New Zealand makes an excellent destination for many things, and it is no secret that the country makes many of us long for its high standard of living. While visiting this country can give you memorable experiences of its culture and beautiful sights, you can achieve your dream of living in New Zealand by applying to its universities as an international student.

Typically, choosing to study abroad may be costly and require you to meet specific travel requirements. However, financing for your entire education in New Zealand may not be necessary as there are options for you to study for free. The country has various universities that offer scholarships and government-funded grants to give you a full ride through college. You can even look for special scholarships funded by private institutions or your home country’s government.

Choosing to study in New Zealand for free is far from being a piece of cake. You will need to prepare your application by studying hard and keeping your grades consistently stellar. You also have to search for crucial information online, such as the application period of universities you wish to apply for and the requirements you need to submit. As you work on these, keep in mind that being organized and efficient can help you achieve your goal.

How to Study in New Zealand for Free

1. Prepare Your Application Early and Have Good Credentials

Studying for free in New Zealand requires careful steps done in a timely manner. When you plan to study abroad, the first step you should consider is to work hard and aim for consistently high grades. Through your test scores, grades, and GPA, you can build an academic profile competitive enough to send for college admission. Colleges and universities look for students with relevant skills and potential to be an asset. With your strong academic track, you may as well be saying to universities how worthy you are.

Studying hard can also help you grow the necessary skills to live independently abroad. As you will be dealing with people from different backgrounds, you will need to work on your people skills. Sustain good relationships with students, faculty, and staff in your current school. This way, you might even secure recommendation letters to send along with your application.

Preparing your college application’s strengths can take a long time, especially as you will have to work with certain habits and attitudes in your studies. However, once you overcome this aspect, you can easily prepare the documentary requirements for your application. At this point, make sure to submit your application forms before the due date.

2. Get Full Tuition or Fully Funded Scholarships

Besides sending your college application, it can also help to look for scholarships to support your study abroad. Getting fully funded scholarships is an awesome way to study in New Zealand for free. Fortunately, in New Zealand, many universities offer scholarships to incoming students regardless of their country of origin.

The government also provides funding for students looking to study in New Zealand. Through this generous gesture, the government maintains excellent international relations while inviting people from other countries to explore its land’s beauty.

Private institutions also help in providing free education to international students by collaborating with universities. These scholarships cover from partial up to full costs of attendance, a fantastic deal for students looking to fulfill their academic goals in New Zealand. As you look for universities you can apply for, make sure to check if these universities can offer you the chance to study for free. Be mindful of the eligibility requirements, the date of application, and the deadline for applying. Most importantly, proofread your application before sending it out.

3. Research Cheap Universities in New Zealand

Affordable universities can come as a tremendous help in case none of your scholarship applications returned with good news. Paying less in a university in New Zealand can still guarantee you a world-class education and life-changing experience in this remarkable country. Some of the universities you can apply for are Massey University, Lincoln University, and the University of Canterbury. Coupled with working part-time, you can study in New Zealand for free by attending a cheap university in New Zealand.

The average tuition costs in these universities range between NZ$13,000 to NZ$20,000. Some of the programs may be more expensive than others, so it is also essential for you to consider your preferred field of study. A low tuition cost, scholarships to finance your education, and a chance to live in New Zealand can give you the best academic experience and preparation for your career.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Tuition-free Options for Bachelor’s Studies in New Zealand

The University of Auckland is among the top schools in the world, ranking 81st at QS World Global University Rankings. It can also fulfill your dream of study in New Zealand for free. Its website lists several scholarship options, such as the University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship, where successful applications receive up to NZ$10,000 tuition grants.

Another globally competitive university, the Victoria University of Wellington, has several scholarship programs for international students. Its New Zealand Scholarship Program covers most of the attendance costs, including the fees, living allowance, travel, and insurance of chosen applicants. Before sending your application, make sure to check if your country is one of its eligible partners.

The University of Otago lists several scholarship programs for international students on its website. These include the New Zealand Scholarship program, a fully-funded scholarship for students from selected countries, and the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarships for international students, providing NZ$10,000 tuition grants and an accommodation guarantee. The Auckland University of Technology is another university that offers the New Zealand Scholarship program to international students. With these universities and scholarships, you can get your undergraduate education in New Zealand for free.

Tuition-free Options for Master’s Studies in New Zealand

A Master’s degree can improve your career in many ways, and making a move to invest in it is worth it. However, New Zealand offers you the opportunity to study Master’s for free through its numerous university scholarships. Among the universities, you might want to consider Lincoln University. It has the International Taught Master Merit Scholarships, which provide up to NZ$10,000 tuition grants to successful applicants.

International graduate students can also study at Victoria University of Wellington for free through the New Zealand Scholarships. Similarly, with the undergraduate programs, this scholarship covers the tuition costs and offers living allowance, insurance, and airfare to successful applicants. The university also provides the Automatic Master’s Scholarships, which offers up to NZ$17,500 tuition grant depending on the Master’s selected program.

The Auckland University of Technology is another university where you can study for free through the government-funded New Zealand Scholarships program. Meanwhile, the University of Otago has the International Master’s Research Scholarships. It covers the full tuition costs and an annual stipend of NZ$15,000. Through these options, you can study Master’s in New Zealand for free.

Tuition-free Options for Ph.D. Studies in New Zealand

If you are looking to pursue research in New Zealand, you can also study in New Zealand for free through these universities. The Victoria University of Wellington offers the Wellington Doctoral Scholarship for aspiring doctoral candidates from other nations. Successful applicants receive a NZ$27,000 stipend annually and full tuition coverage.

With the support of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Auckland University of Technology offers its doctoral scholarships. It covers full tuition fees, a living stipend of NZ$491 weekly, an establishment allowance of NZ$3,000, medical insurance, and travel expenses. Successful applicants also receive travel insurance, funding for research and thesis expenses, and airfare coverage if they wish to visit their home country during the duration of their studies.

The University of Otago offers several scholarship options for doctoral candidates. Among these is the University of Otago Doctoral Scholarship, which covers the tuition costs and a monthly stipend of NZ$27,000 yearly. The University of Waikato also has doctoral scholarships for international students, which covers the full tuition costs and the yearly allowance of NZ$25,000. These scholarships can guarantee you the unique opportunity to study Ph.D. in New Zealand for free.


We hope that this article on studying in New Zealand for free was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more about studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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