Cost Of Living And Other Expenses In New Zealand For International Students

cost of living in New Zealand

It is made mandatory for international students in New Zealand to provide verification regarding the fact that they would not only be able to afford the cost of accommodation in the country but also vouch for the security of their other expenses. This is not necessary, however, for those who are there on scholarship or are sponsored by someone. An approximate amount of $15k needs to be verified in funds for international students in New Zealand. This is for the first year alone. These expenses in New Zealand for international students do differ on the basis of particular kinds of lifestyles and area of accommodation one goes for.

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Living, for example, away from your academic center might make students prone to spending more on transit than necessary and hence adding up to the costs. Such ambiguities can be avoided by following certain sketches regarding international student expenses in New Zealand by prestigious local universities.

These include Victoria University ($18,000-$27,000/year, NZD 27320-40979) and University of Auckland ($20,000-$25,000/year, NZD 30355-37944) mainly. Other institutes such as University of Autago ($15,000-$17,000/year, NZD 22766-25802) and Massey University ($15,000-$18,000/year, NZD 22766-27319) also account for giving international students in New Zealand an idea of how much they might have to spend there.

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If any student falls short of affording these expenses then they can offset this by working alongside studying in New Zealand. Being involved in a part-time endeavor such as this can not only help you with your expenses but also serve as a bridge between cultures and new experiences/people helping you make the most of your international student life in New Zealand.

Holding a student visa allows you to work as an international student in New Zealand for up to 20 hours during the course of your academics while you can take a full-time job as well when the school is off and you are on your vacations. If you are a PhD or Master’s student, however, you can work full-time both during you academic year as well as during vacations.

Living in New Zealand as a student

Below we have a list of all the things that need to be considered when you are calculating the cost of living for students in New Zealand:

Accommodation Costs For International Students In New Zealand

Accommodation is quite obviously a huge part of living anywhere that isn’t your home and it’s no different for international students in New Zealand. You can opt from a wide range of options based on your preferred level of comfort and what your budget might be. It is usually advised for students to contact their respective universities and find details about accommodation since most universities provide on-campus living quarters for students both local and international, making university life for international students in New Zealand relatively These are called ‘residency halls’ or simply ‘flats’.

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Halls in this case have the benefit of being properly staffed and help provided for any and all issues that might arise. It does have the discredit of seeming overly populated but it does further forming life-long bonds with your peers that are usually from all around the world, dabbling into local as well as other cultures and engaging more thoroughly into the university experience. These can be found at one of the most prestigious universities you’d come across as an international student in New Zealand, i.e. University of Auckland.

The cost of living for students in New Zealand is determined based on the length of each student’s stay at the hall for example, a 38 week stay costs $11,451 (NZD17170). Not only do these dormitories come fully equipped for all daily life essentials but they also provide opportunities for various social gatherings in order to help assimilate international students more easily.

Life in New Zealand as a international student

There is also an option for on-campus flats at some universities such as Massey University. You are required to occupy it with 3 or 4 other students and they are all fully furnished. These cost in rent around $273 (NZD410), prices however can differ across various institutions.

There are off-campus accommodation opportunities for international students in New Zealand as well and almost all students attending University of Waikato opt for this. These are not only the most sought after option by international students in New Zealand but are also at walking distance from the academic institutes and these institutes themselves help students find and avail such opportunities via services that they provide.

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One of these services at University of Waikato is called University of Waikato Accommodation and Conference Services Office (ACSO). The cost of these off-campus flats is around $13-US$17 (NZD20-25) per week.

There are housing agencies that can help international students in New Zealand find accommodation as well and they usually operate in concordance with local universities. Campus Living Villages New Zealand is one of them and works alongside 6 different universities including the most prestigious and highest rated on the QS rankings, i.e. University of Auckland. These cost around $60-US$128 (NZD90-192) /week.

These prices differ based on the your chosen location and type of apartment as well as how many people your sharing the apartment with. Keep in mind that not opting for on-campus accommodation makes you prone to extra costs such as a bond or a finder’s fee as well as several utility bills which are mentioned ahead in this article.

Food Expenses Breakdown

The next most important thing when it comes to calculating expenses in New Zealand for international students is food. Below we mention the prices for some basic food stuffs that international students in New Zealand need to look out for, although, prices do vary depending on where you are going out to eat or shopping for basic food supplies from.


