Life in New Zealand

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International Student Population

New Zealand is a safe and friendly country for foreigners. For this reason, a large number of international students from all over the world are drawn to it. Every year more than 1,00,000 international students take admission in various institutions, colleges and higher education universities in New Zealand.

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Country and Cities Population

New Zealand spans in an area of 268,021 km2 and has a population of 4.8 million, wIth Auckland being the largest city and Cambridge, the smallest city as per population. One-third of the population lives in Auckland, while Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, is the second biggest city. Including this, 20 major urban areas in this country hold the majority of the population.

Top New Zealand cities based on their population are:

1. Auckland

2. Wellington

3. Christ Church

4. Hamilton

5. Tauranga


In New Zealand, 70% of people are of European descent, and Maori are the largest minority community with 16.5% population, followed by 15% Asians. The mix of different cultures makes New Zealand unique and culturally vibrant. The sex ratio in 2016 was 0.97 male per female, and average life expectancy was calculated 79.9 years for males and 83.4 years for females.

Domestic Travel

Travelling in New Zealand is easy for international students. The vast road network connects you with cities and towns and allows you to travel and explore this nation throughout. You can take a bus, train, or rent a car or campervan to kickstart your journey in this beautiful nation.

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There are 123 Airports and 55 Heliports in Newzealand that connect the major cities and towns. Students can plan their journey ahead of time to get discounted tickets and also save time while exploring New Zealand. As an island nation, air travel in New Zealand is mesmerizing and memorable.

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The railway line in New Zealand covers around 4,000 km and covers almost every city. The scenic view while travelling via trains is undoubtedly captivating and refreshing. Auckland and Wellington also have suburban railway systems.

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Bus services are frequently available everywhere in New Zealand, and are the most preferred mode of transport among students. You can travel to every city and town at a lower price with fares starting from 1 NZD.

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Living in New Zealand means you should get used to water travel. You can catch a ferry, travel from the North Island to South Island and behold the depth of Cook Strait. In comparison, water taxi services can take you to places that are fun but can be reached by ferry.

International travel

New Zealand receives flights from different parts of the world. Flights from India are available from Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Most of the Indian flights land in Auckland, the city with the most international flights in New Zealand. While travelling from India to New Zealand, the common stopover locations are Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Popular international airports in New Zealand followed by Auckland are:

Accommodation & meal

You’ll find it easier to rent a room or find suitable accommodation in New Zealand than in many English speaking countries. However, the affordability of housing is the main challenge for many students. The cost of living mostly depends on the location, facilities and services. Therefore, it’s best advised to look for options that fall in your budget.


Available options of accommodation for international students:

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Hall of Residence

Also known as hostels, these are walk away from campus and offer you suitable accommodation options like furnished single or shared rooms, dining hall, lounge, laundry, and healthy meals.

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Best suited for students who wish to pursue a short term course in New Zealand. You can stay in the home of a New Zealand family by renting a single or shared room. Costs for each varies from NZ$ 110 to NZ$ 370 per week, including meals, laundry, and utilities.

Independent room/flat

You can lease, rent, or share private property as a student in New Zealand. Despite the cost of living and amenities, living in an independent flat on average costs higher than hostels and homestay.


New Zealand might be small in size, but it offers superb scenic landscapes packed with nature’s artwork. From south pole to north pole, you will witness huge mountainous range, underground caves, golden sand beaches, boiling hot spring and rugged coastline. As a student, you will love to do glacier tracking, hiking, extreme sports like bungee jumping, skydiving, paragliding, water rafting while capturing the scenic beauty of New Zealand.

Best places to visit in New Zealand | Study Abroad in New Zealand


New Zealand is surrounded by water, and the climate near the coastline remains mild, with moderate rainfall and abundant sunshine. That makes weather as the best thing of this island nation. The south pole is relatively colder than the North. New Zealand witnesses warm summer in December, January, and February, Autumn starts from March to May, Spring September to November, and Winter in June, July, August, while the temperature around the year varies from 30ºC to -15ºC.


The currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). It is also informally known as kiwi dollar. When visiting N.Z. for study purposes, it’s best to have some NZD to support your initial expenses after arriving in New Zealand.


New Zealand is a nation of a wide range of cultures, groups and beliefs. However, 50% of the citizens are non-believers, with 37% Christians as majority community and Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Maori as minority communities. Being a land of multiple cultures and religions, New Zealand is a secular and friendly nation for international students. Students are allowed to practice their religious beliefs and continue their living, respectively.


Nightlife in New Zealand brings you close to people from around the world. For international students, many places are affordable and fancy to spend time with friends. Even when you have a low budget for outing in breezing nights of New Zealand, you can always find a place that fits with your budget. You can go to bars, restaurants, clubs, coffee spots to spend some quality time while studying in this country.

