Study in New Zealand: A Thrilling & Exciting Experience

Not only is New Zealand a friendly, diverse and beautiful country. You can learn so much from just being in this country as it is so culturally diverse. Living or staying in New Zealand will show you a different way of life. Being so closely linked with Australia everything in New Zealand is world class, with some of the best schools, universities and career options available in the world.

One of the other reasons to decide to study in New Zealand, is the international scholarships that are on offer. Each year the New Zealand Government offers 100 doctoral scholarships and up to 100 for those undergraduate students. This is a huge opportunity as it funds your education for the following year.

If this isn’t enough for you then how about the fact that New Zealand’s Qualifications are some of the best in the world, this means once you are qualified you could pack up your bags and be able to work anywhere in the world. Post graduate courses also offer a range of seminars, workshops, conferences, cooperative and independent research to help you through your course and learn more along the way.

Some of the study fields such as Biotechnology, Forensic Science and Marine Engineering Degrees have been acknowledged as world leading.

So why not come and study in this beautiful country, not only is it stunning to look at but there is so much to learn just from being here.


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Step 1. Course Counselling

Upon contact, you will receive free New Zealand information and first-hand advice to the universities, colleges, schools, and programs in New Zealand via email. You can also receive the application forms by e-mail within 24 hours if you have already decided on a specific institute and meet the application criteria.

You can identify and select your desired universities, schools and courses of study together with your education agent and check the respective entry requirements.

Step 2. Eligibility Check

Together with your education agent from Go to New Zealand, you will complete an individual qualification check for all your academic achievements as well as English language test and discuss your schooling and work experience, to ensure you meet the requirements of your desired study program.

Step 3. Application

If the result is negative or marginal, you will receive information about alternative education programs or the additional qualifications you should acquire to meet the entry requirements. If the result of the qualification check is positive, we complete the application documents together with you: registration form, certificates, study transcript, if applicable references, proof of English e.g. Our team will check the documents for completeness and, if necessary, consult with the university if there are any further questions. Then we will prepare translations and credentials and send the applications to your desired universities/schools.

Step 4. Accept your offer

Your desired education provider will examine the application and then send us their offer of a study place for you, the so-called “Offer Letter”. Similarly, they will also contact our agency, if anything is still unclear. If, for example, the documents are incomplete, you will initially receive a “Conditional Offer” as a student until all requirements are met. This is a preliminary offer until you meet the conditions. Once these conditions have been met the Offer Letter will be issued.

If you receive an offer letter from several education providers you must now select your desired one and accept the corresponding offer. The offer is considered accepted once the fees outlined have been paid. Usually, this includes partial course fees and the health insurance cover.

Step 5. Pay part of your tuition fees

These fees are either paid by telegraphic transfer, credit card or international bank transfer. Most universities accept credit cards as a method of payment. If a foreign transfer is considered, you can refer to the Offer Letter. Bank Transfer is the most cumbersome but most widely used payment method with New Zealand institutions. The guaranteed bank check is drawn from the bank to a New Zealand correspondent bank – this takes a few days and costs fees. The beneficiary of the check is the university. Please note: The intended purpose should also be noted on the check: e.g. “Tuition Fees and Insurance for …”.

Step 6. Student Visa

The next step is to apply for your New Zealand student visa. Our free services also include helping you apply for the student visa and organise your flights. You can only apply for the student visa once you have the offer letter and the receipt for payment of tuition fees! Upon arrival in New Zealand, you will be a registered international student and receive a student card from your education provider. We will continue to support you during your studies in New Zealand with any questions or issues you may have.

  • Student Guide to Studying in New Zealand

Costs of Studying in New Zealand

Study New Zealand Course Fees & Payment Process

Each institute offers different fees and payment methods, it is best to check with an institute prior to enrollment. New Zealand offers world-class education but it may be more pricey than other countries.

How much does it cost to Study in New Zealand?

