Study in New Zealand

How Much Does It Cost to Study in New Z…

How Much Does It Cost to Study in New Zealand?

New Zealand


Studying abroad in New Zealand is considered expensive in terms of tuition fees and university costs. On the other hand, the additional living expenses, such as accommodation and everyday expenses, are affordable and similar to European destinations.

There are ways to make and save money as an international student, which is easier since English is an official spoken language in New Zealand.

Here is how much students spend living and studying in New Zealand:

What is the Cost of Studying in New Zealand?

The tuition fees in New Zealand differ from one university to another, depending on the degree level, program, and institution type.

Tuition fees are cheaper or non-existent for EU students and more expensive for Non-EU students. Also, each university in New Zealand sets its tuition fees based on the abovementioned factors.

The average tuition fees for international students in New Zealand range from USD 13,802 (NZD 22,000) to USD 23,215 (NZD 37,000) per year. Study fields with some of the highest tuition fees in New Zealand include medicine or veterinary science studies.

On the other hand, Ph.D. studies are cheaper compared to bachelor's and master's degree programs.

What Are the Tuition Fees for Undergraduate Studies?

The majority of bachelor degrees in New Zealand last three years. The average tuition fees for international students at the undergraduate level range from USD 15,000 - $22,000 (NZD 22,000 - $32,000 annually).

EU students, including Australian and domestic students, usually pay a much lower tuition fee than Non-EU students, with an average of USD 6,286 - $15,715 (NZD 10,000 - $25,000) per year.

It is worth mentioning that the government of New Zealand has recently announced that most first-time domestic students enrolled in higher education institutions will be exempt from the tuition fees for the first year of their studies. For these students, the government pays around USD 7,534 (NZD 12,000) for one year. This grant will also be available part-time even if they take longer to finish the first year of studies.

What Are the Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Studies?

The tuition fees for master’s degree students at universities in New Zealand are more expensive than for bachelor’s degrees, specifically for international students. International students studying at the master's degree level typically pay an amount of around USD 17,500 - $25,000 (NZD 26,000 - $37,000) per year in tuition fees.

On the other hand, the average annual tuition fees for domestic and EU students range from USD 4,400 - 6,100 (NZD 6,500 - $9,000). The tuition fees vary drastically between study fields; however, the sum mentioned above is the average for most master's degree programs.

It is worth noting that an MBA degree in New Zealand can cost around USD 19,452 - $31,400 (NZD 31,000 - $50,000) per year.

What is the Difference in Tuition Fees Between Public and Private Universities?

Tuition fees at public universities in New Zealand for international students are cheaper than for private universities. However, the tuition fee still depends on the degree level, program, and duration of the studies.

The following table includes the tuition fees at public universities by degree level.

Degree Level Tuition Fees (per year) in USD
Bachelor’s Degrees $4,300 - $6,500
Master’s Degrees $7,700 - $11,171
Ph.D. Degrees $3,900 - $5,400

In comparison, tuition fees in private universities are almost twice the amount of tuition in public universities. The average tuition costs at private universities range from USD 21,300 - $26,000 per year. The tuition fees in private universities can even surpass the sum of $26,000 per year in specific study fields.

What is the Cost of Living for Students in New Zealand?

When planning your study abroad budget, you must remember that to get a student visa for New Zealand, you need to prove that you have at least USD 9,400 (NZD 15,000) for the first year of your studies. This amount of money is not only for visa procedures. However, it perfectly describes the annual living expenses of the average student in New Zealand.

The living expenses in New Zealand depend on the student's location, university, and personal lifestyle. For example, the largest cities, such as Wellington and Auckland, are the most expensive for international students and immigrants. The average student in New Zealand spends around USD 9,000 to $15,600 (NZD 15,000 - $25,000) per year.

How Much Do Students Spend on Everyday Expenses?

The living cost for international students in New Zealand can be higher than in popular European study-abroad countries. However, international students find ways to save on luxuries and spend their money on necessities such as food and groceries, accommodation, and transportation (if they live farther away from campus).

Here is an overview of the everyday expenses of a student in New Zealand:


The cost of accommodation for students in New Zealand varies depending on the personal living situation that students choose. The average cost of student accommodation, such as Halls of Residence, is around USD 180 (NZD 270) per week. The student halls are the cheapest accommodation type.

Here is how much other accommodation types in New Zealand cost:

Accommodation Type Weekly Cost in USD
Shared Flats $120
Homestays with Host Families $180
Private Rented Apartments $215
Hostel $90 - $110

Food and Groceries

Aside from what the gossip says, food in New Zealand is quite affordable for students. The average student spends around USD 63 - $95 (ZND $100 - $150) every week.

Although going out to eat is part of the luxurious lifestyle in New Zealand, the prices are reasonable, starting from USD 3 at McDonald’s to USD 6 per meal in a modest restaurant.


The bus is the most popular mode of transportation among people in New Zealand, regardless of the city and lifestyle of its inhabitants. The monthly bus ticket is around USD 95. However, students can get discounts in some cities in New Zealand. For larger cities, there are trains available that you can take, especially if you live in the suburbs.


Other essential living expenses for students in New Zealand include the following:

  • Utilities: ~ USD 120 per month.
  • Entertainment and extra costs: ~ USD 30 - $75 per month.
  • Health insurance: ~ USD 220 per term of three months.
  • Phone bill and internet: ~ USD $55 per month.
  • Academic supplies: ~ USD 300 per year.
  • Clothing: ~ USD 16 per week.
  • Other expenses: ~ USD 60 per week.

Can I Work While Studying in New Zealand?

Yes, international students can work 20 hours per week while simultaneously studying as full-time students in any higher education institution. International students can work as full-time employees during the holidays or semestrial breaks. Additionally, the government allows international students who are studying for a research master’s or Ph.D. to work 40 hours per week during the entire duration of their studies.

Other rules for working as an international student in New Zealand include ‘no self-employment,’ meaning students have to work for an employer since it is illegal for international students to start their businesses.

Related Articles


Read more about Accommodation in New Zealand



Read more about How To Apply To Study in New Zealand


Read more about New Zealand Higher Education System