Which is better for students: Australia or New Zealand?


Are you applying for higher studies but aren’t sure which to pick between Australia and New Zealand?

Or maybe you just want to know why Australia is better than New Zealand for students?

Either way, you’re in luck because we’ll help you navigate through your application, one step at a time. And by the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently take your pick between Australia and New Zealand. So, let’s dive right in!


Both Australia and New Zealand are popular destinations for students, specifically due to the top-notch universities they host. Nevertheless, the tuition fee also matters. And on average, universities in New Zealand are more affordable than those in Australia, with the average annual tuition fees being 25,000 AUD and 32,000 AUD, respectively. Though, this figure can vary significantly depending on the exact field and university that you settle for. Overall, though, while both countries have affordable universities, New Zealand’s University of Otago is much more affordable compared to Australia’s Griffith University. As for the duration, Australian Bachelors tend to be three-year courses unless they’re engineering or honours programs, while New Zealand has a standard Bachelors degree of three years or shorter. And both counties have a typical 2-year Masters degree. Diploma courses are not included in the analysis. Still, if you’re essentially looking for a shorter and more affordable degree, you should probably pick New Zealand.

English and Other Requirements

Another thing to consider as an international student is the language requirements. In Australia, international students can demonstrate their English proficiency by taking an approved test such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. The required minimum IELTS or equivalent score varies depending on the institution and program, but typically, a score of 6 for most Bachelor programs, 6.5 for Masters programs, and around 7 for nursing degrees is a must. Still, certain programs will have additional prerequisites, like a minimum GPA or prerequisite courses. For instance, to pursue a bachelor’s in engineering, you might need a strong background in math and science. For New Zealand, on the other hand, English proficiency requirements are not very different. A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 for Bachelors and 6.5 for Masters is the typical requirement. Some institutions may also accept other English language tests such as TOEFL or PTE. But it’s also worth noting that some institutions may offer English language courses as a pathway to degree programs in New Zealand which means it is obviously helpful for students who need to improve their English proficiency.

Student Visa Processing and Interview

You obviously can’t move abroad without a student visa, so you’ll need to investigate that as well. Of course, both countries have their own specific visa requirements and application processes. But, generally, Australia’s process is more straightforward. Statistics show that almost 90% of visas are processed within ten months. Not to mention, Australia conducts phone interviews, if at all, which is also convenient for students. On the other hand, New Zealand’s visa application process can be a bit tedious. Still, almost 90% of the student visas are processed within three months. And they also don’t usually need interviews for the visa application. Overall, we’d say that getting a visa is much easier in Australia than it is in other countries, including New Zealand, which is exactly why Australia is better than New Zealand for students.

Jobs for Students

The next important thing to consider before studying abroad is the availability of part-time jobs to support yourself. Luckily, both Australia and New Zealand have strong job markets. As a student in Australia, you can work up to 20 hours a week during the term and full-time during the holidays. The minimum wage is also around 19.84 AUD/hour, which is pretty high when compared to most other countries. But since the cost of living is also high, managing expenses might still be difficult. Moreover, location matters a lot when looking for a job as well. But if you’re based in New Zealand, you’ll still be allowed to work around 20 hours a week, for which you’ll be compensated with a minimum wage of 20 NZD, equating to almost 18.49 AUD. Nevertheless, since the cost of living is lower than in Australia, it becomes much easier to balance work and study. At the same time, though, getting a job can be particularly hard. Hence, on the whole, both countries have opportunities if you are sufficiently qualified and willing to put in the work. However, Australia is much better than New Zealand for students in terms of job as Australia is a much bigger economy compared to New Zealand.

Post-Study Benefits

You also cannot ignore the possibility of obtaining a work visa once you’ve completed your studies. If you’re in Australia, you can apply for a work permit after completing at least two years of education. Still, the duration will depend on the level of your education (i.e., Masters, Bachelors, or a Diploma) as well as the city where you studied. Big city graduates generally receive a 2 to 3-year work permit, while students from regional areas might receive a 3 to 4-year permit. And PhD students may receive a permit of up to 4 years. Thus, you can gain some valuable work experience, build a strong network, and maybe even secure permanent residency in Australia post-graduation.

As for New Zealand, the duration of your work permit will depend on your level of education, with three years being the maximum for a Masters degree. And though this might be shorter than Australia, it’s still not bad because you have more than enough opportunities. Still, if you plan on settling abroad after your studies, then Australia is definitely the better option for you!


Australia and New Zealand are both excellent choices for international students. Both countries have great universities and ample job opportunities to learn and grow. They do have their pros and cons, but if you want to settle abroad after studying, then you should go with Australia because that will be much easier – and that’s precisely why Australia is better than New Zealand for students!

If you are planning to come to Australia, you have come to the right page. We will keep you informed with our up-to-date information, news and blogs.

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