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How Much Does it Cost to Study in New Zealand?


Smiling faces. Immersive culture. Picturesque landscapes. New Zealand is everyone's utopia, holding the promise of sustainable and harmonious existence. And if you think about it, that's all that matters, doesn't it?

Education and career are the two most important things to focus on in your twenties, and deciding the perfect study abroad destination makes all the difference. Financially affordable and socially tolerant, the multicultural environment of New Zealand would be the ideal setting for international students.

Going forward, we'll discuss everything about study in New Zealand - cost, culture, education, career opportunities and growth. 

How Much Does it Cost to Study in New Zealand?

If your face lights up at the mention of studying abroad but goes off when you think about the potential study and living costs, then New Zealand could be the solution to your worries. A young country with natural abundance, and a wealth of resources, New Zealand, offers aspiring students the chance to study and achieve their career goals in a cost-effective way.

Here's a break up of the costs of studying in New Zealand for international students

1. Tuition Fees

When it comes to studying abroad, tuition fees would always be the prime expenditure. New Zealand, however, is relatively affordable compared to other countries. For pursuing a bachelor's course in New Zealand, you need to carve out $20,500 - $25,000 annually, and for master's $20,000 - $29,000 annually.

Many universities also offer scholarships and bursaries to international students to reduce the financial burden. Also, there are multiple other ways to save a few bucks while living abroad, which we'll see more of in the following sections. 

2. Accommodation Costs

There's no choice quite affordable like on-campus accommodation for international students. Hailed as the 'halls of residence', on-campus living in the universities in New Zealand is the most affordable and convenient choice since they're economical and help you save a few bucks on travel too.

As economical as these are, the on-campus facilities are limited and offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Costing NZ$ 215 - NZ$ 555 per week (depending upon the city and type of accommodation), you can choose from either fully-catered or self-catered Halls of residence.

External accommodation, including rooms and homestays, can cost NZ $150 - NZ$ 300 per week. 

3. Living Costs

Living costs in New Zealand for international students would be an estimate of the expenditure on food, entertainment, health, leisure, electricity and maintenance. Irrespective of the university or course, living costs are relatively common, with minor variations in the prices in each city.

If you would be studying in New Zealand for more than a year, you'll need to budget at least $15,000 to cover your living expenses for the first year. 

S.no Factors Estimated Cost
Food & beverages


Clothing & footwear



Housing & household utilities



Household content & services



Health checkups









Recreation & culture






Miscellaneous goods & services


4. Health and Insurance

Studying in New Zealand mandates international students to have a proper and applicable health insurance plan in place. The average cost for medical insurance ranges between NZ$ 200 – NZ$ 700 annually.

Extensive health support services are readily available for all international students in New Zealand, with the only requirement being for you to hold a valid health insurance plan. 

5. Student Visa

A New Zealand student visa fee costs NZ $295 for an online application. A valid student visa enables international students to work part-time up to 20 hours a week and full-time on semester breaks upon fulfilling study credits and course conditions.

6. Provide for taxes

As an international student earning in New Zealand, your income is taxable. Apply for an IRD (Inland Revenue Department) number and make provisions for the taxable amount according to the applicable tax slab.

Affordable Universities in New Zealand for International Students

Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, New Zealand has some of the best universities that are also affordable for international students. Here's a list of the affordable top 5 New Zealand universities for international students.

1. University of Waikato

One of the most affordable universities in New Zealand, undergraduate courses in Waikato start from $18,725 a year.

Why you'll love the University of Waikato:

  1. It is ranked second in New Zealand and 46th internationally for excellent student support services.
  2. Hailed as the second most peaceful country in the world, New Zealand welcomes and nurtures international talents. Along the same lines, this university too has overseas students making up 29% of its student population.
  3. It is ranked in the Top 300 universities in the world for world-class education, cutting-edge research, and university experience.

2. Lincoln University

The university is one of the best and top-ranked educational institutions in New Zealand for liberal arts and agricultural science and is an affordable choice for international students. And here's why:

  • Undergraduate tuition fees start at $17,912 per year, and almost 89% of the students prefer university-affiliated or owned accommodation.
  • It has a diverse student population, comprising nationals from other countries and surrounding states, making it one of the top-preferred universities for international students.

3. University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is a multicultural campus with robust student support and services, enabling aspiring students to make the right career decisions.

Why consider the university of canterbury:

  • Canterbury actively promotes sustainable development goals, with a vision to become carbon net neutral by 2030.
  • Facilities include comfortable learning spaces, well-stocked libraries, research facilities, recreation centres, business spaces, nurseries, and affordable accommodation to facilitate a seamless academic journey at the premises. 

4. Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

AUT is one of the most affordable education institutions in New Zealand, with undergraduate tuition fees starting from NZ $15,000

Take a load of the following facts about AUT if New Zealand appeals to you as an ideal study abroad destination.

  • Dynamic and one of the largest universities in New Zealand, AUT is ranked #1 for Global Research Impact and International Outlook and ranked in the top 150 for Communication & Media Studies and Art & Design.
  • With 5-star ratings in employability by the QS Stars 2020-22, it is one of the most affordable universities for international students to study and achieve their career goals.
  • How affordable, you ask? Most undergraduate courses cost NZ $18,000 annually, with cheap on-campus accommodation choices. For a holiday-like education, start exploring courses in AUT right away!

5. The University of Otago

The 150-year-old university has a glorious history of outstanding multidisciplinary research facilities and esteemed research faculty.

Also, did you know that the University of Otago was the very first university in New Zealand? Well, here are some more interesting facts about the university:

  • With world-class research facilities and flexible study options, the university is one of the finest in teaching excellence, with almost 95% of its student body getting employed or accepted for further studies.
  • From historic-styled houses to purpose-built complexes, the university offers convenient accommodation choices for international students to facilitate their stay on campus.

To sum it up, here is a list of New Zealand university fees for international students for doing a bachelor's or master's degree. With full-time courses starting from $15,000, New Zealand offers the best affordable education abroad. 

Universitiesi n New Zealand Bachelor's (Cost per year) Master's (Cost per year)

University of Waikato

$23,260 - $32,455

$32,400 - $41,080

Lincoln University

$15000 - $17,912

$30,000 - $47,000

University of Canterbury


$33,000 - $54,000

Auckland University of Technology (AUT)

$15,000 - $18,000

Starts from $33,000

The University of Otago


$20,000 - $29,000

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, New Zealand is a delight to study and pursue a career in, literally and atmospherically.

Why Choose aecc?

aecc provides end-to-end educational services for international students globally - from career counselling to career support services, making your study abroad experience memorable.

With multidisciplinary research centres and innovative learning spaces, universities in New Zealand are among the top 1% of the world university list. AECC has partnered with all of the above-listed universities in New Zealand to help achieve your study abroad goals in the best possible way.

Get in touch with our counsellors at aecc for expert advice on everything from courses to careers in New Zealand.


5. Can international students work in New Zealand after completing their course?

Yes, international students, on getting a post-study work visa, can work in the country for two years.

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