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Cost of Living for International Students in New Zealand

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Jan 30,2024 11:34 AM IST

New Zealand emerges as a prime preference for Indian students due to its abundant opportunities for personal and professional advancement. This blog sheds light the cost of living in New Zealand for international students. Explore the reasons why New Zealand stands as a cost-effective option for those seeking higher education opportunities abroad.

Cost of living for International students for New zealand.webp
New Zealand stands out as a leading destination for international students aspiring to pursue higher education abroad. The country is ranked as one of the best countries to live in. The cost of living in New Zealand is one of the standout advantages of studying in the country.

Acquiring ample financial resources to cover these expenses may pose a challenge for international students. However, students can manage the living costs by adhering to a disciplined budget. Additionally, there are various scholarships accessible to international students. Apart from New Zealand-specific scholarships, students may have the opportunity to work up to 20 hours per week and even full-time during holidays, in accordance with their New Zealand student visa.

Why Choose New Zealand as a Study Abroad Destination?

Choosing a destination for studying abroad can be a challenging decision. New Zealand provides a secure and inviting environment characterized by low crime rates, fostering a sense of inclusivity among students. A key reason for choosing New Zealand as a study destination is its affordability, with lower tuition and living expenses. To support international students financially, various scholarships are available through both universities and the government.

Public universities in New Zealand are renowned for delivering quality education, adhering to global standards with exceptional teaching methods, experienced faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Additionally, international students have the opportunity to engage in part-time work in New Zealand during their courses (up to 20 hours per week) and full-time during breaks, as long as they are enrolled in a full-time course with 120 credits. Master's and PhD students in New Zealand also benefit from full-time work privileges in the country.

Education System in New Zealand

Numerous factors attract international students to choose New Zealand as their study destination. The country goes beyond traditional support systems, with the New Zealand government leading the way by establishing the world's first code of practice. This code ensures a high standard of care for international students, covering both academic and extracurricular aspects.

The New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) serves as a tool for recognizing and evaluating the caliber and standard of qualifications offered by educational institutions in the country. Below is a comprehensive breakdown of the various qualification levels.

Certificate New Zealand Certificate qualifications may be approved at several levels. All certificates must comprise at least 40 credits. Certificate qualifications are delivered at levels 1-5.
DiplomaNew Zealand Diploma qualifications may be approved at levels 5-7. They must be at least 120 credits. New Zealand Diploma qualifications are delivered at levels 5 and 6, both one and two-year diplomas. 
DegreeThe degree gives a systematic and coherent introduction to a body of knowledge of a recognized major subject. It requires a minimum of 360 credits from levels 5 to 7 and gives eligibility to enroll in a postgraduate qualification in New Zealand. 
Graduate CertificateIt broadens or deepens skills learnt in an undergraduate degree in New Zealand and requires a minimum of 60 credits, with a minimum of 40 at level 7 or above. 
Graduate DiplomaIt expands expertise and skills in a known subject or discipline, or cultivates abilities in a novel area. A minimum of 120 credits is mandatory, with at least 72 credits at level 7 or higher.
Bachelor Honors DegreeIt may be either a 480-credit degree or a discrete, 120-credit degree following a bachelor’s degree. It requires a minimum of 120 credits at level 8, with a research component that represents at least 30 credits at that level. 
Postgraduate CertificateAvailable to students holding a Bachelor's degree, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Diploma in a pertinent subject, this program necessitates a minimum of 60 credits at level 8. It serves as a foundation for subsequent postgraduate studies.
Postgraduate DiplomaIt is open to those who have completed all requirements of the relevant Bachelor’s Degree, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma. It may make one eligible to enroll in a Master’s Degree in New Zealand and requires a minimum of 120 credits from levels 7 and above, with a minimum of 72 credits from level 8. 
Master's DegreeIt has a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent. It must include at least 40 credits at level 9, with the remainder at level 8. It may give one eligibility to apply for admission to a program of advanced study.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Living in New Zealand

