Why This Country?

If you're wondering if New Zealand is a good destination to study further, doubt no more. We all know that New Zealand is a beautiful country, but more than just scenic landscapes it has emerged as one of the most popular among International students wishing to study abroad. An excellent education system, internationally recognized degrees, a wide range of research opportunities and an unmatched quality of life – New Zealand has much to offer. While studying here you can count on a welcoming and friendly society with an excellent support system for international students.  Here we outline some of the main reasons why the international student population in New Zealand has grown tremendously in recent years.

Wide range of study and research opportunities 

The eight institutions that make up New Zealand's university system are located on the two main islands, the North and South. This distribution gives students the opportunity to pursue learning and cultural opportunities. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) also ensures that institutions are registered to enroll international students and comply with qualifications standards. All colleges offer degrees in arts, business and science, but each college has its own specialties and different courses.

Easy entry requirements

Unlike many other countries, New Zealand universities do not have a lot of competition to get admitted for a university degree. That is because the New Zealand government has invested heavily in higher education over the years. Because of that, New Zealand universities have more capacity than the number of students. Students with moderate grades can get entry to most Bachelor degree programs easily. Hence the entry requirements are minimal compared to most of the top universities in the world.

A warm welcome and a safe experience 

But don't let the haka intimidate you (unless you intend to attack someone with rugby). New Zealanders, or Kiwis, are known as the coolest, laid-back, and friendliest people on the planet. In fact, in his 2015 survey by the New Zealand Immigration Service, found that a whopping 90% of foreigners found New Zealanders to be very friendly, which is the main reason they find it so easy to settle. 

New Zealand not only has friendly people, it also has a very low crime rate. The 2018 Global Index ranked her the second safest country in the world. 


There is nothing better than New Zealand weather. Winters are mild with temperatures around 10ºC (50ºF) and slightly humid. Snow can be seen at higher elevations, but is not common at lower elevations. Summers are warm and dry with temperatures around 25ºC (77ºF). As expected in the southern hemisphere, summer lasts from December to February. Winter lasts from June to August. Spring and autumn are similar, with cooler temperatures and little rain.


Some say New Zealand seems cut off from the rest of the world because it's a corner of the world and no one cares. That's not true at all. As mentioned earlier, people are very kind to outsiders. But it's also great! In fact, the economy is incredibly stable, the cost of living is low, and the government is more stable (and less controversial) than other governments. This is probably why immigrants are so welcome.

Education System

New Zealand has a great education system. First, the tuition fees are among the lowest in the world. They receive a British education (due to British influence) at a fraction of the cost. The degree is recognized around the world as contemporary and practical. Receive quality, hands-on training. New Zealanders go so far as to check the quality of all courses, programs and certificates to ensure they are globally recognized as quality education. In addition, the support service for international students is top class in the world. They have a lot of expertise and experience to help international students succeed in the program.

History and culture

New Zealand has a rich cultural heritage and is a place where British-influenced Western ways meet traditional Maori culture with its own language and mythology. In New Zealand today, M?ori culture is common in arts, crafts and cuisine. 

Another cultural note: Sport is serious business in New Zealand. Cricket is very popular, but where they really shine is in rugby. Another place where you can definitely see the Maori way is the famous haka. This is a ceremonial dance performed by rugby's national team to intimidate their opponents. 

 The national team known as the 'All Blacks' is the pride of New Zealand, considered the world's largest rugby nation despite having a population of less than 5 million.

Working Prospects

That's a big advantage! Many countries do not allow part-time work on student visas, but New Zealand does. Sure, you don't want (or have to) work alongside your studies, but you're free to work if you want to make some extra money. 

In addition to paid employment while in school, international student may remain employed and work for one year after graduation. Additionally, if your work is related to your degree, you can stay for two years after completing your degree, after which you can apply for permanent residence.


