Why study in New Zealand?

Thinking about studying in New Zealand? We outline some of the main reasons why the international student population in New Zealand has grown rapidly in recent years.

1. Broad range of study and research opportunities

The eight institutions that make up the New Zealand university system are located in cities across the country’s two main islands, the North and the South.

This distribution gives students the chance to pursue a wide range of opportunities in study, work, recreation and culture.

The proximity of all eight universities to New Zealand’s diverse natural environment offers students the chance to research anything from endangered marine mammals to earthquake engineering.

Although all the universities offer core degrees in the arts, business and science, each also has its own distinctive profile.

For example, Auckland and Otago have the country’s two medical schools, featuring hospital-based learning, whereas Canterbury and Auckland have an international profile for their engineering courses.

You can read more about the universities in New Zealand in our choosing a university section.

2. A high quality learning experience

The New Zealand university system is research-based, as it is historically based on the British higher education model.

This means there are a number of similarities between the 2 systems, such as the names of qualifications, teaching methods, and the look and feel of the university campuses.

All academic staff are expected to be active researchers as well as teachers. This insistence on research-informed teaching ensures a high quality learning experience.

The universities' representative body, the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee, has legal responsibility for university course approval and moderation procedures.

The New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit supports this quality assurance method. These systems certify that university education in New Zealand is of a consistently excellent standard.

3. A degree recognised and valued by UK employers

Students applying for jobs in the UK with a degree from New Zealand are highly sought after by UK employers.

Employers are seeking out graduates with a global perspective and completing your degree overseas is a great way of achieving this.

4. Moderate entry requirements

Unlike the situation in the UK and many other countries, New Zealand does not have massive competition to enter the first year of a university degree.

This is because the New Zealand government has invested heavily in university education over the years.

As a result New Zealand has more capacity than it has students. Good students with moderate grades can gain entry to most Bachelor degree programmes without any problems.

Therefore, entry requirements are moderate compared with most of the top universities in the UK.

5. A welcoming destination

International students are welcomed by New Zealand society, both for the cultural diversity they bring and their contribution to the economy.

They are gladly received into New Zealand homes and student social networks. New Zealanders are well travelled, with a great interest in people from other cultures, so visitors and international students soon feel more than welcome.

Campuses are highly international, with students from all corners of the globe studying and socialising together.

Students come from Europe, South East Asia, the UK, North Asia, Japan, South America, India, and Australia, amongst many others.

New Zealand also has a well-developed system of pastoral care for international students, backed by a government-monitored Code of Practice. This means you will be well looked after during your time studying there.

6. Costs

The country has a comparatively low cost of living, abundant fresh food at reasonable prices and a wide variety of student accommodation options.

Transport is also moderately priced, affording easy access to rivers, mountains, lakes, forests and beaches and the recreational opportunities they provide.

7. Beautiful location

New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty and its adventure activities, and all this is readily accessible from all eight universities in the country.

New Zealand is known for housing some of the world's most breathtaking natural scenery. This is what really sells a lot of students on studying in New Zealand. If you're looking for adventure like never-before, then this is the right place for you!

Whether you're drawn to the abundance of national parks and long hiking trails that cover both islands, or have finally built up the courage to try skydiving or bungee jumping for the first time, or honestly just want to feel as though you’re part of the Lord of the Rings movie set, New Zealand’s variety of landscapes, walks, and adrenaline-rush activities such as sky-diving are guaranteed to provide. 

8. Part-time work

Students want to work while studying to meet their living expenses and get experience.

Students studying in New Zealand can work while studying. With student visa, students can work 20 hours weekly during the study and full time during scheduled holidays.

There are many part-time opportunities available in sectors like retail, hospitality, banking, finance etc. Some students find a part-time job in their specific university.

9. Scholarships

No, you can’t study in New Zealand for free. But you can get a little closer with New Zealand study abroad scholarships!

Finances can be a concern for students looking to study abroad in New Zealand, especially since it is not necessarily known as a low-cost destination.

However, the Pacific region offers several scholarship opportunities to international students. In fact, New Zealand hasseveral universities offer their own scholarship to exchange students.

Your best bet is to look directly on the foreign university website to learn of any New Zealand study abroad scholarships on offer. Be sure to also browse all the study abroad scholarships available for travel around the world.

Another route to consider is finding study abroad scholarships directly through your program provider.

For example, ISA offers multiple programs to study in New Zealand as well as some of their own scholarships. Talk to your study abroad advisor about financial rewards available if you join their program.

Further information

For more help and advice on applying to university in New Zealand, please see: