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Cost of Living in New Zealand

International students often choose to study in New Zealand because of its stunning scenery and top-notch educational system. To guarantee a seamless and budget-friendly stay, like with any study abroad experience, it is imperative to have a thorough awareness of the cost of living.

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What is the cost of living in New Zealand for Indian students? 

Depending on their region, way of life, and type of school, Indian students may find that the cost of living in New Zealand varies. Students should generally set aside money for things like lodging, groceries, travel, and entertainment.

A weekly shared dwelling accommodation expense may be between NZ$150 and NZ$250, while a monthly shopping bill could be between NZ$200 and NZ$300. 

Students should also include in the cost of books, personal items, and transportation. Budgeting between NZ$15,000 to NZ$25,000 a year is often advised for living expenditures in New Zealand.

It’s crucial to confirm that you have the money needed to pay for your stay and to inquire about more precise estimations from your particular educational school.

Affordable cities to live in New Zealand

New Zealand is known for its stunning natural beauty, but it’s also important to consider affordability when choosing a city to live in. 

Here are some of the more affordable cities in New Zealand:


South Island’s Dunedin is frequently cited as one of New Zealand’s more reasonably priced cities. The University of Otago is located there, and students find it to be a desirable option due to its cheaper living expenses.

Palmerston North: 

Palmerston North, which is in the North Island, is also an affordable city, especially for students. Compared to larger cities like Wellington or Auckland, it offers a more affordable lifestyle and is home to Massey University.


On the North Island, Rotorua is a distinctive and reasonably priced city that is well-known for its geothermal delights. Its booming tourism business and cheaper housing expenses make it a desirable option.


Located on the North Island’s west coast, Whanganui offers a more affordable lifestyle. It’s known for its art scene and historic charm.


Invercargill, in the far south of the South Island, is one of the most affordable cities in New Zealand. It offers a slower pace of life and lower living costs, making it an option for those seeking affordability.


Gisborne, on the east coast of the North Island, is a city with relatively lower living costs. It’s known for its beaches and wine region.

While these cities are more affordable than New Zealand’s larger urban centers like Auckland and Wellington, it’s essential to keep in mind that living costs can vary within cities.

 Be sure to research the specific costs of housing, transportation, and other necessities when considering a move to any city in New Zealand to ensure it aligns with your budget and lifestyle preferences.

Average rent in New Zealand

Here’s a rough estimate of average monthly rents for different types of accommodations in New Zealand:

Single Apartment (One Bedroom): 

In larger cities like Auckland and Wellington, you can expect to pay between NZ$1,200 to NZ$2,500 or more per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. In smaller cities or towns, one-bedroom apartments may range from NZ$800 to NZ$1,500 per month.

Shared Accommodation (Flatshare): 

Renting a room in a shared house or apartment is often more affordable. Prices can vary, but you might find options ranging from NZ$150 to NZ$350 per week, depending on the city and the quality of the accommodation.

Two or Three-Bedroom Apartment (Family Accommodation): 

For larger apartments suitable for families, you can expect to pay more. In larger cities, a two or three-bedroom apartment may cost anywhere from NZ$2,500 to NZ$4,000 or more per month, depending on the location and quality of the property.

University Fees & Study Cost in New Zealand 

1. Tuition Fees:

Undergraduate Programs: Tuition fees for undergraduate programs can range from NZ$20,000 to NZ$40,000 per year, depending on the university and the specific course.

Postgraduate Programs: For postgraduate studies, tuition fees typically start at NZ$20,000 and can go up to NZ$40,000 or more per year. Research-based programs may have different fee structures.

PhD Programs: PhD tuition fees vary significantly, but they are often lower or even free for domestic students and international students who are eligible for specific scholarships.

2. Accommodation:

On-campus dormitories or shared housing can cost around NZ$200 to NZ$300 per week, while renting a private apartment can be more expensive.

3. Food: 

Budget around NZ$100 to NZ$150 per week for groceries, but this can vary depending on your eating habits.

4. Other Expenses: 

These may include health insurance, books, and personal expenses. Budget an additional NZ$50 to NZ$100 per week for these costs.

Health Insurance for International Students

Health insurance for international students is a crucial consideration when studying abroad, including in countries like New Zealand.

