Study in New Zealand

Facts About New Zealand


Why Study in New Zealand

Popular Cities of New Zealand

The Northern Isle is the place where approximately two-thirds of all New Zealanders reside, and the majority of them are centered in the Auckland locality. Auckland is significantly the largest metropolis in New Zealand and serves as the nation’s economic nucleus and its most diverse hub, with substantial Polynesian and Asian communities. Two harbors and a plethora of shorelines within the metropolitan area contribute to Auckland’s alias, the Metropolis of Sails. Auckland was recognized among the ten most agreeable cities globally in the 2023 assessments from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The terrains of the Northern Isle are, for the most part, milder than those of the Southern Isle, yet equally remarkable. To the north of Auckland lies Northland, renowned for its aureate sandy beaches and delightful sub-tropical climate. Progressing south, through the undulating verdant farmlands of the central Northern Isle and beyond the town of Hamilton, New Zealand’s grandest inland town, the topography transforms in the central Northern Isle to become significantly more challenging, showcasing the extraordinary lunar-like landscapes and pedestrian paths of the Tongariro National Park (a Global Heritage Locale) and the skiing terrains of Mount Ruapehu. The Northern Isle concludes with the urban center of Wellington, situated at the base of the south coastline. Wellington is the capital metropolis of New Zealand and, although notably smaller and lacking the commercial dominance of Auckland, it is a residence to numerous of the nation’s nationwide cultural establishments, encompassing the New Zealand Harmony Orchestra, the National Opera, the Imperial New Zealand Ballet, and the nation’s nationwide gallery, Te Papa. It’s an urbane, easygoing metropolis, celebrated for its buying, cuisine, and coffee, as well as maintaining a well-earned standing as a hub for melody, film, and the fine arts. 

The Southern Isle frequently appears prominently in narratives across various online platforms from New Zealand. This isn’t unexpected, considering that it is the abode of arguably the nation’s most remarkable landscapes (the wintry crests of the Southern Alps, the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, the reflective waters of Fiordland, the cyan waters and sandy coastlines of the Marlborough Sounds, and so forth) as well as hosting a selection of its most devoted thrill-seeker pursuits (bungee-jumping, winter sports, ocean-kayaking, and speed-boating to mention just a few). However, there exists a considerably milder aspect to the Southern Isle as well, and it’s the exceptional blend of the remarkable and the calming that contributes to its enduring allure. The Southern Isle’s limited populace ensures there is consistently more than ample space for all — it’s frequently feasible to claim an exclusive golden sandy shoreline for yourself here — and the scarcity of queues, traffic gridlocks, and general troubles establishes an incredibly laid-back lifestyle. The modest population, nonetheless, implies that certain regions of the Southern Isle may seem distant. If you lean toward something more sociable, ensure you make your way to one of the primary hubs. There’s Nelson, an exquisite, artist-influenced town at the radiant peak of the Southern Isle; Dunedin, acknowledged as New Zealand’s ‘scholarly city’; Christchurch, the most extensive metropolis in the Southern Isle; and Queenstown, New Zealand’s capital for adventure tourism and an all-encompassing revelry hub. While a substantial part of the Southern Isle way of life centers on the great outdoors, there’s also a significant emphasis on enjoyable diversions, delectable cuisine, and exceptional wine. Hence, whether you fancy some recently prepared fish and chips while seated on the wharf following a day of exploration or ocean-kayaking, or an evening out after a leisurely day meandering through a few museums, galleries, or vineyards, there’s something available for every taste. 

  • The 2018 census data on religion shows a very diverse range of beliefs across about half the population, with the other half of those prepared to state a religion saying ‘No religion’ : 
  • No religion 47.8% 
  • Christianity (many variants) 36.7% 
  • Hinduism 2.6% 
  • Maori religion 1.3% 
  • Islam 1.3% 
  • Buddhism 1.1% 
  • New Age etc 0.4% 
  • Judaism 0.1% 
  • Other 1.9% 
  • Object to stating 6.6% 

The cost of studying in New Zealand can vary depending on several factors, including the level of education, the institution, and the lifestyle of the student. New Zealand tertiary institutions suggest that student’s budget for living costs ranging from $18,000 to $27,000 per annum, contingent upon the location. However, starting July 2022, Immigration New Zealand will require you to demonstrate access to a minimum of NZ$20,000 annually to cover living expenses when applying for your student visa (refer to pages 30-31 for more details). It’s essential to recognize that all figures provided on these pages are approximations, as the cost of living can fluctuate based on individual lifestyles. All costs mentioned are denominated in New Zealand dollars. 

