Living in New Zealand

New Zealand is a multi-cultural, peaceful and tolerant society. When arriving in a new country, many aspects are to be considered. During your induction, you will be provided details of New Zealand life.

A couple of things you need to know:
The minimum wages are $15.75 per hour.
All items in New Zealand have 15.0% goods and Services Tax (GST) additional (the prices displayed include GST).
We recommended that you have some NZ currency when you enter NZ for immediate requirements like airport transport etc. Large amounts of cash should not be carried in person for safety reasons. Most of the business establishments in NZ accept EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) cards and ATM (automatic teller machines) are widely available for cash withdrawals.
During your induction, we will provide you necessary assistance in opening a bank account. You must however, come prepared with proof of Identity. (*all information provided is subject to change and is to be used only as indication not as accurate representation of facts.)

Living expenses

 Living expenses vary greatly depending on a person’s life style. However, for a learner, it’s advised that they have minimum of $15,000 per year while studying in NZ for living expenses in addition to the tuition fees they pay.

Accommodation might cost anywhere between $150 and $700 per week depending on type of accommodation you choose and the city in which you study (Auckland or Hamilton).
The average cost per meal is between $8 and $30 based on the place and food you choose to eat. Learners generally prepare their own meals which averages to $80 per week.
Travel can cost anywhere between $40 and $200 per week depending on the type of travel you choose. It’s advised learners find accommodation close to the institute and travel by public transport to minimise travelling costs. You are able to get a concession on the local buses but you must purchase a 10 trip concession to be able to benefit from the discounted rate. You must purchase a travel card (an initial extra charge for the card) from an authorised agent in the city and then consistently reload the card to enable travel on the bus etc. 

Internet services cost at an average of $2 per hour at internet cafes. Telephone costs are very expensive in NZ - a local call can cost anywhere between $0.40 and $1.00 per minute based on mode you use. Local dairies offer calling cards which offer cheaper rates for calling back home.
It is important that you are aware that it is illegal to work in NZ without a proper work permit. As an international learner you might be eligible to work twenty hours a week based on visa conditions. You must not work anymore than the hours detailed in your visa conditions. Failure to adhere to those conditions may mean you will be returned to your country of origin.

Example of normal costs of regular items in NZ Dollars:


$25 - $150

Warm jackets
$70 - $300

$12 - $20

Hair cut
$10 - $75

Local bus
$1.80 per stage

(*all prices are subject to change and indicative only)

The weather varies frequently it is pleasant in the summer but can get cold in the winter and rain is very unpredictable. It is advisable to carry a sweater, raincoat and a warm jacket in your luggage. Closed footwear is essential while you attend classes and is advisable during the winter season.

Types of Accomodation

There is a range of accommodation available in New Zealand. It is important you consider your specific needs before looking, for example if you want to live by yourself or with others, in a mixed or single gender setting, your budget and your preferred lifestyle.

Home stay

These are usually family homes; a room in the house might be allocated for the person to stay. Usually all living facilities like washing machine, television etc are shared by everybody in the house. The hosts might provide breakfast and dinner in the weekdays and all meals in the weekend however it depends on individual agreement. It costs anywhere between $200 and $300 per week depending on facilities. This kind of accommodation is generally recommended to learners as it provides an opportunity to understand the culture of NZ and improve your English language skills.

Boarding Establishments

 This kind of accommodation is usually a hostel where facilities might be shared among all the residents. Usually food is not provided but cooking facilities will be available. It costs anywhere between $150 and $250 per week.

Flatting or Apartment

 This kind of accommodation is usually a part of the house or a separate house, which is shared between two or more flat mates. Though the initial establishment costs (bonds, advance etc) are high on a long run it proves to be effective. It usually costs anywhere between $200 and $500 per week per flat and additional costs will be applicable for electricity, water, cooking and so on. Accommodation are available at hotels and motels but they are expensive costing anywhere between $75 and $300 per night again depending on the facilities and location .Please note that  accommodation prices are subject to change, you should also consider transport and other charges when considering an accommodation. These prices are indicative only.