Language courses in New Zealand can be combined with the exploration of the Maori tribe’s treasures or walks around the famous hobbit settlement. It is a very beautiful country with a unique culture and picturesque nature. Moreover, according to the EIU report, Auckland offers the most comfortable living conditions in the world[1]. At the same time, New Zealand is distinguished by democratic prices — the cost of English courses here is lower than in the United States and Great Britain.

Advantages of language courses in New Zealand

  • Common English. Standard English is taught in language schools in accordance with generally accepted norms.
  • Course costs. The average weekly cost of language courses in New Zealand is 312 USD. For comparison, a week of English courses will average at 450 USD in the US and 462 USD in the UK.
  • Work opportunities. Student visa holders can work up to 20 hours per week in New Zealand during the academic year, and 40 hours during holidays. The average salary in New Zealand is 17 USD per hour[2]. Additional part-time work will help cover the cost of studying and living in the country, as well as gain work experience that will be useful for further immigration.
  • Variety of schools and programs. There are about 200 language courses at 20 major language schools[3]. In addition to general English, there are separate programs for international exam preparation and university admission, along with professional courses for businessmen, lawyers, doctors, and future teachers. Schools are located both in large cities and small, scenic villages.
  • Mild climate. New Zealand is a country with a warm, subtropical climate. It is characterized by comfortable summers and cool, rainy winters. The average temperature is 20°C in the summer and 12°C in the winter.

Disadvantages of language courses in New Zealand

  • Visa processing. New Zealand has a strict visa policy. The list of documents includes a resume, medical examination results, and a non-conviction certificate. Moreover, they need to be translated into English and notarized. The term of consideration for a student visa application is from 1 to 3 months.
  • Accents. In New Zealand, as in Australia, locals speak with a pronounced accent. The dialect differs from generally accepted standards in grammar, vocabulary, and spelling. An international student may face difficulty in understanding verbal speech.

Cost of English courses in New Zealand

SchoolProgramWeeksTuition fee/weekCitiesHomestayResidence
LSIAfternoon 10*1-11115-118 USD

Auckland

142-183 USD/week173 USD/week
General 20*1-15220-226 USD
Intensive 24*1+223-257 USD
Evening Intensive 24*
Intensive 30*

257-288 USD

English for Business 30*
IELTS /TOEFL / TOEIC
Pathway 25*

12+

Academic English 25*
English for Law

8

257 USD

Medical English
English for Aviation 20+*12536 USD
English for Teaching 20+*
9 Day Compact-5,079-5,699 USD/course
One-to-One Lessons12,100NZD/lesson

NZLC

General 20*1-52248-260 USDAuckland, Wellington186-223 USD214 USD
IELTS 20*6-48
Business English 20*6
General English/High School Preparation 20*1-52260-273 USD
English+Activities 28*1-5365 USD
Cambridge Exam Preparation FCE 20*

9-12

248-260 USD
Cambridge Exam Preparation CAE 20*
English Teacher Training TESOL 20*61,673 USD/course
English Teacher Training TECSOL 20*
English Training CELTA 24*52,106 USD/course
Evening 20*1-52248-260 USD
Part-time General English 7.5*1-26112 USD
Part-time IELTS 7.5*6-24
Part-time General English 10*1-26149 USD
Part-time IELTS 10*6-24
Part-time General English 12.5*1-26180 USD
Part-time IELTS 12.5*6-24

* number of lessons per week

Types of language courses in New Zealand

Type of programIntensityGroupMin. language levelAvg. cost per week
General English2010-15Beginner242 USD
Intensive English25-308-10Beginner248 USD
English for Business24-308-10Intermediate276 USD
Academic English25-308-10Intermediate279 USD
English for Specific Purposes20-308-10Intermediate558 USD/lesson
Pathway258-10Intermediate279 USD
TOEFL / TOEIC / IELTS Preparation20-308-12Intermediate279 USD
Cambridge FCE / CAE20-308-12Intermediate/Advanced266 USD
Teacher Training (TESOL / TECSOL)20-3010-15Upper-Intermediate1,858 USD/lesson
General English / High School Preparation2510-15Beginner266 USD
English+Activities25-308-16Beginner365 USD
One-to-One LessonIndividual1Beginner62 USD/lesson

