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24 August 2023

8 minutes read

Cost of Studying Medicine in New Zealand for Indian Students: A Comprehensive Guide

Dirghayu Kaushik

Dirghayu Kaushik


Founder & CEO

24 August 2023

8 minutes read

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Have you ever contemplated the idea of acquiring an MBBS degree amidst the picturesque landscapes of New Zealand? As an Indian student, it’s not just the beauty of the Kiwi nation that attracts me but its stellar educational standards. Here’s everything you need to know.

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Why New Zealand?

New Zealand, beyond its breathtaking scenery, boasts a harmonious multicultural society that offers safety and security for international students. Coupled with its world-class infrastructure and state-of-the-art teaching facilities, New Zealand has become an undeniable choice for pursuing MBBS.

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Top Universities in New Zealand for MBBS

The University of Otago stands as a monument of academic excellence, with its history dating back to the 19th century. Renowned for its comprehensive curriculum and cutting-edge research, it offers one of the best MBBS programs.

RankUniversityMBBS ProgramLocationOverview
1University of OtagoBachelor of MedicineDunedinRenowned medical program with emphasis on practical skills and clinical experience.
2University of AucklandBachelor of MedicineAucklandPrestigious medical program known for cutting-edge research and comprehensive training.
3University of OtagoBachelor of MedicineChristchurchOffers a unique medical curriculum with strong focus on community health and rural medicine.
4University of OtagoBachelor of MedicineWellingtonIntegrated medical program with a clinical focus and opportunities for hands-on learning.

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Eligibility Criteria

The basic academic requirement remains a higher secondary certificate in biology, physics, and chemistry. However, English proficiency, demonstrated through IELTS or TOEFL scores, is also paramount. For Indian students, cracking NEET is an added prerequisite.

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MBBS Colleges in New Zealand

Beyond the flagship universities, several other institutions offer top-tier MBBS programs. These colleges, like the Auckland Medical School, not only provide excellent education but also ensure that students enjoy a vibrant campus life, complete with modern facilities and diverse student communities.

Tuition Fees

An in-depth look at the fees reveals an annual range from NZD 70,000 to NZD 80,000. When compared to countries like the USA or UK, New Zealand offers a competitive rate, especially given its high educational standards. Additional expenses, such as laboratory fees and books, need separate allocation.

Cost of Living in New Zealand

Diving into living expenses, student accommodations vary from university hostels to private apartments, with costs ranging between NZD 10,000 to NZD 15,000 annually. Adding to this, daily expenses, including food, transportation, and entertainment, can account for another NZD 7,000 to NZD 10,000 annually.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For those concerned about expenses, there’s good news. Institutions like the University of Otago offer scholarships for meritorious international students. The eligibility and application process might vary, but these scholarships significantly reduce financial burdens.

Recognition and Validity

An MBBS degree from New Zealand enjoys global acceptance. For Indian aspirants, the recognition by the Medical Council of India simplifies the process of returning and practicing in India.

Career Opportunities

Upon graduation, multiple doors open. Whether it’s practicing medicine in reputed New Zealand hospitals, further specialization, or returning to India, the opportunities are vast. Additionally, New Zealand’s post-study work visa is an added advantage, allowing graduates to gain work experience in their field.

