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New Zealand vs Australia: The Ultimate Decision!

Updated on 21 November, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

New Zealand vs Australia: The Ultimate Decision!

Are you someone on a quest to find the best country for higher studies abroad and has narrowed it down to - New Zealand and Australia? Both countries have their share of uniqueness. While Australia is home to some of the top 100 universities in the world, New Zealand offers some of the most affordable options in terms of universities. Tough decision, right? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered—this comprehensive guide to Australia vs. New Zealand will help you discover the right study destination. But before diving into the studying aspect of the countries, let us understand what makes these countries a top choice.

Read on and see what your future holds!

Australia vs. New Zealand 

Both countries are unique and hold significance in their way. Let’s have a brief breakdown and compare New Zealand and Australia.  


  • Being the largest island in the world and a multicultural country, Australia has a rich history of knowledge, arts, and culture. Australia is a diverse country, with over 400 languages spoken in the country other than English, like 
  • Italian
  • Greek
  • Punjabi
  • Arabic
  • Vietnamese
  • Australia does not have one uniform culture; the country is a blend of a wide range of cultures, making it a top choice for international students. 
  • Australia, termed ‘The Lucky Country,’ uses the Australian dollar as its national currency. The country is a blend of fun-loving people, historical relevance, and mouth-watering delicacies (particularly their national icon- Kangaroos).
  • The average cost of living in Australia is $1,064.95 monthly (Source: Numbeo) for a single person. 

New Zealand 

  • The natural beauty and the open-minded people of the country make it a prominent destination for students from all over the globe. The country boasts of being a diverse and multicultural country. There is always something to do in New Zealand, from thrilling adventure sports to exploring art and culture. The country offers excellent work-life balance.
  • The country has three official languages. 
  • English
  • Reo Maori
  • New Zealand
  • The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the official currency of the country and is 100 cents. 
  • The average cost of living is $970.57 (Monthly) for a single person.

Studying in Australia vs. New Zealand 

To decide to study in New Zealand vs. Australia, refer to the following distinctions.

AustraliaNew Zealand 
Education System HighlightsAs per the Australian education system, International students who wish to enroll in an undergraduate course in Australia need a minimum of twelve years of prior university education, like SPTM, A-levels, Australia Accredited Foundation Program, and UEC.The country has approximately five levels of education - certificate, diploma, graduation, post-graduation, and Ph.D. 

To get admission to a university in New Zealand, you must have a compulsory English proficiency requirement.
Popular CoursesComputer Science Engineering, Cybersecurity, Architecture and AccountingAnimation, Hotel Management, Engineering Forestry, IT, and Computer Science.
Part-Time Working Hours While StudyingUp to 48 hours a fortnight and unlimited breaks (as per new rule).Up to 30 hours a week and during the holiday season.
Popular Job SectorsEducation, Medical and Healthcare, Construction, ITConstruction, Retail trade, Business services

Credits: Official Sources

Top 5 Universities- Australia vs. New Zealand


University Name QS World Ranking 2023Year of Establishment
University of Melbourne 331853
University of Queensland 501909
University of Sydney 41 1850
Monash University 571958
Australian National University 301946

New Zealand 

University Name QS World Ranking 2023Year of Establishment
University of Auckland 871883
The University of Canterbury 2841873
Victoria University of Wellington2751897
Massey University 2921927
University of Otago 2171869

Cost for International Students: Australia vs. New Zealand 

Average Tuition FeesAverage Living Cost 
Australia$20,000- $45,000Local Transport: $30-60
Grocery: $140- $280
Utility cost: $15-30
New Zealand$22,000-32,000Local Transport:$2.16
Grocery: $150-160 
Utility cost: $134.77

What are the Admission Requirements: Studying in Australia vs. New Zealand For Indian Students

The following is the admission requirements for Indian students in Australia and New Zealand. 


