Study Abroad In New Zealand In 2025: Requirements, VISA, and Cost

New Zealand has been on the map since the Lord of Rings Trilogy exposed its wonderful natural environments. Since then people troop into the country for various reasons – but this article is for you – who would love to study abroad in New Zealand.

This article will be helpful in so many ways, as it would be looking at the cost of living in New Zealand for those intending to study abroad In New Zealand.

It will also look at the requirements you must fulfill to be able to study in New Zealand. Furthermore, we will take a look at the kind of Visa appropriate for those wishing to study abroad in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, let out our table of content below guide you.

According to Wikipedia New Zealand is one of the youngest countries in the world. However, this does not mean that its people have not been around for a while – as can be seen in their culture.

Its islands happen to be one of the last Islands inhabited by man, due to their remoteness. Today, however, it’s home to New Zealanders and Europeans that migrated to the country some 800 years ago.

Hence, New Zealand is an English-speaking country with some parts of the country speaking its Maori tongue.

The country is in Oceania and has Wellington as its capital, while Auckland is its most populated city. Its people are very friendly and receptive, and this is just another reason why you should study abroad in New Zealand.

Why Study Abroad In New Zealand?

If you’d love to mix education and some adventure, then you definitely need to study abroad in New Zealand.

Whether you’re drawn to its natural beauty, adrenaline-inducing adventure activities, the national sport of rugby, or friendly people, studying abroad in New Zealand won’t disappoint.

Furthermore, this island nation is known for its progressive political history and being a champion of women’s rights.

Art and culture also are front and center thanks to Maori influences, a flourishing film scene, and one of the best design schools in the world.

Requirements

The requirements you need to study in New Zealand vary. To a large extent, your choice of program and level determines the requirements you must fulfill.

For each course, non-English speaking students will need to meet a minimum English language requirement. Along with that, a minimum academic record of 65% and above in Class XII will be required. Foundations and Diploma programs are available for students who have secured below 60%. Students should have completed 18 years of age before joining a degree program.

It is important to note that these numbers are just for reference purposes, the actual numbers may differ from university to university.

The following documents also need to be submitted:

  • Attested copies of mark sheets of Class X, XII, and Bachelors degree (if applicable)
  • At least, two academic reference letters from professors who have taught you most recently
  • If you have work experience then two letters of recommendation from the employer/manager who know you well and can comment on your professional abilities
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume
  • Photocopied score reports of GMAT / IELTS / TOEFL
  • Portfolio (in case of students applying for art and design courses and architecture programs)
  • Others (Certificates/achievements at the state and national level and extracurricular activities)

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Timeline

Most of the colleges in New Zealand accept online applications. Therefore, you will have to visit each college’s website to apply.

In most cases, you will be required to create an account on the college website. You will also provide your basic information, submit the scanned version of your documents, and pay the application fee.

You will be informed about the application process and stages through this account. Please refer to the website of the colleges of your choice to know the process of applying.

Application fee: All colleges require that you pay an application fee while applying. The fee amount will differ depending upon the college and course being applied to, so check with individual colleges about their application fee.

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Steps: The common steps to applying for admission are given here:

  • Search for colleges and courses
  • Contact schools and visit websites for information
  • Narrow down your list of schools
  • Take the entrance exams like GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS
  • Write SOPs and ask for LORs
  • Apply to the colleges which fit your interests
  • Appear for video interviews for the colleges that shortlisted you
  • If accepted, apply for a student visa

SOP: A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is your introduction to the college and admission officers. It is always written in the first person and describes the reason for applying to a particular college. It needs to highlight why you are a perfect fit for the college and why the college should accept you.

Essay: Essays are also required to be submitted by a prospective student. These are an important part of the university admissions process. Students may be required to write one or two essays, along with a few optional essays too. Common topics include career aspirations, strengths and weaknesses, skills, experiences, and reasons for considering a particular school.

LOR: A letter of recommendation (LOR) is a reference letter written by a third party describing the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the prospective student. This is to recommend him to the college in terms of that individual’s ability to perform a particular task or function. The third-party could be a professor, direct manager, etc.

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Intake seasons

New Zealand generally has two intakes i.e. January and July, with few Universities offering multiple intakes in September and November. You should start your admission process around six months before the application deadline.

