Study in New Zealand: Application Process

If you want an undergraduate education from New Zealand, you will require a senior high school diploma - considered to be the equivalent of a New Zealand-issued diploma. If you are from a non-English speaking country, you must have these documents translated. In some cases, the institution you are applying to may ask you to have your qualifications assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This will cost NZ$450 (US$330) and can take up to eight weeks.

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For postgraduate education, the same applies with regards to translation and assessment, although most countries with a similar degree structure will be acceptable for entry. You will generally need a previous bachelor’s degree in a field related to the postgraduate course that you want to study.

The other main requirement will be proof of your proficiency in English. Proof of this can be given in several different ways, including previous English-speaking education or an English proficiency test. The TOEFL iBT test is a great option for the test requirement, because it is accepted by 100% of New Zealand universities and the NZQA.


How the Application Process Works

Applications for higher education in New Zealand are made directly to the school(s) at which you want to study. You’ll need to:

  • Complete the relevant application form. Many schools let you do this online, but you’ll still need to complete your application with documents sent by post or courier. Remember: you may need to include certified translations of your grades and diplomas.
  • If you are offered a place, you will receive a letter from the institution containing information on start dates, course details and an invoice for your tuition fees. You’ll need this letter when you apply for your student visa.
  • Once you have paid the fees you will receive a confirmation letter. You’ll also need this for your visa application.
  • Once you have your visa, travel and finances all organized, contact the university for help with organizing housing and airport pick-up.

Study in New Zealand

Over 30,000 international students choose New Zealand as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

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Education in New Zealand

The New Zealand education system is currently ranked as number 3 in the world. It reflects their unique and diverse society, open to different abilities, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, income levels, and ideas about teaching and learning.

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Student Visas

In most cases, if you are studying for longer than three months you will need a student visa in New Zealand. Learn more about the processes and documents you may need to enter the country.

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Housing & Living Costs

Most New Zealand institutions will be happy to help you to find accommodation before you arrive. Here you'll find information about the types of accommodation on offer in New Zealand.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

All higher education in New Zealand requires you to pay a certain fee per year of study. Although it is a substantial amount of money, compared to fees of many other developed countries, fees are relatively low.

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Language & Culture

New Zealand has three official languages. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, cuisine, and more!

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Last update: 05 Nov 2021


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