New Zealand flag

Study in New Zealand


New Zealand is a country that spends heavily on ensuring that its citizens and the international student population that attend its eight world-class universities receive top quality education that is on par with the rest of the world.This notion is substantiated by the fact that all 8 universities of New Zealand are in the top 3% of ranked universities globally.

New Zealand as a country is quite cheap for education, almost 18%cheaper than Australia and 36% cheaper than Canada.

Education System

There are three types of institutions that are available for tertiary education, which include :-

  • 1. Universities: These institutions offer higher degree-level education. Programs are research-led and generally academic rather than vocational. In the 2015/16 QS World University Rankings, all eight of New Zealand’s universities were in the top 100 in at least one subject.
  • 2. ITPs(Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics) and a few larger PTEs (Private Training Establishments) offer vocational degree-level education.
  • 3. PTEs tend to offer specific vocational programs, mainly at certificate and diploma level.
    The courses that are rated under the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) network are all internationally accepted professional courses and they are quality assured by the New Zealand government.

The NZQF levels are:

  • 1. levels 1-4, which cover the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) - the main qualification in secondary schools - and basic trades training.
  • 2. levels 5-6, which cover advanced trades, technical and business qualifications.
  • 3. levels 7-10, which cover degrees, graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Choosing a course and University in New Zealand.

It is very important that one chooses an institute according to various criteria like employability, and reputation of the institution among recruiters. For courses in art and 3D animation, it is important that the student has made a strong portfolio of his/her work so as to present it to the tutors of the institutes that one wants to get admitted in to. New Zealand is one of the best destinations to study business management and film making. It also has very good courses for studying agricultural technology, and viniculture which require very specific requirements in terms of the bachelor’s degree one possesses to get inducted into the relevant masters degree or equivalent course.


Top Courses

Popular courses to study in New Zealand are:

  • Data Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Marketing Management
  • Computer Science
Course Duration - 18 Months
Computer and Information Science
Course Duration - 18 Months
Construction Management
Course Duration - 12 Months
Course Duration - 18 Months
Public Health
Course Duration - 24 Months
Geographic Information Science
Course Duration - 24 Months

Admission Process

Preparations for studying in a New Zealand university may start almost a year in advance, as for all of the overseas universities. New Zealand’s academic session commences between February and March. However, some universities have different intake periods. Therefore, the best way to start with the application procedure is to get the precise information from the department concerned to avoid missing out on deadline dates related to admission.. Once candidates are aware of the application deadlines they can start preparing for the standardized tests, including the English proficiency tests namely IELTS,Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), Paper-based TOEFL, Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) or Proficiency (CPE), Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic.

Please note that for the March intake, a majority of New Zealand admission deadlines are scheduled in December of the previous year. Also, New Zealand admission deadlines may vary depending on the universities as well as their respective departments.

1.Prepping for and getting your language proficiency scores/other eligibility criteria fulfilled.

New Zealand universities have different requirements for language proficiency and one may not be eligible for enrollment unless one meets the required standards. For management aspirants it is important that you get your GMAT scores. Generally an IELTS score of 6.5 or above or TOEFL (iBT) score above 95 with a high score in reading writing and listenig sections would ensure that you meet the criteria for most of the schools. The following are some of the language proficiency score required by the New Zealand universities:

How to shortlist universities?

Before you jump into conclusions based on your bias, it is always better that you make a list of universities that you would want to get into depending on variables as listed below:

  • Preferred course/supervisor.
  • Tuition fee
  • Availability of scholarship
  • Cost of living in the particular city
  • Availability of informal employment
  • Proximity to known relatives etc.

Make sure that you have shortlisted at least a few universities with late deadlines as back up. Make sure, if you are going for a research position that you go through the pages of the specific tutors that you are interested in. Make lists of tutors you are interested to work under their area of specialization, the university/Institute that they belong to along with deadline dates for application submission and scholarships. If you are interested in working with someone very specific, it is always better that you contact the tutor by E-mail and work out details like research funding. It is always important that you make customized research proposal for every tutor you are interested in, depending on the expertise of the tutor in question. However it is equally important to understand that you may under no circumstances send a generic e-mail to all the tutors that you are interested to work under.

List of documents/Application requirements

Each university requires at least two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and the copy of your passport for applying for a normal course.

