Planning to study in New Zealand? Here's how to apply
Who wouldn't want to study in picturesque New Zealand? Source: Shutterstock

New Zealand is quickly becoming a popular study abroad destination, and it’s no surprise. All eight universities in the country rank in the top three percent worldwide, according to QS rankings.

Besides top-notch education, the country has plenty of great qualities which makes it very attractive to international students, such as gorgeous natural landscapes, diverse cuisine and friendly locals.

Plus, its proximity to Asia makes it an ideal choice for those in the region to get a quality education without travelling too far from home.

This peaceful country is very welcoming to international students, and many universities offer English Language courses as well to help students improve their English and adjust to college life.

If you’re interested in studying in New Zealand, here’s what you should know about applying to university:

Know the deadlines

Take note of start dates at the universities you’re planning to apply to, as the academic year in New Zealand starts from February to November (with a four-week break in June or July).

Most universities start accepting applications the August before the school year begins, so you’ll need to prepare well in advance.

Bachelor degree programmes in New Zealand are usually completed in three years.

Take an English proficiency test

If you’re from a country where English is not the main language, you’ll need to prove your level of English is good enough.

All your courses will be taught in English and it’s the primary language in the country. That’s why students need a strong grasp of the subject.

If you need to take a test, the IELTS is generally recommended as it’s the world’s most popular and recognised English language proficiency test.

However, do check the exact requirements with the university, and ask what tests they recommend you take before you sign up for the IELTS.

Plan your finances

You can work part-time on a study visa to help cover your expenses. Source: Shutterstock

You’ll need to provide proof that you can afford to pay for tuition fees and the cost of living in New Zealand when applying for your student visa.

To give you a rough idea, fees for a Bachelor’s degree range from NZ$22,000 to NZ$32,000. For courses like medicine and veterinary science, fees will be higher.

The cost of living varies from state to state, but you’ll need to prove that you can afford at least NZ$15,000 for the first year.

There are many scholarships available for international students as well as other forms of financial aid. Also, you can work up to 20 hours a week and full-time during holidays on a New Zealand study visa.

Documents you’ll need

Just like applying to any other foreign university, you’ll need to prepare the required documents in good time. While the application process differs from university to university, here’s what you’ll generally need to submit:

  • A personal statement of intent
  • Academic transcripts
  • Relevant test scores (such as SAT, A-Levels or IB Diploma, depending on the country you are coming from)
  • Proof of funds or financial aid
  • Application fee (depends on the university, but ranges from NZ$25 to NZ$50)

Apply online

Most of the universities in New Zealand are advanced in technology, so you can submit your application via e-mail or through the website.

Of course, if you’d prefer to apply through traditional snail mail, you can do so as well.

Prepare your student visa application

Once you receive your acceptance letter from the university, you’ll need to apply for your student visa, required for courses longer than three months.

Most of the documents you prepared for your university application will also be required for your student visa. Once it’s approved, you’re all set for a great education in beautiful New Zealand!

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