Why live and work here

Standard of Living

New Zealand has the third-highest material standard of living and ranks 6th in the world for work-life balance. Unlike many other countries, the cities are neither congested and polluted. Instead, they offer excellent living standards upheld by strong healthcare and administrative services. The quality of education has also played a significant role in shaping the lifestyle of New Zealanders. International students will find it effortless to sync with the standards of living while pursuing their career goals.


International students must have health and travel insurance in New Zealand. For international students, the Healthcare system in New Zealand is not subsidised. Public health benefits are limited to citizens and resident visa or work visa holders. An appointment with a doctor can cost you around $75, excluding the cost of the prescription. The quality of Healthcare services in the country is up to the standards and ensures assistance to needy persons. The Accident Compensation Corporation, a government agency provides personal covers to international students. Check the ACC website to learn more about no-fault schemes for visitors and students.

Economic Background of the Country

In the 1900s, the majority habitats of New Zealand were Maori people, among them popular occupations were agriculture, fishing, and hunting. The economy of New Zealand saw a turn around in the era of 1984-2000, which marked the growth of the private sector and financial reforms that benefited the citizens. In 2019, the GDP of New Zealand grew by 2.2% and was 204 billion USD. With agriculture, industries, and service sectors employing the majority of people and contributing significantly in its economic growth.

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Stay back after studies/work permit

Once you have completed your higher studies in New Zealand, you can be granted a work visa for one, two or a maximum of three years. A post-study work visa allows you to work in a relevant area as per your qualifications.

Click here to learn more about finding a job after your studies in New Zealand.

Student part-time jobs and wage rates

To cover and support your living and other expenses in New Zealand, you can work up to 20 hours a week during studies and full time during holidays. If you are a Masters or PhD student, you may be allowed to work full time during the studies.

Some popular part-time jobs that you can take up in New Zealand are:

1. Retail sales assistant
2. Seasonal workers
3. Supermarket assistant
4. Call Centre worker
5. Bartender
6. Waiter

The average wage per hour for international students in New Zealand is 18.90 NZD an hour. You will also get paid for public holidays and rest breaks.

How to find a part-time job

Part-time jobs allow international students to meet their expenses and connect with new people every day. Student job search is a National Organization that helps students search and find relevant jobs as per their preferences and qualifications. You will need to register as a student and select your preferred region, the field of work and type of career to get relevant results.

Job culture ethics

New Zealanders are communicative and supportive in the workplace. Also, the workplace culture is different from many countries, so it might take some time for you to settle in New Zealand. The maximum work hour limit is 40 hours and employers support employees regarding work-related issues. That makes working here enjoyable and memorable, pursuing the best career opportunities.

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New Zealand People & Culture

History of New Zealand

The history of New Zealand is vibrant and filled with tales of Maori and European cultures. Maoris are the first inhabitants of New Zealand, and Abel Tasman was the first person first to sight this island nation, while Britishers colonized it after the discovery of James Cook in 1769.

In the year 1840, Maori and U.K. representatives in New Zealand signed the Treaty of Waitangi making it a British empire with Maoris having the same rights. However, due to various disputes, the war between the two started in 1843. Later in the year 2000, New Zealand got full independence from Britain, with Elizabeth II as the country’s official head of state.

History and culture of New Zealand
History and culture of New Zealand
History and culture of New Zealand

Demographic information

New Zealand covers a total land area of 268, 021 km2 and has a population of around only 5 million. The average life expectancy of people living here is 81.66 years.


English is the most spoken language in New Zealand with 95% of the population speaking it. Maori is also one of the official languages of this country, it’s spoken by 4% of the people.


With good English speaking skills, you’ll find it easier to communicate and exchange ideas with New Zealanders.

National Events

1. 1 January – New Year’s Day

2. 6 February – Waitangi Day

3. 10 April – Good Friday

4. 13 April – Easter Monday

5. 25 April to 27 – Anzac Day

6. 1 June- Queen’s Birthday

7. 26 October – Labour Day

8. 25 December – Christmas Day

9. 28 December – Boxing Day

Main Festivals

Indian festivals in New Zealand

New Zealand marks Indian festivals in a unique and friendly way. With massive participation from locals and foreigners, festivals like Holi are celebrated around the country. Other major Indian festivals include Diwali, Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Janamasthmi.

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Health and Safety in New Zealand

New Zealand health system for international students

New Zealand is a developed nation and offers high healthcare standards to its citizens and immigrants. For international students, it’s essential to have health and travel insurance to claim the benefits of its healthcare programs.

