Too often looked over, New Zealand can be a great country for students to pursue their higher education, offering the best of both worlds, in education as well as quality of life. Our guide to studying in New Zealand might just point you towards the most ideal of situations, so read on to find!

A quick intro to New Zealand
Culture and people
Cost of living
New Zealand Education
    Tuition fees
    Universities in New Zealand
    Top 8 Universities in New Zealand
    Admission requirements
    Student pass and visa
Application process
Spare time

 

 

A quick intro to New Zealand

Map of NZ

Even without any knowledge of the country, you may have seen more of New Zealand than you are aware of--the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed there, with the majority of the films providing New Zealand with a free infomercial of the country’s breath-taking landscapes and attractions. For this reason alone, many tend to be intrigued to go exploring and travelling in New Zealand. The country, however, can be a great location for attaining a higher education degree as well.

New Zealanders are often referred to as Kiwis--not for the fruit, but the bird! New Zealand is the only country in the world inhabited by the Kiwi, hence its population’s referral. For individuals who enjoy living in areas with low population density, New Zealand considerably gives in to that aspect, with only 5% of its 4.5 million population being that of humans; the rest of the population is inhabited by animals (did you know, there are more vending machines in Japan than there are people in New Zealand?).

While largely scenic landscapes and populations of animals, New Zealand’s quality of life has led it to be named as one of the best countries in the world to live in, based on its lack of corruption (which it maintains as the top three in the world), employment opportunities, high happiness index, economic freedom, education, and a multitude of other factors. The constitution of New Zealand sites three official languages: English, Maori, and, interestingly enough, Sign Language. In this way, prosperity and a relaxed lifestyle are the norm in New Zealand.

 

Culture and people

With an already minute population, a multi-cultural society very much so exists in New Zealand, inclusive of ethnic groups such as Europeans, Maoris and Asians. New Zealanders, generally, are a very easy-going and friendly bunch; you would generally be treated as a friend of theirs even if you may be a stranger. In the language of the Maori itself, the word ‘Manaakitanga’ is immensely popular with respect to new-comers and guests, the word loosely translating to hospitality and welcoming guests in the best possible way.

 

Cost of living

Living costs in New Zealand can tend to be expensive, although much is dependent on the type of lifestyle students prefer to indulge in. Working part-time while studying is also very popular in the country, with students being allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours every week during the semester and 40 hours during holiday time. The general cost of everyday items in New Zealand are listed as below.

Description Cost in NZD (per month) Cost in US$ (per month)
Accommodation 1000 - 1,400 700 - 1000
Transportation (one way ticket) 3.60 2.58
Food (one meal) 10 - 20 7.15 - 14.30
Movie ticket (one ticket) 16 11.45
Mobile Internet/package 20 - 60 14 - 43
Beer (domestic 1 pint) 8 5.72
Clothes (1 pair of Levi's jeans) 107 76.50
Recreation 107 77

 

Education in New Zealand

With an adult literacy rate of 99% and more than half of the country’s population having obtained a tertiary education, New Zealand ranks quite highly in the department of education, with it being made free and compulsory to individuals until the age of 16.

Aside from opportunities and experiences abound, its well-renowned education system is also one of the reasons why it is a top choice. Schools in New Zealand are constantly monitored and tested to ensure they provide a consistently high level of education. Quality controls, such as the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) and New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) are implemented so that schools meet the highest educational standards. This includes The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. Also known as 'the Code', this sees to it that students are well informed, safe, and properly cared for. With these bodies in place, New Zealand makes sure that students can be confident with their choice, should they decide to go to their universities.

 

Tuition fees

Although relatively cheap for New Zealanders, tuition fees for international students can tend to be costly. Listed below are the approximate costs of tuition fees in New Zealand.

Study Level Tuition Fee, Per Year, in NZD Tuition Fee, Per Year, in US$
Foundation / Pre-U Between 2,000 - 10,000 1,400 - 7000
Diploma Between 15,000 - 20,000 10,700 - 14,300
Bachelor's degree Between 26,000 - 50,000 18,600 - 35,700
Master's degree Between 30,000 - 50,000 21,500 - 35,700

 

Universities in New Zealand

Higher education in New Zealand  are not just universities--there are also polytechnics, institutes of technology, private establishments, and industry training organisations. Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city is the home of the highest-ranking university, the University of Auckland, while Wellington, the capital city has the Victoria University of Wellington. Dunedin in the South Island has the second highest-ranked and oldest university, the University of Otago. Meanwhile, Christchurch, the third most-populous urban area in the country has the University of Canterbury, the country's third highest-ranked.

 

Top 8 Universities in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to eight universities which appeared in the top 500 in the world under QS Rankings in 2015/2016, as listed below.

Top Ten Unis in New Zealand

 

Admission requirements

Potential students are simply required to apply directly through their chosen university’s website in New Zealand with a recognised secondary level education qualification and an English language proficiency test result, such as the IELTS or TOEFL examinations.

 

Student pass and visa

If your duration of studies extends to more than three months, you will be required to apply for a student visa. In order to do this, you must apply with the following documents:

  • Offer letter from your chosen university
  • Medical certificates
  • Proof of financial resources for the duration of your stay
  • If you are under 18, you will need proof of definite accommodation in New Zealand

Students must simply apply at their closest New Zealand embassy for their visa.

 

Application process

Since the application process to universities in New Zealand are relatively straightforward, detailed below is a layout of your journey to studying in New Zealand.

NZ Journey

 

Spare time

Adventure in its purest form beckons university-going students in New Zealand. In keeping with the filming of The Lord of the Rings, the country has its very own Hobitton set, which tourists can visit and have guided tours at. New Zealand, being two islands, is surrounded by coastal areas, citizens never being more than 128km away from a coast while there. Hence, activities like going to the beach and boating are at your nearest reach. Hiking, camping and visiting lakes, hills are generally holiday-goers’ favourite destinations as well. Students, while there, should too make sure to catch an intense game of Rugby, New Zealand’s national sport.