What Is The Total Cost of Studying in New Zealand?

Written by Shreya Berry

Shreya has expertise in writing engaging content for the readers and has a deep interest in unique applications of technology in various domains. She has worked closely on projects with Neil Patel Digital, Hindustan Times, News 18 and Shiksha.

November 10, 2020

New Zealand is a fabulous study destination for anyone with a taste for adventure, offering beautiful natural scenery, friendly and welcoming residents, and outstanding universities. More than 106,000 international students are currently studying in New Zealand, so read on to find out what living expenses and tuition fees you will need to cover during your stay if you want to join them. Here is the cost of studying in New Zealand.

Tuition Fees | University Costs In NZ

Is studying in New Zealand expensive? With international students paying more than domestic students, universities in New Zealand set their fees, which differ based on education, subject, and student status.

Cost of university in New Zealand for undergraduate tuition:

Foreign undergraduate students, with higher tuition for subjects such as medicine and veterinary science, can expect to pay around NZ$22,000-32,000 (~US$14,900-21,700) a year. It takes three years to complete most bachelor’s degrees.

The cost of studying in New Zealand in terms of your tuition fees depends on whether you’re a domestic or an international student. Fees will be subsidized by the government for domestic students from Australia and New Zealand, ensuring you’ll usually spend about NZ$10,000-25,000 a year. However, recently, the government introduced a free fee initiative, allowing domestic first-year students to study for one year starting in 2019 for free. The government will pay up to NZ$12,000 for one year (this may be stretched out for many years if you are studying part-time), and refugees will also be eligible.

Postgraduate Tuition Fees | Study In New Zealand Costs

The cost of university in New Zealand largely depends on whether you’re pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate studies. Your annual fees will vary between NZ$26,000-37,000 (~US$17,660-25,100) if you’re an international master’s student, while domestic students pay NZ$5,000-10,000 per year.

Is studying in New Zealand expensive for research or PhD students? International Ph.D. students, however, pay the same as domestic students, which for most fields, is around NZ$6,500-$9,000 (~US4,400-6,100) a year.

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Living Expenses For Studying In New Zealand

The cost of studying doesn’t stop at university costs in NZ. If you continue studying in New Zealand for more than a year, you will need to prove that you have at least NZ $15,000 (~ US $10,200) to support yourself for the first year as part of your student visa application.

You may find you need more than this; however, depending on your lifestyle, location, and spending habits, for example, a recommended student budget should be NZ$20,000-$25,000, which is about US$ 13,500-16,900.

When talking about the cost of studying in New Zealand, the capital city of Wellington and the largest city in Auckland are likely to be the most expensive cities in New Zealand for living expenses.

  • Utilities: NZ$23 (~US$15.50) 
  • Internet: NZ$8 (~US$5) 
  • Mobile phone plan: NZ$10 (~US$6.75) 
  • Insurance: NZ$8 (~US$5)
  • Food: NZ$120 (~US$80) 
  • Transport: NZ$35 (~US$24)
  • Entertainment: NZ$55 (~US$37)

Other miscellaneous living expenses contain health insurance, which you must procure before your studies begin – which means that the cost of studying in New Zealand will include additional costs varying between NZ$200-700 (~US$135-470) per year. It would cost about NZ$45 (~US$30) for a visit to the doctor. For your course, you would also need about NZ$500 (~US$340) for books and stationery for each year when you are studying in New Zealand. You can watch a movie at the cinema for NZ$15 (~US$10), get a monthly gym pass for NZ$60 (~US$40), and enjoy a relaxing drink in a bar for NZ$10 (~US$6.75) in terms of lifestyle and entertainment.


When examining the study in New Zealand costs, accommodation plays a major role especially for international students who are more often than not, torn between on-campus & off-campus housing. Most New Zealand universities provide their students Halls of Residence to live in, and this will cost you about NZ$270 (~US$180) per week. With prices ranging from as little as NZ$169 (~US$114) a week at the University of Canterbury to up to NZ$473 (~US$320) in catered student halls, you can choose between self-catered and catered accommodation.

A three-bedroom apartment in the middle of the city can cost you around NZ$3,276 (~US$2,200) per month in Auckland and NZ$1,520 (~US$1,020) in Dunedin, so it also depends on which city you’re living in and how much importance is attached to it.

Thank you for reading this blog on the cost of studying in New Zealand. If you’d like to read more, check out these blogs that might be of interest to you:

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