Study Cost Comparison - USA, Australia, and New Zealand
: Australia, New Zealand and the USA are prime study abroad destinations, so which one do you choose and which ones you leave out? Each one of them has some striking features that stand them apart and make them a perfect destination for students to learn and flourish. So, in a bid to assist you in deciding which country fits your bill, we bring you a comparison of study costs in USA, Australia and New Zealand. The study cost comparison analysis throws light into various expenses a student is expected to bear while studying in these countries and how the study costs in individual countries stake up against each other.

Engineering and MBA: How the fee rates differ for these popular courses in these three countries?

A majority of international students who go abroad for higher studies either pursue engineering or MBA. And many of these students choose the USA, Australia and New Zealand to realize their dreams. It is easy to see why. The aforementioned countries share a lion’s share of the top universities in the world and are more than capable of giving wings to a student’s dream. The academic curriculum offered by these countries goes far beyond class-room teaching and inculcates the practicalities of present-day demands which make the students battle ready to take on challenges head-on. But, despite their many similarities, these countries also share some key differences, especially when it comes to tuition fees and cost of living. A study cost comparison between USA, Australia and New Zealand is therefore imperative for you to take informed choices.

The table below outlines how the fee rates of each country stake up against the other:


Average Annual Tuition fee comparison between US, NZ and Australia: 


New Zealand











If you are looking to save some money on your MBA degree, New Zealand with its low tuition fee is a clear choice. But the cost of the degree notwithstanding, the ROI on a degree in the USA is also not bad, especially from top institutes like Harvard and Stanford, which not only boost the best salary and placement, but help you build business networks that will serve you for life. Our study cost comparison for MBA has Australia lying between the other two countries. 

Coming to engineering, as the cost comparison between USA, Australia and New Zealand table shows, the fees are pretty much the same across the countries and there isn’t much to choose between them.

Living costs: Living costs, too, contribute a large share towards the total expenses and therefore needs proper understanding. The study cost comparison between USA, Australia and New Zealand table below breaks down the living costs for different items that students are expected to spend in these countries.


Living cost comparison between US, NZ and Australia: 


New Zealand (source: University of Canterbury)

USA (source: New York University)


(source: University of Sydney)

Accommodation costs

$304 (Ranges between $190 to $418

depending on the hall per week)


$150- $600




$10-15 (for studio apartment)





Mobile phone
























Additional expenses

In addition to the above expenses, there are other expenses like parking, clothing, and books and stationery that you have you have to budget in as well.


New Zealand



Bond (to be paid to the landlord)



4.333 x weekly rent (usually one month’s rent)





Books and stationery












For certain items, the above study cost comparison chart only gives you approximate figures. Take for example, furnishing. The cost comparison between USA, Australia and New Zealand chart has $750 as average expenses for New Zealand, but you can limit it to a much lesser amount if you can manage with minimum furniture; likewise it can go way higher if you go for costly furniture items.

Insurance-related expenses:

Buying a study abroad insurance plan is an important investment that you make to ensure that you are not left high and dry in time of need. In fact, most universities in these countries have their own preferred insurance policies that you are supposed to buy; if there is a waiver option, you will then have to buy insurance from a private party with comparable coverage. In case of universities that don’t have a preferred insurance plan, you are free to buy insurance plan of your choice from those approved by the university you are applying to.


Also, since the insurance providers in these countries are different parties, the rates are understandably different. Then there is also geography and duration of courses, among others, that influence rates. Let’s take a glance at the following cost comparison table for insurance and see how much a typical insurance plan may cost you in these countries.

2015 Annual Premiums


New Zealand (Studentsafe-University)

Australia (Allianz Global Assistance OSHC)

USA (Harvard University Student Health Program)





Couple (student + 1)




Family (student + 2)




Studentsafe-University is the comprehensive insurance plan designed and adopted by all the eight universities in New Zealand. While it is the preferred choice, you are not obliged to buy it and can instead buy other available plans with comparable coverage. As for Australia, Overseas Student Health (OHSC) is mandatory and there are many service providers and you are free to buy the one that fits your bill. In the USA, the universities have their preferred plans, but then again, you can waive their plans, and instead buy a comparable coverage from a private service provider. Also, as per our study cost comparison chart, insurance plans are in general more expensive in the USA, than those in New Zealand and Australia.

Stay tuned to for more stories on cost of studying


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