  1. Medical Practitioner:
    • The most common path is to become a medical doctor, providing healthcare services in hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
    • You can choose to specialize in areas like general practice, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology.
  2. Specialist Doctor:
    • After gaining experience, you can pursue specialization in a specific field, such as cardiology, neurology, oncology, or orthopedics.
    • Specialist doctors are in demand and command higher salaries due to their expertise.
  3. Medical Research:
    • If you’re interested in advancing medical knowledge, you can engage in research, contributing to medical breakthroughs and innovations.
    • Research roles are available in universities, research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies.
  4. Teaching and Academia:
    • Many MBBS graduates choose to teach medical students, sharing their expertise as professors or clinical educators in medical schools.
  5. Hospital Administration:
    • Hospitals and healthcare organizations require administrators to manage operations, finances, and strategic planning.
  6. Public Health Officer:
    • Public health officers work on preventing diseases, promoting health awareness, and designing public health programs.
  7. Clinical Trials:
    • With the growth of clinical trials, you can work as a clinical research associate, managing trials and ensuring patient safety.
  8. Telemedicine and E-Health:
    • Technological advancements have led to opportunities in telemedicine, offering medical consultations remotely.
  9. Medical Writing and Journalism:
    • If you have strong communication skills, you can write medical articles, contribute to medical journals, or work in health journalism.
  10. Medical Consulting:
    • Offer expert advice to individuals, organizations, or legal cases as a medical consultant.
  11. Global Health Opportunities:
    • Engage in international healthcare initiatives, medical missions, or work with NGOs to provide medical aid in underserved areas.
  12. Entrepreneurship:
    • Start your medical practice, clinic, or healthcare-related business, focusing on innovative solutions or specialized services.
  13. Locum Tenens:
    • Provide temporary medical services in various locations, allowing flexibility and exposure to different healthcare settings.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Every opportunity comes with its own set of challenges. As an Indian student in New Zealand, adjusting to a new culture can be daunting. Homesickness is another hurdle. To combat this, engage with local community events, join student associations, and make use of the university’s counseling services. Another challenge, academic pressure, is universal. Here, the focus should be on availing academic support services and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Clinical Training and Internships

Pursuing an MBBS is not just about textbooks. It’s the real-world exposure that shapes a doctor. In New Zealand, students benefit from affiliations with top-tier hospitals, ensuring practical experience. There’s also an emphasis on rural medical postings, giving students a holistic view of medicine.

The New Zealand Experience

Studying in New Zealand offers more than just an academic degree. It’s an immersion into the Maori culture, a chance to explore the country’s vast landscapes, and an opportunity to embrace the laid-back Kiwi lifestyle. Weekends can be spent hiking, visiting local museums, or simply enjoying a rugby match.

Post-graduation Pathways

After securing that coveted MBBS degree, what next? New Zealand offers various specializations in medicine, allowing students to hone their skills further. There are also ample research opportunities and options for higher studies. Whether you aim to be a cardiologist or delve into medical research, the avenues are endless.

Networking and Building Connections

Building a network is crucial in medicine. Engaging with alumni associations, attending medical conferences, and joining medical associations can significantly boost career prospects. These networks can also offer guidance, and mentorship, and can open doors to job opportunities in New Zealand and beyond.

Life After MBBS in New Zealand

Graduating with an MBBS from New Zealand can open a plethora of opportunities. For those looking to settle in the scenic country, there are pathways for permanent residency, especially if one opts to work in New Zealand for a few years.

However, if you’re eyeing to return to India, the MBBS degree from New Zealand is recognized by the Medical Council of India, enabling you to practice medicine in India. Further, for the academically inclined, New Zealand offers numerous avenues for postgraduate research and studies in the medical field.

Opportunities for Scholarships

Understanding the financial challenges international students often face, New Zealand offers a variety of scholarships. These range from government-sponsored ones, and university-specific scholarships, to even those tailored specifically for Indian students. So, while the initial cost might seem hefty, with the right scholarship, your medical journey in New Zealand can become significantly affordable.

Evaluating the Return on Investment

Investing in education, especially an MBBS degree from abroad, is significant. But what does this investment yield? In terms of career opportunities, a degree from New Zealand is highly regarded worldwide.

Whether you choose to work in New Zealand, India, or any other country, the chances of securing a lucrative job are high. Coupled with the personal growth one achieves by studying abroad, the return on investment, both tangibly and intangibly, is commendable.

Adapting to New Zealand’s Culture and Environment

Moving to New Zealand means more than just academic challenges. It’s a dive into the deep end of a new culture. A significant aspect is understanding and respecting the Maori heritage, which forms the cornerstone of New Zealand’s cultural identity.

Then, there’s the ‘Kiwi’ way of life – a relaxed approach to life, a profound love for outdoor activities, and a deeply embedded community spirit. Engaging with local communities, participating in traditional ceremonies, or even just understanding the local customs can enrich the study experience manifold.

Working Part-Time While Studying

While the MBBS curriculum is demanding, international students often seek part-time employment to manage expenses. Fortunately, New Zealand offers plenty of part-time job opportunities for students. Whether it’s in the hospitality sector, retail, or even on-campus jobs, students can earn while they learn.