  • Secondary school fees are generally around NZ$10,000 a year.
  • Vocational courses usually cost between NZ$ 18,000 and 24,000 per year tuition fee. Courses are offered from 6 months and can be booked for 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years.
  • Bachelor Degrees cost between NZ$ 20,000 – 40,000 per year and take 3 or 4 years.
  • Master Degrees usually take 2 years and cost between NZ$ 24,000 and 40,000 per year tuition fee.

On top you need to have at least NZ$ 15,000 – 20,000 per year for living costs in NZ.

In order to apply you usually need to show that you have enough money to pay for your first year tuition fee, living costs and a return flight to your home country. This amount will be more if you come with your family.

University Programs

The below costs are average, annual tuition fees.

  • Bachelor: NZ$20,000 +
  • Masters degree: NZ$40,000 +
  • Ph.D: NZ$40,000 +

Polytechnic or Institute of Technology

The below costs are average, annual tuition fees.

  • Bachelor: NZ$15,000
  • Diploma: NZ$14,800
  • Certificate: NZ$14,200

High School or Primary School

The below costs are average and are for one year’s tuition fees.
Registration (enrolment fee) Once only: NZ$260

  • Secondary school fees are generally around NZ$16,000 a year.

Advance Payments

Due to Student Visa requirements, international students must pay all fees up front. Each institute will require an Application or Administration fee, this is a non-refundable fee and is payable even if the application is unsuccessful.

Methods of Payment

School fees can be paid either through the Institutions Agent in your country, by credit card, funds transfer from your bank account into the institutes New Zealand bank account or via bank draft or bank check. Remember fee amounts will be in NZ $.

Cancellation and Refunds

Each institute is different when it comes to refundi policies. Usually if a cancellation is required prior to commencement of a course the student will get a full refund. Due to different visa requirements a full refund prior to the commencement of a course will depend on whether your Visa has been granted yet and if you are transferring to a different Institute. If the student cancels within the first week of the course there will be a part refund, although any further into the course there will be no refund available.

What your fees cover

School fees will cover Government Service Tax or GST, Registration, Enrollment, Student Health Services, Counselling, Language Support, Use of Campus Facilities.

For those studying at University course fees will be between NZ $18,000 to $25,000 per year for an Undergraduate Course, and up to $40,000 a year for those studying a Postgraduate course.

Fee’s for those attending Secondary School will add up to NZ $10,000 per year.

Costs of Living

Evidence of funds to support yourself during your studies in New Zealand

To gain a Student Visa or Permit we want to see that you’re able to meet your living costs during your stay. Evidence may include:

  1. sufficient funds held in New Zealand by you, or on your behalf or
  2. an undertaking by another person to cover your accommodation and living costs. We’ll want to see this before you leave for New Zealand or
  3. an undertaking by a New Zealand sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs or
  4. financial assistance available to you under aid programmes operated in New Zealand by a government agency.

Additional cost: living cost incl. accommodation appr. 750 USD/month, flight appr. 1500 USD. Please provide here proof of evidence of funds for your stay in New Zealand! If you’re taking a course lasting less than nine months… you’ll need to show us you have access to:

  1. NZ $1250 for each month of your stay or
  2. NZ $400 for each month, if your accommodation is already paid for. You’ll need to show us that you’ve paid or
  3. a letter from your education provider that your accommodation and other living costs are included in the package you’ve already paid for.

If you’re taking a course that’s longer than nine months… you’ll need to show us you have access to:

  1. NZ$15,000 per year to cover your costs during your stay in New Zealand

Evidence of funds can be:

  1. cash
  2. travellers cheques
  3. bank drafts
  4. a recognised credit card with sufficient available credit.

Entry Requirements

English Language Requirement for Studying in New Zealand

Students planning to study at a high school, college, university, or vocational institute must attain a certain level of proficiency in English. There are various English-testing exams conducted throughout the world to check the standard of English.

Students coming from non-English speaking countries who would like to study in New Zealand must attain a certain score in an English testing assessment, such as International English Testing System (IELTS), TOEFL, or Cambridge Tests. The expected score depends on the institute, subject, and degree that the student has applied for studying.

