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Study in Auckland, New Zealand

Population: 1,300,000

City Overview

New Zealand’s largest city is also one of best cities in the world to live in, according to several quality of life surveys. Known as the ‘city of sails’ Auckland is located on the narrowest part of the North Island, so no matter where you are in the city, you’re never far from water.

Like most of New Zealand, Auckland is home to some beautiful scenery. Built on 48 extinct volcanoes and jammed in between two glistening harbours, Auckland has beaches and waterways everywhere. Auckland is also home to the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world.

Education profile

Auckland is home to some of the largest universities in New Zealand and is a major centre of foreign language education with plenty of international students. You can study a graduate program in Auckland at some of the following institutions:
Taught Masters are postgraduate courses that follow a similar pattern to undergraduate study, with lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will be expected to research topics yourself and take and independent approach to studying.

Research Masters are often seen as pre-cursor to a PhD. You will research a particular topic independently and focus on improving your research skills to produce a dissertation or final projects.

Masters programs in New Zealand generally last a year (two if accepted without Bachelor honours), with PhDs taking up to four years to complete. 

Immigration and visas

International students planning to study full time for more than three months will need a student visa and a student permit, unless your home country has a special agreement with New Zealand.

Contact the New Zealand embassy in the country you live in for details of how to obtain your visa and permit. You will have to meet certain health requirements and pay a fee to apply.

Life in Auckland

Auckland is an incredibly easy going city. Students coming to study a postgraduate course in Auckland can expect to enjoy a vibrant urban lifestyle alongside the tranquillity of numerous parks and beaches.

Students in Auckland benefit from a city jampacked with restaurants, cafes and culture. One thing that dominates Kiwi life is sport, with the All Black rugby team the best in the world and also national heroes.

Auckland is an extremely diverse city, with the largest Polynesian population in New Zealand and a mix of Maori, European, Pacific Island and Asian cultures.

Working in Auckland

Auckland is the economic capital of New Zealand and lots of major international corporations opt to use an Auckland office. Auckland’s economy is heavily based on the services industry, such as banking and finance.

The biggest corporation to have its worldwide headquarters in Auckland is Air New Zealand, which is based in Western Reclamation in Auckland City.

As with most of New Zealand, tourism forms a major industry, and income from backpackers and tourists greatly contributes to Auckland’s economy.


Most of the major universities in Auckland will offer postgraduates accommodation in halls of residence, or at least be able to provide a list of estate agents to deal with. Another option is to live with a local family in a homestay, which will give you a greater insight into how New Zealanders live.

Auckland has more than 200 suburbs, so choosing somewhere to stay can take some time.

Expect to pay around NZ$100-$200 for a room in a shared house.

Weather and Climate

Auckland is the warmest city in New Zealand and also one of the sunniest. The city has an oceanic climate, meaning it doesn’t suffer from extremes of temperature but also gets a high level of rainfall throughout the year.

The main summer months are between January and March, when temperatures reach around the 20C mark. Winter falls between June and August, with lows of 7C.

What to do next

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