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How much will it cost to study in New Zealand?

Wondering how to manage your expenses in New Zealand? Here’s our list of estimates to help!

Studying abroad can be an expensive affair. However, an efficient budget plan can help you manage your living expenses more effectively. Before you depart from India, ensure that you consider expenses like accommodation, food, health coverage and travel along with your tuition fee when calculating the estimated cost of studying in New Zealand. 

1. Tuition fee is your prime expenditure

Your expenditure on the tuition fee depends on the type of qualification and university or school you opt for. There are many high-ranking universities and colleges in New Zealand with their own fee structures. To cover tuition fees, you will need between NZ$ 22,000 and NZ$35,000 a year (indicative). 

Most commonly humanities, arts and education courses are cheaper, while subjects such as medicine and engineering are likely to be more expensive. If you wish to study at postgraduate level, the tuition fees are typically higher and the costs vary depending on the program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for these programs ranges between NZ$31,000-50,000 (indicative).

S.No.

Study Program

Cost (in NZ$)*

1

Undergraduate degree

$20,500 - $25,000 annually

2

Master's degree

$19,000 - $29,000 annually

3

Doctoral degree

$6,500 - $9,000 annually 

4

MBA

$31,000 - $50, 000 annually

*Please note that all figures are indicative

If you want to bring down your educational expenses, it is best to apply to various scholarships available for Indian students.

2. Where will you live? Calculate accommodation costs

Most universities in New Zealand offer on-campus residence facilities called the Halls of Residence to international students. Living as a resident on-campus is a very affordable option. However, you need to apply for it separately, and well ahead in time to secure a slot for yourself. These will generally cost you around NZD 215-NZD 555 per week (depending upon the city and type of accommodation). You can choose from either fully-catered or self-catered Halls of residence.  

You can also opt for off-campus accommodation wherein you can share apartments with other students from India or live in a homestay with a local family. In such cases, you should be open to adjusting to a different lifestyle than India. Living in shared apartments or flatting can cost you around NZ$120. Remember, the rentals vary from city to city.

If you reach before the date of your tenancy, you can book temporary accommodation at youth hostels such as the YMCA. These are good value-for-money accommodations and a great avenue to meet new people. You can also choose to stay in student residence halls (approx. $200 per week), shared flats (approx. $120 per week), or private flats (approx. $180 per week) during your course in New Zealand. 

3. Cost of your student visa

To study in New Zealand, the first step is to secure a valid student visa and that comes with its own costs (approx. NZ$ 270). Feel free to consult your IDP counsellor for latest updates and information on the visa application process and related costs. 

Read more: All about New Zealand student visa

4. Living expenses

You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergencies. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep track of your expenditures so that you do not overspend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a tertiary student budget in New Zealand comes between NZ$ 13,000 and NZ$ 16,000 per academic year (indicative). You should also consider these common expenses when creating your budget:

If you want to study in New Zealand for more than a year, then you‘ll need to show that you have at least $15,000 to cover your living expenses for the first year. But, if you’re studying for less than one year, you must have at least $1250 for each month of your study program to contribute as your living expenses.

Expenses

Weekly average cost (In NZD)

Food & beverages

$136.50

Clothing & footwear

$16.70

Housing & household utilities

$202.10

Household content & services

$32.20

Health

$34.90

Transport

$79.50

Communication

$23.80

Recreation & culture

$64.20

Education

$15.30

Miscellaneous goods & services

$71.70

Other expenses

$56.20

Source: https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/money-tax/comparable-living-costs (*indicative) 

5. Keep safe. Consider health support and insurance

It is mandatory for all students travelling to New Zealand from India to get medical insurance before the commencement of their program. Several New Zealand schools and universities have initiated comprehensive health insurance plans for international students, but that is applicable as long your program is ongoing and ceases upon completion. 

Certain colleges may not offer any insurance, and hence you will have to arrange for private medical insurance (your IDP counsellor will guide you with the same). The average cost for medical insurance ranges between NZ$ 200 – NZ$ 700 a year (indicative). Extensive health and support services are readily available for all Indian students in New Zealand. 

Health insurance is quite affordable for international students. For instance, yearly health and travel insurance cover in association with StudentSafe (a popular choice with students) is approx. $590. The cheapest international student health insurance is Orbit Protect which costs approx. $454 for a year. 

Know more: Health and support services in New Zealand 

6. Transportation. Know how much it will cost to move around

Unless your institution provides with a shuttle service to-and-fro from your lodging, you’ll have to rely on the available public transport.

For short distances

You can make use of regional trains, buses, and subways. It is a good idea to get monthly passes (such as Auckland’s HOP Card) for travelling to college and back as these can be fairly cheap.

For long distances

For travelling between different cities, you can avail any of the following options:

  • Long-distance bus

  • Rail

  • Air

  • Ferries and water-taxies

 

7. Don’t ignore your taxes

Indian students in New Zealand cannot work without acquiring their Inland Revenue Department number or simply called as the IRD number. With this, you are allowed to work 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations. If you choose to work along with your studies, your earned income will be taxable. 

Remember, the exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. We suggest you also look for a part-time job while you are studying in New Zealand or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This can help lower your cost of studying abroad to a great extent. 
 

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Updated on June 25, 2020

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Hear it from our students

From the beginning to apply to universities and the visa process, IDP made the journey smooth and a hassle-free one for me.

Pooja studying in New Zealand

IDP team is really helpful and guide you properly through each and every process. 

Anay studying in New Zealand

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