Typically, most universities have three deadlines during one intake. It is up to the convenience of the students which deadline to aim for.

However, you must be done with your language and aptitude tests by three months before the deadline. The last three months should be dedicated to filling out the application form properly.

It is essential to ensure that the ‘complete application process’ along with appearing for interviews and visa application process should be complete by Oct-Nov for the February intake.

If you are looking to get admission into vocational courses, then some courses may have admissions open even in March, April, May, or July.

Exams

International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and Pearson Test of English (PTE) are all standardized language tests, which are required to be taken for the purpose of getting admission to colleges.

These follow different formats, structures, and result bands. These tests are all different in various ways but many colleges ask for any one of the results. Therefore, it’s up to the student to decide which exam to appear for.

Repetition of exams: 

IELTS can be taken an unlimited number of times. TOEFL can be retaken as many times as wished, but cannot be taken more than once in a 12-day period. It’s the same with PTE; it can be taken as many times as one wishes to. You must wait to receive your scores before you can book your next test.

Fee: The exam fee is INR 14,000 for IELTS, INR 13,625 (US $180) for TOEFL and INR 13,300 for PTE.

Time to apply: Ideally, if you are aiming at the January intake you should appear for these exams by June so that you can apply before the first deadline. The universities you will be applying to will mention which exam results they will accept. But if they give a choice to go for either of these, then the choice depends on you.

The time required to prepare for IELTS/TOEFL/PTE would depend on the existing English language proficiency. You may require two to four months of preparation before the exam date.

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Cost Of Living

The cost of living depends heavily on what part of New Zealand you will be living in, along with how much you will socialize. Some of the basic elements for living as an international student in New Zealand are:

  • Accommodation rent (on-campus or off-campus)
  • Groceries and food
  • Utilities like power, water, gas, internet
  • Phone bills
  • Text and reference books
  • Airfare for travelling back to India
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Other elements which may differ from person to person would be:

  • Dining out
  • Travel and vacation
  • Car rent and car insurance
  • Cable TV connection

School expenses

The tuition fee varies according to different universities, courses and the city. The tuition expenses in New Zealand might be up to 10.78 Lacs per annum for an undergraduate course. And if you are thinking of applying for a post-graduate course, the cost would be approximately 11.42 Lacs per year.

Living expenses

With your application for a student visa, you must provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your stay in New Zealand. If your programme of study is longer than 36 weeks, you require NZ$ 15,000 for each year (40 weeks) of study. For a single student, this would translate to approximately NZ$ 300-350 per week for general living expenses.

Particulars Cost
Pizza NZ$ 16
Milk (two litre) NZ$ 3.50-4.50
Coca-Cola can NZ$ 3.75
Coffee NZ$ 3.50–5
Lunch from campus café NZ$ 7–12
Meal at a restaurant NZ$ 15–40
Cell phone plan (per month) NZ$ 19-80
One way bus fare (depends on the distance) NZ$ 2–10
Monthly bus pass NZ$ 60–300
Movie ticket NZ$ 10-20
Doctor’s consultation fee NZ$ 45–85

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Health insurance

You are required to hold appropriate and current medical and travel insurance as a condition of your visa regardless of the length of your stay in New Zealand. The New Zealand government’s “Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students” requires all international students to have health and travel insurance during their period of study.

It is the university’s responsibility under the Code to ensure all enrolled international students have proper health and travel insurance policy for the duration of their student visa. Most of the time universities provide health insurance to students and the cost is included in the first-semester fee. Students are is the most popular insurance provider in New Zealand.

Scholarships

Merit-based and need-based fee waivers are awarded to international students. Candidates with strong academics, good performance on standardized exams, and extracurricular achievements would be eligible for scholarship awards and financial assistance.

To benefit from these opportunities, one has to make sure to send all the required documents by particular deadlines. In addition to this, the presentation of the application is also important because one is judged by the image one projects.

