Cost of Living in New Zealand – New Zealand has swiftly grown to be one of the most popular countries for education abroad with an increasing number of students opting to study in New Zealand each year. The popularity of New Zealand can be granted to various aspects such as the commendable quality of education and student life as well as the ease of immigration and visa procedures which makes an education in New Zealand easier to consider. Apart from these factors, the cost of living in New Zealand is also an important aspect or reason why New Zealand is a popular student destination.
The cost of living in New Zealand when compared to that in India and many other countries can be considered to be significantly high in nearly all subcategories like food and drink, transportation, accommodation etc. In fact, Auckland is one of the most expensive cities in the world in terms of nearly everything except for electronics and appliances. For a student to gain admission to a New Zealand institution for education in New Zealand, immigration often requires him or her to provide proof of NZD $15,000 per year in order to satisfy the requirements of the cost of living in New Zealand. When compared on a monthly basis, it can be seen that the average cost of living in New Zealand for students lies in the range of NZD $1,200 – 1,400 per month which can be considered equivalent to approximately INR 56,000 – 63,000 per month. This is considerably higher than the equivalent cost of living for a student in India.
Education in New Zealand is highly acclaimed in certain domains such as Arts and Humanities and Social Science and Management with programs at New Zealand institutions ranking high on the QS World Subject Ranking list. Home to some of the top universities in the world as well as some of the best student cities in the world, it has become common for students to seek education in New Zealand. Some of the top New Zealand universities according to domain and their world rankings are as shown below.
Top New Zealand Institutions
QS World Rank
QS Subject Rank
Arts and Humanities
The University of Auckland
Victoria University of Wellington
University of Otago
Engineering and Technology
University of Canterbury
Life Sciences and Medicine
Social Sciences and Management
The most popular cities for students who want to study in New Zealand are home to some of the top New Zealand institutions such as The University of Auckland and the University of Otago. Apart from the high quality of education, the top New Zealand student cities also have the best quality of student life available for those who plan to pursue their education in New Zealand. The living expenses for these student hubs varies with respect to the city in consideration.
Two of the best cities for education in New Zealand, namely, Auckland and Christchurch also rank high on the QS World Ranking for Best Student Cities. The average cost of living in New Zealand for some of the most popular New Zealand student cities are approximately in the range of NZD $1,200 – 1,400 per month. The average cost of living in New Zealand per month for some of the top student cities as well as notable New Zealand institutions vary as given.
Top New Zealand Student Cities
Notable New Zealand Institutions
The University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology
University of Waikato
Cost of Living in New Zealand for Students
The cost of living in New Zealand varies slightly in accordance to the city of consideration. Although the average living expense for a student who wants to study in New Zealand is around NZD $20,000 too NZD $25,000 per year, the rates may differ slightly due to a number of different factors. The major categories for expenses which constitute the cost of living in New Zealand include:
1. Rent and Residential costs
For students in New Zealand institutions, a primary chunk of the cost of living in New Zealand goes into accommodation. The rent for a single bedroom apartment generally ranges from NZD $600 – $1,700 and is nearly the same in all the major New Zealand student cities. For students who want to study in New Zealand, sometimes rental concessions are also available although the average rent still remains in the range of NZD $800 – $950 per month.
Apart from rent, the cost for basic household utilities in New Zealand is also considerably high. Students often have an array of electricity providers and plans to chose from as per their requirement and the average cost for utilities including electricity, heating, gas etc. is approximately NZD $300 per month.
2. Food and Drink
The cost of living in New Zealand is considered higher than many nations primarily due to the fact that not only is eating out comparatively expensive, but so are groceries due to their non-local production. For students seeking an education in New Zealand, buying their own groceries over eating out is always a more monetarily efficient tactic to cut down on the cost of living in New Zealand
The average prices in some of the top New Zealand student cities for dining out are given below. These prices differ slightly with the city of education in New Zealand with Auckland being amongst the most expensive in terms of food and drink.
Living Expenses in New Zealand for Food and Drink
Type of Expense
Meal (inexpensive restaurant)
Meal (mid-range restaurant)
Domestic Beer (0.5 l)
Imported Beer (0.33 l)
Soft Drink (0.33 l)
Water (0.33 l)
The cost of living in New Zealand for clothing and apparel has a general trend of being high for all the top New Zealand student cities. The prices for a pair of jeans usually exceeds NZD $100 and the price for running shoes can sometimes even reach up to NZD $200.
The cost of living in New Zealand for apparel is relatively lower in the city of Dunedin as compared to other top student hubs for education in New Zealand. Some of the average prices for the top New Zealand student cities are given below. All prices are for chain store products and designer products are known to have prices greater than at least twice the cost of chain store products.
Living Expenses in New Zealand for Clothing
4. Car and public transport
Public transportation is by far the most economical aspect that constitutes the cost of living in New Zealand. All modes of public transport in New Zealand are reasonably priced and are not in the expensive range. Students who want to study in New Zealand can also opt for monthly pass options which further reduce the expenses involved in transportation while pursuing education in New Zealand.
Some average costs involved in public transportation in the top New Zealand student cities are given below.
Living Expenses in New Zealand for Public Transportation
One-way ticket (public transport)
Monthly pass (public transport)
Gasoline (1 l)
Additionally, it is considered that the cost of buying a car in New Zealand is considerably lower when compared to that in other countries. Although a car may not be required by a student pursuing education in New Zealand, it is still an economically viable option for those who plan a long term stay in the country.
Price of a Basic Car in New Zealand
Type of Car
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort
5. Medical Expenses
Medical Expenses in New Zealand are also considerably higher than other countries and add significantly to the cost of living in New Zealand. This includes the the prices of basic medicine such as cold medicine and antibiotics as well as the price of doctors’ and hospital fees. On an average, the cost for cold medicine for six days is a whopping NZD $12 while even a short visit to the doctor could cost a student dearly with doctors’ fees falling in the range of NZD $45 – $85 per visit. These rates may vary with the city of in which the student wants to study in New Zealand but are more or less approximately equal in price range.
For students who want to study in New Zealand, there are a number of entertainment options available which play a major role in the enhancement of student life in New Zealand. The many tourist destinations, museums, hiking spots and mountains are all free for the public. Apart from this, the conventional means of entertainment have similar prices in all the top New Zealand student cities although prices in cities like Auckland are higher in comparison to others cities for students who want to study in New Zealand.
Living Expenses in New Zealand for Entertainment
Fitness Club Membership
Study in New Zealand: Know top universities, courses and admission cycle
Top Reasons to Study in New Zealand
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