How to Study in New Zealand for International Students

New Zealand is known to attract tourists for its beautiful panoramic views, with snow capped mountains from afar and large expanses of green fields, bringing the classic fiction Lord of the Rings to life. Additionally, the country boasts of high quality of life and is among the safest places in the world to live. Besides all these, the country is popular for attracting international students and scholars with its globally competitive education and research.

When it comes to the choices that are available, New Zealand currently has 25 universities, from which 22 universities are a part of the public sector and 3 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in New Zealand you should definitely check out are University of Auckland, University of Otago, and Auckland University of Technology.

Being able to study in New Zealand as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in New Zealand, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in New Zealand

When choosing a university, you also need to consider the tuition fees and your budget. Before applying to a university in New Zealand, it’s best to have a general knowledge of the tuition fees there. The annual tuition fees for international undergraduate students range from 6,300 NZD to 48,900 NZD, while for master’s degree studies, the yearly tuition fees are between 16,400 NZD and 63,500 NZD.

Cost of Studying in Public Universities in New Zealand

To give you an idea of how much it costs to study in New Zealand, here are the tuition fees in these public and private universities:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Ara Institute of Canterbury 23,000 NZD - 26,300 NZD 26,800 NZD
NorthTec 19,800 NZD - 23,400 NZD
Unitec Institute of Technology 21,500 NZD - 25,800 NZD 24,800 NZD - 29,100 NZD
Auckland University of Technology 31,000 NZD - 42,800 NZD 39,900 NZD - 54,800 NZD
Whitireia New Zealand 21,100 NZD - 25,400 NZD 23,600 NZD - 37,300 NZD
Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki 18,000 NZD - 22,000 NZD
Wellington Institute of Technology 21,100 NZD - 24,900 NZD 26,200 NZD - 37,300 NZD
Waikato Institute of Technology 34,900 NZD - 41,100 NZD 19,200 NZD - 23,700 NZD
Universal College of Learning 21,400 NZD - 23,400 NZD 25,900 NZD
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology 20,000 NZD - 21,000 NZD 23,100 NZD - 36,800 NZD
Southern Institute of Technology 17,400 NZD 16,400 NZD
Otago Polytechnic 21,000 NZD - 27,800 NZD 18,100 NZD - 28,300 NZD
Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology 6,300 NZD - 7,536 NZD
Eastern Institute of Technology 20,400 NZD - 22,600 NZD 21,900 NZD - 24,700 NZD
University of Waikato 28,100 NZD - 41,800 NZD 34,100 NZD - 39,000 NZD
Victoria University of Wellington 30,600 NZD - 40,500 NZD 33,500 NZD - 42,800 NZD
Lincoln University 31,100 NZD - 35,900 NZD 31,100 NZD - 40,000 NZD
Massey University 29,000 NZD - 42,600 NZD 33,000 NZD - 43,400 NZD
University of Canterbury 28,800 NZD - 45,000 NZD 16,400 NZD - 34,800 NZD
University of Auckland 33,900 NZD - 48,900 NZD 38,300 NZD - 59,800 NZD
University of Otago 32,700 NZD - 40,600 NZD 33,900 NZD - 63,500 NZD

Cost of Studying in Private Universities in New Zealand

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
New Zealand Tertiary College 24,000 NZD 40,000 NZD - 52,000 NZD
Auckland Institute of Studies 18,600 NZD 33,800 NZD
Manukau Institute of Technology 22,500 NZD - 25,600 NZD 25,800 NZD

If you’re looking for the most affordable universities in New Zealand, check out the Cheap Universities in New Zealand!

Besides tuition fees, you also need to consider other expenses like books, accommodation, and living expenses.

2. Requirements to Study in New Zealand for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in New Zealand, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In New Zealand, English is the main language of instruction. An academic institution in New Zealand may require non-native English speakers to prove language proficiency by taking standardized English tests, such as the International English Language Testing System also known as IELTS, and the Test Of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL. You can also check out if your target university is accepting a Duolingo English Test score because some universities in New Zealand are accepting Duolingo scores. When you take any of these tests, note that you’ll need to get at least the required minimum score to qualify for your preferred university.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in New Zealand and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Ara Institute of Canterbury

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Auckland Institute of Studies

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Auckland University of Technology

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in New Zealand

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in New Zealand have online applications available on their websites, like University of Auckland and University of Otago. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in New Zealand.

University of Auckland

University of Otago

Auckland University of Technology

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in New Zealand differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in New Zealand.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in New Zealand

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in New Zealand. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to New Zealand as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in New Zealand. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Student Visa.

To start your student visa application in New Zealand, you will need to present the following:

  1. Proof of acceptance from a New Zealand-approved academic institution
  2. Proof of paid tuition fees
  3. Copy of passport identity pages
  4. Proof of funds to cover living expenses and proof of fund source
  5. Copy of air ticket home or proof of having money to buy one
  6. Visa application fee

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in New Zealand is 375 NZD.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Gather all requirements and supporting paperwork.
  2. Choose whether to apply online or by submitting a printed form.
  3. Submit your application.
  4. Wait for the decision.
  5. Receive your visa or eVisa. For eVisa, print it out or keep a copy on your mobile phone.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in New Zealand. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!

  1. I want to study in New Zealand in Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. I have given a Duolingo Test. Am I eligible for admission in college?