Documents required: Here is a list of the documents usually needed for a scholarship application, although the requirements may differ:

  • Academic records and photocopies
  • A letter of intent, which acts as a cover page
  • Certificate of language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS scores)
  • Letters of Reference (LOR)

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Loans

Student eligibility criteria: The first thing is to be aware of whether you are eligible to apply for the loan or not. The general eligibility criteria that are followed by all the banks are:

  • You should be an Indian national
  • Applicant must have a strong academic record
  • You must be seeking admission to a professional, technical, or another course of study. Most banks maintain that the selected course should be job oriented
  • You must have secured admission to a foreign university institution
  • Applicant must be above the age of 18 years or else your parents can avail of the loan

Eligibility of course: You may not get a loan on every course. Here are the kinds of courses that qualify for the education loan.

  • For Graduation: Job oriented professional or technical courses offered by reputed universities
  • For Post Graduation: MCA, MBA, MS, or even diplomas
  • These courses could be from foreign universities or institutes approved by the state and central government

Documentation required: You will have to provide the acceptance letter sent by the university reflecting that you have been selected for the course and the schedule of fees. You will also need to show the mark sheet of the last qualifying examination to show your academic record.

All banks have different requirements for documentation, so you need to confirm with the bank first.

Repayment: Repayment starts only after the course period. If the student gets employed within one year after completion of the course, the repayment should start immediately after the expiry of one month from the date of employment.

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If you do not secure a job within a year of completing the course, then repayment starts irrespective of whether or not you are employed.

The loan is generally to be repaid in 5-7 years after commencement of repayment. If the student is not able to complete the course within the scheduled time, an extension of time for completion, of course, he may be permitted for a maximum period of two years. Generally, you will get up to a maximum number of 10 years to repay the loan.

Visa

As an international student, you’re of course expected to have a valid visa. Even if you’re going to New Zealand for other reasons, you still need a visa to get into the country.

However, the conditions below are for those that would like to study in New Zealand.

Conditions

If you want to attend a university or college in New Zealand you will need a student visa. Following documents will be required for the application purposes:

  • Valid passport – Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your period of stay in New Zealand
  • Completed Student Visa Application Form (INZ 1012)
  • Application fee payment receipt, as you are required to pay Rs 11,760 before your interview
  • An offer of place – You need to have an offer of place from a New Zealand institute/university. The forms are usually issued after the tuition fees have been received
  • Letter from your current institution confirming status as a study abroad student
  • Health insurance receipt
  • You may be required to show Health and Character certificates, to prove that your intention of staying in New Zealand is genuine
  • Two passport sized photographs

Note: Additional documentation may be required. During the personal interview, additional documents may be requested by the interviewer. These may be documents to prove evidence of academic or financial status.

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
  • Scores from tests that your college required, such as TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT
  • How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs

Process

The average time taken by the New Zealand High Commission for the visa procedure is anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks depending on the individual’s background. So the students need to apply for their visas at least three months prior to their course commencement.

As an international student, you must complete your course within the minimum course duration listed on your acceptance letter. If you do not yet have a job offer, you may apply for a Post-study work visa. Visas granted are valid for up to 12 months and allow you to work in a temporary job while you look for a job in your field.

Work permit

You can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week if your programme of study meets one of these criteria:

  • It is at least two years in duration
  • leads to a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points towards an application for a Skilled Migrant visa.
  • It is a tertiary institution, and the main purpose is to develop English language skills – you must also have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 5.0 or above in the general or academic modules.

You may work full-time during all vacations if you are enrolled in a full-time program of study of at least one academic year’s duration.

If your full-time program of study has a duration of at least eight months, and is a minimum of two semesters, but is less than 120 credits, you can work full-time over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

FAQs

There are a number of enticing study abroad New Zealand destinations located across the country. From the sprawling, multicultural hub of Auckland to the smaller city of Wellington to the college town of Dunedin and the charismatic Christchurch, each of the locations where you can study abroad in New Zealand offers up its own mix of urban and natural charms. 

It depends on the city you find yourself in and how robust you’d want to keep your social life.

Yes you do need a Visa.

If you’re not from an English-speaking nation, you might be required to take IELTS or its equivalent to show your English Proficiency.

Conclusion:

This article looked at the most important things you must arm yourself with – if you’re interested in studying in New Zealand. It lays emphasis on the Cost of living, requirements and cost of living.

If you carefully read this article, it will go a long way in handling whatever reservations and questions you might have about studying abroad in New Zealand.

So prepare, pack heavy for the way and get ready to be blown away by the scenery.

Good Luck.

References

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