Basic lunch time menu (drink included)$12 (NZD18)
Takeaway pizza$16 (NZD23.99)
Panini $7-10 (NZD10-15)
Fast food (combo meal)$8 (NZD12)
Lunch from University food hall or campus café$7-12 (NZD10-18)
Boneless chicken breast (500gm)$5.34 (NZD8)
Whole fat milk (1 liter)$1.41 (NZD2.12)
Eggs (1 dozen)$4.67 (NZD7)
Tomatoes (1kg)$4 (NZD6)
Cheese (500gm)$4.67 (NZD7)
Apples (1kg)$2.49 (NZD3.74)
Potatoes (1kg)$2.32 (NZD3.48)
Coca-Cola (2 liters)$2.18 (NZD3.27)
Bread $1.39 (NZD2.08)
Corn Flakes (220g)$5.40 (NZD8)
Bowl of Noodles$4.50-8.50 (NZD6.75-12.75)


Transportation Expenses In New Zealand For International Students 

Another thing to keep in mind when computing international student expenses in New Zealand is of course transport options and costs. Most cities and towns provide buses with a special discount for students. Some places also provide train services such as Auckland. Opting for a personal vehicle is also an option however it comes with not only its own high price but add to that the cost of maintenance and fuel, it becomes quite a cumbersome options for international students abroad.

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A Volkswagen Golf or equivalent) is prized at $20,709 (NZD31053). A liter of gas is about $1.50 (NZD2.25) whereas the monthly ticket for public transport costs $112.72 (NZD169). A rental car costs around $50 (NZD74.97) for a day. A 5km taxi ride costs around $10-12 (NZD15-18). A Monthly bus pass for travelling within Auckland and the suburbs costs around $123-400 (NZD184-600), however student discount can be availed.

Expenses In New Zealand For International Students

Cost Of Personal Care

Next on our list of expenses in New Zealand for international students is the cost of personal care.

Cold medicine (for 1 week)$7.34(NZD11)
Antibiotics (1 box)$3.78(NZD5.67)
Doctor visit (15 min)$34.01(NZD51)
Dentist visit $150-500 (NZD225-750)
Tampons (1 box)$6(NZD9)
Shampoo$6 (NZD9)
Toilet paper (4 rolls)$1.76(NZD2.64)
Toothpaste (1 tube)$2.53(NZD3.80)
Haircut (basic)$17.34(NZD26)
Pair of Jeans$75 (NZD112)
Summer dress $43.35 (NZD65)
Sports Shoes$103(NZD154)
Business shoes$109 (NZD164)
                                                    Gym membership (1 month) $45(NZD67)


Cost Of Entertainment Breakdown

Entertainment is another important aspect of life and living in New Zealand there is copious opportunity for this. There are always cheap options for live festivals and concerts available, they have museums and galleries to explore, countless beaches, mountains and hiking ranges and the best part about all this is the student discount provided through most universities.

Below we have charted some options for entertainment that adds to the university life for international students in New Zealand.

Dinner for two$36.68(NZD55)
Movie tickets $22(NZD33)
Movie tickets with student discount$10-15 (NZD15-22)
Theatre tickets $105(NZD157)
Ferry between North $ South Islands$60 (NZD90)
Backpacker accommodation$30 (NZD45)
Internal flight from Sydney to Melbourne$60 (NZD90)
A diving course$650-900 (NZD975-1344)
Trip to the Great Barrier Reef$150 (NZD225)
Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb$200 (NZD300)
Fine dinning$70(NZD105)
Drinks (1 cocktail)$11.34(NZD17)
Cappuccino $3.09(NZD4.63)
Wi-Fi (128GB)$464(NZD696)
Mobile (pre-paid)$0.21(NZD0.32)
Local calls made from a public telephone (per minute)$0.50 (NZD0.75)
Local calls made from a cell-phone (peak/off-peak per minute)$0.24–1.39 (NZD0.36-2.08)
Marlboro Cigarettes (1 pack)$19.34(NZD29)
Newspaper$1.25-2 (NZD1.87-3)


Other Expenses In New Zealand For International Students

Keep in mind that free Wi-Fi is available in Wellington, Rotorua, Dunedin as well as Central Auckland.

Electricity and gas prices can be compared via services such as Consumer Powers witch and 1 month bill for these basic utilities, including heating, costs around $130 (NZD195).

A major bulk of all the expenses for international students in New Zealand has been mentioned here. It is advised that students opt for smarter options that help them save on other costs. Such as opting to live on-campus can easily save travel costs.

Students life in New Zealand

Similarly, going for food option on-campus can also help save money and spent that in better places such as travelling to the tourist’s spots or indulging in the local life and customs in order to get the complete taste of international student life in New Zealand.

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