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Cost of studying in New Zealand

There’s no doubt that it can be expensive for students to study overseas. While studying in New Zealand is comparatively affordable, there are various expenses you need to consider before you move to the country.

1. Tuition fee

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, education and arts 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 programme. As with most other countries, MBA programmes are often the most expensive. The average cost for these courses is around NZ$ 40,000 (indicative).

Study Programme

Cost (in NZ$)*


Undergraduate degree

$20,500 - $25,000 annually


Postgraduate diploma and degree

$19,000 - $29,000 annually



$31,000 - $50, 000 annually



$6,500 - $9,000 annually

*Please note that all figures are indicative

2. Student visa costs

In order to study in New Zealand, the first step is to secure a valid study permit and that comes with its own costs (approx. NZ$ 270). You can refer to the official website for fees for various visa applications.

3. Accommodation

Most universities in New Zealand offer on-campus residence facilities 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. If you are unable to find such accommodation, you might have to look for a room on rent, homestay or find a local host. The cost will vary from city to city.

Accommodation options available as a student in New Zealand include Halls of residence (or hostels), homestay (or private board), and independent flats. If you opt to rent an apartment, you will have to additionally pay for utility bills like electricity, internet, water usage and tenant’s insurance (in some areas of housing). House rent for a three-bedroom house will be around NZ$200 per week [indicative]. In most cases, universities help the students in finding accommodation, both on-campus as well as off-campus.

4. Cost of living

You need to keep aside money for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country, do keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not overspend. Considering various expenses and living costs, a single student budget in New Zealand comes between NZ$ 20,000 to NZ$ 25,000 (indicative).

5. Health coverage

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

Certain colleges may not offer any insurance, and hence you will have to arrange for a private medical insurance (your IDP counsellor will guide you with the same). The average cost for medical insurance ranges between NZ$ 200 – NZ$700 per year (indicative).

6. Transportation costs

Public transport is available in all cities and major towns of the country. For short distances, you can make use of regional trains, buses, and subways. This can range anywhere between NZ$120 and NZ$250 per month (approx. figure, subject to fluctuate with changing economy). 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. Find out if your university or college provides any shuttle service between your place of stay and campus.

Exchange rate variations may also affect your budgeting. It is advisable to look for a part-time job while you are in New Zealand or seek scholarship in the universities you apply to. This will greatly reduce your cost of studying overseas.

Information That You Need To Know

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