New Zealand vs. Australia for Indian Students

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Looking for a top study abroad destination, but confused between Australia and New Zealand? It can be perplexing, as both countries boast globally top universities, high-quality education, and unique cultural experiences for international students. While New Zealand is known for stunning landscapes, small classrooms, and personalized learning environments, Australia offers a diverse city life, an array of diverse courses, and research-focused institutions.  

How will be your life as an international student in New Zealand or Australia? Which one matches the best with your academic, financial, and personal concerns and career goals? Get help to answer these questions as we uncover more information and insights to choose from New Zealand vs Australia to study abroad.

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New Zealand vs. Australia: Top Universities

Academic excellence is a key concern to determine your country of study abroad. Australia and New Zealand are home to globally top universities hosting academic and career advantages for international students. Getting admission to these universities or participating in short-term activities while studying at other universities will add great value to your career ahead.  

Top universities in New Zealand 

Universities in New Zealand feature in the top 3% of the global rankings. It means that a significant number of the total universities in New Zealand assert world-class facilities, given that the geographical area is limited to any other popular study abroad destinations with globally ranking universities.  

Top Universities in New Zealand QS Rankings 2024 
The University of Auckland 68 
University of Otago 206 
Massey University 239 
Victoria University of Wellington 241 
University of Waikato 250 
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 256 
Lincoln University 362 
Auckland University of Technology (AUT) 407 

Top Universities in Australia 

Top Australian universities (including the Group of eight) are globally popular and have produced famous alumni in science, management, and art. They are research-intensive and invite scores of participants from universities abroad for mutual collaboration and exchange. You may prioritize the high-ranking Australian universities for admission while searching for your options.  

Top Universities in Australia QS Rankings 2024 
The University of Melbourne 14 
The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) 19 
The University of Sydney 19 
Australian National University (ANU) 34 
Monash University 42 
The University of Queensland 43 
The University of Western Australia 72 
The University of Adelaide 89 
University of Technology Sydney 90 
Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) 130 

New Zealand vs. Australia: Top courses

New Zealand is a hub for premium learning experiences across diverse disciplines. You can opt for courses in IT, Engineering, Hospitality, Management, Agriculture, Sustainable Development, Nursing, and Medicine at New Zealand universities. You can explore undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level courses in different universities and apply online. 

Australia can be your ideal destination for STEM undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and intensive research. The country is also home to universities with global rankings for MBA programs. For Indian students, there are mutual partnerships for research in various areas of science, under programs like Maitri, the Australian Government Research Training Program, and Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) to mention a few.

Cultural differences between New Zealand and Australia  

New Zealand is a meeting point of local Maori and European cultures. You can get used to the local way of life by attending local events, cultural programs, and festivals, joining a club, and visiting local tourist destinations.  

Australia is friendly and welcoming for international students. Around one-third of the Australian population was born overseas, and 23% of people speak languages other than English. International students from almost 192 countries study in Australia. The standard of education, living, healthcare, transport, infrastructure, and government services are above the global average.  

Keep the following in mind to easily adapt to and live with the new culture you encounter in New Zealand and Australia:  

  • Housing: You can rely on the university’s support, Facebook groups, and social media platforms to find an affordable housing option such as shared rooms, individual apartments, or dormitories. Look for a convenient location and affordable option.  
  • Making friends: Expanding your friendship circle is important for your healthy social life abroad. In both countries, student clubs, organizations, and volunteer activities are platforms to find new friends who will form part of your support system. 
  • Campus and community involvement: A memorable part of your global education will be the campus and community events. Participate in those programs and enhance your university experience along with gaining valuable skills. 
  • Part-time work: In New Zealand, you can work up to 20 hours a week, while it is 48 hours (about 2 days) a fortnight (approximately 24 hours a week) in Australia. The work timings can be full-time in Christmas and New Year breaks.  
  • Bringing your family member: Having your family member with you abroad will be a great emotional support. You are allowed to bring your family member to Australia or New Zealand, depending on your course, in most cases.  

Remember, your life as an international student in New Zealand or Australia will be life-changing and memorable. Be ready for cultural shocks and be open-minded about exploring the local culture and embracing novel experiences.  

