New Zealand is an island country made up of two major regions – the North Island and the South Island – and 600 various small islands. It is a developed country ranking significantly high in various aspects, including the global peace index and human development index. And with its universities listed among the world’s top education institutions, New Zealand is a sought-after destination for higher studies. If you are looking to study in New Zealand but wondering where to get started, this quick guide is just for you.



Official language
(However, English is the de facto official language and is predominantly spoken by almost the entire population.)

New Zealand Dollar


50.8 lakhs



Quality of life index


Total universities and colleges


Study visas granted in 2021

Why study in New Zealand?

Studying in New Zealand offers a variety of benefits that make it an ideal destination for international students.

  • Globally recognized for its high education standards
  • Excellent employment prospects after graduation
  • Has the world’s leading institutions for research and innovation
  • Friendly and welcoming culture
  • Top-ranked country in quality of life
  • Peaceful and safe — ranks #2 in most peaceful countries of the world
  • Home to numerous leading companies providing lucrative career prospects
  • Post-study work permit of up to 3 years
  • Opportunity to get permanent residence
  • Opportunity to work while studying

Top education institutions

New Zealand is home to world’s 8 top-ranking universities, with a reputation of offering high-quality education, research impact, and employment opportunities. Here are these 8 universities listed in QS World University Ranking.

Top universities and colleges in New Zealand

1 University of Auckland
2 University of Otago
3 Victoria University of Wellington
4 University of Canterbury
5 University of Waikato
6 Massey University
7 Lincoln University
8 Auckland University of Technology (AUT)


Unlike Indian colleges/universities, New Zealand education institutions conduct two major intakes. These intakes are also referred to as semesters.

July intake
February intake

Several colleges and universities also offer programs in other intakes between March and May. It’s advisable to check the availability of your preferred programs and plan your admissions accordingly.

Admission requirements

The admission requirements may vary depending on the field of study and program credential you choose. However, the standard requirements include your previous field of study, academic record, and English language proficiency. Here are the details:

  • For undergraduate and bachelor’s programs, you’ll need 12 years of full-time education (A 10+2 or secondary school certificate).
  • For postgraduate and master’s programs, you’ll need 16 years of full-time education. (A three or four-year bachelor’s program).
  • For MBA, you’ll need an acceptable GMAT or GRE score.
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS/TOFEL)
  • Statement of Purpose/Letter of Intent

Popular programs

Universities in New Zealand offer myriad undergraduate and postgraduate programs — that may include your favorite and even yet-to-be-discovered career interests. Some of the popular programs of studies among Indian and other international students include:

Business and Management

Computer Science


Health and medicine

Hospitality and Tourism


Media and Communication

Social Sciences

Engineering and Technology

Cost of studying in New Zealand

Studying in New Zealand will involve three primary expenses — tuition fees, living expenses, and proof of funds for the visa. Of these, tuition fees will take up most of your budget. Here’s the detail.

Tuition fees

The average tuition fees in most universities and colleges range between 20,000 to 50, 000 NZD. These fees largely depend on the university and the type of program.

  • Undergraduate program tuition and ancillary fees can be between 20,000 – 25,000 NZD per year.
  • Postgraduate or master’s program tuition and ancillary fees can be between 19,000 – 30,000 NZD per year.
  • MBA degree tuition and ancillary fees can be between 30,000 – 50,000 NZD per year.
Living expenses

The major living expense as a student will include house rent, food, and travel. These expenses may vary based on the city you live in and your preferences. However, here’s an approximate range of living expenses you can consider when planning your budget.

  • Rent: 800 – 2000 NZD
  • Food: 600 – 1000 NZD
  • Transport: 100 – 400 NZD
Proof of funds

To get a student visa, you must submit proof of funds covering your living expenses for the first year of your stay. For this, you’ll need to show an amount of 15,000 NZD (that’s 1,250 NZD per month) in your or your parent’s bank account.


A significant cost of studying in New Zealand can be cut down with the help of scholarships and bursaries. The New Zealand Government and various institutions offer a range of scholarships, providing partial to full tuition fees exemption and other financial aids. Depending on your program and institution, you can check eligibility and apply to several scholarships, some of which are as follows:

  • SEG Scholarship
  • New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships
  • Bayer Boost Environmental Scholarship Scheme
  • New Zealand Excellence Awards
  • New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS)
  • NZ-GRADS New Zealand Global Research Alliance Doctoral Scholarship
  • Victoria Master’s Scholarship
  • A C Rayner Memorial Scholarship
  • The Eamon Molloy Memorial Scholarship
  • University of Waikato Excellence Scholarship for Asia
  • New Zealand International Undergraduate Fees Scholarship
  • The University of Canterbury’s College of Engineering Scholarship

Part-time work opportunities

  • New Zealand allows students to work part time — up to 20 hours per week — during their academic semester. And during the academic breaks, you can even work full time for 40 hours a week. Also, students enrolled in a doctoral program can work full time even during their academic sessions.
  • Working while studying can offer you an amazing opportunity to gain crucial experience and support your living expenses. Some popular part-time student jobs in New Zealand include on-campus jobs and many off-campus jobs in supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and local businesses.

Post-study work permit and PR

  • You are eligible to apply for a post-study work visa upon completion of your studies. The duration of the visa can be 1, 2, or 3 years depending on the type of your study program. This post-study stay in the country is a crucial step towards permanent residence.
  • However, in recent times getting a permanent residence in New Zealand has got tough. If you’re planning to get a PR after your studies, make sure to find a job related to your study program and get a job offer from a recognized company. This will help you add more points to your PR application.

Getting started with your admission process

Since now you have some information about studying in New Zealand, here’s what you need to do next:

  • Understand your education requirements
  • Shortlist universities, colleges, and programs
  • Attempt an English language proficiency test and get acceptable scores
  • Apply for the programs, get an offer letter, and pay the fees
  • Apply for the study permit visa
  • Prepare to move to New Zealand

And if you need any help to make your study in New Zealand dream come true, feel free to reach out. We at Sarem Education are here to assist you at every step — from study counseling to short-listing the course to admission to help with fees to visa application and beyond.