Study in New Zealand -Complete Student Guide

Spread the love

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction-study in New Zealand
  • Why study in New Zealand
  • List of Universities to study in New Zealand
  • List of courses to study in New Zealand
  • Cost of studying In New Zealand
  • List of scholarships to study in New Zealand
  • Accommodation and living cost for international students in New Zealand
  • New Zealand Student Visa
  • Conclusion

Are you planning to study in New Zealand? If so, we understand why! This country really has everything to offer: prestigious universities, a high quality of life, diverse communities, vibrant cities, breathtaking natural landscapes and an unbeatable range of outdoor activities in a relatively small space.

In cities like Auckland and Wellington, there is no lack of cultural activity, while those with a passion for nature encounter a breathtaking variety of terrain – glaciers, mountains, rainforests and, of course, many coasts.

Get Up to $100,000 Student Loan for Your Master in US or Canada - See if you are eligible

Got Admission to Study in US or Canada? See if you are eligible for international student loan

New Zealand is a country known for its natural endowments no doubt. It also has excellent study opportunities to offer…

New Zealand is a country known for its natural endowments no doubt. It also has excellent study opportunities to offer. In New Zealand, one is in a high ranking, world-class environment with reputation for cutting-edge research and creative energy. These elements enumerated and lots more below make the country an attractive destination for international students to study in.

WATCH: How to Apply: New Zealand Development Scholarships for African/Developing Countries

So what do you know about New Zealand?

New Zealand is an island country situated in the Pacific Ocean. The country has a main composition of two islands which include the North Island and South Island, although there are other smaller islands too numerous to mention in New Zealand. The countries that have the highest proximity to New Zealand are Australia and the Pacific island nations: Fiji, New Caledonia and Tonga.

The Lord of the Rings film series is acted in New Zealand to understand the beautiful scenery of New Zealand better. In New Zealand, a rich mix of various cultures exist, including Maori, Pakeha (people of European descent), Asian and Pacific populations.

New Zealand is a developed country and does well in rankings that concern national performance. These rankings give consideration to all aspects, including quality of life, health, education and economic freedom. The service sector is themost dominant sector of the national economy, followed by the industrial sector.

New Zealand has tourist attractions and the top in the list include:

  • Coromandel Peninsula
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Sky Tower (Auckland)
  • Napier Art Deco
  • Kaikoura

Why Study in New Zealand?

Despite its distance from most other areas like Africa, the UK etc, New Zealand is becoming a popular destination for international students.

As expected from a small country, there are only eight universities in New Zealand (and 23 polytechnics).

All 8 of these universities made it to the QS World University Ranking of top 500 universities.

The university with the highest rank is the University of Auckland, which is in 82nd place, followed by the University of Otago in 151st place.

Students are able to study in New Zealand at all of the traditional levels known; undergraduate (bachelor’s), postgraduate (master’s) and doctoral (PhD). There are options to gain specific qualifications, such as Graduate Diplomas and Honours. Generally, the duration of these types of study is one year.

Cost of Studying & Living in New Zealand

The currency used by New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar ($NZD).

Permission is granted to institutions in New Zealand to set their own tuition fees. This implies that there will be variation in the pay one student makes compared to that of another depending on one’s institution of choice. International students can expect to make a payment of between $22,000 and $32,000 for a bachelor’s degree, and between $26,000 and $37,000 for a course in the postgraduate. However, the choice of a course such as medicine, engineering or veterinary science, implies that fees are likely to be higher. All students studying for a PhD level pay the same, which is $6,500 to $9,000 annually. Applicants are to contact their institution for information about the cost of their specific course.

All levels in New Zealand have scholarship opportunities attached to it hence international students can win scholarship awards irrespective of the level is studying under. This includes students wanting to gain a PhD. These scholarships are offered either bythe government of the country or institutions themselves. Information about applicant’s eligibility is to be gotten by contacting his/her institution or by using the official New Zealand scholarship directory.