Here’s an overview of health insurance for international students:

1. Mandatory Health Insurance: 

Many countries, including New Zealand, often require international students to have health insurance. New Zealand’s healthcare system is primarily funded by the government, but international students are generally not eligible for public healthcare services, which is why health insurance is a must.

2. University-Specific Insurance: 

Some universities offer their own health insurance plans for international students. These plans are often comprehensive and tailored to meet the specific needs of students. They can include coverage for medical care, prescriptions, and emergencies.

3. Private Health Insurance: 

International students can also purchase private health insurance from New Zealand-based insurance providers. These plans vary in coverage and cost, so it’s essential to compare options to find the one that suits your needs and budget.

4. Cost: 

The cost of health insurance can vary depending on factors like your age, the level of coverage, and the insurance provider. On average, international students in New Zealand might pay between NZ$600 and NZ$1,000 per year for health insurance.

Cost of Living: Rent, transportation, meals & attractions and activities 

Here is an overview of the rent for a one-bedroom apartment per month, transportation per month etc.


  • Transportation: NZ$215. per month
  • Rent: NZ$2,000 to NZ$3,500 per month
  • Meals: NZ$120 to NZ$220 per month
  • Attractions/Activities: NZ$20 to NZ$30; outdoor activities like hiking – usually free


  • Transportation: NZ$150 to NZ$200 per month
  • Rent: NZ$1,800 to NZ$3,000 per month
  • Meals: NZ$130 to NZ$210 per month
  • Attractions/Activities: NZ$15 to NZ$25; outdoor activities like exploring the city are often free


  • Transportation: NZ$100 to NZ$150 per month
  • Rent: NZ$1,200 to NZ$2,200 per month
  • Meals: NZ$110 to NZ$250 per month
  • Attractions/Activities: NZ$10 to NZ$30; outdoor activities like exploring the city are often free


  • Transportation: Monthly public transportation pass – NZ$60 to NZ$80 per month
  • Rent: NZ$1,200 to NZ$1,800 per month.
  • Meals: Dining out – NZ$90 to NZ$190 per month.
  • Attractions/Activities: Entry to local attractions – NZ$10 to NZ$20; outdoor activities like parks and gardens – often free


  • Transportation: NZ$60 to NZ$80 per month
  • Rent: NZ$1,000 to NZ$1,500 per month.
  • Meals: NZ$50 to NZ$80 per month.
  • Attractions/Activities: NZ$10 to NZ$20; outdoor activities like exploring the city are often free

Tips to cost cut as a student

Living in New Zealand as a student can be costly, but there are several strategies to save money and manage expenses effectively:

1. Student Housing: 

Choose shared or dorm rooms for students; these are typically less expensive than private apartments. Additionally, take into account accommodation provided by Studentenwerk (student services), which frequently offers possibilities at reasonable prices.

2. Public Transportation: 

Utilize student discounts on public transportation, including buses, trams, and trains. Monthly or semester passes are often more economical than buying individual tickets for daily travel.

3. Cook at Home

Prepare meals at home rather than dining out. Buy groceries from discount stores or local markets to save on food expenses. Cooking in groups with fellow students can also be a cost-effective and enjoyable option.

4. Student Discounts

Take advantage of student discounts available on various products and services, such as museums, cinemas, restaurants, and even clothing stores. Always carry your student ID and inquire about discounts wherever you go.

5. Secondhand Shopping

Consider buying secondhand furniture, electronics, textbooks, and clothing. There are numerous online platforms and thrift stores where you can find good quality items at a fraction of the cost.

6. Budgeting and Tracking Expenses

Create a budget and track your spending to identify areas where you can cut back. Use budgeting apps or spreadsheets to monitor your finances and set limits on discretionary expenses.

7. Part-Time Work

Explore part-time job opportunities, keeping in mind the restrictions on working hours for international students. Part-time work can help supplement your income and cover living expenses.


In conclusion, the cost of living for overseas students in New Zealand varies based on the city and individual preferences. Smaller cities like Dunedin and Hamilton provide more cheap options, whereas larger cities like Wellington and Auckland tend to have greater living expenditures, particularly when it comes to rent and food.

The cost of transportation is generally reasonable, however it does vary. The financial strain of studying in this stunning and friendly nation might also be lessened by becoming aware of part-time employment and scholarship alternatives.

If you are an aspirant looking to study at your dream university, book an appointment with AdmitX today and start your applications early to avail yourself of all the benefits.

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