Study abroad for a semester in

New Zealand

New Zealand, a breathtakingly beautiful island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is renowned for its diverse natural scenery, welcoming culture, and innovative modern lifestyle. Itโ€™s an ideal destination for international students seeking both academic excellence and unforgettable adventures. Whether youโ€™re exploring the cosmopolitan cities of Auckland and Wellington, embarking on outdoor adventures in Queenstown, or experiencing the rich Mฤori culture, studying in New Zealand promises a unique and enriching experience. The countryโ€™s universities are globally recognized for their research and teaching quality, providing students with an environment that fosters both intellectual and personal growth.

New Zealand is best known for

Stunning Natural Landscapes ๐ŸŒ„: From majestic mountains and pristine beaches to lush forests and rolling farmlands, New Zealand is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Friendly and Welcoming Culture ๐Ÿ˜Š: Known for its warm hospitality, New Zealand provides a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for international students.

Innovative and Modern Lifestyle ๐Ÿš€: With cutting-edge technology and a vibrant arts scene, New Zealand combines innovation with a relaxed, high-quality lifestyle.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance ๐Ÿ›‚

Embarking on your educational journey to New Zealand requires securing the right visa and health insurance. These crucial steps ensure you comply with legal requirements and have access to necessary healthcare services throughout your stay. Proper documentation and insurance coverage are essential for a smooth and safe study abroad experience.

Visa Types

  • Student Visa: Required for full-time students enrolled in courses longer than three months. This visa allows you to study and work part-time.
  • Visitor Visa: Suitable for students enrolled in short-term courses (up to three months).
  • Working Holiday Visa: Available for students from certain countries, allowing them to study and work part-time.

Application Process

  1. Apply to New Zealand Institutions: Gain acceptance to an accredited institution in New Zealand.
  2. Receive Offer of Place: Your institution will provide you with an Offer of Place, which is required for your visa application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents including your passport, Offer of Place, proof of financial means, and health insurance coverage.
  4. Complete Online Visa Application: Fill out the student visa application form on the New Zealand Immigration website.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee for the student visa.
  6. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents.
  7. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Offer of Place from a New Zealand university.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds (approximately NZD 15,000 per year).
  • Passport: Valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in New Zealand.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and submitted online.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months, depending on the country and application volume.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in New Zealand. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • University-Sponsored Health Insurance: Many universities offer health insurance plans for their students.
    • Cost: Varies by university, typically between NZD 600 and NZD 1,200 per year.
    • Advantages: Convenient enrollment and comprehensive coverage.
    • Limitations: Coverage may be limited to university-affiliated hospitals and clinics.
  • Private Health Insurance: Some students opt for private health insurance to supplement university coverage.
    • Cost: Varies based on the provider and plan. IMG offers competitive and comprehensive plans.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, and flexibility in choosing healthcare providers.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than university-sponsored insurance.

Country-Specific Requirements

University Health Insurance Plans: Most universities in New Zealand require international students to enroll in their health insurance plan. Ensure you are familiar with the specific requirements of your institution.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by New Zealand authorities. Private plans often provide quicker access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing providers.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with IMG with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in the US.

Choose IMG

IMG is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for New Zealand

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in New Zealand?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in New Zealand. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and donโ€™t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. Itโ€™s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

New Zealand Immigration: Provides comprehensive information for international students looking to study in New Zealand, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in New Zealand.
Study in New Zealand: Offers detailed information on studying in New Zealand, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students.

2. Cost of Living ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Understanding the cost of living in New Zealand is essential for budgeting and financial planning. While the cost of living can vary depending on the city and lifestyle, New Zealand offers a high quality of life at a relatively affordable cost compared to other Western countries.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Monthly rent varies based on location and type of housing.
NZD 300 – NZD 1,200/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
NZD 300 – NZD 600/month
Transportation: Getting around New Zealand is convenient with several options.
NZD 100 – NZD 200/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
NZD 100 – NZD 200/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying New Zealandโ€™s vibrant culture and social life.
NZD 100 – NZD 250/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
NZD 100 – NZD 150/month

3. Accommodation Options ๐Ÿ 

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. New Zealand offers diverse housing options to fit different needs and budgets, from student dormitories to shared apartments and homestays.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms (Halls of Residence): Typically provided by universities, offering convenience and a vibrant social scene.
Price: NZD 300 – NZD 400/month
Shared Apartments (Flats): Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice.
Price: NZD 300 – NZD 600/month
Private Apartments: Renting your own place offers privacy and independence.
Price: NZD 500 – NZD 1,200/month
Homestays: Living with a local family provides cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: NZD 300 – NZD 600/month
Guesthouses: These are similar to hostels but often cater to a more international crowd.
Price: NZD 300 – NZD 500/month

Find accommodation in New Zealand

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The ones you see on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, so you can be more at ease choosing them.

4. University Information ๐ŸŽ“

Choosing the right university is a significant part of your study abroad journey. New Zealand, home to some of the world’s top-ranked institutions, offers a rich academic environment and a variety of programs to suit your interests.

Discover our partner universities ๐ŸŽ‰

Enjoy the best free mover experience on our platform by choosing our partner universities. Those institutions have close ties with us, so for any eventuality you can rely on our help.

Partner universities in New Zealand

Our best selection of destinations is awaiting you

Otherwise, surf through the whole selection of universities

Apart from partner institutions, we also list other destinations. They might be a riskier choice since information can be uncertain and response times higher, but still they are worth a try in our opinion.

Find universities in New Zealand

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ


New Zealandโ€™s transportation network is efficient and reliable, making it easy to explore the country.

Public Transportation ๐ŸšŒ: Most cities have reliable public transport systems, including buses and trains. Monthly passes range from NZD 100 to NZD 200, with student discounts often available. Auckland and Wellington have extensive public transportation networks.

Bicycles ๐Ÿšด: Many New Zealand cities are bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Biking is a cost-effective and healthy way to navigate urban areas.

Long-Distance Travel ๐Ÿš: New Zealandโ€™s intercity bus system connects major cities and towns. For longer distances, domestic flights are available and relatively affordable.

Tips ๐Ÿ’ก: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes. For intercity travel, booking bus or flight tickets in advance can secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account ๐Ÿฆ: Most banks in New Zealand offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include ANZ, ASB, BNZ, and Westpac.

Documents Required ๐Ÿ“‘: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, and a local address.

Currency ๐Ÿ’ต: The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips ๐Ÿ’ก: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into New Zealand society.

Punctuality โฐ: Punctuality is highly valued in New Zealand. Arriving on time for classes, meetings, and social events is expected.

Greetings ๐Ÿค: A common greeting in New Zealand includes a friendly โ€œHiโ€ or โ€œKia Ora,โ€ often accompanied by a handshake or a smile.

Mealtimes ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ: New Zealand mealtimes are usually social events, with lunch around 12-1 PM and dinner around 6-8 PM. Sharing food and hospitality is common, and tipping (usually 10-15%) is appreciated in restaurants.

Public Behavior ๐Ÿคซ: New Zealanders value politeness and respect in public spaces. Being loud or disruptive is generally frowned upon, especially on public transportation and in residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.