Study in New Zealand: A Guide [Bonus: Alumni Interviews Included]

Why study in New Zealand and What to expect in this page?

  1. Know all the top benefits of studying in New Zealand.
  2. Learn about New Zealand- the country.
  3. Learn all eligibility and visa requirements to study in New Zealand.
  4. What happens after you graduate from New Zealand? You will be surprised!
  5. Expenses while studying in New Zealand – How to look for accommodation, part time jobs etc?
  6. Advice from Indian students studying/studied in New Zealand.
  7. List of all universities in New Zealand.

Before dropping some authentic truth bombs on the requirements to study in New Zealand, let us throw some light on the several 1st’s and 2nd’s for which New Zealand ranks for:

  • 1st for personal freedom.
  • 2nd most prosperous & safest country in the world.
  • 2nd most peaceful country in the world.
  • 1st for entrepreneurs.
  • Auckland secured the first spot in the “best student cities of 2018”.
  • 1st country to flatten the curve during the pandemic.
  • New Zealand is also the top study destination even when the pandemic has made abroad study a hard endeavour.

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.

For Indian students, for whom loans, PR and post study work visas are a primary concern, an opportunity to study in New Zealand is a great decision to undertake.

Benefits of studying a Masters in New Zealand:

The infographic below displays the top reasons to pursue a Masters in New Zealand.

benefits of studying in New Zealand

After graduating, you literally have more time than any other country in the world to chase after your dream job.

Also, all Masters degrees in New Zealand, are both prestigious and globally recognized. Reports from QS and Times Higher Educations reveal that:

  1. Universities in New Zealand have at least 1 course ranked in the top 100.
  2. All universities of New Zealand are ranked within the top 400 universities of the world.
  3. All degrees are accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) thus are recognized globally.

Overview of New Zealand

Capital: Wellington

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 hugely favorable for jobs. New Zealand has high living standards, bagging laurels such as being 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 while 5% are only human beings.

Clean lakes, snow laden peaks, 90 km long beaches not only occupy the island but also shall laden your memories when you come to pursue a Masters in New Zealand.

You get to fulfill a lot of your bucket goals, both academic and lifestyle wise; research, innovation, academic debates, skiing, trekking, scuba diving etc.

Maybe, 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’s it like to study in New Zealand?

The Kiwi nation has a lot of records when with its research and masters programs. Universities in New Zealand are known for:

  1. Diverse classroom.
  2. Cutting edge research programs.
  3. Nature friendly campuses.
  4. Small classroom for personalized attention.
  5. Encouraging curiosity through questioning.
  6. Industry focused curriculum.
  7. Equal importance to both practical and academic learning.

 Debacfrom University of Waikato says,

“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.”

Debac Manikandan, Junior Cyber Security Consultant

Where to study in New Zealand?

When hunting an answer for, “ Why study in New Zealand”,  you will be satisfied to know that all universities in New Zealand rank amongst the top 800 universities of the world.

New Zealand has 8 public universities and 16 Institute of Technologies..

Each of these universities offer courses that meet all your expectations such as international exposure, cutting edge research, workshops, pragmatic learning.

The fee of universities are comparatively less to their Australian, UK, USA counterparts.

The List of Universities in New Zealand

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

The image below lists out all the public universities in New Zealand and their rankings over the past few years.

    New Zealand University Rankings

    Scholarship for Indian students to study in New Zealand

    Getting a scholarship can help you focus on your studies. (purely based on individual academic qualifications).

    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 are 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

    Top 10 courses to study in New Zealand

    This is what QS rankings tells us about the top courses to study in New Zealand

    • Computer science and information
    • Engineering-Electrical and electronic
    • Business studies (Economics, Humanities)
    • Communication and Media
    • Accounting and Finance
    • Psychology
    • Health Science
    • Aeronautical & Robotics
    • Hotel Management

    Balanced covers mostly all, areas of the subject and they have structured to the current job market requirement and the assignments gives you good insight of the real world requirement.

    Intake Options to Study in New Zealand:

    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 for one from the nearest consulate in/from your city.

    To enter into a Masters program in New Zealand isn’t complicated as you might think. Sarem education can help you with that.

    IELTS Requirements to Study in New Zealand?

    You only need to give IELTS and 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.

    How much study gap acceptable in New Zealand?

    New Zealand universities accept gaps in education for a period of up to 10 years.

    However, you will also be required to provide ample evidence and information on what you have been doing for the 10 years.

    Universities accept several reasons such as:

    1. Working for a company
    2. Volunteer work
    3. Pursuing vocational training
    4. Health reasons

      How much does it cost to study in New Zealand?

      Tuition fees:

      On average, an Indian student can spend about 22000-32000 NZD on a bachelor’s degree and 26000 to 37000 NZD on a Masters degree. The amount is likely to get higher for professional and STEM courses.

      Living cost 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 growing just recently; they are comparatively cheaper.

      Living expenses for a single month cost up to approx. 1250 NZD – 1500 NZD (INR 61000-INR 74000) .

    Post study visa after a Masters in New Zealand:

    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 studying in New Zealand. However, the duration depends on the qualification you graduate with.

    New Zealand has severe skill shortages in certain fields. Construction, finance, Information technology are some fields to name a few. You can check for the list of occupations facing skill shortages in New Zealand here

    After studying in New Zealand, students who graduate from a Masters program are granted an extension for up to 3 years to look for a job.

    But does only pursuing a Masters in New Zealand offer these post study benefits?


    Students who graduate with a PGDM degree get upto 2 years to find their dream job.

    Eventually, no matter which program you graduate from, once you land a full-time job on a permanent basis you are granted a residence permit based on a points system.

    If you do not gather 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.

    Part time jobs while studying in New Zealand:

    Part time jobs can help you 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:

    • Your 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.
    • Your 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 houses while studying 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 are a bit higher.

    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

    Rents hover around 120-150NZD/week (INR5000-INR7000) are quite reasonable for students.

    You can find part time jobs in sites such as Student Job Search, Trade Me and Seek.

    Other (genuine) advice from students who have pursued a Masters in New Zealand:

    • Students can look for part-time jobs in
    • You can begin to search for your dream job in Seek, Indeed, Linkedin.
    • Also, this is interesting. New Zealand tailor their resumes to what 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.
    • If you 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 and you should cover you during the time you study in New Zealand. Touchwood, as Indian license holders are required to take a written test only to obtain a driving license from New Zealand.
    • IT is up and coming with the major cities- Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington- grabbing a chunk of these opportunities.
    • 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, post graduate diploma and Masters courses. We:

    1. Short the time you spend for research by offering 100% authentic information.
    2. Connect you with alumni who can provide first hand information on higher education in New Zealand.
    3. Erase all worries with applying for universities.
    4. Get 100%, free authentic advice for visa queries.

    Get In Touch

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