Study in New Zealand:
A Masters Student Guide
[Bonus: Alumni Interviews Included]
What to expect from this page?
- Why study in New Zealand
- Learn all eligibility and visa requirements to study in New Zealand.
- Visa extension after post-graduation. The extension period is mind-blowing!
- Expenses while studying in New Zealand – How to look for accommodation, part-time jobs, etc?
- Advice from Indian students in New Zealand.
- List of all universities in New Zealand.
Before that let us throw light on the several 1st’s and 2nd’s for which New Zealand ranks for:
- 1st for personal freedom. (Source: CATO)
- 2nd most prosperous & safest country in the world.
- 2nd most peaceful country in the world.
- One of the top destinations for entrepreneurs. (Source: Entrepreneurs)
- Auckland secured the 23rd spot as the “best student city of 2019”.
- 1st country to flatten the pandemic curve.
- New Zealand is also seen as the best study destination even when the pandemic has made abroad study a hard endeavour.
A survey of 400 education agents from 63 countries revealed #NewZealand as the most desirable destination for #internationalstudents.@joncschew discusses survey findings in his recent article on the #NavitasInsights website & in the @1NewsNZ story below. https://t.co/vI8llHG0AB
— Navitas (@Navitas) July 28, 2020
One stat that bats for the case of Indian students to study in New Zealand is this,
“There has been a 63% increase in student visa applications from Indian students.”
Benefits of Studying a MS in New Zealand:
The infographic below displays the top reasons to pursue a Masters in New Zealand.
After graduating, you literally have more time than in any other country in the world to chase after your dream job.
Also, all Masters degrees in New Zealand, are both prestigious and globally recognised. Reports from the QS rankings and Times Higher Education reveal that:
- Universities in New Zealand have at least 1 course ranked in the top 100.
- In 2021, all universities of New Zealand are ranked within the top 400 universities of the world.
- All degrees are accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) thus are recognised globally.
Overview of New Zealand
Largest City: Auckland
Official Languages: English and Maori. In 2006, it gave New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) an official language status as well.
Currency: NZD (New Zealand Dollar)
Time Zone: 6.5 hours ahead of India
Calling Code: +64
New Zealand lies safely tucked in the southern hemisphere beside the Australian continent.
It is made up of two major islands; the North Island and South Island.
New Zealand is an English speaking nation.
You have 8 great cities to study in New Zealand. 5 of these cities are laden with jobs. New Zealand has high living standards. It is one of the most peaceful and corruption-less nations of the world.
For nature lovers, the nation itself is an adventurous theme park. About 1/3rd of the country is protected by a wildlife sanctuary. Animal lovers would be thrilled to know that 95% of New Zealand’s population consists of animals.
Clean lakes, snow-laden peaks, beaches that stretch for 90kms shall fill your memories when you study a Masters in New Zealand. You’ll tick off several wishes from your bucket list, both academic and lifestyle-wise; research, innovation, academic debates, skiing, trekking, scuba diving etc.
Moreover, as you study in New Zealand you can even get back at the kiwis for ruining our unbeaten World Cup run by beating them in a game of cricket in their own backyard.
What is it Like to Study in the kiwi nation?
The Kiwi nation has an encouraging record-breaking research venture and Masters programs. Universities in New Zealand are known for:
- Diversity in classrooms.
- Cutting edge research programs.
- Nature-friendly campuses.
- Smaller classrooms that guarantee personalised attention.
- Encouraging curiosity through questioning.
- Industry-focused curriculum.
- Equal importance to both practical and academic learning.
“Diversity is the cornerstone of higher education in New Zealand. People from various nationalities, age and gender are well represented in classrooms guaranteeing international exposure in its finest. Both Masters and PG diploma courses are well structured and updated in curriculum. I’d advise choosing a Masters program if you have good work experience. If not, PG Diplomas are better if you are looking to get a permanent job in New Zealand.”