The costs of living depend on where one chooses to live in New Zealand. As in most countries, the bigger cities, the larger the living budget and vice versa for smaller cities and towns. We recommend that you be in possession ofbetween $15,000-$27,000 annually. If you wish to study in New Zealand for more than one year, a proof that you have at least $15,000 to support yourself for the first year will be required of you. If the duration of your study is up to a year, you are required to prove that you are in possession of a minimum of $1,250 for each month of study.

Being in possession of a student visa guarantees one the ability to work up to 20 hours per week during term time, and full time out of term time. Students who are in the process of bringing their Masters by Research or PhD to completion are able to work full time throughout their studies, including term time.

In order to study in New Zealand, there might be need for one to purchase health insurance. The purchase of health insurance will be dependent on where one is from.One is not eligible for publicly funded health services at a holding a student visa. Students from Australia and the United Kingdom or PhD students are exempted from this rule. These students have entitlement to receiving publicly funded health care for immediately necessary treatment only. If an applicant is from any other country, or need to access further medical treatment, he/she will need to make sure that there is the possession of valid medical and travel insurance throughout his/her stay. Provision of more information regarding this will be done by your chosen institution.

Student Visas to study

If you will be staying in New Zealand for a minimum duration of 3 months, there may be the need to apply for a student visa. There’s no need for students who are citizens of Australia or other countries that have an agreement with New Zealand to apply for a visa.

Once you have your student visa, you have the permission to stay in the country for up to four years to work up to 20 hours per week. For this to be possible, applicants must be enrolled with an approved institution and have the money to pay for their course.

Application for your visa can be done at your home country’s New Zealand embassy or consulate, but the online application fee is cheaper by 10%. Hence, one can save time and money by applying for the visa online.

If an applicant is planning to study in New Zealand full time and the course is for more than three months, the student is required to have a visa.

ALSO WATCH: 10 Countries You Can Study Abroad Without IELTS or TOEFL + Universities

Student visa requirements include:

  • an offer of place from an educational institution with approval from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • a written guarantee from an institution or individual that suitable accommodation is available to an applicant in New Zealand (if your age is below 18 years)
  • Proof of being in possession of sufficient funds to live on while you are studying
  • a return air ticket to your country, or evidence of sufficient funds to purchase one.
  • Get aneducation withinternationalrecognition and have the time of your life!
  • If an applicant is spending six months or more in New Zealand, there will be the need to be screened for tuberculosis.
  • If an applicant is over 17 and intending to be in New Zealand for over two years, he/she will need to provide a police certificate to show that he/she is of good character.
  • If an applicant is studying a short course that’s not up to three months, you don’t need a student visa: just a visitor visa.

More information about visas is available at the New Zealand Immigration website.


New Zealand is known for three official languages; English, Maori and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Te Reo Maori became an official language in 1987. NSZSL became an official language in 2006.

Only 3.7% of the population is known to speak Maori and the language is in danger of extinction if this continues hence, authorities are working towards making sure that this doesn’t happen by the implementation of Maori classes in schools, as well as television channels broadcasting exclusively in Maori. Studying in New Zealand offersapplicants a fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in a historic culture, picking up some Maori language and NZSL.

The majority of courses taught in New Zealand are offered in English, to that regard,if your native language is not English, a proof of proficiency in English skills will meet the teaching standards. If one is not proficient in English, it is common for institutions to offer language programmes to improve his/her skills. If you are in need of more information for this, you are required to contact your institution.

Popular New Zealand Cities


This city, Auckland is the largest city in the country and is located in New Zealand’s North Island. It has the highest Polynesian population in the world and is widely multicultural. Auckland is given recognition as important in the fields of commerce, the arts and education. There are many tourist attractions in the city and includes the Harbor Bridge and the Sky Tower. In 2016, Auckland was rated one of the most livable cities in the world.


