New Zealand

Why study a Bachelor or Master in New Zealand

Find all the study programs in New Zealand

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About New Zealand

You may have heard of New Zealand, a study destination that is near Australia and often associated with it. People who live in New Zealand are nicknamed “Kiwis” but be sure if you go there and use the word ‘kiwi’ that you know which type of kiwi you are referring to, as it has three different meanings there! 


The first meaning is, as mentioned above, someone who was born in New Zealand, while the second meaning for kiwi is the kiwi bird, which is the national symbol in New Zealand. The third meaning refers to the one we all know: the yummy green kiwi fruit.


New Zealand is also a country that many fans of the Lord of the Rings love, as the saga was set there! In fact, if you go there, you can actually visit Hobbiton. However, being a Lord of the Rings fan isn’t the only reason you should study in New Zealand! There are many more reasons to learn in this exciting and unique country.


Let’s get started learning more about the Kiwis and their beautiful Kiwi-land! 


New Zealand is a country that has three official languages: English, sign language and Maori. The Maori people are those who were native to the land and make up about 20 per cent of the country’s population till today. The language is still known and used till today by these people, as they are passionate about preserving it.


The currency used in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar, which currently adds up to about 0.69 USD dollars. The money is nicknamed “kiwi”, named after the national bird, which you can find on the one New Zealand dollar coin. 


As mentioned before, because of the popularity of the Lord of the Rings series, New Zealand also has permission to put hobbits on their legal banknotes and use them as a currency. 

Geographical information

New Zealand is an island country found in the South Pacific ocean, about 2,000 kilometres from Australia. The capital, Wellington, is actually the most Southern capital worldwide. 


The country has the 9th longest coastline worldwide, spanning around 15,000 km when it comes to geographical details. New Zealand is also close to the sea from almost all directions, as if you are in the country, you’ll never be more than 128 kilometres from the sea! There are also 50 volcanic areas in the area where the city Auckland is, though thankfully, most of them are dormant. The biggest and most popular one is Mountain Rangitoto. 


Another fun fact is that 30 per cent of New Zealand is a beautiful national reserve. The country is made up of lovely green hills that expand for miles and tons of rich forests, making it a nature lover’s paradise on Earth.


Something that many people don’t know about New Zealand is in this kiwi-land, there are more sheep than people! For every person there, there is more than ten sheep.  


When it comes to religion, most people are Christians. Most Christians belong to the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, while Presbyterian, Protestants and Maori sects of Christianity also exist. When it comes to the rest of the population, more than half of them have chosen to have no correspondence to any religion. 

Political stance

In the area of politics, New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy developed from the British system. This means that Queen Elizabeth the second of England is the head of state. There is also a parliament that holds the legislative power. This parliament is made up of the queen and the House of representatives. The governor-general represents her and acts as a proxy when the queen isn’t present in the country.  


The country is considered to have one of the world’s most stable democracies, which is a major plus when you are looking for a study abroad location as that means there won’t be any political turbulence.  


New Zealand is renowned for its lush natural scenery and friendly people. There are many things to do and tons to see, especially if you are a nature fan. The national rugby team is also renowned, and people love to visit areas with the unique indigenous Maori culture. These reasons, among more, are why many people choose New Zealand as a tourist destination.  


There are many top attractions to see whilst visiting the country or studying there. Tongariro National Park and its crossing are famous among Lord of the Ring’s fans who can act like Frodo and take a hike through Mordor, looking at the volcanic scenery and many lakes. Hobbiton is another popular tourist destination for fans of the movies. You can even take a guided Lord of the Rings tour there. 


Another exciting tourist destination is the bay of islands. Many tourists flock there to the picturesque turquoise waters and beautiful islands. For nature lovers, this place is perfect for sailing and fishing. 


When it comes to famous foods in New Zealand, there are many to pick from. From fantastic seafood dishes to juicy chargrilled New Zealand lamb, they genuinely know the elements of savouring a good meal. 


It makes sense that with so many beaches, including over 14,000 kilometres of coast, they are indeed experts at creating the best seafood in the world. They are especially famous for their Crayfish dishes, with the town of Kaikoura having many seafood caravans where you can go try the dish and fall in love!  

