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Published on Jun 2024

Your ultimate guide to studying in New Zealand

New Zealand, widely known as ‘the land of long white clouds’ is not only a place where people come to indulge in beauty and adventures but also the place well-known for its wonderful education system, especially in the healthcare sector. It is unsurprising that people prefer New Zealand for studying nursing or register as a nurse rather than choosing any other country. If you are one such student who is planning to move to this wonderful nation, then this blog will be your ultimate guide to study in New Zealand.

Compelling reasons to choose New Zealand

New Zealand is well-known throughout the world for offering top-notch education. The NZQA guarantees the calibre of courses provided by private foundations and state institutions, which in turn guarantees that the courses provided by New Zealand preserve international reorganisation. Let’s list out some key reasons why NZ is a widely preferred study destination:

Internationally recognized qualifications

Safe learning environment

High quality education with state-of-the-art facilities

English is a day to day language used in universities

Peaceful country

Scholarships are available for international students

Top 8 Universities in New Zealand

The following are the top 8 universities in New Zealand for international students, as per the QS World University Rankings:

•The University of Auckland

• University of Otago

• Lincoln University

• Victoria University of Wellington

• University of Canterbury 

• University of Waikato

• Massey University

• Auckland University of Technology

Best Cities for International Students

If you are an international student planning to study in New Zealand then here are three best cities you can choose from:


Auckland is a great city for a variety of educational, recreational, and athletic pursuits. Many of the other major cities and tourist destinations in New Zealand are easily accessible from here. Auckland enjoys a fantastic climate as well; summer temperatures average 24 degrees, while winters are often about 15 degrees. It is never too hot or too cold. This type of weather allows you to enjoy everything the city has to offer in terms of sights to see and activities.


The city that is most livable is Wellington. According to Deutsche Bank, it is the city with the highest quality of life out of 50. In terms of safety, Wellington is rated as the sixteenth best city in the world. Wellington is ranked second in the world for personal safety as well. Wellington is known as the gastronomic capital of New Zealand and is host to numerous festivals, including the International Film Festival, Homegrown, Wearable Arts Show, and the Festival Mecca of New Zealand.


One of the greatest cities for international students is Hamilton, which provides a welcoming and laid-back atmosphere. Even though it's a busy, business-oriented city, there are plenty of festivals, events, and opportunities for entertainment there. The best universities in Hamilton, New Zealand, offer outstanding facilities and cutting-edge infrastructure to give overseas students a top-notch education.

Types of Degrees to Study in New Zealand

Undergraduate Degree

UG degrees from New Zealand are globally recognized. Usually, the academic year in most of New Zealand’s universities runs from February to November while the semester splits are in June & July.

Post Graduate Degree

Universities in New Zealand offer postgraduate degree programs that are comparable to those in Australia and other comparable nations. The PG degrees fall under British higher education system standards.

Post Graduate Diploma

A PG diploma can be started after successfully completing a Bachelor’s degree. Usually, the course is of 1-year duration. 


Ph.D. courses not only provide great research opportunities but also will give you the privilege of paying the same tuition fee as the residents. Furthermore, you can also work full-time while pursuing the PhD program. 

English Language Skill Test

To be admitted to institutions, applicants must pass any ONE of the standardised language tests; Pearson Test of English (PTE), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). These adhere to various result bands, formats, and structures. Although the outcomes of these tests vary in numerous ways, many institutions request any one of the scores. Therefore, the student must choose which exam to take.

For repeaters: IELTS may be taken as often as you'd like. Retakes for the TOEFL are permitted, although they cannot be taken more than once in a 12-day period. PTE works similarly in that it can be taken as often as desired. Before scheduling your next test, you have to wait to hear your results.

Document Requirements for International Students:

A number of documents are needed in order to be admitted to one of New Zealand's best institutions. While each institution has its own set of criteria for documentation, universities in New Zealand generally need the following:

Valid Passport

Statement of Purpose

Health Insurance Receipt

Birth certificate

2 passport size photographs

Letter of Recommendation 

Certificate from previous school/college

Receipt of Application Fee Payment

Complete Student Visa Application Form

Document proving that you can afford to stay in New Zealand

Admission confirmation form from NZ University

Language test scores (TOEFL, GMAT, GRE or IELTS)

Health and Character Certificate 

Intakes in NZ for International Students

International students can apply to New Zealand universities in January and July, with some universities having multiple intakes in September and November. About 6 months before the application deadline, you should begin the admissions process. In general, a single intake at most universities has three deadlines. Students are free to choose whatever deadline works best for them. Three months prior to the deadline, your language and aptitude examinations should be completed. The application form should be correctly completed throughout the course of the last three months.

In order to be considered for the February intake, it is necessary that the entire application procedure including showing up for interviews and applying for a visa must be finished by October or November.

Orientation Week for Students

International students must attend orientation week, so make sure to arrive early. At this point, you will enrol in your classes and learn more about the university and its offerings. Reading your guidebook, which the college provides, is crucial. The guide walks through every step of the application procedure.

Extracurricular Activities for Students

Colleges provide extracurricular activities in addition to athletics to give students a diverse range of experiences. All institutions provide courses in music, theatre, science, and literary clubs in addition to chances for outdoor learning and other recreational pursuits. College life includes going to plays and concerts, visiting locations related to the curriculum, including museums and art galleries, religious buildings or historical monuments, and scientific businesses and initiatives.

Cost of Living

Though the cost of living might highly depend on how much you socialise, these are some basic costs you would have to incur.

• Accommodation

• Groceries

• Utilities

• Books

• Dining out

• Travel

• Medical expense

You can know more details about the cost of living in New Zealand here.

Health insurance

No matter how long you want to stay in New Zealand, having adequate and up-to-date medical and travel insurance is a requirement of your visa. All international students must obtain health and travel insurance while they are studying in New Zealand, according to the government's "Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students." According to the Code, the institution must make sure that all enrolled overseas students have valid health and travel insurance for the term of their student visa. Most of the time, health insurance is offered by colleges to their students and is included in the first semester fee.