Auckland, the City of Sails, has it all—from oceans to volcanoes to city life. Though Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, it packs a lot into a small space, making it easy for students to get around and see the most of what New Zealand has to offer! Whether you crave outdoor adventures or want to go for some fantastic food and shopping downtown, Auckland is both urban and exotic, the best mix of study and play.

Featuring influences of the native Maori culture, Auckland is also the most multicultural city in the country, offering a variety of traditions and cuisine. With three national universities located in the city—University of Auckland, Massey University, and AUT University—Auckland is also a student-friendly city and popular study abroad destination. If you’re considering Auckland for your time studying abroad, here are some tips, sites, and things to consider.

Photo credits: xiquinhosilva.

With such a variety of landscapes present within one city, Auckland often captivates simply with its natural beauty, drawing students to the city’s popular outdoor spaces.

Climb any of the old volcanic mounts, many of which are former Maori fortresses, called pa. One Tree Hill (which, in fact, has more than one tree and plenty of sheep!) is a popular one, offering plenty to do and see in Cornwall Park and a 360-degree view of the city from the top. North Head is another with great views, plus 19th century war tunnels to explore!

Water and adventure sports are also a huge attraction, and the options are countless—from zip-lining on Waiheke Island to surfing at Piha to jet boating on the harbor! Plenty of companies offer these activities and more, but look out for any student discounts and consider getting a StudentCard for more possible student deals. Or just go hang out on any of the coasts beautiful beaches or hike some bushwalk paths!

As New Zealand has a subtropical climate, the weather can be quite changeable! But no worries, there is still plenty to do and see when the weather is spotty or if you’re just not the outdoorsy, ready-to-bungee-jump type.

If you’re into museums, the Auckland Art Gallery is newly renovated and a work of art in itself, with important work from all over the world as well as the best of local art. If you want more about NZ, the Auckland Museum also features an impressive array of Pacific Island and Maori art and artifacts, all within the huge columned building in Auckland’s green Domain. The Auckland Zoo, Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium, and Auckland Botanic Gardens are some other great places to spend a weekend afternoon.

For excellent food, shopping, and nightlife, checkout the Viaduct or the Britomart Precinct (home to the City Farmers Market). And of course don’t miss the Sky Tower, where you can dine with a rotating view of the city from 328 meters in the air!


TThe currency used in Auckland is the New Zealand Dollar. As with any foreign currency, it takes some getting used to the different colors and sizes of the notes and coins. While the exchange rate is in your favor when converting from US dollars, Auckland is no exception to more expensive city prices. Clothing and other products may be more expensive than you’re used to in the United States, so it’s important to be wise with a budget. New Zealand’s StudentCard is one way to look out for money-saving deals.

Insider Tips

Though studying and traveling in New Zealand can be the best adventure of your life, it’s important to be prepared for what it’s really like to live there before you go.

  • Visas: Most study abroad students will need to obtain a student visa for full-time study at a university or study abroad program in Auckland. You can find out more about the process of applying for a New Zealand visa here.
  • Hemisphere switch: Without stating the obvious, New Zealand is a great distance from home! In addition to planning for the long flights and jetlag that come with traveling to a country on the opposite side of the world, you also have to keep in mind that you’ll be in the Southern Hemisphere, where the Kiwis have barbecues on Christmas and bundle up in July (though winters are pretty mild)!
  • Transportation: There are plenty of public transportation options to get around Auckland. Walking is very popular with New Zealanders, as well as cycling, but if you’re not living close enough to where you go to class, you can always take a bus from any part of the city. Trains also run regularly to and from the suburbs. Check out for more information and timetables.
To Conclude

So you’re already sold on adventuring in Auckland, right? Then the only thing to do is decide how you want to study there. Check out our firsthand reviews of Auckland study abroad programs to figure out what is right for you. You can also check out for more resources on studying and living in Auckland.