Post Study Work Permit : Visa Rules, Qualifications, Eligibility

All international students who graduate from New Zealand with a valid degree are eligible to apply for a Post-Study Work Visa (PSW). This is a variable term visa that allows international students to work for any employer in New Zealand. If you can find a position related to your course, you can extend your work visa for 2 years. 

New Zealand has become one of the top study destinations for international students over the last few years. The country has a positive student track record in the country, especially at New Zealand's top-ranked universities. Today, student-friendly policies such as post-graduation work permits, part-time job options, easy admission and a friendly environment have led students to seriously consider New Zealand as a study destination.


Top Universities in New Zealand 2021

Thanks to world-class universities, safety standards and world-class education, New Zealand is very popular with both domestic and international students. 

This article describes the top 8 New Zealand universities, ranked based on factors such as research output, international student rate, employer satisfaction, and status and student-faculty ratio.

QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top 10 Universities in New Zealand

New Zealand Rank

Global Rank




The University of Auckland



University of Otago



Victoria University of Wellington



University of Canterbury



Massey University



University of Waikato



Lincoln University



Auckland University Of Technology


8. Auckland University of Technology

Up an impressive six places this year to now rank joint 437th in the world, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) dates back to 1895 when it was originally founded as the Auckland Technical School, and boasts the highest score among universities in New Zealand for the percentage of international students indicator (23rd in the world). 

Auckland University of Technology

7. Lincoln University

 Ranked joint 387th in the world in 2021, Lincoln University was originally part of the University of Canterbury before formally separating to become an independent institution in 1990. Like AUT, it receives a very high score for its percentage of international students, and also places in the top 100 for agriculture and forestry according to

the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Lincoln University

6. University of Waikato

 The University of Waikato drops over 100 places this year in the world university rankings to place joint 375th globally. The university has internationally recognised research capabilities and facilities across numerous disciplines, and offers qualifications in a broad range of subject areas, 15 of which are recognised and individually ranked by QS.  

University of Waikato

Primarily located on 65 hectares of park-like grounds in the city of Hamilton on the North Island, it also has a campus in Tauranga.

5. Massey University

 This year’s QS World University Rankings sees Massey University climb 11 places to rank 272nd in the world, overtaking the University of Waikato to place fifth among the top universities in New Zealand. Massey, located in the city of Palmerston North on the North Island, is the only university in the country offering programs in aviation, dispute resolution, veterinary medicine, and nanoscience.

Massey University

4. University of Canterbury

 Down 44 places to rank joint 270th this year, the University of Canterbury is located in Christchurch on the South Island. It’s one of the oldest universities in New Zealand, having been established in 1873 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand. Its student population now stands at roughly 17,300.

University of Canterbury

3. Victoria University of Wellington

 Victoria University of Wellington continues to place third in the country, ranking joint 223rd in the world, earning its best score for the percentage of international faculty members indicator (76th in the world). It also places 20th in the world for library studies and 50th for hospitality and leisure management, according to the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Victoria University of Wellington

2. University of Otago

 Ranked 184th in the world in 2021, the University of Otago continues to rank second in the country and earns the highest score in New Zealand for its percentage of international faculty members (31st in the world). It’s primarily located in Dunedin on the South Island and is the oldest university in the country, dating back to 1869. Today it has around 21,240students, including 2,972 from outside New Zealand.

University of Otago

1. The University of Auckland

 The University of Auckland is ranked number one in the country once again in 2021, coming 81st in the world this year and earning its best score for the academic reputation indicator. The largest institution in the country (with 42,759 students in 2018), the university appears in the worldwide top 50 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 for 13 subjects including archaeology, education, nursing, geography and performing arts.

The University of Auckland

Student Cities

1. Wellington

At a glance: Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city, but don’t let that fool you: it’s a small city by global standards with a population of just 200,000. It’s huge in terms of character, culture and natural beauty though.


The central business district is nestled between a harbour, some beaches and the green hills which form the backdrop of the city.

Mount Victoria isn’t far away for nature lovers, the botanical gardens (which can be reached by cable car) are resplendent, and the city itself is a haven for cool young folk, with an abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars to hang out in.