Required Proof Documents

Documents that provide evidence of your name, date of birth, any name changes, citizenship or residency Birth Certificate Or Relevant pages of your passport Or Citizenship Certificate

Documents that provide evidence of what you have studied Your official academic transcript
Your official program completion certificate
Your detailed semester mark sheets for Indian institutions

Documents that provide evidence of your English language proficiency IELTS Or TOEFL Or equivalent

Additional requirements specific to your intended program Form or a portfolio or attendance at an interview or audition.

Apart from this the candidate also needs to prepare a list of documents required for the visa process once the candidate receives admittance into one’s university of choice.

1. Choosing the university

Depending on your eligibility you may get admits into multiple universities and this is great, because now you can go back through your university shortlist and compare the pros and cons of the universities that you got the admits for. Normally, it would be best to consider the ROI ranks of the university in such a situation to improve one’s chances at employability and permanent residency permit for New Zealand. Along with this one can also contact peers who used Yocket and have been inducted in such programs; other Indian nationals who are alumni or are currently pursuing their education in that particular institute either through linkedIN or facebook.

After you finalize the university/institute of your choice, you have to pay the fees for the first year of your study. Once the fee is paid, you have to collect the receipt and start the process for visa application.

Cost of Attendance

The primary cost associated with living as a student in New Zealand will be the tuition fee that one incurs during one’s stay in the country. Apart from the tuition, the house rent is the second most significant expense incurred by an international student. Apart from the tuition, the average international student has to spend about NZ $1250 on rent, groceries, cellular phone bills, and associated living costs per month. This is almost 60,000 indian rupees.

These additional costs are covered by students employing themselves in informal work (weekly wages), for 20 hours/week during the full time course period and 40 hours/week during the vacation period/ during holidays (One has to submit a list of holidays permitted by the university while applying for a student visa to allow full 40 hours of work during the holiday period). 

This is true for most tertiary education courses except for PhD and Master’s degree by Research, where a student is allowed to work full time. It is also advantageous to PhD students in New Zealand as they pay the same tuition fee that a local pays, making fees for PhD courses much cheaper than your regular Graduate/Postgraduate and Master’s program. 

Tuition fees for graduate international students can be quite steep in New Zealand, and can vary substantially between the nation’s eight universities. The cost of study varies from the undergraduate degree to postgraduate degrees as well. Typically, an undergraduate degree costs between NZ$ 22,000 and NZ$ 32,000 per year with higher fee structure for subjects like medicine and veterinary science. Usually, Bachelor’s degree can be completed in three years. A postgraduate program costs between NZ$ 26,000 and NZ$ 37,000 per year with the higher fee structure for subjects like medicine and veterinary science. The International PhD students pay the same as national New Zealand PhD students, which is about NZ$ 6,500 to NZ$ 9,000 per year for most of the subjects.

 On average, you might expect to pay the following in annual fees by subject area:

  • Arts and social sciences: NZ $20,000 
  • Science and engineering: NZ $25,000 
  • Dentistry and medicine: NZ $75,000

Medical Expenses in New Zealand are also significantly higher than other countries and add significantly to the cost of living in New Zealand. This includes the prices of basic medicine such as cold medicine and antibiotics as well as the price of doctors’ and hospital fees (One time visit can be as expensive as NZ $45 -$85, while your basic wages are NZ $16.50/hour). It is therefore advisable that one has a very comprehensive insurance plan.


How do I save money while studying in New Zealand?

  • Save money on food

It’s much cheaper to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at local markets rather than the supermarket.Sharing food costs and cooking meals with your flatmates is another way of cutting costs – and it’s a nice way to get of getting to get acquainted with each other.

  • Use your student ID card to get discounts

Most New Zealand tertiary education providers offer discounts to students at local stores, restaurants and entertainment outlets. You’ll need to use your student ID card to get the discounts, which range from cheap movie tickets to discounts on books and bank fees. Don’t be shy about asking for a discount – you won’t get it unless you ask for one! 

  • Buy second hand 

New Zealanders are amazing recyclers and take pride in it. Buying household goods and clothing secondhand from charity shops – or op shops as they are called in New Zealand – is a great way of saving money. If you prefer to shop online you can find secondhand bargains on Trade Me – New Zealand’s answer to CraigsList.

  • Save money on power

If you’re living in a flat you’ll have to pay for your power. Usually you will share this cost with your flatmates. Power costs vary according to which energy retailer you use. You can compare the costs of different energy providers using Consumer Powerswitch.

Not many New Zealand homes have central heating – instead we use stand-alone electric or gas heaters. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has lots of useful tips on how to keep your heating costs down.

