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Study in New Zealand

New Zealand is an attractive destination for international students and the country’s educational institutions are well regarded throughout the world. New Zealand’s universities offer numerous opportunities for research and internships, where students can build practical skills needed in their future career and academic life.

About New Zealand

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses the North Island, and the South Island and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga.

New Zealand is a developed country and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Studying in New Zealand is an adventurous experience in a country with  magnificent landscapes and coastline that encompass distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life.

Education system in New Zealand

The New Zealand education system is currently ranked as number 7 in the world – far better than many OECD countries. The New Zealand education system is strongly based on the European system, with some minor differences.  The education system in New Zealand is a three-tier model which includes primary and intermediate schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools) and tertiary education at universities and polytechnics.

New Zealand universities offer plenty of opportunities to study at all levels, from undergraduate to PhD, with a wide range of quality postgraduate programmes at the Masters and PhD levels. In New Zealand, Masters courses last for two years and PhD courses generally last 3 years.

You should know that a New Zealand school year starts in February and ends in November, with a month-long break in June / July. The academic year in New Zealand varies between institutions, but generally runs from early February until mid-December for primary schools, late January to late November or early December for secondary schools, and polytechnics, and from late February until mid-November for universities.

Study Options

  1. Universities: Public universities offer undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes to its students.

  2. ITPs: These are institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs) that offer foundation courses and undergraduate and postgraduate vocational courses for students.

When you apply, 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.

Institutes in New Zealand offer mainly two academic intakes: January and July. Some institutes offer multiple intakes to its students in September and November. Students can choose between diploma, degree, vocational and polytechnic courses.

the English proficiency tests usually accepted are:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT);

  • Paper-based TOEFL;

  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Proficiency (CPE);

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic;

  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB).

Cost of study & living

Living in New Zealand is much like living in Australia. The country's cost of living in Auckland is similar to what you will find in London, Sydney, or New York. Imported items do cost significantly more.

An undergraduate programme can cost between NZD 18,000 and 25,000 and a postgraduate programme can cost between NZD 10,000 and 30,000. most undergraduate studies, such as arts, humanities, social sciences, management or engineering cost between NZD 10, 000 and NZD 12, 000 per year whilst science and technology studies generally cost between NZD 14,000 and NZD 18,000 per year.

An international student is enrolled into a PhD programme in a recognised institution in New Zealand, then you pay the domestic tuition fees.

The cost of living in New Zealand will mostly depend on your location and can vary between NZD 7,000 and NZD 12,000 per year.

Students are allowed to work part time for 20 hours per week on study visas and full time during the vacations. There are strict rules about employment contract which every student needs to follow, for example a student can’t be self-employed while studying in New Zealand. Research students who are pursuing their doctoral studies at universities in New Zealand are allowed to work full time. Also every student who earns through their part-time or full-time work is liable to pay tax.

Visa Requirements

International students, except Australians will have to acquire a student visa in order to be able to study in New Zealand. If you plan to be in the country for less than three months, this is not necessary. A traditional visitor visa is enough at that level. Beyond this, though, students must meet specific requirements to qualify for a student visa. This includes having approval from one of the country's recognized schools, having funds to cover living expenses, including a flight to your home country, medical certificates if you plan to be in the area for over 12 months, and, for those over the age of 18, a letter showing that accommodations have been arranged.


You can choose the following scholarships:

  • New Zealand development scholarships
  • New Zealand ASEAN scholar awards
  • New Zealand excellence awards

Also some of the New Zealand university scholarships are:

  • UC international first year scholarships
  • University of Otago international research postgraduate scholarships
  • University of Waikato international scholarships

Universities in New Zealand