One of the things that you should always look at when you are looking to study overseas is the cost of living. Even though people will go to places that have higher costs of living (the United States, the United Kingdom) to study, going to somewhere that has a lower cost of living can really help reduce your costs during college. New Zealand is actually one of the most inexpensive places that you can go if you are looking to study in another country.
Consumer goods in New Zealand are of the same style and quality that you will find overseas by other manufacturers. Here are some of the prices that you will see when looking at different products. All of these are in New Zealand dollars (NZ); you can use a conversion calculator like the one found here.
- Average washing machine: $700-$800
- Average round of golf: $20 to $50
- Average movie ticket: $12
- 4 door sedan: $25000
- Cup of Coffee: $4
- Petrol per liter: $2.00
- Milk (2 liters): $4
- Fast food sandwich: $4 to $5
- Average meal at a restaurant: $20 to $25
The goods and services tax (GST) is 15% in New Zealand, which may feel high until you realize that other taxes are a bit lower than you will see in other countries. The cost of living survey in 2012, which ranks cities from the most expensive places to live (#1) to the least expensive named Auckland and Wellington, two major cities in New Zealand, to be two of the cities with the lowest cost of living (56 and 74, respectively). This means that these cities are actually much better to live in than areas like New York City, London, and Beijing, and are actually very good places for you to consider if you think that you want to study abroad but you are not sure where you want to go.
There are, of course, other services that you have to look at when it comes to the cost of living in a particular country. You need to look at other factors as well. Here are some of the numbers that you will see when it comes to how much essentials cost in New Zealand:
- Utilities: Most people will spend about .25 per Kilohertz of electricity, depending on the company that they get their electricity from. For an average family, that puts it at around $2000 a year, but it will be much less if you are living in a flat on your own or with one or two roommates. Throw in other utilities, and it costs somewhere from $150 to $200 a month for all your utilities.
- Internet costs approximately $85 a month, and, like many countries, will have a limit on exactly how much you are allowed to use throughout the month.
- Rent is anywhere from $800 to $2000 per month, depending on where you live in relation to a city, suburb, or university. It will also depend on the size of the place that you are renting out.
- The cost of your education, which we will explore more in other areas of the site, will range anywhere from $10000 to $18000 per year, depending on what school you attend and what your program of study is. Graduate programs cost a bit more, from $14,000 to $24,000 per year.
- Health care is incredibly good. You will pay anywhere from $25 to $60 for a doctor’s appointment; hospital costs are usually free (but surgeries have waiting lists unless it’s an emergency), $5 for prescriptions. Health insurance is relatively affordable as well, even for international students.
As you can see, there are a number of factors that play into the cost of living in New Zealand (or honestly, no matter where you end up studying). The cost of living is low enough that you should be able to make it without a lot of problems.
The good thing is that there are plenty of ways for you to get the money you need. Since most student visas allow you to work while you are studying, you will be better prepared to deal with any financial things that come up. For more information on working while studying, check out our section that explains it a bit better. We will look at some of these categories of living essentials in more detail in other sections of the site. The immigration office offers a lot of information about the cost of living on their website, if you are looking for more information to base your decisions on.