  • Buy a bike – or start walking

Transport costs can eat up a lot of your money. Some cities, such as Christchurch and Hamilton, are very easy to cycle around so it’s worth buying a secondhand bike to use while you’re here.

Many New Zealand cities are relatively small and very walkable.

Best student cities

Popular cities to study in New Zealand are:

  • Auckland
  • Wellington
  • Hamilton
  • Queenstown
  • Nelson
  • Napier


The average time taken to issue a student visa in New Zealand is 25 days. Usually, 95% of visas are issued during this time. In some cases, when the complete information is not available or some documents are missing, the processing may take more time. It is important that one must make a judicious and quick decision regarding the university that one wants to choose so that the visa applications may proceed as quickly as possible. The complete details for visa applications can be found here. When you have been accepted for your program of study in New Zealand, you can apply for a student visa. Before you apply, you need to make sure that you have all the required documents. This includes an offer of place from your education provider, and evidence that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay. The Immigration New Zealand provides student visa a maximum for four years. It decides the length of the student visa based on three factors.

  • If you are a full-fee paying student, the visa will be issued for the length that you have paid the fee for. If you are following the New Zealand academic year, your visa which is issued for one year will expire on March 31 the next year.
  • If your education provider has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Immigration New Zealand, you can apply for length of course visa which allows you to stay full length of the course you chose (up to four years) regardless of the period for which you paid the fee for.
  • If you are a full-scholarship student, the visa will be issued for the period which the scholarship is granted (up to four years).

Steps for applying for a student visa in New Zealand:

International students need a student visa to study in New Zealand depending on the nature and duration of study. We are providing comprehensive information about the process involved in getting a New Zealand student visa.

  • A Letter of Acceptance from the college, confirming you have been accepted and enrolled on a course of full-time day-time education.
  • You must have proof that you have enrolled in the given course and fees have been paid to the institution (fee receipt);
  • Students are required to declare that they have private medical insurance at time of registration.
  • English Proficiency test certificate.
  • If the student has received scholarships in full or partial, documents supporting the same must also be presented.
  • Evidence of your intended study must be provided to make a valid application.
  • Completed and signed application form.
  • Two recent passport size photographs. 
  • Valid passport.
  • Visa application fee.
  • Medical certificates: TB clearance or medical X-ray [general medical certificate (form INZ 1007)-a chest x-ray certificate (form INZ 1096)
  • Character certificate/ Police Certificate : If you plan to study in New Zealand for more than two years, you have to submit a police certificate, which states you have no criminal record in the past.
  • Details of the application for guardian visa for students under the age of 13 years.
  • Evidence of financial support during the stay in New Zealand (either by showing financial records or through FTS/Fund Transfer Service)
  •  If the documents and transcripts are not in English, you will have to provide translation

Some points for you to note.- 

Evidence for financial support can be arranged in two ways; by submitting documents that are recommended by the New Zealand government to show that one has enough funds or by transferring NZ $15000 for living expenses for each year the student is supposed to be in New Zealand by a scheme called FTS. If you intend to study for more than 12 months, you should provide a payment plan, and evidence showing how you’ll pay your tuition and living expenses for your entire time in New Zealand. The evidence of savings and income supporting your payment plan should cover the last 3 years.

  • Acceptable evidence of funds

Proof of funds should include wages slips and corresponding bank statements for at least the last six months showing transfers into your or your sponsor’s or financial guarantor’s bank account. You should also provide tax returns for the last three years to confirm regular income. Other evidence of funds can include a fixed-term deposit that is at least six months old, or a General Provident Fund (GPF) or Employer Provident Fund (EPF) statement held with a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved financial institution. We’ll only accept funds sourced from gold loans, Kisan Credit Card loans, property sales or agricultural income if you or your sponsor have held those funds for six months or longer. We must also be able to verify the source of these funds.

  • Funds Transfer Scheme (FTS):

The FTS is only available to students from China, India, Philippines and Sri Lanka.The FTS, which is operated by the ANZ Bank of New Zealand (ANZ) helps you transfer your funds securely to New Zealand and then withdraw a set amount each month to maintain yourself comfortably while you are in New Zealand.

If you meet all of the criteria for a student visa, apart from being able to satisfy us that you will be able to genuinely access your funds while in New Zealand, then the New Zealand VFS may give you a letter offering you approval in principle (AIP) on the condition that you use the FTS to transfer funds to New Zealand.