One great reason to study in Wellington: The Victoria University of Wellington. It’s in the top 1% of universities in the world in 19 subject areas, while 20% of the entire student population is made up of international students.

Oh and it’s located on a beautiful hilltop overlooking the city near the botanical gardens, which might make it one of the world’s most epic campuses. 

2. Auckland

At a glance: With 1.6 million residents, Auckland is comfortably New Zealand’s biggest and glitziest city.

The eye-catching Sky Tower stands proudly above the central business district, providing Auckland with one of the world’s most unmistakable skylines. You can even bungee jump from the top of the 60 storey tower if you feel like a proper thrill!

Auckland is also the most ethnically diverse city in New Zealand. Around 30% of the population identifies as Asian, whereas 11% identifies as native M?ori, making it a great spot to learn more about New Zealand's fascinating cultural tapestry.

But as well as being a big and “vibey” city, it’s got two harbours and is close to Takapuna beach as well as the Waitakere mountain range. 


One great reason to study in Auckland: Auckland has 5 major universities to choose from. The University of Auckland is the most prestigious, and the biggest, with over 40,000 students. 

3. Hamilton

At a glance: Hamilton is located in the stunning Waikato region in New Zealand’s north island, famous for the Hamilton Gardens, a botanical paradise which meanders alongside the Waikato River.

Not far from town is Mount Maunganui, which slopes down to sandy beaches (which never seem far away from cities in New Zealand).

Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings fans can visit “Hobbiton” just an hour away, which has been left more or less unchanged ever since the blockbuster movies were filmed here!

It’s not all flowers and trees though, with its buzzing nightlife centred around Victoria Street. Sports fans will also love Hamilton as the 25,000 seater Waikato Stadium regularly hosts international rugby and cricket games. 


One great reason to study in Hamilton: The University of Waikato is an amazing option for international students.

It allows them to do homestays with local families to help them settle in, and also caters for a “buddy system” where international students are paired with local guides to show them around. 

For all of this, as well as the small class sizes and tight-knit community, the University of Waikato carries the reputation of being the friendliest university in New Zealand! 

4. Christchurch

At a glance: Christchurch is known as The Garden City, thanks to its parks and green spaces (as well as beaches) where residents can relax, walk (or surf) and get some fresh air.

It’s a fairly big city by New Zealand standards, with a population of just under 400,000, but it’s got a quaint village feel.

It’s also famously flat, making it perfect for walking and cycling — quite a change from the hills and mountains of Auckland and Wellington!

There’s also a very different aesthetic about Christchurch, as the classical architecture is much more English and gothic in style.

It’s not all about heritage though, as street art abounds in Christchurch, so much so that the Canterbury Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of work by uber-famous street artist Banksy.


One great reason to study in Christchurch: The University of Canterbury is New Zealand’s second oldest university, and has a great reputation for natural sciences such as biology, ecology and geology.On top of that, the campus reflects the city as a whole, with loads of parks and lawns around to help you get back in touch with nature after a day of lectures. 

5. Dunedin


At a glance: Dunedin is sometimes called “The Edinburgh of New Zealand”. That seems a little bit odd, right?

Well, it’s famous for its architectural heritage, much of which was inspired by Scotland! You see, many Scottish people moved here in the 19th century and began influencing the design of the city.

There are scores of stunning museums and old townhouses, making it a photographer's dream. But there’s also a modern twist, with plenty of street art and a bustling social scene.

And like almost every major city in New Zealand, it’s located on the coast, meaning there’s a beach of course! The coastline is home to tons of wildlife including albatross, penguins and sea-lions too, which is pretty cool.

Finally, Dunedin has a great literary heritage, so much so that in 2014 it was named a UNESCO Creative City of Literature. Well known poets such as Charles Brasch and Thomas Bracken (who wrote the national anthem), as well as former poet laureate Hone Tuwhare all hail from Dunedin!