Although the educational department has stipulated English competency levels for each degree that must be attained by international students, many institutes, especially universities have their own standard as well that must also be met for admission. The requirement also changes depending on the course the student wishes to study.

While IELTS Academic and TOEFL test results are usually accepted by all education providers, other tests (e.g. Cambridge Tests) might not be accepted. Therefore you need to check with your institute, which tests you can do to be accepted.

English Testing Assessments
IELTS is not the only benchmarking test to assess English competency. There are others in the group as well. To study a pre-degree course, certificate, diploma or Foundation courses, usually an IELTS (Academic) of 5.5 with no subtest below 5.0 is enough to be accepted. Undergraduate degrees require usually an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with no sub-test below 5.5. A student with an Internet-based-TOEFL score must attain at least 80 points. For Postgraduate courses, students must usually acquire at least 6.5 average score (no sub-test below 6.0 or 90 in Internet-based-TOEFL. However, please keep in mind that these are only guidelines and each institute can set higher requirements.

Students taking up vocational courses at colleges or polytechnics as well as at university must be eligible for a minimum level of English language competency. English is a must to understand lectures, books, and customer requirements while at work.

When Minimum Score Not Met
There are occasions when students meet academic qualifications but fail to acquire the minimum score in their English test. In fact, there may be occasions where students get the “letter of offer” from the institute but cannot study as their English proficiency is too low. For such students, bridging courses in English are conducted. English bridging courses can be for duration of 3 to 9 months. They are usually offered fulltime as students come on a student visa.

There are many language schools which offer different types of English learning courses. Some schools arrange for English testing assessments, in other schools the student is responsible to arrange it himself.

Study English in New Zealand
Many students study English in an intensive course in a regular classroom environment on a Student visa in New Zealand, to improve their English fast in a very short time. Alternatively students can study short terms (up to 3 months) on a Visitor Visa or 3-6 months on a Working Holiday Visa.

To save living costs, many students choose to work part-time as Demi Pairs next to their English studies. In this way they improve their English even faster through learning English at school and practicing English within their New Zealand family in the afternoon and weekend by living in an English speaking environment.

Popular language schools helping international students to be proficient in English include Dominion English Schools, Fern Language School, Kaplan International College, New Zealand Language Centres, Southern Lake English Centre, University of Otago Language School, and NZLA Auckland.

If you are planning to hone your English competency to study abroad in New Zealand, check with our student adviser for a convenient course.

The language of instruction at most New Zealand institutions is English and you may have to provide documentary evidence of language proficiency in any one of the following ways:

An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) band score of 6 with no band no less than 5.5
A pass in the New Zealand bursary examination (NCEA Level 2)
A pass in English in the GCE (General Certificate of Education) ‘O’ level examination
A TOEFL (Princeton test of English as a foriegn language)
Grade C3 or above in SP3 (Suli Pejaran Malaysia)
Or some other English language proficiency test

The language requirements for schools may differ as they may also take beginners. English language schools offer tuition from beginners to advanced and private tuition can also be arranged.

Do you want to Study in New Zealand without IELTS? We will explain to you the conditions you’d have to fulfill to be able to give the IELTS a miss. If you can’t sit your IELTS exam in your home country, many language schools offer IELTS preparation courses. If you require further information about the programs, IELTS tests or entry requirements, please contact our International team!

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) has put in place certain exemptions to IELTS by non-university tertiary education providers for international students whose first language is not English.

Before you can enrol at a New Zealand educational institution, you first need to provide evidence of your academic and English speaking abilities.  These requirements differ according to the institute and level of study (obviously, a university is going to have higher standards than a secondary school.)

Secondary Schools generally accept English speakers of all abilities. The school will assess your abilities and place you in appropriate classes.

Universities require a certain level of English speaking proficiency.  This can differ between institutes.  Nearly all New Zealand universities accept International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores as evidence of your ability.  An IELTS score of 6.0 or a TOEFL score of 500 is the usual bare minimum requirement.

Some universities will accept previous study undertaken in English in place of IELTS or TOEFL scores.  You can also supply proof of a pass in English in the New Zealand Bursary examination, or General Certificate of Education O level examination.

