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Published on April 2024

Cost of Living for International Students in New Zealand: What to Expect

New Zealand is undoubtedly a very popular study abroad destination among students. Thousands of students go to the Kiwi Nation for higher studies every year. Therefore, as overseas education consultants say it is wise to be aware of the cost of living in New Zealand. Approximate costs incurred for studying in NZ are;

  • UG degree NZD 20,000 to NZD 32,000
  • PG Degree NZD 26,000 - NZD 37,000
  • PhD NZD 6,000 to NZD 9,000

According to the official requirements the immigration service requires that they have at least NZD 10,200 in their account. An applicant can only be given a visa to study in New Zealand after providing proof of this amount.

You will require between $20,000 and $25,000 a year for housing, food, transportation, phone bills, electricity, internet usage, and entertainment, on top of your tuition and insurance fees. Everyone will have the same average living expenses regardless of their tuition or course price. Note that these figures are only suggestions; Immigration New Zealand requires $15,000 a year plus the cost of return airfare, or an extra $2,000.

Study in New Zealand for international students could be challenging when it comes to expenses. Students who follow a tight budget can reduce their living expenses. In addition to the several scholarships in New Zealand for international students, depending on your New Zealand student visa, you will be able to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during the holidays. It should be noted that living expenses vary from city to city in New Zealand.

Average monthly expenses to expect

Average Expenses & Cost (NZ dollars)
Rent (per month) $800–$1000
Food (per week) $200
Transportation $120
Books and supplies $300-500
Movie ticket $10–$14
Day-to-day Necessities $50
Doctor consultation $45–$85
Miscellaneous Expenses $100

You can cut down on cost or spend more than this, it all comes down to your lifestyle choices.

City-wise approximate expenses per month


  • Rent: NZ$1,800 to NZ$3,000
  • Transportation: NZ$150 to NZ$200
  • Meals: NZ$130 to NZ$210


  • Rent: NZ$2,000 to NZ$3,500
  • Transportation: NZ$215
  • Meals: NZ$120 to NZ$220


  • Rent: NZ$1,200 to NZ$2,200
  • Transportation: NZ$100 to NZ$150
  • Meals: NZ$110 to NZ$250


  • Rent: NZ$1,200 to NZ$1,800
  • Transportation: Monthly pass – NZ$60 to NZ$80
  • Meals: Dining out – NZ$90 to NZ$190


  • Rent: NZ$1,000 to NZ$1,500
  • Transportation: NZ$60 to NZ$80
  • Meals: NZ$50 to NZ$80

Tips to manage money efficiently while you study abroad

Public Transportation

Take advantage of student discounts when travelling by bus, tram, or train. Purchasing monthly or semester passes is frequently less expensive than purchasing daily tickets.


Select housing options based on your financial limits. It could be less expensive to live in shared housing, homestays, or on-campus living than to rent a private apartment.

Cook Meals at Home

Cooking food at home helps save costs compared to eating out which is usually expensive. To reduce your food costs, make a meal plan, shop in bulk, and make your own lunches.

Tour Free or Low-Cost Activities

Only working and studying won’t give you any fun. Go out and explore free and affordable activities that the country has to offer. There are many free or inexpensive things to do in New Zealand, such as hiking, going to parks and beaches, going to cultural events, and looking around museums and galleries. Make the most of these leisure and entertainment opportunities.

Find Part-Time jobs

Try getting a part-time job to help with your expenses, if you have a student visa in nz. Search for employment on campus or in fields that accept foreign applicants, but be careful to strike a balance between your academic and professional obligations. Furthermore, please keep in mind the maximum hours allowed for part-time work for international students.

Save for Emergencies

Keep aside some money for unexpected expenses or emergencies. Having a financial safety net can give peace of mind and prevent financial stress during difficult situations.

If you are planning to go abroad for studies, you can rely on us for expert counselling. We are study abroad consultants in Kochi, Kerala who have successfully migrated thousands of students to overseas universities. Book our free consultation to find your course, university, requirements, visa, and more!