The decision to study in New Zealand involves a thorough consideration of various elements, with the cost of living standing as a pivotal factor. Understanding the factors that influence the cost of living in New Zealand is crucial for international students, expatriates, and anyone contemplating a move to this picturesque island nation. From accommodation and transportation to food and entertainment, these factors collectively shape the financial landscape for individuals in New Zealand. Here are some of the factors affecting the living cost in New Zealand:

LocationThe cost of living varies significantly depending on location. Major cities like Auckland and Wellington are more expensive than smaller towns and rural areas.
LifestyleThe lifestyle one adopts significantly impacts the cost of living in New Zealand. Personal choices regarding travel, socializing, and leisure pursuits play a pivotal role in determining the overall cost of living in this captivating destination.
Rising inflationThe inflationary trend in New Zealand has witnessed an increase in recent years, propelled by various factors. Consequently, prices for goods and services, encompassing essentials such as food, housing, and transportation, have experienced a notable upsurge.
Climate changeClimate change is having a significant impact on New Zealand, with more extreme weather events becoming more common. This is leading to higher costs for things like insurance and disaster recovery.

Average Cost of Living in New Zealand for Indian Students

Students aspiring to study in New Zealand must set aside funds for their essential daily needs and emergency expenses. Apart from the tuition and insurance fees, it is essential to budget for additional living expenses, which typically ranges between $20,000 and $25,000 per year approximately. These costs encompass accommodation or rent, food expenses, transportation, phone bills, internet usage, and entertainment. It is noteworthy that regardless of the tuition or course fee, the average living expenses in New Zealand tend to remain consistent for all students.

ExpensesAverage Cost
AccommodationNZD 200-400 per week
GroceriesNZD 100–150 per week
EntertainmentNZD 50-60 per week
TransportationNZD 10-20
Personal ExpenseNZD 100-200

Tips to Reduce Cost of Living in New Zealand 

Below are the tips that can help an international student reduce the cost of living in New Zealand : 

Tips to reduce cost of living in New zealand.webp

Housing StrategyCollaborate on renting apartments or homestays, and consider more economical off-campus choices.
Budget-Friendly Food EnthusiastForego takeout, prepare meals at home, and organize food plan ahead of time.
Smart TravelOpt for buses and trains, or walk/bike for short distances.
Financial Management ExpertMonitor expenditures, prioritize essential needs, and opt for a cost-effective health plan.
Cost CuttingCut costs by pooling resources for groceries, rides, and enjoyable activities with fellow students.

Education Expenses in New Zealand

The cost of education in New Zealand may vary based on the chosen course and university. Universities conduct annual reviews of tuition fees for both international undergraduate and graduate students. Therefore, it is crucial for students to confirm the latest tuition fee before applying to their preferred university in New Zealand. For Indian students aspiring to study in New Zealand, the challenge often involves identifying suitable courses and universities that align with their financial constraints.

To reduce the financial burden on international students, scholarships, part-time employment opportunities in New Zealand, and various financial aid options are available. Engaging in thorough research and exploring the resources at hand can empower Indian students to make well-informed decisions regarding their academic pursuits in New Zealand.


New Zealand presents itself not only as an educational haven but as a transformative adventure, ensuring academic excellence, a vibrant culture, and a pathway to promising career opportunities. With the right guidance and approach, Indian students can start their educational journey in this scenic destination, aided by Canam Consultants' expertise and guidance, all amidst understanding the cost of living in New Zealand.


Some of the factors affecting the living costs in New Zealand are: University locations, lifestyle choices, cities etc. 
International students with valid study permits can legally work part-time during their studies, offering a great way to gain valuable experience and earn extra income.
New Zealand proves to be an excellent choice for Indian students aiming for higher education. It boasts top-notch universities, a hospitable atmosphere, and abundant job prospects, providing students with a fantastic opportunity to expand their knowledge and acquire essential academic and professional abilities.
Yes, international students in New Zealand must have medical insurance. All international students need health insurance to cover their stay. 
Candidates must prove their English language skills to pursue higher studies in New Zealand.

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