Academically, you must prove that you are able to study at a tertiary level.  For undergraduate students, this generally requires a pass mark in your schools

Secondary Schooling Qualification, such as:

  • UK A levels
  • Hong Kong A levels
  • Australian Matriculation Year Twelve Certificate
  • Canadian Pre-University Programme
  • American SAT scores.

Postgraduate applicants must have a relevant undergraduate degree.  For some courses, you may be required to possess and/or maintain a certain grade point average.

New Zealand offers many language schools for foreign students who have basic English skills and can understand the alphabet.  These have a running time of anything from two weeks to an academic year.

Students who originate from countries that don’t use the ABC alphabet might prefer the one on one attention of a private tutor.

The criteria may vary in relation to entry to tertiary study, this depends on the institution that has been chosen by the student. In most respects or cases where students are under the age of 21 sufficient evidence will need to be proved that the student is reasonably proficient at English or evidence of your English test score.

Sufficient evidence of qualifications will need to be provided in relations to certain level of study, such as:

  1. A New Zealand ‘B’ Bursary or better, or NCEA Level 3
  2. GCSE ‘A’ Levels
  3. STPM (Malaysia)
  4. Hong Kong ‘A’ Levels
  5. Australian Matriculation Year 12 Certificate
  6. Canadian Pre – University Programme
  7. Latin American students entry is determined by the institution.

In relation to your qualification assessment you will be advised by your institution, if you require your qualifications to be asses by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The assessment costs of NZ$450. You may download the form from the NZQA website. The standard assessment process will take up to 8 weeks, these timelines are subject to a number of provisions and you should view full details of assessment timeline before you decide to proceed.

It is your responsibility to provide original documents or certified photocopies of 1 of the following information;

  1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6 with no band less than 5.5. The IELTS is used in various tertiary institutions in United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and North America. This assesses your ability to speak, listen, read and write in relation to the academic or general training context. This was developed and managed by the University of Cambridge, the British Council and IDP Education Australia.
  2. A Pass in English in the New Zealand Bursary examination or NCEA Level 3
  3. A Pass in English in the General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘O’ level examination
  4. A TOEFL ( Princeton Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper test (not the computer test) score of 550 and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4 (paper – based test) or 213, Essay rating 4.0 (Computer – based test)
  5. Grade C3 or above in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) English 322
  6. Other recognised English proficiency test, copies of either your public examination certificates or your latest school, university or college transcripts.

If you require any further help please talk to us about exact requirements.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Please contact us about cross credits and exemptions.

  1. For secondary schools, the admission criteria normally includes English language proficiency and academic background plus any extra-curricular pursuits.
  2. For tertiary institutions, the entry criteria normally includes English language proficiency and academic qualifications and background that determine your suitability for your preferred course. Your qualifications may need to be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

Besides your academic qualifications, your work experience and life experience may also be taken into consideration. This is called RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).

New Zealand Study Dates

The New Zealand Academic year


Each University provides quality service and support to its students through the efforts of range of departments and providing information for visitors including governance and management, organisational structure and units where you can put your strategic policies and plans to fruition. The timetable for University students is split into 2 semesters for around 12 weeks each, with 2-week break during the semester and a 6-week break in the middle of the year. Students may use the break periods for study and research or just relax and catch up with friends.

The University year period begins in late February or early March witch ends in October of each year. Most university courses are full year courses and classes are held Monday to Friday, with well equipped library and resource centre witch are designed to provide a high level of support to the learning programs with services open on weekends.

Each semester begins with an action-packed orientation week featuring live music and events where loads of information is provided for students before they commence courses, this is a great time to meet other colleagues and expand your knowledge in education.

If you wish to claim subject exemptions, you must do so when you enrol. To do this you must send evidence of you examined knowledge of course content with certified copies of this evidence. Academic support is provided to students in relation to subject relation and career choice.

Institutes of technology and polytechnics

Institutes of technology and polytechnics have two semesters – February to June and July to November – where holidays are similar to secondary schools. Some half-year courses start in July.

