Things to know before studying in New Zealand
: Whenever New Zealand comes up in a discussion many of us can’t hold back the temptation to compare it with Australia, which can be unfair. It is because New Zealand has charted its very own success story and proved it mettle in a multitude of disciplines, be it sports or academic. Take for example Rugby, a sport which is a rallying cry in both the countries, and where New Zealand is now the reigning world champion, having defeated its archrival Australia. If you take academics, Australia has more universities in the QS list, but then again all eight universities in New Zealand feature in the rankings, which is no mean feat.


International students, for one, are quick to grasp the growing profile of New Zealand and how it can help shape their world; the ever increasing international student population being a testimony to that. For those students who are sitting on the fence undecided whether to study in New Zealand or not, we have complied a things to know before studying in New Zealand list, which would help them make an informed decision. The list not only provides students new perspective about New Zealand but also highlights key facets of the country which will ultimately make their stay eventful filled with happy memories.


Things to know before studying in New Zealand-our take!


If-you-are-driving-slowlyDos and don’ts

Just because you are a guest in a foreign land, it doesn’t in any way give you a free run to do anything you want. Because there are certain protocols and laws that govern your actions and you must abide by them, not just to stay away from the long arm of the law, but importantly, to not disturb the peace and harmony of a place. Also, you aren’t supposed to bring disrepute to your home country by behaving irresponsibly. So, here we bring you certain dos and don’ts when in New Zealand.

  • Tables are not places to sit on: It is not only considered unhygienic to sit on a table, but also rude. In fact, the Māori people consider places where food is prepared and served sacred, which should give you the message.

  • Refrain from making not so glowing comments about the All Blacks: The All Blacks are highly revered in New Zealand, just like our cricketers whom we frequently put on a pedestal. So unless you want to rile up an otherwise harmless looking guy at the bar, avoid taking on the role of a critique. 

  • Littering is a big deal breaker: New Zealand takes environmental protection pretty seriously as it is determined to maintain the environment in its pristine condition. So, you going there and messing up their spic and span city would invite a pretty strong backlash.

  • If you are driving slowly, take care not to stop the traffic: One thing that you would notice in New Zealand is the roads connecting cities aren’t always broad, which may cause you some trouble. But instead of panicking and parking the car bang in the middle of the road, you need to pull over at any of the built-in pull-off points along the road. The point is not to stop the incoming traffic, as blocking more than 4 cars at once is considered a crime!

  • Don’t just stop the car on the side of the road and dash off to take a pic: You simply can’t park the car just about anywhere, not even when there is no traffic, just because there is a Kodak moment unfolding just in front of your eyes. Instead you have to pull over at a designated pull-off point.

  • Don’t keep referring to New Zealanders as Australians: It would show your lack of sensitivity and knowledge, which is not a good impression to have in a foreign country.

Maori_dancersThe land of Māori legends

There are legends, and there are Māori legends, that would keep you on the edge. The most famous of course is of Maui, who enjoys demigod like status, as he is believed to have, and incredibly at that, fished New Zealand right out of the depth of the sea!  One underlying moral of the legend, as it has come to be interpreted in recent times, is that it depicts the history of New Zealand –one of hardship, fortitude and bravery. Around circa 1650, the Europeans arrived in New Zealand and basically transformed the landscape of the country; the missionaries for example, introduced the local community to Christianity and farming, which had a cascading effect over the entire population, and the Māori culture gradually faded out. But fast forward to the present times; and Māori culture is back in the mix, with their resurgence helped by greater integration and ready acceptance of their way of life and traditions in kiwi society. While studying in New Zealand you will get to learn first hand the effects of cultural conflicts, the resulting pain, and also the magnanimity of people who are willing to let go off the past for a better future.

Health Insurance

 If you are studying in New Zealand, health insurance is a must as it shields you from paying high medical costs in the country. Also one major difference between insurance plans in New Zealand and other countries is that all eight universities in New Zealand have together come up with one common insurance plan, Studentsafe-University. The objective is to reduce the burden on the student, who no longer needs to spend hours comparing government- or university-backed plans.

The annual premium for the plan is NZ$590 per year per student, but may go up to NZ$1,475 per year if the student is accompanied by two or more family members. Again, while Studentsafe-University is the preferred plan, students studying in New Zealand are free to buy private plans as well, with the only condition being they should offer comparable coverage.

Best_student_cities-in-New-ZealandBest student cities

 It is universally accepted that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and scenic countries in the world.  And why not, for it is a country where the old-world charm isn’t looked down upon or trampled by modernity. If you talk of cities, the story is no different, as the New Zealanders, who are a very conscious lot, are ready to go the extra mile to keep their city green, clean and safe. Cities like Auckland and Christchurch, in fact, are listed among the top student cities in the world, which indicates these cities in addition also have universally acclaimed universities and a very conducive academic atmosphere to go with their clean, green and safe credentials. Wellington and Hamilton are other top student cities in New Zealand. So, if you subscribe to the theory of a student city, you may well consider any one of these cities to study in New Zealand.