Hamilton is another of the country’s most populous city and is sitting on the banks of the Waikato River. After the English invasion, the old Maori settlement was given another name after Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton, the commander of HMS Esk. Before now, the city was an agricultural service centre and has a diverse economy, with education and research playing an important part in this. The city is home to roughly 40,000 higher education students and 1,000 PhD-qualified scientists.


Most of the courses offered in higher institutions in New Zealand include:

  • Accounting
  • Agribusiness
  • Aquaculture & Fisheries
  • Architecture
  • Biology
  • Business Management
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Cyber Security
  • Economics
  • Environmental Science
  • Fashion Design
  • Finance
  • Geography
  • Graphic Design
  • History
  • Hospitality
  • Interior Design
  • International Business
  • Law
  • Leadership
  • MBA
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Midwifery
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Software Engineering
  • Teaching
  • Web Development

ALSO WATCH: Top 10 Scholarships in Australia and New Zealand for International Students – Top 10 Series

List of universities in New Zealand

The universities in New Zealand and their respective locations include:

  • Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Auckland
  • Lincoln University, Lincoln
  • Massey University, Palmerston North
  • University of Canterbury, Christchurch
  • University of Otago, Dunedin
  • University of Waikato, Victoria
  • University of Auckland, Auckland
  • University of Wellington, Wellington

Auckland University of Technology

This institution wasestablished on 1 January 2000 when a former technical college (originally established in 1895) was granted university status. It constitutes of five faculties across three campuses in Auckland: City, North, and South campuses, and an additional three specialist locations: AUT Millennium, Warkworth Radio Astronomical Observatory and AUT Centre for Refugee Education.

AUT is made up of the following faculties which include:Culture and Society, business and Law, Design and Creative Technologies, Health and Environmental Sciences.

AUT has 17 schools that constitute these faculties and they include: Art and Design, Business, Clinical Sciences, Creative Technologies, Communication Studies, Economics, Education, Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Hospitality and Tourism, Interprofessional Health Studies, Language and Culture, Law, Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, Science, Social Sciences and Public Policy, Sport and Recreation


AUT offers undergraduate and postgraduate (both PhD and Master) degrees, as well as sub-degree qualifications such as certificates and diplomas. The programmes are offered in the following areas/fields:health care practice, applied sciences,business, art and design, business information systems, communication studies, computer and information sciences, education, engineering, hospitality and tourism, languages, law, mathematical science, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, oral health, paramedicine and emergency management, Māori development, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, public health, rehabilitation and occupation studies, social science, and sport and recreation.

The AUT Business School has received recognition as one of the top business schools in the world by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.

Highlights and achievements

According to the 2018 QS World University Rankings, AUT was placed in the 441-450 band, which sets it in the top 2% of universities worldwide. AUT made it to the list ofthe 2017 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking as one of the top 20 universities worldwide for International Outlook. AUT was amongst the world’s top 60 young universities and ranked for the first time in THE’s top 150 universities under the age of 50 years.

Presently, AUT features amongst the world’s elite institutions in 11 subjects, featuring in the QS World University Rankings for: Accounting and Finance, Art and Design, Business and Management Studies, Computer Science and Information Systems, Economics, Education, Electrical Engineering, Hospitality and Leisure Management, Law, Linguistics and Sports Subjects.

AUT is the first and only tertiary provider in New Zealand to be receive the award, the Rainbow Tick, which gives attestation to the University’s work to ensure inclusiveness for the LGBTQI community, and in positively responding to issues of gender diversity.

AUT has more than 75,000 alumni and its notable alumni has a good number.

Lincoln University (New Zealand)

Lincoln University is a New Zealand university that was established in 1990 when Lincoln College, Canterbury had independence from the University of Canterbury. The following ,agriculture, commerce, accounting, environment, food, horticulture, landscape architecture, Māori planning, property and valuation, sport and recreation, sciences, tourism, transport and winemaking, make up Lincoln University undergraduate study areas.

