Auckland City

Auckland has been rated the third best city in the world in a recent survey measuring global quality of life. The annual report by Mercer is based on factors such as culture and environment, political stability, safety, infrastructure and ease of doing business.

One-third of New Zealand's population lives in the wider Auckland Region. Auckland is a cosmopolitan hub of activity and business and is one of the most multicultural cities on the planet. Almost a third of Aucklanders were born outside of New Zealand and half of those have roots in the Asia-Pacific region. The cultural facilities and quality educational facilities are major attractions for people from all over the world.

There is a great variety of restaurants, hotels, fast food outlets and a number of 24 hour supermarkets. Asian cuisine is particularly popular. Overall Auckland is an ideal environment for learning and personal development and provides a diverse landscape of cultural attractions to experience.

Learn more about our local libraries

Learn more about banking in New Zealand

Learn more about Student ID cards

Cost of Living

In order to live comfortably while you are in Auckland, you will need to have about $NZ15,000 per year available for living costs, above the cost of your tuition.The cost of living in New Zealand is comparable to what you’ll find in any OECD country. 

You will receive advice from our Student Support team during orientation on how best to handle your money, but initially it is important to note that you should have some New Zealand cash for immediate expenses (e.g. airport costs or transport). You may need further funds in the form of traveller’s cheques, which can be readily cashed. There are foreign exchange offices at the international terminals in each New Zealand airport.

We strongly recommend that while in New Zealand you do not carry large amounts of cash. We suggest opening a bank account as soon as possible after arrival. All major banks have branches within 100 meters of the Campus. You can also purchase goods using EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) at nearly all retailers. Any large amounts of money may be sent in the form of a bank draft, however electronic transfers are, in most cases, the most efficient method of sending funds to New Zealand. Overseas cheques are sometimes difficult to clear and are not recommended.

Working in New Zealand

The purpose of the International students’ visas is for full time study. International students are allowed to work part time, but there are rules and conditions on the part time work they can do, which are very important to know. Details on the same can be found on the INZ website in the work rules for students section.

To receive payment all students need to have a bank account and an IRD number. An IRD number is an eight or nine digit number unique to you - it's important because all your tax and personal details are linked to it.

Please refer to How to apply for an IRD number

Apply with Immigration New Zealand here

Medical and Travel Insurance

International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand.

NZSE requires that students have medical and travel insurance before travel and during their studies at NZSE and period living in New Zealand.  NZSE will, if required, arrange standard international student cover through Southern Cross Healthcare at the cost of the student. 

Eligibility for Health Services

Most international students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may have to pay the full costs of treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health. View these on their website here

For more helpful information visit:

Ministry of Health



Local currency is the New Zealand dollar. There are 10c, 20c, and 50c, $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Information regarding the current foreign exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar against your currency can be found here

Goods and services tax (GST)

All goods and services in New Zealand are imposed with a 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST). Under law, the prices displayed must include the GST content.


Tipping is not normally the custom at New Zealand airports, taxis, hotels or restaurants.


We would like your student journey to be a safe and enjoyable one. Auckland is a safe and friendly city, however you are recommended to take precaution as you would in any large city. The videos here give you sensible tips on how to deal with any incidences and ways in which to protect yourself from danger. Have fun, enjoy yourself and stay safe!

Safety in the City

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