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New Zealand

Study Master in New Zealand 2024

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Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About New Zealand

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country's geography comprises two main landmasses ‒ that of the North and South Islands ‒ and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand has a modern, prosperous, and developed market economy. It was ranked 13th in the 2016 Human Development Index, and according to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index, New Zealand is considered a strong performer in environmental protection.

New Zealand is a diverse country with a unique cultural background and plenty to offer to the international student. Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, this island country is near Australia, as well as Fiji and Tonga. It is remote as a whole, though there are large and growing cities throughout the country. In fact, New Zealand was one of the last remote areas settled by people. The largest city of Auckland is home to numerous higher education options for international students, but other options are available as well.

Students enroll in school at the age of six. They are required, under federal law, to remain in school through the age of 16. Citizens of the country do not pay for education throughout this time. Most students remain in school through age 19, all of which is paid for by the government. The country has a literacy rate of 99 percent.


During most of the year, the climate here is mild. The annual temperature range is about 50 degrees F up to 61 degrees F. Temperatures can range, though, based on which location of the island you are living in. The western coast is very wet. The Central Otago region is a semi-arid climate. There are areas of rainforest here as well as mountain tops with very cold temperatures.


New Zealanders love the outdoors. You will find that this is the place to visit if you are after mountain climbing or skiing. However, the area also has a vital cultural component that includes the early traditions of the Maori culture. Much of the country remains remote and many people live in these areas. In modern cities, though, you will find every comfort you may be accustomed to enjoying.

Cost of Living

Living in New Zealand is much like living in Australia. The country's cost of living in Auckland is similar to what you will find in London, Sydney, or New York. Imported items do cost significantly more.

Higher Education in New Zealand

Once a student completes his or her basic education, the individual can enter into one of the government-owned tertiary institutions. This includes universities, colleges of education, specialist colleges, and polytechnics. There are also private training institutions available to students. About 14 percent of the country's adult population has a bachelor's degree, while at least 30 percent of New Zealand's population holds a secondary qualification of some kind. When compared to other countries in the world, New Zealand's educational system, including its universities and colleges of special education, are excellent. As rated by the Program for International Student Assessment, the country ranks number seven as best in the world. The country is known for its high schools in the areas of mathematics, science, and reading. New Zealand has eight total universities, all of which rank highly in QS World University Rankings.

There are plenty of reasons to study in New Zealand, including its diverse culture, modern, vibrant cities, and the ecological features found here. There is always something to do here, whether it is exploring the outdoors or exploring culturally important entertainment.

Students attend school from March to November each year. However, it may be possible to enter into other programs mid-way through the year. Most schools operate on semester schedules, though some use trimesters or quarters as well. To enroll as an international student, individuals must first have a recognized level of education now. That is an English proficiency and qualifying secondary education from their home country. Students must also apply directly to each of the universities he or she wishes to be considered for. The deadlines, fees, and requirements range widely for each of the schools.

In terms of costs, only New Zealand citizens are given free education and most higher education requires payment by citizens as well. The cost of attending school in New Zealand depends on the university selected. Tuition information is provided to the student from the school, but it may include accommodations for the student as well.

Obtaining a Student Visa in New Zealand

In order to live in New Zealand for full-time education, the student must obtain a visa. If you plan to be in the country for less than three months, this is not necessary. A traditional visitor visa is enough at that level. Beyond this, though, students must meet specific requirements to qualify for a student visa. This includes having approval from one of the country's recognized schools, having funds to cover living expenses, including a flight to your home country, medical certificates if you plan to be in the area for over 12 months, and, for those over the age of 18, a letter showing that accommodations have been arranged.

Health Insurance

Students who plan to enroll in one of the universities must have supplied health insurance for him or herself. Students will need to purchase health insurance through an approved New Zealand-based provider. It is not provided by the school. However, to obtain a student visa to study in the country, students will need to show proof of health insurance. It is not free in this country.