Lincoln University began life in 1878 as a School of Agriculture. From 1896 to 1961 it served students under the name Canterbury Agricultural College and offered qualifications of the University of New Zealand until that institution’s end. From 1961 to 1990, it was known as Lincoln College, a constituent college of the University of Canterbury, until it achieved autonomy in 1990 as Lincoln University. It is the oldest agricultural teaching institution in the Southern Hemisphere and remains the smallest university in New Zealand and one of the 8 government universities.

Massey University

Massey University is a university based in Palmerston North, New Zealand, with notable campuses in Albany and Wellington. Massey University has an approximate number of 30,883 students, 13,796 of whom are extramural or distance-learning students, making it New Zealand’s second largest university when international students are not counted. Research is embarked on all three campuses, and at least 3,000 international students from over 100 countries study at the university.

Motto: Floreat scientia

Motto in English: Let knowledge flourish

Massey’s veterinary school received accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is given recognition in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain. Massey University’s agriculture program is the highest-ranked in New Zealand, and 19th in Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS) world university subject rankings.

The renaming of the college took placein 1927, wherein it was called Massey Agricultural College after former New Zealand Prime Minister William Fergusson Massey, who died in 1925 and had been vigorous in land reform efforts. The meeting of the Massey Agricultural College Committee first held on 1 February 1927, and the purchase of the Batchelar property, near the present Turitea site, toolk place that June. The college’s official opening for tuition came up on 20 March 1928 by O. J. Hawkin. Women were offered admission from 1932, with Enid Hills being the first.

With the end of the UNZ in 1961, it became Massey College, part of Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). In 1960 a branch of VUW came into establishment in Palmerston North and aimed at teaching students by distance education. This kind of teaching is known as known as extramural study. In 1963, the amalgamation between this branch and Massey College to form Massey University College of Manawatu took place, and on 25 September, the Massey University Act 1963 made it an independent university as Massey University of Manawatu, with the adoption of its present name in 1966.

Classes began at Massey’s Albany campus in 1994 after its inauguration.

In December 2010 Massey announced that the closure of Wellington campus’ School of Engineering and Advanced Technology the next month. Students were offered places at either the Albany or Manawatu campuses with compensation, but no compensation was given to those who could not make the move to the campuses and chose to undertake their degree elsewhere. For such people and such a case, only a few papers were able to be cross-credited.

The launching of the College of Health took place in February 2013 with three broad goals: promoting health and wellbeing, disease and injury prevention and protecting people and communities from environmental risks to health.

University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is New Zealand’s second oldest university (after the University of Otago, itself founded four years earlier in 1869, which was publicly established in 1873).

The University of Canterbury was founded as Canterbury College, the first constituent college of the University of New Zealand, with Its original campus in the Christchurch Central City, but in 1961 had independence as a university and began moving out of its original neo-gothic buildings, which were re-purposed as the Christchurch Arts Centre. The move was brought to completion on 1 May 1975 and the university now operates its main campus in the Christchurch suburb of Liam and offers degrees in Arts, Commerce, Engineering, Fine Arts, Forestry, Health Sciences, Law, Music, Social Work, Speech and Language Pathology, Science, Education (physical education), Sports Coaching and Teaching.

This institution received a change of name in 1933 from Canterbury College to Canterbury University College and finally to the present University of Canterbury in 1957.

University of Otago

The University of Otago is a collegial university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It is known for its high scores for average research quality. In 2006, a ranking of the universities in New Zealand was conducted based on the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs and according to this ranking, the University of Otago is second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland. In the past it has been at the apex of New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.

The creation of this university was seen to by a committee led by Thomas Burns, and was officially established by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council in 1869. The university enrolled its first students in July 1871, making it the oldest university in New Zealand and third-oldest in Oceania. Between 1874 and 1961 the University of Otago was a part of the federal University of New Zealand and gave out degrees in its name.