New Zealand lamb 

Roasted New Zealand lamb that is juicy and tender is another famous for food Kiwis. They are well known for exporting meats, and lamb is one of the best kinds shipped. The best way they cook is by seasoning it with rosemary and then grilling it to perfection. It is then served next to roasted vegetables. Talk about yummy. 


Hangi is another famous food in New Zealand. This Maori style of food features meals that are cooked in the ground. Yes, you read that right! This cooking style, usually done on special occasions, includes cooking chicken and lamb and some other types of vegetables like sweet potato and pumpkin in a furnace beneath the level of the Earth.  


Study in New Zealand

When it comes to choosing a country for your study abroad journey, there are several reasons you should choose to join the Kiwis and study in New Zealand. From the outstanding quality of life to the diversity of students in the university to the lower tuition costs and many scholarships available, New Zealand is truly a unique and extraordinary study destination for graduate and undergraduate studies. 

Why should you study in New Zealand?

There are several advantages to choosing to study in New Zealand. Check the next section to find out in detail why you should go study in this amazing country. 

Great quality of life

One of the main reasons to study in New Zealand is the excellent quality of life. A safe and stable country, people who live in the country enjoy a life full of nature and beautiful cultures. From the natural beauty like the majestic mountains, volcanoes and beautiful beaches, you’ll never be at a loss for somewhere to go take a road trip and spend your weekend exploring somewhere new. You’ll also be able to immerse in the unique culture and grow as a person, a point that is discussed more in detail in the next section. 

Warm and welcoming culture

A rich country full of cultures that mix those of the British and the Maori indigenous people, New Zealand provides students with a unique cultural experience, presented in the art and craft scenes, as well as the foods they will be able to indulge in.  


Sport is also significant to the culture in New Zealand. Kiwis love cricket, though rugby is their pride and joy, so students will be able to attend many sports events. A traditional Maori dance called the Haka dance is performed by the rugby team when competing. 

Highly ranked diverse universities 

All universities in New Zealand are ranked highly, which is another reason to study abroad in the country. The country invests in its education system, growing and expanding on the British system, which has paid off with top-ranked institutions in many subjects. 


The universities offer an incomparable quality of education and are also incredibly diverse when it comes to international students. Over 30,000 students flock to the universities to study every year. In fact, 20 per cent of students at the Victoria University of Wellington come from foreign countries. 

Reasonable tuition fees and many scholarships offered 

Another reason you should study in New Zealand is the reasonable tuition fees. Even though the higher education system is based on the British one in place in the UK, thankfully, the tuition costs are lower. Tuition fees for a year cost about 14,000 USD dollars, but you can learn more about that later in this country profile. 


Besides the reasonable tuition fees, many scholarships are available for international students. Although it’s a bit of work to search for one and apply, it’s well worth it as they offer many partial and complete scholarships to deserving students. You can find out exactly how to apply in the last section of this article. 

Lenient entry requirements

A final reason you should consider studying in New Zealand is the lenient entry requirements for university applications. It’s relatively easy to apply and be accepted at a university there. The country wants to encourage international students to study at their universities, so they make it easy for them to apply to their programs. In fact, the government offers the highest amount of funding to be allocated to education around the world so that they can try to provide the best educational experiences possible. 

How much does it cost?

If studying in New Zealand is starting to sound like an excellent idea, you might be curious about how much it would cost you to study there. In general, international undergraduate students will pay from 15,000 to 22,000 USD per year, though you can expect to pay higher if you choose a major like medicine or other sciences. It takes students typically three years to finish their undergraduate programs. 


For postgraduate education, for master’s, international students will pay from 18,000 to 25,000 USD dollars annually. In contrast, PhD students that are international students typically pay the same as home students. This means they pay fees of around 4,500 to 6,000 USD per year. 

Living in New Zealand

Next, you might be thinking about the living costs and how much it would cost you to live in New Zealand. Experts at the New Zealand University of Auckland recommend that students set aside about 14,000 to 17,000 USD per year for living expenses during their educational journeys at the universities there. Read on for a breakdown of these costs so that you know how much accommodation and other costs of living will cost you exactly. 


