Study in New Zealand
New Zealand may only be known as “Australia’s younger sibling”, with their almost identical flags and adorable accents. But it still is a place you should seriously consider for your international degree.
New Zealand isn’t famous only for its Lord of the Rings-landscapes. It also gave us great people like Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man who reached the peak of Mount Everest; Sir Ernest Rutherford, the first scientist who split the atom; and, last but not least, pop-singer Lorde.
Yes, there are other people between great scientists and pop singers. But before we get there, we should cover all you need to know about New Zealand’s universities and student lifestyle.
Why study in New Zealand?
1. It's (relatively) affordable
To study at a New Zealand university, international students pay between 4,000 and 10,500 EUR per academic year. While this isn't exactly cheap, it's much more affordable than studying at universities in other countries like the US, Canada, the UK, or Australia.
You can also apply for scholarships to support your higher education.
2. Top education based on a successful model
The education system in New Zealand is based on the successful UK model. With such a solid foundation, it's no wonder that local universities are well-regarded and appreciated internationally — most of them being featured in the top global university rankings every year.
3. Live in a safe and peaceful environment
In 2020, New Zealand was listed as the second most peaceful nation on the Global Peace Index. The country enjoys low crime and corruption rates, a politically stable environment, and an overall peaceful society where citizens can enjoy their day-to-day activities.
4. New Zealanders are friendly and welcoming
New Zealanders stand out through their friendliness and openness displayed towards internationals. This is because they follow the local traditional M?ori principle — manaakitanga — which is all about taking care of other people and sharing understanding and respect.
5. Best outdoor activities for thrill seekers
Studying, meeting colleagues, partying, and going out is a lot of fun, but New Zealand offers much more in terms of entertainment, especially for those of you who enjoy the adrenaline rush. These are some of the wildest and most exciting outdoor activities you can try:
- white water rafting
- ice climbing
- bungy jumping
- zorbing (globe-riding or sphereing)
- scuba diving
What is it like to study in New Zealand?
The education system in New Zealand is very application-based. Memorising course material is not the standard way of learning at New Zealand universities.
Also, the teaching staff, the other students, and the other extracurricular clubs, when combined, create a memorable and amazing study atmosphere.
Besides this, some universities offer a ton of support services, especially for international students. They can offer pastoral care and workshops on managing stress, mindfulness, meditation techniques, how to overcome procrastination, how to maintain a study-life balance, and more, making your studying years as relaxed and as pleasant as possible.
What to study in New Zealand?
New Zealand offers some of the most diverse degrees in the world. Still, if the market is too vast, you should know that some of the most popular study options in New Zealand are:
- Computer Science degrees in New Zealand
- Educational Research degrees in New Zealand
- Psychology degrees in New Zealand
- Commerce degrees in New Zealand
- Agriculture degrees in New Zealand
- Biomedical Engineering degrees in New Zealand
Where to study in New Zealand?
New Zealand has some of the top-rated “liveable” cities in the world, so there’s no wonder that, besides the capital (Wellington), there are other popular destinations, like:
Which universities and colleges to attend in New Zealand?
For such a tiny place, New Zealand sure has a lot of universities and institutions to choose from. It's hard to decide but many of them are schools specific to different types of career and job training. Here is a small list of universities to think of:
How to apply
You should know that a New Zealand school year starts in February and ends in November, with a month-long break in June/July.
When you apply online (or on paper, if you hate trees), you should know that the documents you will need to provide are:
- A personal statement of intent
- Your transcripts from secondary school, including any university courses that you may have taken
- Any relevant test scores (ACT or SAT)
- Proof of funding, or intent to apply for funding for your tuition
- Proof of paying the application fee
- Your financial aid applications
You can always have your questions answered at the admission office at the university, so write down your questions and go wild with their e-mail address.
Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a New Zealand university
Take Preparation Courses
These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.
Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice;
Improve your English through an English-language prep course
If you’re attending a degree programme in New Zealand, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures, seeing how some schools will require strong English skills. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
The minimum grades and scores international students are required to have vary wildly from university to university, and sometimes from programme to programme.
Still, the English proficiency tests usually accepted are:
Living in New Zealand
Let's take a closer look at tuition and living costs in New Zealand:
Tuition fees in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the government allows universities to set their own tuition fees. For international students, these fees range between:
- 4,100–6,100 EUR/year for Bachelor’s degrees
- 7,300–10,500 EUR/year for Master's degrees
For some disciplines, like Medicine, tuition can be even higher. Of course, you can always search for a scholarship in New Zealand to fund your studies.
Accommodation, food, and other expenses
In New Zealand, living costs for international students range from 800 to 1,300 EUR/month. Here's a breakdown of the average expenses:
- Rent: 400–1,600 EUR/month (depending on the type of accommodation)
- Utilities: 130–170 EUR/month
- A restaurant meal: 11 EUR
- A cup of coffee: 3 EUR
- A loaf of bread: 1.50 EUR
- Monthly transport pass: 90 EUR
About New Zealand
Facts about New Zealand
New Zealand seems like a type of country created by students, for students.
With almost no regard for rules and traditions, New Zealand seems like the country where the phrase “There are no bad ideas” was taken to heart, and where they started doing things just because they can. For instance:
- New Zealand broadcasted the first weather report in Elvish language in 2012. You can probably assume that nobody was there to tell them not to do it.
- The logo of the Royal New Zealand Air Force is the Kiwi, a flightless bird;
- There is a law that states every high school in New Zealand may hold one pound of uranium and one pound of thorium, for conducting nuclear experiments. Still, they will be fined 850.000 EUR if they cause a nuclear explosion.
Now, looking on the other side of the argument “we can create our own laws and do whatever we want in New Zealand”, we can find some of the best and most progressive things to ever happen in the world right in here. That’s why:
- One of the three official languages of New Zealand is Sign Language (awesome!);
- In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote (awesomer!);
- In 1990, New Zealand became the first country in the modern world to appoint an Official National Wizard (awesomest!).
And, because the internet is full of amazing facts about New Zealand, here are three I couldn’t figure out how to connect, but which you should definitively know and that will make you smile instantly. These are:
- There are 9 sheep per each person in New Zealand, making it the highest ratio in the world;
- In 2006, the Queen, the Governor-General, the PM, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice were all women, making New Zealand the only country in the world (to date) where all the highest positions have been simultaneously held by women;
- In 2006, an Australian citizen tried to sell New Zealand on eBay, starting from 0.01 EUR and managing to reach 2.018 EUR before eBay closed the auction.
Universities, colleges and schools in New Zealand
- University of Otago (45 PhDs)
- University of Waikato (49 PhDs)
- Auckland University of Technology (4 PhDs)
- Auckland University of Technology (4 PhDs)
- Massey University (3 PhDs)
- Victoria University of Wellington (99 PhDs)
Interested in scholarships for New Zealand? Check out our scholarship search page.
How to Apply to a Master's in New Zealand
If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in New Zealand, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.
What documents do I need to provide to apply in New Zealand?
To apply to a university in New Zealand you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:
- birth certificate;
- recent photos;
- your passport or national identity card;
- one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
- copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
- academic transcripts;
- letter of intent;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.
Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.
The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in New Zealand so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.
Prove your English skills
Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.
Application deadlines for New Zealand
The deadlines for applying to a Master's in New Zealand are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.
To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.