Study in New Zealand

Why study in New Zealand

New Zealand, although it is the same size as Japan or Great Britain, but there are a lot of reasons that you should consider going there for your studies abroad. Many people will call natives of the country “Kiwis,” after the bird that only resides there and nowhere else in the entire world. There are a number of reasons that you should consider studying in New Zealand instead of considering other countries; that’s what we’re going to look at in this section of our website.

Excellent Reputation of Universities

  • Seven of New Zealand’s universities feature in the 2012/13 QS World University rankings – the best ranking universities in New Zealand are University of Auckland (83) and University of Otago (133). Other listed universities include University of Canterbury (221), Victoria University of Wellington (237), Massey University (308) and the University of Waikato (374).

Educational System

This is the number one reason to go anywhere for school, but New Zealand is amazing for their educational system. First, the tuition is some of the lowest in the world. You get a British-based education (due to their British influences) for a percentage of the cost. The degrees are recognized around the world as being up-to-date and practical. You will get a high quality, hands on education that you deserve. The New Zealand even goes so far as to checking each and every course, program, and certificate for quality so that they can be recognized around the world as high-quality education. Not only that, but the support services for international students are among the best in the world. They have a lot of expertise and experience in helping international students so that they can succeed in their programs.

University Intakes

The academic year is from mid / late February to early November and most Universities have 2 semesters with a holiday of 4 weeks in June. Each University operates slightly different dates and some also offer summer school in the main holiday period in November to February. Intakes are in February, July and sometimes in September.

Average University Fees in New Zealand

Tuition fees in New Zealand vary depending both on the institution and the subject. As an example, in 2014, international students taking an undergraduate law degree could expect to be charged between NZ$25,000 (US$19,408) and NZ$30,000 (US$23,290) per year. A full list of fees for each subject and at each university is provided by Universities New Zealand, the organisation which represents New Zealand’s universities.

  • Fees for arts or social sciences range from NZ$20,000 (£9,680) a year.
  • Courses in science and engineering can cost from NZ$25,000 (£12,000) per year.
  • Dentistry and medicine tend to be the most expensive degrees – NZ$75,000 (£36,300) per year.
  • Unfortunately, there are few scholarships available for international students studying in New Zealand, and those that are on offer are for PhD students.

Approximate Costs of important Student Services

  • Apartment rent, 1 bedroom: £449 – £624 per month
  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant: £8.95
  • Meal at McDonalds: £4.97
  • Cappuccino: £2.15
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle): £1.48
  • Water (0.33 litre bottle): £1.40
  • Loaf of bread: £1.26
  • Cigarettes: £9.40
  • One-way ticket local transport: £1.74
  • Cinema ticket: £7.96

Working as Student

On a student visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week through the semester; during vacations you can work up to 40 hours. So, instead of having to worry about finances, you get to supplement your education with income. You may even be able to nab internships and other practical work. The international studies office at your university can help you find a job to sustain you during your time in New Zealand. Another great thing is that you can get a permit at the end of your degree program and work for 12 months in the country under a special “work permit” that is alongside your student visa, which is what we’ll look at closer in the last point.

  • A student visa is condition on sufficient funds to pay for living and accommodation costs.
  • Being able to work while studying can certainly help finances to stretch a little further.
  • Full-time student are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week but must seek a variation in the conditions of their visa.
  • New Zealand’s adult minimum wage is NZ$13 (£6.30) per hour.

Academic Intakes

The academic year is from mid / late February to early November and most Universities have 2 semesters with a holiday of 4 weeks in June. Each University operates slightly different dates and some also offer summer school in the main holiday period in November to February. Intakes are in February, July and sometimes in September.

If you are thinking to study in New Zealand


To study at the Universities in New Zealand you must have a university entrance qualification and be selected into a programme. The information below explains the different university entrance qualifications and what you need for selection into the programme you wish to study.


Minimum Overseas Entry Requirements


In order to be admitted as a student to the University, applicants must meet both:

  • University admission requirements, and
  • Specific programme entry requirements for their intended programme University admission requirements may be met by:
  • Gaining the University Entrance standard from a New Zealand secondary school, or
  • Completing an accepted equivalent of the University Entrance standard from a secondary school or tertiary institution, or
  • Completing a specified duration of acceptable tertiary study from a recognised tertiary institution

If you completed your secondary schooling, or have started/completed tertiary study, outside New Zealand and wish to study an undergraduate level programme at the University, you must have your overseas qualification(s) approved for University admission.

It is important to note that these are the minimum acceptable equivalents of the University Entrance standard based on specific overseas qualifications and are not guaranteed minimum programme entry requirements. All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and a score higher than the one listed below may be required for programme entry.


Undergraduate Requirements


In addition to the minimum University admission requirements, international applicants must fulfil additional entry requirements to gain entry to some degree programmes at the Universities. These additional requirements vary, depending on the programme you are applying for.


Postgraduate Requirements


If you are an international student interested in postgraduate study at the University of Auckland, acceptance into a postgraduate programme is normally based on academic merit and is at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Postgraduate) of the relevant faculty.


General English language Requirements


If your first language is not English you must provide evidence of a satisfactory level of English language proficiency. You can submit your application without an English result and provide this at a later date.