Private Training Establishments

Most run on a time table similar to state tertiary institutions

Language schools run all year.

Courses may be as short as 1 or 2 weeks or as long as a whole academic year, classes run Monday to Friday. Sometimes there are extra – curricular activities and outings at the weekend.

So why don’t come and see what New Zealand offers where you can study in the most beautiful and varied landscapes on earth that offers a distinct culture and heritage for you to lean and discover.

General commencement dates

Secondary schools run on four ten-week terms, starting in February and ending in mid-December. There are two-week holiday breaks in April, July and September. Normally, classes are held Monday to Friday from 8.45am to 3.15pm with an hour of lunch break.

The New Zealand university calendar begins in late February or early March and includes the orientation week and ends in October. International students should note that each university has its own timetable. Classes are normally held from Monday to Friday.

Technical institutes and polytechnics have two semesters, February to June and July to November. Language classes run all-year round and may have no fixed duration. Classes normally run from Monday to Friday.

Daylight savings
Daylight savings start on the first Sunday of October in every calendar year and ends on the third Sunday of March when clocks are wound back one hour.

FAQ’s about studying abroad in New Zealand

Type of Tuition Fees ($NZ)

  • English Language Courses approximately NZ$320 – NZ$400 per week
  • Secondary School normal tuition fees are from NZ$8,000 – NZ$10,500 per year for most schools but some private schools are more expensive
  • Polytechnic Courses these range from NZ$10,000 – NZ$15,000 per year depending on the course or degree
  • University Degrees from NZ$10,500 – NZ$16,000 per year for most under-graduate degrees
  • Post-graduate Degrees begin from NZ$15,000 per year and MBA Degrees are about NZ$22,000

The total cost depends on each students spending habits. However a student should be able to live in New Zealand for a total cost of living of between NZ$8,000 and NZ$10,000 a year including accommodation, transport and entertainment.

The first step is to select an institution and course and then make an enrolment application for that course. The easiest and quickest way is to us and AA Education Network will locate a suitable institution and course to meet your requirements.

GST stands for Goods & Services Tax. All goods and services in New Zealand including tuition fees have GST Tax of 12.5% included in the fee. There are some items that do not have GST and these include bank fees and residential rental payments.

There is no limit on the age of a person wishing to study in New Zealand however the New Zealand Immigration Service needs to be satisfied that the applicant is a genuine student when they process the student visa application.

New Zealand has 8 Universities, 25 Polytechnics and/or Institutes of Technology and about 440 secondary schools.

Historically the main difference had been that Universities focussed on academic programmes and the Polytechnics focussed on practical training. Over recent years both types of institutions have expanded their range of programmes and now there is significant overlap between Universities and Polytechnics. Over recent years the Polytechnic programmes have been expanded to include a wide range and number of degree programmes. A number of Polytechnics have also merged together and have changed their names from Polytechnics to Institutes of Technology to better reflect their focus. Cross-credits for courses completed at the Polytechnic can be credited to ongoing University study in most instances.

This is the collective name given to all institutions like Universities and Polytechnics who offer course for students to continue their studies after secondary school.

Most degrees in New Zealand are for 3 years but there are also a number of degrees which take 4 years.

New Zealand degrees are recognised internationally and will be accepted when applying for post-graduate study in most countries.

Those students who are able to work under their visa will probably work in casual jobs either tutoring at their institution or working in restaurants or other service industries. The normal hourly wage rate will be from NZ$8.00 – NZ$15.00 per hour and you will have tax deducted from your wages before you receive your payment. On these amounts the tax will normally work out at about 20 cents per $ and you should be able to obtain a full tax refund at the end of the financial year in April.

Students who have completed their degree in the normal time and have a job offer related to their studies can obtain a work visa for another 2 years to work in the job they have been offered as may qualify for residence.

It should be no problem for parents to apply for a visitor visa and to visit their children in New Zealand providing they meet normal visitor visa policy requirements.

Providing you pass your course and continue to meet the requirements of your student visa you can continue to extend your visa for as long as you wish. There is no limit on the time you can spend in New Zealand as a student.