Pricing in New Zealand: How Much for Essentials? 

Takeaway pizza (large): From $10 

Milk: $2.35 – $4.50 

Bread: $3.30 – $5 

Coffee, cappuccino, or latte: From $5 

Pint of beer: From $8 

Student cinema ticket: $10 – $17 

Main meal at a restaurant (off-campus): $15 – $40 

Backpacker (dorm bunk room): From $30 per night 

Return flight Wellington to Queenstown: From $350 

Ticket (foot passenger) on the ferry between the North and South Islands: From $75 

Glass of wine: From $9 

Here are some key aspects to consider: 

Tuition Fees: 

Tuition fees differ based on the program and institution. 

On average, undergraduate programs can range from NZD 22,000 to NZD 32,000 per year. 

Postgraduate programs may range from NZD 26,000 to NZD 37,000 per year. 

Professional and specialized programs may have higher tuition costs. 

Living Expenses: 

Living costs vary depending on the location and lifestyle of the student. 

Estimated living expenses range from NZD 15,000 to NZD 27,000 per year. 

This includes accommodation, food, transportation, entertainment, and other personal expenses. 


Accommodation costs depend on whether you choose university-managed housing, private rentals, or homestays. 

On-campus housing or university-managed accommodations can range from NZD 200 to NZD 400 per week. 

Renting privately may have a wider range, with costs influenced by the city or town. 

Health Insurance: 

International students are required to have health and travel insurance. 

The cost of health insurance can vary but is typically around NZD 600 to NZD 1,000 per year. 

Books and Supplies: 

The cost of textbooks and other supplies depends on the program of study. 

It’s advisable to budget around NZD 500 to NZD 1,000 per year for books and materials. 


Public transportation costs vary by city. 

Monthly transportation passes may range from NZD 100 to NZD 200. 

Other Miscellaneous Expenses: 

Miscellaneous expenses, including phone bills, internet, and personal items, may add up to NZD 100 to NZD 200 per week. 

Total Estimated Cost: 

The total estimated cost, including tuition, accommodation, living expenses, and additional costs, could range from NZD 30,000 to NZD 60,000 per year, depending on various factors. 

  • New Zealand’s economy is developed, but it is comparatively small in the global marketplace.  
  • In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, New Zealand’s standard of living, based on the export of agricultural products, was one of the highest in the world, but after the mid-20th century the rate of growth tended to be one of the slowest among the developed countries. 
  • There is no official “poverty line” in New Zealand; however, the government’s Ministry of Social Development estimates that approximately one in seven New Zealand households are living on less than 60% of the median household income after housing costs. 


  • From September – to November 
    Average daytime temperature: 16 – 19˚C (61 – 66˚F) 


  • From December – to February 
    Average daytime temperature: 20 – 25˚C (68 – 77˚F) 


  • From March – to May 
    Average daytime temperature:17 – 21˚C (62 – 70˚F) 


  • From June – to August 
    Average daytime temperature:12 – 16˚C (53 – 61˚F) 

The education system in New Zealand is divided into several levels, from early childhood education to tertiary education. Higher Education in New Zealand closely resembles that of the UK, as New Zealand was once a British territory. This means that qualifications gained in New Zealand can often be easily transferred to institutions in both the UK and Australia. All education institutions that award qualifications must be accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). 

Here’s an overview of the key components of the New Zealand education system: 

  1. Early Childhood Education: 

Preschool/Early Childhood Education (ECE): 

Available for children aged 0-5. 

Options include playcentres, kindergartens, childcare centers, and home-based care. 

  1. Compulsory Education:

Primary Education: 

Compulsory for children aged 6-16. 

Encompasses Years 1 to 6 (ages 5-11) and Years 7 to 8 (ages 11-13). 

Intermediate School: 

Some regions have intermediate schools for Years 7-8. 

In other regions, primary schools cover both Years 1-8. 

  1. Secondary Education:

Secondary School (High School): 

Encompasses Years 9 to 13 (ages 13-18). 

Students work towards the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), the main national qualification for secondary school students. 

  1. Post-Compulsory Education:

Tertiary Education: 

Includes universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), and private training establishments (PTEs). 

Offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. 

Tertiary education is governed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). 

  1. Qualifications:

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA): 

The primary qualification for secondary school students. 

