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, 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$ 40,000 (indicative).

S.No.Study ProgramCost (in NZ$)*
1Undergraduate degree$20,500 – $25,000 annually
2Postgraduate diploma and degree$19,000 – $29,000 annually
3MBA$31,000 – $50, 000 annually
4PhD$6,500 – $9,000 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 NZ$270 per week. You can choose from either fully-catered or self-catered Halls of residence. 

You can also opt for an 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 tenancy, you can book a temporary accommodation at youth hostels such as the YMCA. These are quite value-for-money and a great avenue to meet new people and learn the new ways of the city.

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

3. Cost of your 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

 4. Living expenses in New Zealand

You need to keep a little money aside for your grocery shopping, social activities and emergency situations. When living in a foreign country as a student, it is better to keep a track of your expenditures so that you do not over spend. 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:

  • Communication expenses: As a student from India, you’d be frequently calling your friends and family back home. Therefore, always keep a section of your budget for phone bills and data expenses. Look for cost-effective calling plans and student discounts in order to stay connected with your loved ones within your monthly budget.
  • Books and supplies: Purchasing textbooks can get a little expensive. For instance, books for engineering, law, medicine and pharmacy can be pricey. You can manage this in your budget by opting for second hand books, buying digital versions or even securing a library membership.
  • Personal expenses and incidentals: Your daily expenses will include laundry, toiletries, clothing, dining out, etc. This depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself.

5. Keep safe. Consider health support and insurance

It is mandatory for all students travelling to New Zealand from India 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 Indian students in New Zealand. Read more about it here.

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. 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.

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.