But remember, while the extra cash is helpful, balancing work and rigorous studies is crucial. The upside, apart from financial independence, is the chance to immerse oneself in the local culture and develop soft skills beneficial in the long run.

Post-MBBS: Specialization Opportunities in New Zealand

After obtaining your MBBS, if you’re keen on specializing, New Zealand doesn’t disappoint. With medical specialties in high demand like surgery, pediatrics, or gynecology, students have a range of options to delve deeper.

Numerous universities and hospitals also offer research opportunities, allowing graduates to contribute to the ever-evolving field of medicine. Additionally, there are fellowships and training programs for those looking to sharpen their skills further, making New Zealand a comprehensive medical training hub.


Embarking on the path to study medicine is a momentous decision, and choosing the right destination can be daunting. New Zealand, with its world-class universities, cutting-edge medical facilities, and enriching cultural experiences, emerges as a top choice for many aspiring doctors.

From the academic rigor of the MBBS program to the opportunities that lie beyond, a medical journey in New Zealand promises a holistic experience. Financial considerations, while significant, can be managed with careful planning and the numerous scholarships on offer. All in all, for those looking at a comprehensive medical education, New Zealand beckons with open arms.


How long is the MBBS course in New Zealand?

It’s a 6-year program, inclusive of practical training.

Are there any entrance exams for MBBS in New Zealand?

Apart from NEET for Indian students, English proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL are required.

What’s the average salary of an MBBS graduate in New Zealand?

On average, MBBS graduates can earn between NZD 70,000 to NZD 100,000 initially, depending on the specialization and location.

Is it mandatory to return to India after completing an MBBS from New Zealand?

No, students can either continue further studies, work in New Zealand, or return to India or any other country of their choice.

Can I apply for a Permanent Residency in New Zealand after my MBBS?

Yes, after fulfilling certain criteria, including specific years of work experience, you can apply for PR.

Is the MBBS degree from New Zealand recognized worldwide?

Yes, the degree is globally recognized and is especially acknowledged by medical councils in numerous countries, including India.

Are there opportunities for postgraduate medical studies in New Zealand?

Absolutely! New Zealand boasts several specialized postgraduate medical courses that students can pursue after their MBBS.

How safe is New Zealand for international students?

New Zealand is renowned for being one of the safest countries globally. Its cities regularly rank high in global safety and livability indices.

Can I work part-time while studying MBBS in New Zealand?

International students are generally allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during academic sessions and full-time during vacations.

Is there an opportunity to interact with the local Maori communities during the MBBS course?

Many universities incorporate Maori health practices into their curriculum and encourage interaction with the local communities for a richer understanding of holistic healthcare.

How do I adapt to the cultural nuances of New Zealand?

Engaging with local communities, attending cultural workshops, and participating in university orientation programs can aid in understanding and adapting to New Zealand’s unique cultural nuances.

Can international students join medical societies or clubs in universities?

Absolutely! Medical societies or clubs in universities welcome international students and often organize events, workshops, and seminars that can be beneficial.

Are there any language barriers to studying in New Zealand?

While courses are taught in English, understanding the local slang and nuances can take some time. However, Kiwis are friendly, and there are numerous language workshops to assist students.

How receptive are New Zealanders towards international students?

New Zealanders, or “Kiwis”, are known for their hospitality and are very welcoming towards international students, often going out of their way to help them adjust.

What post-graduation opportunities are available for medical students in New Zealand?

Post-graduation, students can delve into specializations, engage in research, opt for fellowships, or even explore job opportunities in New Zealand’s healthcare system.

What are the chances of getting a residency in a New Zealand hospital after MBBS?

Many graduates secure residencies in New Zealand hospitals. The demand for healthcare professionals ensures that well-qualified individuals find positions relatively easily.

Are there specific scholarships for women or underrepresented groups?

Yes, New Zealand universities often offer scholarships aimed at promoting diversity, including those for women and underrepresented groups.

How does the New Zealand MBBS curriculum compare with that of India?

While the foundational medical knowledge remains consistent worldwide, the MBBS curriculum in New Zealand places a significant emphasis on clinical exposure, research, and understanding the Maori approach to healthcare.

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