Cost of Living for International Students in New Zealand


10 February 2023


 When one thinks of studying abroad, New Zealand is not often considered. Most study abroad agencies do not promote it as much as the other countries because the cost of living can be high when compared to Australia. However we recommend New Zealand for all those students who wish to explore virgin lands. The scenic beauty will win any nature lover’s heart. Did you know that  there are only eight universities in New Zealand, and these universities are in the top 3% of the world. This attracts many international students to immigrate and study in New Zealand

New Zealand has seen the cost of living rise sharply as the global economy emerges from the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine has pushed up the cost of fuel and food. As an international student, managing expenses is very important. Let’s look at the cost of living in New Zealand for international students 

Why Study in New Zealand?

New Zealand immediately springs to mind as a stunning country with incredible locations. However, the nation is more than just its beautiful scenery. Top universities, including the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, and many others, are housed in New Zealand. 

Here are a few justifications for choosing to study in New Zealand.

  • Quality of life

  • You can work to support your education

  • Globally recognised qualifications

  • Excellent research-based teaching

  • Highly experienced faculty

  • Great opportunities for PhD scholars

  • Well-equipped laboratories with the latest equipment and technology

  • Safe and peaceful

  • NZQA and NZQF-authorised courses

  • Many merit-based scholarships

  • Recognised education by agencies like QS World Rankings, US News &World Report and Times Higher Education Ranking.

Top Universities in New Zealand

New Zealand have 8 universities in total, all of which are ranked among the top universities globally by QS World University Rankings. These universities provide international students with a high-quality education that helps them achieve their objectives and learn to tackle difficulties, collaborate with others, and develop and invent. These universities are listed below. 

  • The University of Auckland 

  • The University of Otago

  • Victoria University of Wellington

  • The University of Canterbury 

  • Massey University 

  • The University of Waikato 

  • Lincoln University 

  • Auckland University of Technology

Cost of Living in New Zealand

According to NZ universities, you will need to budget between NZ$15,000–$20,000 (South Island) and NZ$18,000 – $25,000 (North Island) per academic year for living expenses, depending where you live.

 An international student's annual cost of living in New Zealand is 1,500 NZD (78,600 INR). New Zealand's cost of living is roughly 225.5% more expensive than India's. To study in New Zealand, you must budget an additional expense of 32,000–35,000 NZD (16.77–18.35 lakhs INR). 

A master's degree costs between NZD 26,000 (13 lakhs) and NZD 37,000 (19 lakhs) for an academic year, while a PhD may cost between NZD 6,000 (3 lakhs approx) and NZD 9,000 (4 lakhs approx) depending on the amount of funding they receive in New Zealand for their studies. An undergraduate degree typically costs an academic year between NZD 22,000 (11 lakhs approx) and NZD 32,000 (16 lakhs approx). The immigration agency requires the applicant to have at least NZD 10,200 (5 lakhs approx) in their account to demonstrate that they can afford to support their studies, according to the official criteria. After demonstrating this amount, candidates are only given a visa to study in New Zealand.

You will require between NZD 20,000 (10lakh to 11 lakh) and NZD 25,000 (13 lakhs approx) a year (NZD 380 - 480 per week) for housing/rent, food, transportation, phone bills, internet usage, and entertainment, in addition to your tuition and insurance expenditures. The typical living expense will be the same regardless of your tuition or course price. Note that these figures are only suggestions; the requirements from Immigration New Zealand are $15,000 per year plus return flights or an additional $2,000. The table below shows the average cost of living in New Zealand for international students

Cost of Living in New Zealand


Expense (in NZD)



NZD 10–NZD 12 (for 5 km) 

650 approx 


NZD 800–NZD 950 per month 

48,000-50,000 approx 


NZD 200–NZD 500 per week 

10,000-27,000 approx

Visiting a doctor 

NZD 45–NZD 85

2,500-4,500 approx 


NZD 3 per litre

160 approx 


NZD 15 - NZD 20

800-11,00 approx 


NZD 19 

1,000 approx 


NZD 200 per week 

10,000 approx 

Other costs which affect the living cost in New Zealand for students are below. 

  • Books

  • Stationary 

  • Medical costs 

  • Insurance 

  • Clothing

Universities and their Cost of Living

 Accommodation is an important factor when deciding to study at a university. Many universities provide accommodation options to students. Although availing them is tough, they help reduce the cost of living in New Zealand. The table below shows the accommodation fees at the top universities in New Zealand. 

Universities and their Cost of Living

University Name 

Monthly Accommodation Cost

University of Canterbury 

81,800 INR

University of Otago 

87,655 INR

University of Auckland 

82,610 INR 

University of Waikato 

77,775 INR

Victoria University of Wellington

1,01,422 INR 

Cost of Living in Different New Zealand Cities

 To apply to universities in New Zealand, you must prove to have around 7,88,255 NZD to cover all the expenses. The table below shows the average cost of living in different cities in New Zealand.

Cost of Living in Different New Zealand Cities


Monthly Average Expenses 



1,333 NZD

70,000 approx 


1,291 NZD

68,000 approx 


1,322 NZD

69,000 approx 


1,490 NZD

77,000 approx  

Most Affordable Cities to Live in New Zealand

Some of the most affordable cities in New Zealand are given below. 

  • Christchurch 

  • Dunedin 

  • Whanganaui 

  • Rotorua 

  • Hamilton 

  • Whangarei


Moreover, students who wish to study in New Zealand may contact our expert New Zealand study consultants/counsellors at any branch of Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). They will guide you for admission and New Zealand study visa requirements. You can also take free online counselling through our website. For more queries or further information, contact or 1800-1230-00011.



Post Comment

Book Your Online Counselling Session