Naveed Ahmad from says,
“Course structure is well balanced — covers mostly all areas of the subject and they have structured it to meet current job market requirement and the assignments gives you good insight of the real world requirement”
Where to Study in New Zealand?
If you are hunting answers for, “ Why study in New Zealand”, then here is one. You will be satisfied to know that all universities in New Zealand rank amongst the top 400 universities of the world.
New Zealand has 8 public universities and 16 Institutes of Technology.
All universities offer courses that provide international exposure, cutting edge research, workshops, pragmatic learning etc.
The 8 universities to study a MS in New Zealand are:
- University of Auckland
- University of Otago
- University of Canterbury
- Victoria University of Wellington
- University of Waikato
- Massey University
- Lincoln University
- Auckland University of Technology
And this what they do:
“One thing I absolutely loved about the NZ education system is the use of group assignments and projects. Pretty much every paper had two to three group assignments. For someone who wants to learn to be a better team player and possibly a manager, this was a great learning experience. You get see how team dynamics greatly influences the output rather than how talented an individual is. So yeah, I feel NZ education makes us more industry ready and Indian education makes us an expert in a field academically which is probably good for academia or research.” — Vikas Ananda, Marketing Coordinator, Brandwise Limited (former student at Auckland University of Technology)
The image below lists out all the public universities in New Zealand and their rankings.
Top 10 Courses to Study in New Zealand
These are the top courses to study in New Zealand. They are curated from QS rankings:
- Computer science and information
- Engineering-Electrical and electronic
- Business studies (Economics, Humanities)
- Communication and Media
- Accounting and Finance
- Health Science
- Aeronautical & Robotics
- Hotel Management
Scholarships for Indian Students
Students who get financial assistance to study in New Zealand report that they are able to focus better on studies and pay back loans faster.
Below is the list of scholarships you can apply to pursue a Masters in New Zealand:
- International Development (MIntDev) at Massey University
- UC International First-Year Scholarships
- Climate Change Science and Policy (MCCSP) at Victoria University Wellington
- ADB Scholarships at University of Auckland
- Public Health (MPH) at the University of Auckland
- University of Otago International Research Masters Scholarships
- Victoria Masters Scholarships
- International Rural Development (MRD) at Lincoln University
- University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarships
- Disaster Risk and Resilience (MDRR) at the University of Canterbury
- New Zealand development scholarships
- New Zealand ASEAN scholar awards
- New Zealand excellence awards
Intake options in New Zealand Universities
Universities in New Zealand have two academic intakes; in February and July. Some institutes offer intakes in September and November.
Requirements to study in New Zealand
To study in New Zealand you require a student visa. You can apply for a student visa online or you can apply via the nearest consulate in/from your city. Sarem education can help you with that.
How much to score in IELTS?
You need to attain a score of 6.5 and above.
Apart from your IELTS scores, you will be judged based on your past academic scores and work experience if applicable.
Are study gaps accepted while applying for a MS in New Zealand?
New Zealand universities accept gaps in education for a period of up to 10 years.
However, you should provide ample evidence and information on what you have been doing for the 10 years.
Universities accept several reasons such as:
- Working for a company
- Volunteer work
- Pursuing vocational training
- Health reasons
How Much Does it Cost to Study in New Zealand?
On average, an Indian student can spend about 22000-32000 NZD (INR 19,00,000 – INR 28,00,000) on a bachelor’s degree and 26000 to 37000 NZD (23,00,000 – 33,00,000) on a Masters degree. The amount is likely to get higher for professional and STEM courses.
Living costs while studying in New Zealand
Interviews with alumni and students reveal that Auckland and Wellington are the two biggest cities in New Zealand.
As opportunities are in plenty here for those who study in New Zealand, these cities prompt higher rents and living expenses from students.
Cities such as Hamilton are slow bloomers; they are comparatively cheaper.
Living expenses for a single month can vary between an approx. 1250 NZD – 1500 NZD (INR 61000-INR 74000).