Finding accommodation

Studying in New Zealand, you may opt for either on-campus or off-campus accommodation. If you go for on-campus accommodation, you have university halls and units to choose from. The cost of a living unit may depend on different factors like number of beds in the unit, age of the unit, facilities available and also the food served. At Massey University, for example, a 13 five-bedroom unit may cost around $154 per week, while for a 9 two-bedroom unit, the price increases to $210 per week. In case you don’t want to stay at an on-campus accommodation or don’t get one, there are many off-campus accommodations around the universities you can choose from. The monthly rent may be around £3,504 to £4,840 for standard Hall of Residence near University of Lincoln.  


Work opportunities

When studying in New Zealand, students frequently explore work opportunities to finance their studies. If you are one of them, you will be happy to know that international students have a lot of opportunities to work and learn during their free time. With your student visa, you will be able to work for up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session, while during scheduled holidays, there is no restriction on work hours. But before taking up part-time work in New Zealand do make sure that:

  • You are pursuing a two-year program

  • The program would lead to a qualification that falls under the Skilled Migrant Category

  • Your English language course is covered under Immigration New Zealand

Unless these conditions are met, you won’t be allowed to take up part-time work in New Zealand. That said, New Zealand faces skilled shortages in some key sectors like engineering, agriculture and forestry and business management, which makes it that much easier to land a job when studying in New Zealand. Once you are done with your studies, you can even look for post-study work in New Zealand. You can try any of the two routes: Post-study work visa (open) and Post-study work visa (employer assisted).

Trying the scholarship route

Scholarships can greatly lessen the financial burden of studying abroad. So, you mustn’t miss out on scholarships that support meritorious students study in New Zealand. Some of the top scholarships in New Zealand for international students are A C Rayner Memorial Scholarship, the Eamon Molloy Memorial Scholarship and New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarships. The Eamon Molloy Memorial Scholarship is valued at over $15, 000 per year and is available to international students from Asia pursuing study at the University of Canterbury. The New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship, meanwhile, is part of the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) programme, and open to both postgraduate and undergraduate students at any of the eight universities in New Zealand. While applying for these scholarships, students need to check the application deadline and the application procedure properly, as apart from having their own distinct application procedures, deadlines may vary considerably.

Getting a taste of Kiwi foodGetting a taste of Kiwi food

New Zealand food has evolved a lot over the centuries, from the traditional Māori staples like fish, birds and root vegetables to include a more nuanced diet. When the Europeans came, they bought along with them livestock and also introduced the local population to a meat-and-potato diet. But it didn’t stop with the Europeans though, as with the advent of globalisation global flavors too slowly made their way to the Kiwi kingdom. A traditional Kiwi breakfast then includes eggs, sandwich and muesli. And as you would expect of an island nation, seafood is a big part of the Kiwi meal, and is served in many different forms, including fish-and-chips. If you want a few names to try during your study in New Zealand, go for the Greenshell mussels, famous for its succulent taste; or the crayfish (rock lobster) for something off-beat.

Stay tuned to for more news and updates on New Zealand

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Questions related to New Zealand

Showing 9 out of 9 Questions

Which are the colleges in New Zealand accepting IELTS band score 7 for admission to Sound Design course

anurag khanna 12th Apr, 2020

Hello Aspirant,

Some top institutions in which you can try with IELTS band score 7 in New Zealand are enlisted below :-

  • University of Auckland
  • University of Otago
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Waikato
  • Massey University
  • Lincoln University
  • Auckland University of Technology

I hope this answer helps you.

Good Luck!!


I wish to become a Neurosurgeon, I predict that I have a career period of 30 years. I wish to practice half career in the countries of the US, Singapore, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia and I wish to practice last half of my career in India. Is my wish possible? Is my wish a good one?

Manish Singh 2nd Apr, 2020

As long as you have an active medical license in your country that being india yes you can practice medicine anywhere in the world provided that you have some references who can recommend you to the place you want to work at and a good background check. That is the most important thing to consider. And yes your wish can come true if you work hard for it. All the best


Is New Zealand a safe place for Indians to work and live in?

Shaurya Kapoor 22nd Mar, 2020

According to (a New Zealand Government affiliate), since 2011 18,000 Indians have migrated to New Zealand . In 2011, the Indian population in New Zealand was 155000, so there are 174,000 Indians in New Zealand (2014) due to the additional immigration of 18,000.

According to the 2018 Census, Hindus represent 2.63% of the population of the New Zealand . There are about 123,534 Hindus in New Zealand .


What is the Working hours of Neurosurgeons in the New Zealand?

Shaurya Kapoor 22nd Mar, 2020

Neurologists can work in hospitals or in private offices. Their average week is approximately 40 hours . If you go into this career and would like to maintain consistent hours , then opening up a private practice or working in a research or medical school may be better for you.


What is the salary of Neurosurgeons in New Zealand?

Shaurya Kapoor 22nd Mar, 2020

Neurosurgeons in New Zealand are considered specialist consultants. Their base salary is anywhere from NZ $151,000 to NZ $600,000. When they are training the salary is NZ $70,000 to NZ $75,000.

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