With regards to accommodation, there are many options available for international students. Each type of accommodation has different price ranges based on the amenities and services that are offered to the students there. 

On Campus dormitories 

First, one of the most popular accommodation options for international students, especially ones who have never studied abroad, is the on-campus dormitories. Students who want to stay there should apply in advance, as it takes time to be accepted and to be assigned to a dorm. Living on campus means everything is in close reach, from meals to computers to laundry and cleaning services. These might even be included in the package you pay, depending on whether you choose an option with catering or not.

You can expect to pay anything from 70 to 500 USD per week depending on the services you receive. 


Another option for student accommodation is the homestay option. This opportunity gives students the chance to stay with a Kiwi family. This option gives you a room, three meals a day, laundry services and utilities like electricity, internet and phone lines. 


You can expect to pay from 75 to 255 US Dollars per week for this accommodation option. 

Private Rentals

Other students, especially those who aren’t first-year students, may choose to stay at private accommodation rentals. A benefit of these rentals is that you can select the location and if you would like to live alone or with a group of friends. These rentals are either furnished or unfurnished and are typically well priced if you split the cost with a group of people. 


For example, a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre of Auckland can cost you around 2000 dollars per month, while one in Dunedin costs about 1000 dollars. 

Other costs of living

When it comes to other costs of living, Wellington and Auckland are usually the most expensive cities to live in. Wellington, as previously mentioned, is the capital of New Zealand, while Auckland is the biggest city there in area. 


Students can expect to pay weekly costs of around 16 dollars for utilities, 5 USD for internet and about 7 dollars for a mobile plan. Health insurance programs cost a further 5 USD while probably paying around 85 USD weekly for groceries and 25 dollars for transport. Gym memberships cost approximately 40 USD per month for those interested in joining one. You should also factor in around 350 USD as a yearly cost for books and stationery relating to your university program. 

Universities in New Zealand

When it comes to Universities in New Zealand, you will be spoiled for choice as all eight universities fall into the top-ranked 3 per cent in the world. The study programs are globally recognised for being of top-notch level, so many students decide to study there. Read on to find out more details about the universities available in New Zealand and which you should apply to. 

Degrees available

There are several types of degrees available in universities in New Zealand, with undergraduate programs typically taking three years to complete. If you want to pursue an honours program, this will take you an additional year. However, not all universities offer honours programs, so you should look into the university you want to apply to and see if it is offered or not. 

Looking at undergraduate courses offered in New Zealand, you can choose to take a Graduate Diploma degree, Graduate certificate, Bachelor’s degree or Bachelor’s degree with honours. 

Master’s degrees typically take two years to complete, with the first year having course work to study and the second year based on a dissertation that is more research-based. When it comes to PhD programs, these tend to take from three to four years to finish if you pursue the degree full time. You can also take it part-time, but if you need a student visa, you won’t be able to as student visas restrict you to four years of study time. 

There are postgraduate diplomas and certificates, master’s degrees in many fields, and doctorate degrees available when it comes to doctoral courses. 

Top-ranked universities

As previously mentioned, top-ranked universities in New Zealand are basically any university you choose, with all of them topping the rankings. This section discusses the top five universities in detail so you can learn more about them and decide which one you want to apply to. 

University of Auckland 

Location: Auckland 

The number one ranked university is the University of Auckland, earning a super high score on its academic reputation. The university is the most critical institution in the country, with around 43,000 students attending it. 

It is also placed in the top 50 universities worldwide for subjects like archaeology, educational studies, nursing and performing arts, so if you are interested in these subjects, this is the place to go. 

University of Otago

Location: Dunedin 

Ranked at a number 2, the University of Otago, located in Dunedin, scores incredibly highly for the percentage of international faculty members. The university is the oldest university in New Zealand and is located on the South Island. It has around 22,000 students, with 3,000 of them being international students. 

It has more than 200 programs in four schools: Health Sciences, Sciences, Humanities and Business School. The university ranks highly in subjects like Agriculture Sciences, Clinical Medicine and Biology and Biochemistry studies. 