Insurance & providers

International students must have health and travel insurance. You can search online to find relevant insurance providers as per your requirements. Make sure that your insurance is applicable as determined by NZQA.

Student helping NGOs in New Zealand

At many times, International students require assistance from people in New Zealand. There are many NGOs and government-backed organisations that offer free support to the migrants and students.

Some of the most popular ones are:

1. New Zealand Now

Helps students with living and studying in New Zealand. You can also search for work opportunities to support the cost of living and other expenses.

2. English Language Partners New Zealand

Search for English tutoring in your areas. You can also join online classes and improve your communication skills.


3. StudyLink

Get accurate information about student loans and other finances to support your education.


4.Citizens Advice Bureau


Get free advice with settling your life in New Zealand.

5. Human Rights Commission  


Report classroom or public discrimination directly using this website.


6.Industry Training Federation


This website connects you with organisations providing industrial training

Student Support Centers

When abroad from home to an island nation, most international students feel frightened of going alone for studies in New Zealand. However, this nation hosts millions of people from India. That indeed makes it a bit relaxing for Indian students. In case of any emergency, you can call 111 to avail emergency services like police, ambulance etc.

  • International Student Hotline in New Zealand : 1300 363 079Connect with your university or education provider with support services.
  • Connect with your country’s home embassy.

Emergency Helplines

International students can always connect with national emergency helplines of New Zealand to get instant support. Students are advised to call 111 whenever they face any challenge or emergency in this country.

Healthcare- 0800611116

Police (General help and inquiry)- 105

Indian consulate- 09-6366306

Best Places to Visit in New Zealand

New Zealand might not be one of the biggest countries in the world. But, it is jam-packed with thousands of things to do. You’ll be amazed to explore this country up and down, from South to North. Among international students, exploring the landscapes and coastlines are the favorite ways to capture the beauty of New Zealand. There are many adventure activities such as rafting, jet boating, skydiving, bungy jumping, etc. to get an adrenaline rush. Along with this, there are heritage attractions, Victorian cities, large mansions and places to visit and learn about the past:

Immigration & Citizenship in New Zealand

Student visa

Indian students require a Student Visa to study in New Zealand. Generally, it’s valid for up to the duration of the course and allows you to work for 20 hours a week during studies and full-time during holidays. There are some specific conditions that you’ll need to meet to secure a Student visa for New Zealand. You can visit the New Zealand Immigration website to apply online. Simply create your account and make sure to apply at least six weeks before your planned journey.

Before you apply, you must have:

  • Acceptance letter.
  • Proof of funds.
  • Health and travel insurance.
  • Medical certificates.
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Extend your visa

New Zealand allows visa extensions for students. But it largely depends on the reason behind it. Generally, if you can’t finish the course in the given time, then you’ll be granted an extension.

If you wish to extend your visa, you should contact a licensed immigration consultant. Or learn more about visa renewals at Renewing a student visa website.

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New Zealand plans to invite immigrants

New Zealand is an island nation but its well-reputed for higher education among international students. Every year millions of students enrol in the prestigious universities in New Zealand. However, at present due to the Coronavirus pandemic, all visa programs are halted until 9 November 2020.

Post Studies Work Visa in New Zealand

You can apply for a post-study work visa after completing your education in New Zealand. This visa is valid for up to three years, depending on the level of student’s qualification. In addition to this, once you get a work visa, you’ll also need to apply for tax number-IRD, check here. For more details, click here and learn more about PSW visa.


New Zealand allows dual citizenship and people from other countries to indefinitely live and work as a permanent resident. To apply for citizenship, you’ll first need to grant a resident visa. You can apply for a permanent resident visa after living for more than two years. This visa also allows you to redeem public healthcare benefits and other schemes such as pay equal fee as a domestic student.

In case you want to settle permanently in N.Z. You can apply for citizenship only after living there on a resident visa for at least five years or 1,350 days with each year minimum of 240 days spent in New Zealand.

Types of New Zealand citizenship:

  • Birth
  • Grant
  • Descent

You can use the N.Z. immigration website to enquire about arrival and departure records, confirm your immigration status, or collect your original documents.


Check different visa options that allow you to live in New Zealand as a citizen permanently.

Spouse/ family members & dependents

New Zealand allows spouse/family members to come along you and stay with you on a Visitor Visa. Generally, their duration of stay this visa offers is similar as per your study visa. Learn more at the New Zealand Immigration website, or find different types of visa for your family.

Language requirements

In New Zealand, there aren’t any specific requirements for students. However, it varies on the education provider and criteria defined by them. You might not require any additional tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, etc. if you have already finished your previous education in English.


In case, you are not sure of visa requirements for as per your academic profile, feel free to connect with our experts.

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