoming, nice and easy going people and they are particularly friendly to foreign students. Also with its low crime rate and good health rates, New Zealand is a good place to study.
  3. Exceptional Cuisine: Aside academics, the food of New Zealand are top notch as they prepare familiar dishes in unique ways giving it a fresh and genuine taste. You should try them out.
  4. Deep rooted history and culture: Every place  has a culture peculiar to it and so does New Zealand. To study abroad in New Zealand, you should learn their rich culture and know a lot about the history of the country and its locals.
  5. Stunning landscapes: New Zealand is a place of the high i.e high hills and mountains. Only seeing these beautiful landscapes will stir the will to adventure and go on hiking.
  6. Adventure Opportunities: Do you love adventures? Then New Zealand is a place to study as the natural state of the country is inviting on a lot of adventures.
Share and Help us Reach out to Other Students


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.