One great reason to study in Dunedin: Following on the literature theme, let’s bring up the University of Otago. It’s got SIX libraries.On top of that, the student accommodation is highly celebrated, with 15 residential communities, some of which are in beautiful old heritage buildings, and some of which are designated especially for international students!

Permanent residence oppourtinity

Naturally packed with lush green landscapes, modern infrastructure, low unemployment and a decent economy, New Zealand is a preferred choice for a calm and prosperous life, attracting students from all over the world. It has become a popular destination.

As you are aware, a student visa is mandatory for anyone traveling to New Zealand to attend a course, apprenticeship, program or school of more than three months. The most common visas for International students over the age of 18 to apply for are Student Visa, Exchange Student Visa, Foreign Government Sponsored Student Visa and Pathway Student Visa. For candidates who want to spend two years in the country and obtain a permanent resident visa, it is very difficult to determine how long the visa will be valid. 

After completing your degree at one of New Zealand's prestigious universities, the next step is to apply for the appropriate visa based on the job postings. This can be categorized as follows: 


Post-Study Work VISA (Open): This visa provides a flexible option for students who have completed their studies but are still looking for work. This visa guarantees you to stay in the country for 3 years in order to give you the opportunity to find a job related to your study or field of study. During that time, you are allowed to work in any field to earn a living in New Zealand.  Post-Study Work VISA (Employer Assisted): On the other hand, this visa does not give you flexibility regarding the type of work you choose after graduation. This visa is valid for two years and gives you the opportunity to find a specific job with a specific employer. Remember to apply for this visa within 3 months of your student visa expiring.


About Permanent Residence VISA 

New Zealand PR Process: The ultimate goal to pursue a professional career is to get a job of your choice related to your field of expertise. Hence, you apply for a permanent residence visa that allows you to stay in New Zealand for an indefinite period of time and attend public-funded services at the same time. A New Zealand PR is definitely beneficial to get good job offers, based on numerous factors such as your years of experience, age, and educational qualification to name a few. This visa also allows you to travel to and from New Zealand to any part of the world, without conditions. 

Benefits of a Permanent Residence VISA 

 A few of the innumerable benefits that follow a PR in New Zealand are: 

  • You can live, work, travel and study in New Zealand indefinitely without any restrictions 
  • You can avail medical facilities at subsidized rates as well as social security benefits 
  • Your children shall be eligible for free education at state-run schools and universities 
  • You can sponsor your relatives to apply for permanent resident visas, provided they meet the residency and assurance of support requirements 
  • You can apply for New Zealand citizenship after staying in the country for several years, needless to say that you fulfil all their other criteria such as basic usage of English language, communicative skills, good character, and a clear intent to continue staying in the country 
  • Children born in New Zealand shall automatically gain citizenship of the country by birth 
  • New Zealand PR Visa Requirements 

 The basic requirements to adhere to in order to obtain a PR Visa in New Zealand are: 

  • Age less than 55 years 
  • Fluency and good command over English language 
  • Good health and good character 
  • Job offer in hand (in case you have applied for sponsored work visa) 
  • Ability to prove your intent of stay in the country 

One can apply to PR visa in New Zealand through various categories mainly Skilled Migrant Category, Partner Category, and Business and Investment Category.


New Zealand PR Scoring System 

You can apply for a New Zealand visa by contacting the New Zealand Government directly. This is relatively cheaper than contacting an agency or visa office. To assess your eligibility, the government has developed a PR scoring system that awards points under the following headings: 

  • Work Experience: Bonus points for performance and growth evaluation of work experience ranging from 10 points over 2 years  to 30 points over 10 years 
  • Qualifications: 50 points for a bachelor's degree or  other major diploma degree, 55 points for a master's or doctoral degree 
  • Family ties: 10 points for next of kin in New Zealand 
  • Age: Maximum  30 points for ages 20-29, minimum  5 points for ages 50-55  

Once you have secured 160 points, you will be selected for an ITA (Invitation To Apply)  visa. The minimum submission threshold is 100-135. Not sure if this warrants ITA though.