  • Visa Photo Specifications:

    For Paper applications, photos need to be 35mm wide and 45mm high while for the online applications, visa photos must meet the following size requirements-
  1. Visa photo should be recent (less than six months old)
  2. Coloured photograph taken against a plain, light background ( but not white)
  3. Photo file size needs to be between 500KB and 3MB
  4. Photo must have dimensions between 900 x 1200 pixels and 2250 x 3000 pixels (in a 3:4 aspect ratio)

After you apply, the immigration department might ask you to:

  1. attend an interview
  2. provide additional information like birth certificate, finger prints
  3. provide other pictures or documents

Post-Study Work Visa

A Post-study work visa lasts for 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the level of your qualification and where you studied. A Post-study work visa lets you work for any employer and in almost any job.

Checking on your visa status

You can check the status of your student visa application through VFS Global New Zealand.

Steps to check the status of your New Zealand Student Visa:

  • Go to VFS New Zealand Homepage
  • Click Track Your Application
  • Enter your receipt number and date of birth
  • Click submit

Top Scholarships

Given below is a set of universities, third parties and government institutions that offer scholarship opportunities to international students wanting to pursue their studies abroad.

List of scholarships for Study Abroad for Fall/Spring 2020

  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship
  • GyanDhan Scholarship

Work Opportunities

While being a student in New Zealand, one no longer requires a work permit for being employed informally for working 20 hours/week during the course and 40 hours/week during the vacation period. If possible, it is best if the student gets employed within the university campus, which cuts down the costs for travelling and makes more time available for the student to be within the university and hence study longer for ones degree. Having a New Zealand-style Curriculum Vitae (CV) will increase your chances of getting a job interview.

Working part time with full time course

International students enrolled for full-time courses do not require an additional work permit to work in the country. However, they do need to have the proper documentation to be able to gain employment. The minimum wage prescribed by the New Zealand government is NZ $ 16.50, which is normally translated to NZ $13.25 after tax cuts. 

You can work up to 20 hours a week if you’re studying full-time for any of the following:

  • for at least 2 years
  • for a New Zealand qualification that gains points under the Skilled Migrant Category
  • for a foundation program for at least 1 academic year at level 4 or higher on the New Zealand Qualification Framework at an education provider in Canterbury.

You may be able to work full-time only under the following circumstances:

  • during scheduled breaks in study, if you’re studying full-time for at least 1 academic year and your course is worth more than 120 credits
  • during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, if you’re studying full-time and your course is worth 120 credits or more.
  • If you’re enrolled in Masters by research or doctoral degree program awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution, there are no restrictions on the hours you can work.

Getting an IRD number for taxes:

New Zealand charges income tax on a pay as you earn (PAYE) system for people on salary and wages. If you are earning income, you will have tax deducted automatically before you receive it. You will need to get a tax (IRD) number before you start work in New Zealand. If you don’t have a tax number, tax will be deducted from your income at the highest rate. So it's a good idea to apply for an IRD number when you first arrive in New Zealand.

What kind of jobs can international students find?

It is very difficult for a student with no experience to get a job even though it’s a part-time job in New Zealand. The best way to get a part time job is for someone who was/is working at the establishment to recommend you for the post that you are applying for. New Zealand is relatively small with sparse population, making it very difficult to find part time jobs. If one is exceptionally good at the subject, the mentor of the course could employ one for teaching assistantships, which might pay well and one doesn’t lose touch over the subject because one is constantly learning instead of doing menial jobs. But one has to be really careful at weighing the pros and cons of working while studying in New Zealand. The course itself will be very demanding with constant assignments and tests, and it may become taxing to work along with the course. The student must never sacrifice a good quality outcome with a college degree for meager minimum wage jobs.


Students enrolled on courses on the Degree Program are allowed to undertake an internship where this forms part of their program.

Work after the degree:

You can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years after you finish your study if you have an acceptable qualification. A Post-study work visa lasts for 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the level of your qualification and where you studied. A Post-study work visa lets you work for any employer and in almost any job. Your partner can apply for a work visa and your dependent children can study fee-free as domestic students. Studying for qualifications in an occupation that has skill shortages may increase your chances of getting a job. You can find more about the skill shortage list here.


Can students work while studying in New Zealand?

Students are allowed to work 20 hours per week, and full time during vacations.

Are degrees obtained from New Zealand recognized worldwide?

Yes, degrees obtained from New Zealand are recognized worldwide and renowned for their quality education.

Which English language tests are accepted by New Zealand Universities?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most preferred English language test, accepted by all universities in New Zealand.