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31 October 2023

7 minutes read

How to Study Medicine in New Zealand: A Comprehensive Guide for Indian Students

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New Zealand has emerged as a sought-after destination for Indian students aspiring to pursue a career in medicine. With its world-class universities, high-quality education system, and stunning natural landscapes, New Zealand offers an excellent opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deeper into the steps to study medicine in New Zealand for Indian students, exploring everything from admission requirements to the cost of living.

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Why Choose New Zealand for Medical Studies?

1. World-renowned Universities

New Zealand’s reputation for academic excellence is upheld by prestigious institutions such as the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. These universities are globally recognized and provide an exceptional environment for medical education.

2. Indian Student-Friendly

New Zealand warmly welcomes Indian students. The inclusive atmosphere and support networks make it easier for Indian students to transition to a new academic environment, ensuring a smooth experience throughout their studies.

3. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

The MBBS program in New Zealand is highly regarded and equips students with the knowledge and skills required to become successful medical professionals. The curriculum is designed to meet international standards, providing a strong foundation for medical practice.

4. Competitive Study Abroad Destination

Studying medicine in New Zealand enhances career prospects and offers a global perspective. The country’s commitment to high-quality education and research makes it a competitive choice for international students.

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Steps to Study Medicine in New Zealand

Studying medicine in New Zealand is an exciting endeavor that requires careful planning and preparation. Below, we will outline the comprehensive steps you need to follow to successfully pursue your dream of studying medicine in this beautiful country:

1. Research and Choose a University

The first step in your journey is to research and select the university that best fits your academic and personal goals. New Zealand is home to several reputable institutions that offer MBBS programs, such as the University of Auckland and the University of Otago. Consider factors like location, curriculum, faculty, and university rankings when making your decision.

2. Understand the Entry Requirements

Each university may have slightly different admission requirements, so it’s crucial to thoroughly understand and meet them. Typically, you will need to have completed your 12th-grade education with a strong academic background in subjects like Biology and Chemistry.

Additionally, most universities require a competitive score in university clinical aptitude tests such as UCAT (University Clinical Aptitude Test) or BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test). Ensure that you fulfill all prerequisites to be eligible for admission.

3. Prepare Required Documents

Gather all the necessary documents for your university application. Commonly required documents include:

  • Academic transcripts and certificates
  • Letters of recommendation (academic or professional)
  • A well-crafted personal statement or statement of purpose
  • Proof of English language proficiency (usually through tests like IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • A valid passport

Make sure your documents are up-to-date and meet the university’s specific requirements.

4. Complete the Online Application

Most New Zealand universities have streamlined online application processes. Visit the university’s official website and navigate to the admissions section. Follow the instructions provided and complete the application form. Ensure that you submit all the required documents and pay any application fees.

5. Meet Application Deadlines

Keep track of application deadlines for your chosen university. Deadlines can vary between institutions and may differ for domestic and international applicants. Submit your application well in advance to avoid last-minute stress and complications.

6. Explore Scholarship Opportunities

New Zealand offers a range of scholarships for international students, including those pursuing medicine. Check the scholarship options available at your chosen university and through government programs. Scholarships can significantly reduce the financial burden of your education, so don’t miss out on these opportunities.

7. Await Admission Offers

After submitting your application, patiently await admission offers from the universities you applied to. This process may take some time, so stay informed about the university’s communication channels and regularly check your emails for updates.

8. Acceptance and Visa Application

Once you receive admission offers, carefully review them and make your final choice. Accept the offer from your preferred university and proceed to the next steps, which may include applying for a student visa. Ensure that you meet all visa requirements, including proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses during your stay in New Zealand.

9. Plan Your Finances

Studying abroad can be expensive, so it’s crucial to plan your finances carefully. Create a budget that accounts for tuition fees, accommodation, transportation, and living expenses. Explore options for part-time work to supplement your income while studying in New Zealand.

10. Prepare for Departure

As your departure date approaches, make necessary travel arrangements, such as booking flights and securing accommodation. Familiarize yourself with New Zealand’s culture, healthcare system, and climate to ensure a smooth transition.

11. Begin Your Journey

Finally, as you embark on your journey to study medicine in New Zealand, stay focused, dedicated, and open to new experiences. Embrace the opportunities for growth and learning that this beautiful country has to offer, both academically and personally.


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Living in New Zealand as a Medical Student

Once you have successfully secured admission to a medical program in New Zealand, it’s essential to understand how to adapt to life in this beautiful country.

Living in New Zealand as a medical student can be an enriching experience, but it also comes with its unique challenges. Let’s explore various aspects of life as a medical student in New Zealand.

