Trans-Tasman Higher Education Costs


Australia and New Zealand are many times referred to as Trans-Tasman, this is because the Tasman Sea is directly between the two countries. It is a unique identifier that is used to refer to not only their international locations but also the unique relationship that is shared by the two countries.


Australia  (Higher Education Fees Required)

Tuition Costs:                 $9,000 - $16,700 USD Annually


Living Expenses:              Monthly - Average $1500 to $1900 USD (Host Family)

                                      Annually - $14, 500 to $17,000 USD (Host Family)


Australia has historically been one of the most popular destinations for college bound foreign students. Australia ranks fifth as a study abroad destination for international higher education (Tertiary) students. Australia's cost of living is one of the highest in the world. However, living expenses and tuition costs are much less, compared to the United Kingdom and United States. Degree programs in Australia are recognized internationally and confer degrees that are transferable to the United States.


Living expenses vary greatly depending on where a student chooses to live. The option of staying with a host family greatly decreases living expenses. The living expenses shown above include meals being provided at $10 - $20 USD per day, monthly telephone, transportation, laundry, personals (clothing, entertainment), lunches and snacks. A student choosing to rent private, unfurnished apartments that would cost from $150 USD to more than $250 USD per month and this would not include meals and other luxuries that are available when living with a host family.


Undergraduate and Postgraduate tuition costs per year, including student fees, books and materials for undergraduate and postgraduate programs at public universities range from $9,000 USD (low end) to $10,000 USD (low end). However, depending on the field of study, costs can increase to as much as $16,700 annually. International scholarships are available through universities and other programs. Two-thirds of the student population attending Universities receive partial financial aid from the Australian government and are eligible for interest free loans.


In 2010 the Australian government implemented stricter guidelines for foreign students seeking residency. For students to be eligible for permanent residence they must have adequate English skills, be studying in a profession or trade of high-value to Australia (healthcare, engineering, mining, technology, medical research, etc), and students must be able to obtain gainful employment. These changes have come about due to the large influx of people from India that used the educational system to gain permanent residency. In 2008, more than 54% of foreign students studying in Australia were from Asian countries. 


Australia has made it possible for students to apply for a student visa that allows them to stay for 18 months before it must be renewed.



New Zealand (Domestic Tuition Rates for International Students, Ph.D)


Tuition Costs:               $3,000 - $4000 USD Annually for Ph.D. Programs, compared to $16,000 to $24,000 USD annually for comparable programs in US based Universities.


Living Expenses:           Private Apartments (unfurnished), not including living expenses will cost from $180 - more than $250 USD Monthly.


Students should be able to live on a moderate student budget for $980 - $1250 USD Monthly. This would include living quarters (3 meals and snacks), telephone, transportation, clothing, entertainment, and college materials.  


Ph.D. students studying in New Zealand have the benefit of employment opportunities for their spouses and free, compulsory education for primary and secondary school age children. New Zealand's degree programs are of very high quality, challenging, comparable to US degrees and are recognized in the United States.


International students will find the Trans-Tasman countries to be a very kind and welcoming place for an outstanding study abroad experience.


The cost of living in New Zealand is very inexpensive. One US dollar is equal to 1.4292 New Zealand dollars. Reports from foreign students studying and living in New Zealand share concerns that even though living costs are inexpensive, wages earned from employment are less than what would be earned in the United Kingdom and United States making it difficult to pay tuition costs and live moderately. In March, 2010 New Zealand will raise minimum wage to $12.75 NZD ($8.8995 USD) which is still not comparable to Australia's federal minimum wage, $14.31 AUD ($12.85 USD) and is not keeping up with inflation, especially as the country is beginning to come out of a recession.


The cost of living in Australia is significantly less in comparison to other places in the United Kingdom. Australia offers less expensive living conditions with improved financial and educational security. In the past, Australia has been identified in the top 5 best places to live with the lowest cost of living. Western Australia offers an even lower cost of living.

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