Safety matters! 

A great thing about Australia and New Zealand is that both countries are safe for international students. Australia boasts a lower crime rate and strict laws that help the environment clean and green, ensuring the health and safety of international students. New Zealand is also safe by global standards with a low crime rate against international students.  

Interesting Facts: 

Australians love the outdoors. Cafe culture is an essential part of society. You can find Australians enjoying their relaxed brunch on weekends.  

Kiwis (an alternate name for New Zealand people) love outdoor sports. The country has a long coastline, and around 15% of the Kiwis own a boat. No wonder they dominate the world of yachting, kayaking, windsurfing, and rowing scene. 

Best cities for international students in New Zealand and Australia 

Finding the right city is crucial to your study abroad plans. Here are the top cities in New Zealand and Australia for international students:  

Rankings Cities in New Zealand Cities in Australia 
Wellington Melbourne 
Hamilton Canberra 
Dunedin Sydney 
Auckland Adelaide 
Christchurch Brisbane 
Palmerston North Perth 

Admission requirements for New Zealand and Australia  

New Zealand and Australia are English-speaking countries in Oceania that follow more of a similar education system. The application requirements for international students to study in New Zealand and Australia are:  

Relevant academic transcripts   Student visa   
Passport Resume     
2 – 3 Letters of recommendation  English proficiency proof – IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE
Entrance tests – GMAT or GRE if required Proof of work experience and extracurricular involvements, if applicable 

Cost of study: New Zealand vs. Australia  

The cost of study for international students varies according to the course and university in New Zealand and Australia. Accordingly, the table below gives you a general picture of the cost of study in New Zealand vs. Australia for a better understanding:  

Course Level New Zealand Australia 
Undergraduate 20,000 – 40,000 USD 46,500 – 50,000 USD 
Postgraduate 20,000 – 45,000 USD 43,000 – 55,000 USD 
PhD 6,500 – 7,500 USD 45,500 – 51,000 USD 

Cost of living: New Zealand vs. Australia 

The cost of living in New Zealand for international students varies from city to city, from university to university. On average, you can expect around 18,000 – 27,000 USD in living expenses per year. Plus, you need to show at least 20,000 NZD (12,200 USD) to show proof of funds for a New Zealand student visa. 

According to the Australian government’s cost of living calculator tool, an international student requires around 30,000 – 35,000 AUD (19,700 – 23,000 USD) to live a moderate life in a single room across different Australian suburbs, relying on public transport only. The actual cost may be higher, depending on your location of stay, personal expenses, entertainment costs, food and clothing choices, etc. We advise you to refer to the cost-of-living calculator provided by the Australian government to rightly estimate your living expenses.  

Country Average Cost of Living for International Students 
New Zealand 18,000 – 27,000 USD 
Australia 20,000 – 23,000 USD 

Scholarships for Indian students: New Zealand vs. Australia

Exploring scholarship options will help international students find finances for their studies in New Zealand and Australia, which can be hefty for the average Indian student. Common scholarships for Indian students in Australia and New Zealand include: 

  • National Overseas Scholarship 
  • Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship 
  • JN Tata Endowment 

See the table for the top scholarships for international students in New Zealand and Australia:  

Scholarships in Australia Scholarships in New Zealand 
1. Australia Awards Scholarship
2. Destination Australia Scholarships 
3. Australian Government Research
Training Program Scholarship
4. Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) Scholarships  
5. Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) Scholarships
6. Maitri Scholarship
7. CSIRO Scholarships  
1. New Zealand Excellence Award
2. Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships
3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Tade New Zealand Scholarships 

Apart from those mentioned above, there are scholarships offered by universities in New Zealand and Australia, depending on the academic merit and financial needs of international students. Alternatively, you can explore a minimal-interest education loan option that covers 100% or a significant share of your financial burden. Hit the link and get in touch with our counselor to explore education loan options for your profile.  