Victoria University of Wellington

Location: Wellington 

Located in the capital of New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington ranks 3rd in the best universities there. It has a high number of international faculty members from around the globe. 

The university has one of the best schools of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Law globally. Subjects that are the best performing there include library studies, tourism, hospitality, and leisure management.  

University of Canterbury

Location: Christchurch 

On the South Island, the University of Canterbury in Christchurch is ranked number 4 in New Zealand. One of the most ancient universities there was established in 1873 as part of the University of New Zealand. About 17,500 students attend the university every year, many of them international ones. 

The engineering and science programs in the university are ranked highly, with the Civil Engineering program ranked as the number 9 best one in the entire globe. If you intend to major in Civil engineering or engineering in general, it’s worth giving the University of Canterbury a good look. 

Massey University

Location: Palmerton North 

Massey University, located in Palmerton North, takes the fifth spot for universities in New Zealand. The university ranks number 272nd in the entire world. 

This university is the only one in New Zealand offering aviation, dispute resolution and nanoscience degrees, so if any of those are what you intend to study, Massey University is the one for you. 

Examples of other universities

As we said before, all universities in New Zealand are top-ranked, so the remaining three universities are also exceptional. Auckland University of Technology, University of Waikato and Lincoln University are top-notch options for studying in New Zealand. 

Student Visa - New Zealand

When you have decided on a university, the next step is to find out how to get a study visa. You need a study visa unless you have exceptions to study in New Zealand. Read on to learn more about checking if you need one or not and how to get your documents together for the Study visa application. 

Check eligibility 

The first thing to do before you start the student visa process is to check if you need one or not. If you’re a Kiwi, come from Australia, or hold an Australian permanent resident, you won’t need a student visa. In all other cases, you will need one. You should apply for this visa a minimum of six weeks before your travel date. 

How to apply 

To get your hands on the student visa, you must apply either in person or online. If you want to apply in person, you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your country to get an appointment, where they will give you the application form. You can also apply online on the website for immigration of New Zealand.

Needed Documents 

Application costs for the visa differ based on where you are coming from. You will need to present several documents to be able to apply for a visa. First of all, you will need to show them your acceptance letter to an accredited educational institution in New Zealand. You will also need to present evidence that you have enough money to pay for your university education and living costs. 

If your course is longer than nine months, you will need to prove that you have around 10,000 USD annually for the course of your study period. You should also prove that you will leave the country after you are done with your studies. This can be in the form of plain tickets or an agreement with a sponsor who will pay for your travel back to your home country. 

You also need travel insurance, which you can arrange with the university you intend to study at. Another required proof is medical checkups. If you want to study for longer than a year in New Zealand, you will need to present a general checkup report, a chest X-ray and maybe a tuberculosis test and the results. 

If you are less than 18 years old, you also need to prove where you will stay. Students aged 17 and older will also require the presentation of a certificate of character from your local police department. 

In addition to the documents above, the visa also needs two passport photos, a passport valid for three months after your departure date from New Zealand and a receipt of your payment for the application fee. 

You should keep in mind that student visas that you applied for online will take up to 20 days to process, while those applied for through mail will take about 25 days to process so that you don’t book your flight earlier than this timeframe and not have the visa be ready on time. 


How to apply - New Zealand

After figuring out how to apply for your student visa, you may be curious about how actually to apply for universities there. All notable institutions, international students would be fortunate to get accepted there and pursue their study abroad at this destination. This section talks about how to apply to make the process simple for you.

Decide on a university 

The first step to the application is, of course, deciding on the university you want to apply to. Research the programs at each university in New Zealand and then choose the best one for you, based on your preferences and what suits you best. As previously mentioned, all universities rank in the top 3 globally, so know that you’ll be in good hands whatever the school you pick. 

Plan your application 

Before you send out your application, do thorough research on the bachelor’s and master’s programs on each university’s website. Check out admission requirements and fees to make sure you are eligible to apply and able to pay the tuition. If English isn’t your first language, you should also check the English requirements as you may need to show proof of language proficiency if your home country’s native tongue isn’t English. 


The next step is to acquire your student visa. You can read more details about this in the previous section. You should start applying for it as soon as you’ve been accepted into the university. If you aren’t staying long, you might not need a visa, so be sure to contact your university to ask them what you need to do. 

