Talk to us arrow

hipchat Call
text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation

How much does it cost to study and live in New Zealand for international students?

Learn about the cost of study, living expenses and most affordable universities and institutions in New Zealand

If you are planning to study in New Zealand, then you need to check out this comprehensive guide on the cost of study, tuition fees, living expenses and the most affordable universities and education institutions there, to help you plan well for your new life in New Zealand.

How much does it cost to study in New Zealand?

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 program. As with most other countries, MBA programs are often the most expensive. The average cost for these programs is around NZ$ 31,000-50,000 (indicative).

Study Program Annual fees in NZ$ *
Undergraduate degree $20,500 - $25,000 annually
Master's degree $19,000 - $29,000 annually
Doctoral degree $6,500 - $9,000 annually
MBA $31,000 - $50, 000 annually

*Please note that all figures are indicative


What’s the cheapest university in New Zealand for international students?

If you’re asking this question, then you should know that the answer depends on many factors, such as your preferred field of study, type of program or qualification, and the university or education institution. However, some universities offer lower tuition fees than others.

These are the top 5 most affordable universities and education institutions in New Zealand for international students:

University/Institution Average annual cost in NZ$
Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) $8,000 – $26,400
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology $18,900 – $28,350
Massey University $23,070 – $55,580
University of Waikato $25,160 – $55,000
Victoria University of Wellington $26,150 – $39,050


Accommodation costs in New Zealand

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.

Accommodation type Cost per week in NZ$
Hall of Residence (on campus accommodation) $210-$555
Hostels and Guesthouses $140-$210 ($20 – $30 per night)
Shared Rental $120
Private flat $180

You can explore more about the accommodation options available to you in New Zealand here.


Cost of New Zealand Student Visa

In order 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). Find more information on visa application process and related cost here.

Can I bring my family to New Zealand while studying?

Yes. According to the Immigration New Zealand website, if you hold a student visa, you can support a visitor visa for your husband/wife and children. With this visitor visa, they can visit you while you are studying in New Zealand and stay and stay for the same length of time as your student visa.

How much does it cost to live in New Zealand?

The cost of living in New Zealand depends on many things, such as your lifestyle and the city you’re living in. 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).

Expenses Weekly average cost in NZ$
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: New Zealand Immigration website. All prices are indicative


Check out living expenses at these top New Zealand cities: Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Hamilton.

Remember! When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you don’t overspend.

Here are some tips to help you save your money when living abroad!

What’s the cost of the health insurance?

It’s mandatory for all international students travelling to New Zealand to get a 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 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 a year (indicative).

Extensive health and support services are readily available for all international students in New Zealand. Read more about it here.

Can I work in New Zealand while studying?

Yes! In fact, this is a good way to earn some money for your expenses and get valuable work experience while studying in New Zealand. As an international student in New Zealand you can work for a total of 20 hours per week during academic year, and full-time during the summer break. Research master's and PhD students can work 40 hours a week all year round.


Kick start your journey to New Zealand! Speak with your IDP Education counsellor now to turn your study ambition into action!

Related article

Why study in New Zealand?

New Zealand is well known for its natural beauty, but it also offers a range of world-standard schools and universities in a safe and relaxed environment. Let’s check it out!

What are the Upcoming Intakes to Study in New Zealand?

New Zealand universities and institutions offer two major intakes. Intakes may also be referred to as a semester in some institutions. Know all about the intakes available in New Zealand.

Please select a level of study

Enter subject, choose from the list or hit search

  • Start typing, choose from the list or hit search

  • Enter subject, choose from the list or or hit search

Please type and select an institution

  • Type 3 characters of a university name and select from the list

  • Enter a university or school name and select from the list

Please select a level of study

Got any ideal countries in mind?