The most commonly used English language tests recognise are as follows:

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.0 in the academic module (with no individual band below 5.5)
  • Paper-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 (TWE 4.5)
  • Internet-based TOEFL of 80 with a writing score of 20
  • GCE ‘A’ Level General Paper (English) – grade C or higher
  • IB International Baccalaureate – English at Higher or Standard level in Language A: literature, Language A: language and literature, or at Higher level in Language B
  • University of Otago Foundation Studies Ltd – successful completion of ‘English for Undergraduate Academic Purposes’ paper
One of the most important things that you need to know before you go into New Zealand is how you can get your visa. Of course, you have to make sure that you are accepted to the university that you choose before you can even start applying for a student visa. But, here are some of the things that you need to know.

Student Visa Requirements

Find out about the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) requirements you need to meet when you apply for a visa, including an offer of place on an approved programme of study.

As well as completing an application form – by applying online or using the paper form – you need to meet the following requirements.

To check up to date visa fees follow the link


Offer of a Place


If you are enrolling in a programme of study for the first time, you need to have an offer of place from a New Zealand education provider. An offer must include:

  • the education provider’s name and contact details
  • the name of the programme of study and its duration
  • proof that the programme of study and the education provider meet New Zealand’s requirements for international students
  • the amount of the tuition fee for the complete programme of study , or if the programme of study is longer than one year, the annual tuition fee
  • whether you have to pay tuition fees
  • whether the fees are domestic or international fees
  • whether the study is full-time or part-time
  • confirmation that all requirements under the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students are met, including accommodation for under 18 year olds and the prerequisites for your programme study.
  • See the detailed offer of place requirements of international students.


Approved Education Providers


Your programme of study must be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and be offered by an education provider that has been approved by NZQA or the Ministry of Education.


How to Apply


Most applicants for a student visa, except for dependent children coming with a parent, can use Immigration ONLINE to apply.  To apply online, you need to apply on your own behalf.


Maintenance Funds


To gain a Student Visa we want to see that a student from overseas is able to meet their living costs during their stay.


If the student is taking a course lasting less than Nine months


they’ll need to show us they have:

  • access to NZ $1,250 for each month of their stayor
  • access to NZ $400 for each month, if their accommodation is already paid for.  The student will need to show us that they’ve paidor
  • a letter from the education provider that the student’s accommodation and other living costs are included in the package they’ve already paid for.


If the student is taking a course that’s longer than Nine months


  • they’ll need to show us they have access to NZ$15,000 per year to cover their costs during their stay in New Zealandor
  • if the student is a citizen of Samoa or Tonga, they’ll need to show us they have a written guarantee from a relative who is a New Zealand citizen or resident that they will cover the student’s living costs.


Evidence of funds can be:


  • Cash
  • Travellers cheques
  • Bank drafts
  • A recognised credit card with sufficient available credit.

Evidence of Maintenance Funds


You must submit evidence of sufficient funds for maintenance during your stay in New Zealand. The evidence you provide should also include:

  • Education loan sanction letter from a nationalised or multi-national bank only.  For Sri Lankan applicants evidence of funds must be from a CBSL authorised institution
  • Latest bank statements over the past six months. Statements should be no more than one week old at the time the application is lodged. We will not accept balance statements on their own as evidence of maintenance
  • Fixed deposits. Ensure that a copy/counterfoil of the fixed deposit, along with a letter from the bank which gives details of the deposit, is provided
  • Public provident fund accounts/employers provident fund accounts
  • Post office accounts
  • National saving certificates.
  • You are required to provide evidence of your parents’ income and source of income. This is required even when the cost of study is being sponsored by another person.

Note: If the duration of your course is longer than two academic years, you should provide a plan of payment to show that you have access to funds and have the ability to meet the rest of the course cost and living expenses.

Property Valuation, Agricultural Income Certificate, Sales deeds etc are not acceptable forms of evidence for demonstrating availability of funds and payment plan.


Evidence of Employment


If you are working, and/or have worked in the past, please provide all work references from your employers on official company letterhead, along with any other documentary evidence that demonstrates that you have been employed. The company address and phone number must be included on the letter.


Health and Character Requirements


  • You must have an acceptable standard of health and meet INZ’s character requirements in order to receive a student visa.


Bringing your Dependents


In most cases the spouse and dependent children of a student can be granted a visitor visa for the same duration as their partner or parents’ stay.

For more information please visit the Immigration New Zealand Website:


Work rights for Dependents


Spouses of student on Work Visa can work full time in NZ. However, the dependents of students on visitor visa have no work rights.


Complete your Online Application


You need to create an account and fill in an online form. To find out more, visit Apply Online page.

To complete your application online using Immigration ONLINE:

*Do not use special characters such as ‘&’ or ‘/’ in the title of PDF documents as this prevents them from being uploaded.


Making a Paper Application


If you are unable to apply online, you can make a paper-based application.


Gather your Documents



Lodge your application


Find out where to send your application if you are applying from outside New Zealand. Please note your application must be approved before you are able to travel to New Zealand.

If you are in New Zealand, please send your student application directly to:

Student Processing Unit

Immigration New Zealand

PO Box 1049

Palmerston North 4440

If you are in Auckland, you can place your application in the branch student drop box at our Auckland offices. Staff there will send them to the Student Visa Processing Unit in Palmerston North.

If your education provider is certified with Students Online, they can apply on your behalf.

Are you intrested to Apply?