Spotlight on Studying in New Zealand

Country guide

Although obviously a smaller market than Australia, New Zealand is home to nearly 30,000 international students and offers a very safe and friendly environment in which to study. With a total population of only 5.1 million, it’s a great destination for students who enjoy outdoor activities and a pristine natural environment. I spent four fantastic years living in New Zealand so I can vouch for the quality of their coffee too!

10 Key Facts

  1. There are 8 state-funded universities – all are ranked in the top 500 (QS World University Rankings). Popular student cities include Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, and the NZ capital, Wellington.
  2. Programs in agriculture and forestry, accounting and finance, civil and structural engineering, education, law, digital and fashion design, and food and hospitality are particularly well regarded.
  3. New Zealand was ranked 2nd out of 163 in the 2020 Global Peace Index
  4. Undergraduate degrees are typically 3 years – a 4th year is an option for an honours degree.
  5. The academic year starts in February/March and finishes in October/November. This means that students coming from a northern hemisphere academic calendar get a compulsory half gap year and time to decompress after their final exams. Some courses do offer the option of starting in July.
  6. Students apply directly to universities and deadlines vary – check individual websites carefully.
  7. Tuition fees generally range from NZ$22,000 to NZ$32,000 per year
  8. Living costs will be at least NZ$15,000 in most of the country, though Auckland is definitely more expensive.
  9. A student visa is needed and can be applied for after receiving an offer and paying tuition fees
  10. Full-time students can work up to 20 hours per week and full time during holidays. If you plan to work, you must get an IRD number or tax will be deducted at a much higher rate.

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