Cost of Living and Study in New Zealand for International Students

New Zealand is best-known internationally for its blockbuster movies, sporting achievements and breathtaking natural landscapes; but its universities also rank highly globally; many occupying places within the top three per cent globally. Tuition fees may be high but the Government subsidises approximately three quarters of domestic tertiary students’ tuition costs.

New Zealand provides international students with lower living expenses than most countries in its region, particularly accommodation costs. On-campus halls – commonly referred to as ‘halls of residence” or “student dormitories” – tend to offer the most affordable option, starting from NZ$270/week for self-catered facilities up to NZ$473/week in catered accommodations; private accommodation typically ranges between NZ$3,276 per month in Auckland and $1,520 in Dunedin respectively.

Other costs to be considered when studying abroad include health insurance – mandatory for all overseas students – books and stationery supplies, phone bills, internet and utilities bills as well as budgeting for approximately NZ$500 in book costs per year. Most education providers organise these plans; however you are free to purchase your own private plan as long as it provides equivalent coverage. Most education providers organise this cover; however if desired you may opt out and purchase your own privately tailored plan providing comparable coverage. You must also plan for monthly phone bills internet and utilities bills along with about NZ$500 in book costs per year for books per year if desired.

Work may provide up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during holidays; however, this alone should not be relied on for meeting living expenses. There are other funding options such as scholarships and loans; additionally many institutions also provide bursaries specifically targeted towards international students.


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