With its student-friendly hangouts, city life, and beautiful scenery, Auckland is the ultimate place to study and get out and explore!

Written by Ariana Lisefski

Study Abroad Programs in Auckland

Displaying 1 - 15 of 22 programs
IES Abroad
IES Abroad Auckland Direct Enrollment – University of Auckland
New Zealand
9.64 •14 reviews

Spend your semester abroad in Auckland, delving into Maori culture...

Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)
IFSA: Study Abroad Programs in New Zealand
New Zealand
9.1 •21 reviews

Top-notch academics meet exquisite natural beauty and Maori culture in...

New Zealand: Undergraduate and Graduate Courses
New Zealand
9.67 •6 reviews

This program offers the opportunity to enroll in a wide range of...

ISA (International Studies Abroad)
ISA Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand
9.43 •7 reviews

Come to Auckland, New Zealand for an amazing study abroad opportunity...

231 reviews
AUT University
Study Abroad at AUT University in New Zealand
New Zealand
9.19 •231 reviews

AUT University is the second largest University in New Zealand and is...

Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)
IFSA: University of Auckland Partnership
New Zealand
8.5 •2 reviews

Located in the geographical and economical heart of New Zealand's...

Arcadia Abroad
Arcadia University- University of Auckland
New Zealand
9 •3 reviews

Be a part of a vibrant city of 1.4 million and an urban campus to...

Unitec Institute of Technology
Study Abroad in Auckland with Unitec
New Zealand
9 •21 reviews

Come and study at NZ’s largest Institute of Technology where we are...

Massey University
Massey University Study Abroad Programs
New Zealand
8.87 •15 reviews

Massey University offers a wide range of study options at three major...

API Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand

Located on the northwestern tip of the North Island, Auckland...

262 reviews
The University of Auckland
Study Abroad at the University of Auckland, NZ
New Zealand
8.58 •262 reviews

Combine an unforgettable travel experience with studying at a top-100...

The Education Abroad Network
TEAN: Study Abroad in Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand
9.94 •18 reviews

TEAN's partnerships with two leading Auckland universities provide an...

The University of Auckland
University of Auckland: Screen Production Course
New Zealand
10 •8 reviews

Structured around a practical production process based on professional...

The University of Auckland
Graduate Studies Programs at University of Auckland
New Zealand
9.17 •6 reviews

The University of Auckland offers an extensive range of postgraduate...

IES Abroad
IES Abroad Auckland Summer Direct Enrollment – University of Auckland Film Production
New Zealand

You will directly enroll in the University of Auckland's four-week...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to study abroad in New Zealand?

    Tuition costs will vary by institution and by direct enrollment versus third-party provider. Directly enrolling in a university will be the cheaper option, running you $8,000-$13,000 for the semester. Going through a provider might cost $13,000-$18,000 for the semester. But keep in the mind the other costs associated with studying abroad: meals, rent, cell phone, transportation, etc. Expect to spend $3,000-$4,500 for a semester after airfare and program fees.

  • Is New Zealand a good place to study abroad?

    New Zealand is a fantastic choice for a semester abroad. It's known for beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, and world-class universities. There are lots of opportunities to go on adventures either within New Zealand or in nearby Australia.

  • Do I need a visa to study abroad in New Zealand?

    You'll only need a student visa for New Zealand if you'll be studying full time and if the course is longer than 3 months.

What People Are Saying

I liked Massey University. Given that New Zealand is small, it’s a big school. The actual management was not good. It was extremely difficult to sign up for classes because they did not help. I liked...

A picture of Arrowtown, New Zealand

International students are welcomed by Massey University. The registry process is smoothful and the classes are interactive and interesting. Preparations for final exams are not stressful at all...

The Mid-Autumn Festival on Massey campus

For me studying abroad was always a dream of mine and I was always tied to going to New Zealand. I didn’t put a lot of effort into finding a school here other than what my home university offered and...

On top of Rangitoto Island over looking Auckland Central

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