36-Month Post-Study Visa
Students coming to study in New Zealand are offered visas to stay back in the kiwi nation and look for a job. As mentioned above in the infographic, Indians have an astounding record of getting PRs in the country under the skilled occupation category.
Can I stay in New Zealand after my course?
Yes. You can apply for a work visa using which you can stay for 1- 3 years after you finish your Masters in New Zealand. However, the duration depends on the qualification you graduate with.
Vikas Ananda opines,
“Regarding the job market, the NZ employers do not value degree anything more than what it is. A degree is more of an add-on rather than it being a requirement. So, it is ideal to study in NZ only after you gain 2-3 years of experience in your field of study. This way you can be more prepared for the market as well as better contribute to the general discussion within the classroom.
In normal circumstance, the 3 year post-study work visa which students are offered after study is good enough to land you a job provided you have the experience.”
But does only pursuing a Masters in New Zealand offer these post-study benefits?
Students who graduate with a PGDM degree get up to 2 years to find their dream job.
Regardless of which program you graduate from, once you land a permanent full-time job, you are granted a residence permit based on a points system.
If you do not assimilate the required points to obtain a PR you are allowed to continue working for the company if the company supports you under the “essential system”. The essential system requires your company to prove that you are meeting a skill that the company has been unsuccessful in filling up in the past.
This allows you to work for 1 year. At the end of 1 year, your company has to support your cause once again.
Can I Work Part-time in New Zealand?
Part-time jobs can cover your rent and living expenses while you study in New Zealand. You will be paid a minimum of $18.90/hour. Your student visa allows you to work for 20 hrs/week.
However, you will have to meet at least 1 of the following conditions:
- The course is at least two years in duration.
- Your course leads to a degree that qualifies towards an application for a New Zealand Skilled Migrant visa.
- The course lasts for at least one academic year and you are taking part in an approved Tertiary Exchange Scheme.
- Your course is taught at a private training institution or tertiary institution, and the main purpose is to develop English language skills. You must have an IELTS overall band score of 5.0 or above.
- Your course is full-time English language study lasting at least 14 weeks in duration at a university.
How to Look For Accommodation in New Zealand?
Finding a house to rent might take time but is far from impossible.
Houses in Hamilton are cheaper than the ones in Auckland and Wellington. Alumni reveal that it is easier for incoming students to find roommates to share houses in Auckland and Wellington when compared to Hamilton.
Students can find houses for rent in houses trademe.co.nz.
Rents that hover around 120-150 NZD/week (INR5000-INR7000) are quite reasonable for students.
Other (genuine) Advice From MS Graduates in New Zealand
- Students can look for part-time jobs in sjs.co.nz.
- Use Seek, Indeed, Linkedin to look for full-time jobs.
- Interestingly, New Zealand job seekers tailor resumes to something that they call as kiwi resumes. Such resumes should have interactive, visually pleasing elements.
- Be active on LinkedIn. Keep posting content.
- It would be useful for you to learn cooking before coming to the island nation. Indian grains and spices are available in the Indian stores across New Zealand.
- Learn to drive a car before coming to New Zealand. Public transport isn’t always the best option here as they are sparingly connected. Do note that your Indian license is valid for one year. This will cover you during the time you study in New Zealand. Indian license holders are required to take a written test only to obtain a driving license from New Zealand. No practical tests are necessary.
- IT is up and coming in the major cities. Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington are great places to look for jobs in IT.
- It is ideal for business students to have work experience before they apply for a Masters in New Zealand.
Let Sarem Education help you
Sarem Education offers free, best in the business, senior consultants who assist with studying in New Zealand for undergraduate, postgraduate diploma and Masters courses. We:
- Short the time you spend for research by offering 100% authentic information.
- Connect you with alumni who can provide first-hand information on higher education in New Zealand.
- Erase all worries with applying for universities.
- Get 100%, free authentic advice for visa queries.