How to apply

Applying is easy once you have gathered all your documents. You can find the information on your application documents that are required on the university’s website as it differs from school to school. In general, required documents are a motivation letter, a copy of your high school transcript or your Bachelor’s certificate if you’re applying to a postgraduate course and translation of your studies and grades relating to them. 


Other documents include evidence of your English language skills, a copy of your passport, some passport photos, your CV (if applicable), and a sample of academic work if the university requires it. You will also need to prove that you paid the university application fee. 


The next step is to upload your application. In New Zealand, you typically apply to universities through the institution’s application portal. You can always contact the university if you are confused about filling it out. Take care that it might take them a while to respond if you message them during a busy time, so always add buffer time when you are applying. 

Check your English language proficiency 

One of the main requirements for university in New Zealand is a high level of English speaking and writing. This is because all programs are in English, and it will be challenging to follow along if you don’t know the language well. You can submit proof such as IELTS certificates or others like TOEFL, C1 Advanced (previously known as Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously called Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)). 

Watch for application Deadlines

It’s essential to keep an eye on application deadlines when applying for a school, as if you miss the deadline, you’ll have to wait until the next cycle to re-apply. Deadlines differ per school, so please check the website for your intended institution. Make sure you apply before the deadline a few days if you need to make amendments to your application. 


Generally, if you want to start in February or March, which they consider Semester one, you will find the deadlines from October to December. If you’re going to start school in July, which is Semester two, your deadline will range from March to early July. 

Wait for the university’s response 

Your next and final step is waiting for the university’s response to your application. They will typically send a letter saying if you are accepted or not. They will be honest in telling you if you are a suitable candidate and will let you know what to do next if you are accepted.

Scholarship in New Zealand


When looking at universities, you may be worried that the fees are too expensive for you. Luckily, the government of New Zealand offers many scholarships for international students, and so do other educational institutions. Hopefully, if you look well and apply to all the eligible ones, you’ll find an outstanding scholarship. 

Searching for a scholarship

The first step you should take when looking for a scholarship is looking on the website of the university you want to study at, as they may have scholarships available for you. 

Scholarships don’t have to be focused on academic merit, but rather, some look at factors like the country you are coming from, what you intend to study and your soft skills like leadership or public speaking skills. 

Assess your eligibility for the scholarships

Most scholarships have their requirements written down, and these requirements are non-negotiable. Make sure that you are eligible for them before applying, as scholarship applications can be tedious and lengthy so save yourself the time!

 If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible or not, you can reach out to the scholarship owner and discuss it with them. Maybe they’ll refer you to another, more suitable scholarship. 

 Be the early bird 

In the case of scholarships, the early bird does actually catch the worm. Because scholarships are super competitive, you should start looking for them as soon as you decide to study in New Zealand. 

 Plan in advance and gather everything you need before the date of the deadline so that you don’t fall short on time. This is especially the case if you need other people to write you recommendations or provide you with paperwork. 

Apply for several simultaneously 

If you find yourself eligible for several scholarships, apply to them simultaneously to save yourself valuable time. Don’t be afraid to pursue several at the same time. They probably have similar requirements and documentation, so doing them simultaneously can also save you some stress and a whole lot of effort!

 Be sure to fully fill out the application 

Although it’s exhausting, some scholarship applications may need loads of information. Examples of these details may be study plans, academic records, personal financial situation, and references.

Make sure you have filled out everything in the application before sending it out. Missing information can cause your application to be cancelled or delayed. 

Hand in ‘Certified copies’

Many scholarship applications ask for certified copies of documents. If your accredited documents aren’t in English, you’ll also need to hand in a certified translation of the original document. These documents must be stamped by someone authorised by the New Zealand authorities, such as lawyers or other legal entities. 

Make sure to proofread it 

Before handing in your application, be sure to ask a friend or family member who is good at English to make sure it makes sense and doesn’t have any spelling or grammar usage mistakes. 


On another note, to save money, it’s worth looking into student discounts that are widespread in New Zealand. They offer a student card for around 13 USD which you can use to save your well-earned cash.