  • Academic Transcripts 
  • 70% or more in high school 
  • If you are looking to pursue a PG degree, then a bachelor’s degree is mandatory 
  • English language requirements: IELTS score of minimum 6.0, TOEFL score minimum 67
  • Work experience in some cases
  • GMAT/GRE Scores
  • Proof of funds
  • A valid passport

New Zealand

  • IELTS score minimum 6.5 
  • TOEFL scores minimum 60–79
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) minimum score 58
  • GRE/GMAT scores
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Proof of funds
  • A valid passport
  • Relevant work experience

Top Scholarships in Australia vs. New Zealand


Carnegie Mellon University scholarship Carnegie Mellon UniversityThe amount is decided on the basis of financial need and merit.
Melbourne Research Scholarships The University of Melbourne 100% fee remission and up to $110,000
Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship Deakin University Waiver of 50% tuition fee and on-campus accommodation
Brighter Futures Scholarship Griffith University From $5,000 (for one year/80 CP of study) up to $40,000 (for a four-year, 320 CP degree)
Rotary Peace Fellowship program Rotary Peace Center Covers tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and internship and field-study expenses.
Monash Research training program Monash University A support of $33,000 annually to those undertaking Research Doctorate and Research Masters degrees.
Australia Awards Scholarships The University of Sydney Full tuition fee 

New Zealand 

The University of Auckland International student excellence scholarship University of Auckland Up to $10,000 towards compulsory tuition fees
Lincoln University International Pathway Merit Scholarship Lincoln University Award of $1,546 
Wellington Masters by thesis scholarship Victoria University of Wellington $15,000 tax-free stipend for one year plus tuition fees
Tongarewa scholarship at Victoria University of Wellington Victoria University of Wellington $5,000 or $10,000
Orion  Master’s Energy scholarship at the University of Canterbury University of Canterbury $16,500
Brownlie Scholarship University of Canterbury$3096.0 
New Zealand Excellence Awards University of Aucklandvalue of up to $10,000 towards the first year tuition fees.

Credits: Official Sources

Visa Comparison: Australia vs. New Zealand

Student Visa Cost & Validity

AustraliaNew Zealand

Cost of visa ranges between AUD 650 to AUD 700

The validity of the visa is 10 months 

Cost of the visa ranges between NZD 328 to NZD 330

The validity of the visa is 12 months 


Post-Study Work Visa (PSWV)

Before searching for job opportunities and applying for one, you must apply for a post-study work visa. Let’s look at the details of PSWV in Australia and New Zealand.



New Zealand

With the PSWV in Australia, you can stay up to two to four years. 

It costs approximately $1730.

Processing time for 25% of the applications is up to 79 days 

With this visa, you are eligible to study, live and work in the country temporarily and can bring your family members as well

With the PSWV, you can work anywhere for three years

To be eligible for PSWV in New Zealand, you must study in the country 

The processing time for this visa is 42 days 

It costs approximately $700

Grab the Best Job Opportunities in Australia and New Zealand 

One of the crucial aspects that every student should look for is the job market in the country they are moving to. Australia is known to have the best medical facilities and a top-notch education system with amazing job opportunities. There is a shortage of skilled laborers in numerous industries, and international students can fill this gap. Australia fosters a system where work-life balance is appreciated and recognized. 

The official site of the New Zealand government has a list of various ways through which international students can find jobs. Key industries in New Zealand include agriculture, tourism, healthcare, information technology, education, creative industries, and manufacturing. Moreover, the government has been investing in infrastructure development and innovation, which has created additional job prospects in construction, engineering, and technology-related fields.

Let’s look at the comparison of job roles and their remunerations in the two countries. 

Job RolesAustraliaNew Zealand
Electrical Engineer $54,380 $49,432
Web Developer$53,165$72,475
Portfolio Manager$115,128$136,250
Operations Manager$110,000$95,500

Credits: Official Sources


Choosing a country to pursue your studies is a crucial yet daunting task. However, you can make an informed decision with the correct information and knowledge. New Zealand and Australia, both countries offer high-quality education and a plethora of services to international students. It is advised to review the courses, the fees and the living cost of each country and then make a choice as per your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Australia a safe country?

With a stable political system and low crime rate, Australia is considered one of the safest countries in the world, especially for international students. However, New Zealand is safer than Australia and stands second in the safe countries across the globe. (Source: World Population Review)

Which country is cheaper - Australia or New Zealand?

Australia and New Zealand are two of the most prominent countries in education. And the cost of living being a crucial factor, it is necessary to make a comparison. When comparing prices, New Zealand is less expensive than Australia.

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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