Cost of Living

Understanding the cost of living is crucial for a smooth transition to New Zealand. While the country is known for its high quality of life, it’s essential to budget wisely to ensure your financial stability. Here are some key expenses to consider:


The cost of accommodation can vary significantly depending on your chosen city and housing preferences. Most students opt for shared accommodations or university hostels, which are more budget-friendly than renting an apartment on your own. On average, you can expect to pay between NZ$150 to NZ$250 per week for shared housing.


Cooking at home is an excellent way to save money on food expenses. Grocery shopping can be reasonably priced, and many supermarkets offer discounts for students. On average, a monthly grocery bill for a single student can range from NZ$200 to NZ$300.


Public transportation in New Zealand is efficient and reliable. Depending on your location and frequency of use, you may spend around NZ$40 to NZ$100 per month on transportation.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for international students in New Zealand. The cost of health insurance can vary, but it typically ranges from NZ$500 to NZ$1,000 per year, depending on the coverage.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Don’t forget to budget for other miscellaneous expenses, such as textbooks, study materials, and leisure activities. Setting aside around NZ$100 to NZ$200 per month for these expenses is a good practice.

Part-Time Work

International students in New Zealand are allowed to work part-time during their studies. This provides an excellent opportunity to offset some of your living expenses and gain valuable work experience. Here are some considerations for part-time work:

  • Work Hours: International students can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during scheduled breaks.
  • Job Options: Common part-time job options for students include roles in retail, hospitality, research assistant positions, and tutoring.
  • Work Rights: Ensure that you have the necessary work rights and a valid work visa before seeking employment.

Common Jobs

Many international students in New Zealand take on part-time jobs to support themselves financially. Some common job options include:

  • Barista: Working at a coffee shop as a barista is a popular choice among students, especially if you enjoy coffee culture.
  • Waiter/Waitress: Restaurants and cafes often hire students as waitstaff. This role provides opportunities to improve your communication skills.
  • Retail Associate: Working in retail stores allows you to interact with locals and gain customer service experience.
  • Research Assistant: If you have a strong academic background, consider applying for research assistant positions in your field of study.

Balancing Work and Study

While part-time work can be beneficial, it’s essential to strike a balance between work and study. Medical programs can be demanding, and your studies should remain your top priority. Create a manageable schedule that allows you to excel academically while earning income to support your living expenses.

Cultural Adaptation

Adapting to a new culture and environment is an integral part of studying abroad. New Zealand is known for its friendly and multicultural society, which can make the transition smoother. To adapt successfully:

  • Engage in cultural activities and festivals.
  • Join student clubs and organizations to meet people with similar interests.
  • Explore the local cuisine and try traditional New Zealand dishes.
  • Learn about the indigenous Maori culture and history.


New Zealand has a well-developed healthcare system, but it’s essential to have adequate health insurance coverage. As an international student, you are required to have health insurance, which will cover most of your medical expenses in case of illness or injury. Familiarize yourself with the local healthcare providers and facilities available near your university.

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Studying medicine in New Zealand offers Indian students an exciting and enriching experience. With its world-class education system, multicultural environment, and stunning landscapes, New Zealand is a destination where academic and personal growth thrive.

By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can make your dream of pursuing MBBS in New Zealand a reality and embark on a fulfilling journey toward becoming a doctor.

From entry requirements to scholarship opportunities and the cost of living, we’ve covered all the essential aspects to help you plan your medical education in this beautiful country.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I apply for an MBBS in New Zealand after completing my schooling in India?

Yes, Indian students who have completed their 12th grade with the necessary prerequisites can apply for MBBS programs in New Zealand.

Q2. Are there any scholarships available for Indian students pursuing MBBS in New Zealand?

Yes, many New Zealand universities offer scholarships specifically designed for international students, including those from India. These scholarships can significantly reduce the cost of education.

Q3. What is the duration of MBBS programs in New Zealand?

MBBS programs in New Zealand typically span six years, including clinical rotations and practical training.

Q4. Is there a medical council in New Zealand that recognizes international medical graduates?

Yes, the Medical Council of New Zealand recognizes international medical graduates, but candidates must meet specific requirements for registration and licensure.

Q5. Can I work as a doctor in New Zealand after completing my MBBS there?

After successfully completing your MBBS in New Zealand, you can apply for medical registration and work as a doctor in the country. However, additional requirements may need to be fulfilled, including examinations and supervised practice.

Q6. What is the cost of living in New Zealand for international medical students?

The cost of living in New Zealand can vary depending on your lifestyle and location. On average, students should budget between NZ$15,000 to NZ$20,000 per year for living expenses.

Q7. Are there opportunities for international medical students to earn scholarships in New Zealand?

Yes, international medical students may have access to scholarships offered by universities, government bodies, and private organizations in New Zealand. These scholarships can help alleviate the financial burden of studying medicine abroad.

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