Otago is famous for its vibrant student life, specifically, its flatting, which is often in old houses. Otago students, nicknamed Scarfies, have a long-standing tradition of naming their flats. The nickname “Scarfie” comes from the habit of putting on a scarf during the cold southern winters.

The residential campus that was developed gave Otago a more vibrant undergraduate student life at the same time as comparable but minute developments in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland were overshadowed in the late 20th century. Recently, Otago has the most substantial residential campus compare to any university in New Zealand or Australia, not without its challenges though.

University of Waikato

The University of Waikato began in 1956 after locals of the city of Hamilton launched a petition for a university to serve the needs of the South Auckland region. The group consisted of Douglas Seymour, a barrister, Anthony “Rufus” Rogers and Denis Rogers. Their campaign coincided with a shortage of teachers in the 1950s that brought about the consideration of plans for teachers’ college in the region by the New Zealand government. In 1960, a branch of Auckland University was established which was brought about by the newly established Hamilton Teachers’ Collegecombination with the fledgling university, which began a joint campus on farmland at Hillcrest, on the city’s outskirts.

After the creation of new homes for two institutions, they moved in 1964, and the following year the University of Waikato was officially opened by then Governor-General Sir Bernard Fergusson.

University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is located in Auckland (country’s largest city) and is the largest university in New Zealand. It is the university with the highest ranking in the country, being ranked 83rd worldwide in the 2019/20 QS World University Rankings. It was established in 23 May 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand and is made up of eight faculties; these are spread over six campuses. It has a minimum of 40,000 students, and more than 30,000 “equivalent full-time” students.

Latin: Ingenio et labore

Motto in English: natural ability and hard work

University of Wellington

This university is famous becauseof its programmes in law, the humanities, and some scientific disciplines, and offers a broad range of other courses. Entry to all courses at first year is open but restriction is placed on entry to second year in some programmes (e.g. law, criminology, creative writing, architecture, engineering).

In 2012, New Zealand Government’s Performance-Based Research Fund exercise was conducted with Victoria having the highest average research grade and having been ranked 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2003. Victoria has been ranked 221st in the World’s Top 500 universities by the QS World University Rankings (2018).

List of courses to study in New Zealand


The faculties and colleges under arts include:

  • Division of Humanities
  • College of Arts
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
  • Faculty of Culture and Society
  • Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development
  • Faculty of Arts


The faculties and colleges under sciences include:

  • Division of Sciences
  • College of Science
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Faculty of Environment, Society, and Design
  • Faculty of Science
  • College of Sciences
  • Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty of Science


The faculties and colleges under business include:

  • Otago Business School(Division of Commerce)
  • College of Business and Law
  • Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce
  • Victoria Business School
  • Massey Business School
  • Waikato Management School
  • Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
  • University of Auckland Business School

Health Sciences

The faculties and colleges under health sciences include:

  • Division of Health Sciences
  • College of Education, Health, and Human Development
  • Faculty of Health
  • College of Health
  • Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance
  • Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
  • Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


The faculties and colleges under medicine include:

  • Otago Medical School, Faculty of Dentistry
  • School of Medicine


The faculties and colleges under engineering include:

  • College of Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • College of Sciences
  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
  • Faculty of Engineering


The faculties and colleges under law include:

  • College of Business and Law
  • Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
  • Faculty of Law

Fine Arts, Architecture

The faculties and colleges under Fine Arts, Architectureinclude:

  • School of Landscape Architecture
  • Faculty of Architecture and Design
  • College of Creative Arts
  • Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
  • Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries


The faculties and colleges under educationinclude:

  • College of Education, Health, and Human Development
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Education and Social Work

Conclusion: You Can Study Abroad in New Zealand at Any Time

No matter when you want to study abroad in New Zealand, it’s the perfect time. You can choose from a variety of programs, ranging from summer, semester, and full-year exchange, to short term multi-country travel and study experiences.

If you want to stay for a while at the end of your semester, you can also apply for a working holiday visa in New Zealand or Australia and work there for up to a year.


  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

    Content Manager

Leave a Comment