Study in New Zealand
Student Culture in New Zealand
With an internationally renowned education system, spectacular scenery and a lifestyle that has been enticing international students to its shores for years, New Zealand consistently ranks as one of the top places to live and study.
Named as the world’s second most peaceful country by the Global Peace Index in 2018, New Zealand has a reputation for being one of the safest and friendliest places to study abroad, and is well known for giving its international students fantastic levels of support and guidance.
Manners and Behaviour
Friendly and welcoming, New Zealand has a very interesting culture to discover. As well as British and European customs, New Zealand is heavily influenced by its Polynesian and Maori heritage; the impact of which you’ll discover in the traditions, arts, foods and even the accents of New Zealanders.
Generally friendly, polite and slightly reserved, New Zealanders place a high value on hospitality and enjoy making their guests feel welcomed. Dress codes are smart but casual.
There can be marked differences between Maori and NZ European (Pakeha) cultures, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with this before arriving in the country.
Focusing on local and seasonal produce, with a coastline of around 14,000km it’s unsurprising that fish and shellfish feature high on the list of specialities.
Specialities to try:
- Traditional Maori hangi
- Hokey Pokey ice cream
- Lemon & Paeroa
- Whitebait fritters
- Manuka honey
Cost of study in New Zealand
It’s possible to complete most bachelor degrees in three years in New Zealand, which can help to make studying here cost-effective.
Average tuition fees in New Zealand are around NZ$27,000, so you should budget for anywhere from NZ$66,000 to NZ$100,000 to complete your undergraduate degree.
Please bear in mind that these fees are indicative only, and are subject to both increase or decrease depending on which course you choose to study and where.
Student Accommodation in New Zealand
There a several options to choose from when considering your accommodation choice in New Zealand.
Typical choices include:
Halls of residence (sometimes called hostels) – normally close to campus, meals are sometimes included and you’ll have a single or twin room with shared dining room, lounge and laundry.
Homestay (sometimes called private board) – a great opportunity to learn about the New Zealand culture and practice your English, you’ll stay with a family in a fully furnished room.
Flatting (house share or independent accommodation) – sharing a house with other students is a great way to make friends and keep costs down.
Living costs can vary quite a lot depending on your lifestyle and where you’ll be living. As part of your visa application you will need to prove that you have at least NZ$15,000 per year to cover your costs however, you can expect your living expenses to be be closer to NZ$20,000 per year or more in some of the bigger cities.
Average monthly costs in New Zealand might look something like this:
- Accommodation: NZ$850
- Utility bills: NZ$200
- Mobile Phone: NZ$25
- Broadband internet: NZ$50
- Study materials: NZ$90
- Travel: NZ$35
- Groceries: NZ$350
- Typical night out: NZ$50
- Cinema ticket: NZ$14
Work and Study in New Zealand
Most student visas will allow you to work for a maximum of 20 hours during term-time and full-time during holidays. This is a great way of gaining valuable work experience, developing your business English and helping to pay your living expenses.
Always check that you are eligible to work on your student visa before starting employment.
Scholarships and funding
There are a number of scholarship and funding options available to international students who wish to study in New Zealand.
Some examples are:
New Zealand International Scholarships – available to citizens of certain countries to study an approved course in New Zealand.
New Zealand Excellence Awards – aimed at Indian students, this award allocated scholarships to students who wish to study at any of New Zealand’s eight universities.
New Zealand visa guidance
If you want to study a course in New Zealand that lasts more than three months you’ll need to apply for a student visa.
There are a range of visas available to study in New Zealand.
Types of New Zealand student visa
The most common student visas for full-time study in New Zealand are as follows:
Fee Paying Student Visa – you must apply to an approved education provider on a full-time course that lasts more than 3 months.
Exchange Student Visa – you’re taking part in an approved exchange-student scheme to study full-time in New Zealand.
Foreign Government Supported Student Visa – if you have a loan or scholarship from your foreign government, this visa is the one for you.
Pathway Student Visa – for studying up to 3 consecutive courses with an approved Pathway education provider.
Find out which visa is right for you on the New Zealand immigration website.
New Zealand student visa requirements
You can apply for your study permit online from the Citizenship and Immigration New Zealand (CIC) website. An offline option is also available, but will take twice as long to process as an online application.
Some evidence you will need to provide includes:
- Proof of your acceptance onto an approved course in New Zealand
- Evidence of NZ$15,000 to cover your living expenses for the first year
- Evidence of funding from your foreign government if applicable
Visa processing times can vary so you should apply in plenty of time. It can take up to 3 months to process your application, but you can check up to date estimates here.
New Zealand visa fees
The current charge for a Fee Paying Student Visa is NZ$275, you can check up to date charges on the immigration website here.