Comprises Levels 1, 2, and 3. 

Students earn credits through assessments. 

University Entrance: 

Required for entry into most New Zealand universities. 

Achieved through NCEA Level 3 or alternative pathways. 

Degree Levels: 

Bachelor’s degrees typically take three years. 

Master’s degrees usually take one to two years. 

Doctoral degrees (Ph.D.) involve original research and typically take three to four years. 

  1. Tertiary Education Providers:


Research-focused institutions offering a wide range of academic programs. 

Examples include the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, and the University of Otago. 

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs): 

Offer a mix of academic and applied programs. 

Examples include the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Otago Polytechnic. 

Private Training Establishments (PTEs): 

Privately owned institutions offering specialized training programs. 

Examples include Natcoll Design Technology and Yoobee Colleges. 

  1. Quality Assurance:

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA): 

Responsible for quality assurance and accreditation of education providers. 

Ensures that qualifications offered in New Zealand meet national and international standards. 

New Zealand’s higher education institutions are split into four categories: 

  • Universities  
  • Polytechnics And Institutes of Technology  
  • Colleges Of Education  
  • Private Training Providers 

The structure of New Zealand degrees corresponds very closely to the British system, running from certificates to PhDs, although the complete span is only offered at university institutions. Polytechnics and institutes of technology generally start at certificate level and run up to postgraduate courses. Private training generally offers certificate and diploma qualifications. A bachelor’s degree generally takes three to four years to complete. After this, the student is free to enter a postgraduate course, where they can earn a graduate diploma, Master’s degree, or a doctorate. Master’s degrees take one to two years to complete and require a higher level of study, including some research not generally incorporated into undergraduate courses. The next stop on from a Master’s degree is, as in much of the world, a PhD. Postgraduate study is based on the previous degree and requires the candidate to stay largely within the same field of study. 

  • The NZQF is divided into 10 levels, and covers a range of qualifications from certificates to doctoral degrees.  
  • The levels are based on how complex the learning is, with a level 1 certificate the least complex. 
  • At secondary school, students work towards NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement), which covers levels 1 to 3 of the NZQF. 
  • After secondary school, students who want to continue their study at a tertiary level can choose from a number of education options ranging from universities to Te Pūkenga (and its subsidiaries), private colleges, transitional industry training organisations and more. 
  •  Students may need to finish secondary school to study at this level. 

The New Zealand education system, being recognized by the British education, offers high quality and world class education with a perfect balance of theoretical and practical learning. The education providers of New Zealand are categorized under three main categories: 


  • New Zealand universities are ranked in the top 3% in the world. 
  • All New Zealand universities are ranked amongst the world’s best by QS World University Rankings. 
  • Our universities rank in the world’s top 100 in 65 subjects in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. 
  • New Zealand was ranked the top English-speaking country at preparing students for the future by The Economist Intelligence Unit in 2019. 
  • The qualifications one gains in New Zealand are highly regarded and sought-after by employers and other educational institutions around the world. 
  • When one studies in New Zealand, he/she learns beyond the subject. One  become a confident, critical and creative thinker. These skills are highly prized by employers worldwide. 
  • As a member of the Lisbon Qualification Recognition Convention, New Zealand qualifications are recognized in over 50 countries. 
  • New Zealand bachelor degrees listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework are widely recognised in the international job market and for postgraduate study. 
  • New Zealand education focuses on real-world skills, giving the skills a person needs to succeed in the global workforce and can also further their research in New Zealand. 
  • Employers value New Zealand graduates’ ability to think independently, find solutions and solve problems. Many New Zealand employers are actively seeking skilled professionals in specific areas of demand. If the completion of a qualification in one of these areas, the student may be able to apply for a Post-study work or skilled migrant visa. 

    Private Colleges 

    • Specialized institutions with the highest standards gives excellent training and a great student experience 
    • Choose from a wide range of qualifications and get the skills needed to work in the industry of choice. 
    • Smaller class sizes gives access to academic staff and industry partners 
    • All qualifications, from certificate to post graduate level, are focused on achieving real job outcomes. 
    • The student gets invaluable practical workplace training and work on ‘real world’ company projects. 
    • The qualification will be recognised internationally, giving the  resume the edge over other job applicants. 
    • New Zealand private colleges offer practical courses for all levels of study, from foundation programmes right through to masters degrees. The student can create his/her own pathway to reach the goals. 
    • Also the student can study in flexible times and locations, to suit the needs. Courses include campus, distance-based and online study options. 

    Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics 

    Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) in New Zealand play a significant role in the country’s tertiary education system. ITPs focus on providing practical, hands-on education and training in various fields, including technology, applied sciences, business, and more. Keep in mind that institutional information may evolve, so it’s advisable to check the official websites of each ITP for the most current details. New Zealand’s 16 state-owned Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) have been brought together to create a single national institution, the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST).  

    • ITPs will be working more closely together to provide the best value for students, wherever they study.  
    • Over the long term, the changes will give students: 
    • real-world capabilities, not just qualifications 
    • flexible ways to learn – at work, on campus, online or a mix of all three 
    • extra educational and pastoral support to help them succeed.  

    Here’s an overview of some of the prominent ITPs in New Zealand: 

New Zealand student visas typically permit undergraduate scholars to engage in employment for up to 20 hours per week throughout the academic term and full-time during university breaks. All New Zealand universities furnish a Student Job Search service, facilitating students in securing part-time positions during both the academic sessions and the summer recess. If seeking part-time employment, it is advisable to promptly enlist in this service and regularly monitor the job listings, as new opportunities emerge consistently. 

For those possessing prior experience in a specific field they wish to persist in—be it tending bar, administrative duties, or serving in restaurants—it is recommended to prepare in advance before departure, ensuring a swift commencement of the job search upon arrival. Carrying an updated curriculum vitae (CV) and references from past employments is beneficial. 

As of April 2023, the minimum wage in New Zealand stands at $22.70 per hour pre-tax. Securing an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number is imperative for employment in New Zealand. It is prudent to apply for an IRD number at the earliest opportunity upon arrival; application forms are available at PostShops. Documentation required includes your passport, New Zealand student visa, and proof of student enrollment. 

While a significant number of students associated with Genius Study Abroad opt to work concurrently with their studies, it is crucial to acknowledge that employment is not guaranteed, and the duration to secure a position is uncertain. Budgeting should be undertaken with this uncertainty in mind—assuming immediate access to a lucrative part-time role is unwise. Developing a contingency plan is imperative. 

Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities in New Zealand: The Post Study Work Visa 

Upon successful completion of an accredited qualification in New Zealand, you gain eligibility to apply for a Post Study Work Visa, extending prospects after graduation. Depending on the level and location of your New Zealand qualification, you can engage in employment with nearly any employer in the country for up to three years, encompassing a diverse range of roles. 

To qualify for a Post Study Work Visa, you must have fulfilled the requirements of a qualification assessed at Level 4 or higher on the NZQF. This criterion encompasses all university-level studies in New Zealand, starting from bachelor’s degrees and beyond. If your qualification attains Level 7 (bachelor’s) or higher, you possess the flexibility to work for any employer in any capacity. For qualifications below degree level, engagement in a job related to your field of study is mandatory. Moreover, your qualification must be listed in the Qualifications Eligible for a Post Study Work Visa. 

The duration of your Post Study Work Visa aligns with the duration of your academic tenure in New Zealand. For instance, completing a three-year bachelor’s degree makes you eligible for a three-year Post Study Work Visa, while a one-year postgraduate diploma qualifies you for a one-year Post Study Work Visa. However, this rule doesn’t apply to PhD or master’s students, who maintain eligibility for a three-year Post Study Work Visa. 

Popular Courses to Study in New Zealand

  • Undergraduate
  • 12 years of elementary and secondary education (12th /Intermediate).
  • Most universities accept a minimum of 75% aggregate marks and a minimum of 60% in English
  • Mathematics in class XII as a requirement (for some Sciences and Technology courses).
  • Minimum mandatory IELTS/PTE Academic scores
  • Post Graduate
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum compulsory IELTS / PTE Academic scores.
  • Relevant work experience (for MBA and IT program).
  • Grade 12 with minimum 60 – 65% (Varies with the courses) for:

    • Diplomas -      IELTS (Academic) 6.0; no one score below 5.5: TOEFL 550 (213), Certificates - IELTS (Academic) 5.5: TOEFL 525 (190).
    • For Bachelors Degree - Grade 12 with minimum 65% aggregate marks
    • For Masters Degree – Bachelors Degree with minimum 60%
  • Grade 12 with minimum 60 – 65% (Varies with the courses)
  • Diplomas -      IELTS (Academic) 6.0; no one score below 5.5: TOEFL 550 (213), Certificates - IELTS (Academic) 5.5: TOEFL 525 (190).
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