Job opportunities: New Zealand vs. Australia  

New Zealand and Australia have a growing job market for international students across different subject areas and industries. In a general nutshell, the average salary in Australia seems higher compared to New Zealand, owing to more urban centers. The table below gives a general overview of top job options and salaries in New Zealand vs. Australia:  

Job Areas Average Salary in New Zealand Average Salary in Australia 
IT and Technology 42,000 – 61,000 USD 46,000 – 66,000 USD  
Healthcare 27,000 – 67,000 USD  48,000 – 74,000 USD 
Engineering 42,000 – 61,000 USD 53,000 – 66,000 USD 
Finance and Banking 37,000 – 70,000 USD 46,000 – 79,000 USD 
Hospitality and Tourism 58,000 – 70,000 USD 58,000 – 72,000 USD 
Marketing and Sales 37,000 – 65,000 USD 36,000 – 66,000 USD 

New Zealand vs. Australia: Student visa application

A student visa is mandatory to study full-time and work part-time in New Zealand and Australia for international students. You can apply online for a student visa with your admission certificate. Remember, you will be required to show your one-year cost of study and living as proof of funds. 

Features New Zealand Australia 
Visa Validity 4 years 5 years 
Application Fee 375 NZD (228 USD) 710 AUD (467 USD) 
Processing Time 6 weeks 4 weeks 

It can be challenging for many students to find proof of funds for New Zealand and Australian student visas, as the amount you need is a hefty sum. Luckily, there are education loans to save your admission. Get your counseling and explore minimal-interest education loan options for your profile at zero cost today

New Zealand vs. Australia: ease of permanent residency permit 

If you are planning to settle down in New Zealand, you need to find work after your studies. It allows you to stay up to 3 years in the country. You may then apply for a visa change to permanent resident, which costs 240 NZD (146 USD).  

Australian citizens and permanent residents are not the same. You can apply for a Resident Return Visa or Australian citizenship. Once you complete your education, apply for a work visa (Graduate route or Skilled Laborer route), and eventually, you can apply for permanent residence. The application cost will be 1,895 AUD (1,245 USD) for Graduate Route and 4,640 AUD (3,050 USD) for Skilled laborer visas.  

Concluding remarks 

New Zealand vs Australia is a tough choice for international education as both countries compete with each other in academic excellence. Both share a lot in common and follow the British system of laws and customs. Studying in any of these countries provides you with great academic and personal insights, valuable skills, and opportunities to work and settle in a stable economy.

Australia has more universities compared to New Zealand, owing to its large geographical area. While Australia is a global business hub, New Zealand is a top choice for business due to its stable economy and business environment. Australia offers globally recognized one-year diploma courses in various subjects for international students. These countries can compete for universities offering advanced learning in science, engineering, or MBA.

Well, we advise you to prioritize your academic and career goals and see which country is up to the mark. Admission chances, finances, scholarship availability, part-time job earnings, ease of living, job prospects – everything can influence your decision. Talk to our expert admission counselor today and bring clarity to your global study adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for Indian students, New Zealand or Australia?

Both countries have become prominent study-abroad choices for Indian students, thanks to academic and career prospects. You may choose your destination by comparing your affordability, course choice, living environment, and so on.

Which is more affordable for Indian students, New Zealand or Australia?

New Zealand is more financially affordable to Indian students compared to Australia in terms of study and living costs.

Will I get an education loan for New Zealand?

If your school of admission in New Zealand is recognized by the lenders, you can apply for education loans. However, your chances of an education loan approval are dependent on other factors as well, such as your scores, cosigner income, CIBIL scores, etc. Talk to our education loan counselor and get zero-cost guidance on exploring personalized education loan options.

New Zealand or Australia, which is better for high-salary jobs?

Your salary is determined by your industry, experience, company, and place of work. Though the general average salary in Australia seems better than that in New Zealand, it may not be true when it comes to your personal case. So, search your job options and arrive at a conclusion after a personalized analysis.

Can Indians get a PR in New Zealand after their studies?

Yes, Indians can apply for PR in New Zealand after working there for a minimum of 2 years.

Does New Zealand charge a high tax compared to Australia?

In New Zealand, one is bound to pay tax for every dollar, whereas, in Australia, the first 18,000 USD is tax-free. However, for more than 18,000 USD, New Zealand charges a 39% tax while Australia levies a 45% tax. So, if your salary is more than 18,000 USD per year, New Zealand will be a better option than Australia to save more.

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