Why Study in New Zealand?

The educational system in New Zealand is exceptional. Foreign travelers are welcomed. The vibrant life here, as well as the outstanding, modern amenities, make it an ideal place to learn and grow. Though the area has plenty of educational opportunities to offer, there is a lot to learn just from the sheer love of life that many locals have here.

Visa Requirements

Student Visa (for studies that are longer than three months)

If your course is three months or less, you don’t need a student visa, just a visitor visa.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Student Visa; Visitor Visa

Price and currency

NZD 250

Application fees vary depending on your country of origin and can be around $250.

You can check the costs of a New Zealand student visa here:

Who can apply for the visa?

A student visa is required for all people coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months. The study must be the main purpose of your visit. If your course is up to 3 months, you may be able to study on a visitor visa or work visa.

You don't need a student visa to study full time if:

  1. you're an NZ citizen or resident
  2. you're an Australian citizen
  3. you have a permanent residence visa or a resident return visa for Australia — without conditions.

Where can you make the application?

Online / New Zealand consulate or embassy

To make an application for a New Zealand student visa, you can apply online or in person before traveling.

To apply in person within your home country, you will need to contact your local New Zealand consulate or embassy to get an application form and/or appointment. Alternatively, you can apply online by visiting the official website and creating an account.


How to make the application?

For your visa application, you will need:

  • Acceptance letter from an approved education provider in New Zealand.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds - You will need to show that you have sufficient funds to pay your tuition fees (this can include evidence of loan coverage, scholarship or other funds) and proof of funds to cover your living costs while you study in New Zealand (via a sponsor, a loan, a scholarship, government support or sufficient bank balance). You need to prove you have at least NZD$15,000 (~US$10,870) for each year if your course is longer than nine months.
  • Proof of onward travel - This can be evidence of already paid-for onward tickets, proof of further funds, or agreement from a sponsor to pay for onward travel. The point is to show that you intend and can afford, to leave the country once you complete your studies.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Medical certificates - If you are planning to study in New Zealand for more than 12 months you will need to provide a general medical certificate, a chest x-ray certificate and possibly undertake a tuberculosis screening.
  • If you are under 18 you will also need to provide proof of arranged accommodation, and if you are 17 or older, a police certificate of “good character”.
  • Two-color passport photos.
  • A passport valid for at least three months after the date you plan to leave New Zealand.
  • Proof that you have paid the visa application fee.

When should you apply?

You should apply at least six weeks before you plan to travel to New Zealand. Student visas applied for online usually take 20 days to process, while student visas applied for via the paper form take 25 days to process.

Your Student Visa is normally for the same length of time as the study you’ve paid for, and its duration can be up to 4 years.

Processing time

20 Days

Work opportunities

International full-time students with a student visa are legally allowed to work in New Zealand for up to 20 hours per week during term time, and may work full-time during all scheduled holiday periods such as Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. The specifics depend on your visa conditions. Work experience required in your studies doesn’t count towards the 20-hour limit. International students can’t be self-employed.

Masters by research and Ph.D. students can work as many hours as they wish.

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

Some of the reasons why a New Zealand student visa may be rejected are:

  1. If you have a record of imprisonment in the last 10 years and or been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment.
  2. If you have a record of deportation, and or if you are a subject of a period of prohibition to enter into New Zealand.
  3. If there is a misrepresentation of the information you have provided, on which the immigration officer believes that the information declared in your application is not genuine.
  4. If you submitted an application that is not completed
  5. If the health and character requirements are not met
  6. If you are unable to demonstrate to cover the tuition fee cost, living and travel cost in New Zealand
  7. If there is no clear pathway for the course you intend to study in New Zealand
  8. If the immigration officer sees that you are not a genuine student from the documents and information you have provided, and as after the telephonic interview, you can’t even answered some information regarding the course information, institution’s information, among others
  9. If the funds are not legit, or it cannot be verified