There are several options for learning English in New Zealand. During language courses, students study grammar and vocabulary, master reading and writing skills, and communicate with each other for conversational practice. Often, programs can be combined with each other. For example, Exam Preparation can be taken along with Academic English, and English + Activities can be taken in addition to General English.

  • General English and Intensive English. General English programs that differ in intensity and duration — from 1 to 52 weeks. Available for any language level. Also, general courses can be taken part-time — in the morning or afternoon.
  • English for Business. Specialized Business English courses focus on speaking skills, listening comprehension, and communication practice. They consist of modules with specific vocabulary for certain business areas.
  • English for Specific Purposes — English for doctors, lawyers, and pilots. These programs consist of 20 hours of General English and 5-10 private lessons. Duration — up to 8 weeks. The minimum required language level is Intermediate.
  • Academic English prepares students for studies at English-speaking universities. Such courses last from 12 weeks to a full academic year. The minimum required language level is Intermediate.
  • Exam Preparation — language exam preparation courses: IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge exams. The curriculum consists of a General English course and a practical module, where students analyze and solve real tests. Duration — from 1 week to a semester or year (if combined with Academic English).
  • Teacher Training — practical courses for English teachers. In the classroom, they thoroughly study the language and teaching methods. Courses last an average of 5-6 weeks, at the end of which students receive international TESOL, TECSOL, and CELTA certificates. The minimum level of language proficiency is Intermediate for TESOL and Advanced for CELTA.
  • High School Preparation. Special programs for teenagers aged 13-17, aimed at preparing for high school education. Not only are educational materials used during classes, but also interactive games, English-language literature, and authentic press. Available for any language level. Duration — from 1 to 56 weeks, depending on the initial language level.
  • One-to-One Lessons — individual lessons. Students can independently choose the duration and intensity of their classes (from 5 to 50 hours per week).

Summer programs

New Zealand language schools offer summer programs for teenagers aged 13-17. One of them is English+Activities. It combines English lessons and extracurricular activities: sports, workshops, and sightseeing tours. Courses last from 1 to 5 weeks and are available for all language levels.

New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere. Summer begins in December, which is when such programs take place. That being said, there are also traditional June courses.

Pathway programs

Preparatory Pathway programs are available at both university centers and private schools. They are aimed at preparing students for university studies and improving the language to pass entrance requirements.

The minimum required language level is Intermediate. In addition to English classes, these courses teach students how to write motivation letters, help with choosing a university, and advise on admission and future careers. Students also acquire the skills of critical thinking, self-presentation, and academic debate. After completing the program, students can enter the 1st year of university. Partner universities recognize language school exams as equivalent to their entrance tests, so students do not need to additionally confirm their language level.

Foundation programs are also available at New Zealand language schools. In addition to English, the disciplines of the student’s chosen specialty are studied. Enrollment in such courses takes place in January. Studies usually last from six months to a year.

University courses in New Zealand

University courses offer general, applied, and academic English programs, as well as IELTS preparation. They last 17 weeks on average (including summer weeks). In the classroom, students prepare for the language proficiency entrance exams required for admission to higher education programs.

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Features of admission to New Zealand language schools

Private language schools in New Zealand enroll students all throughout the year. Courses for Beginners start 1-4 times a month, and classes for students with an Elementary level and above — every Monday. Pathway programs begin in January, April, and September. One-year preparatory programs at universities — in February and July. Check the exact start dates of the courses on the official websites of language schools and universities.

Some courses in New Zealand have minimum language requirements. Typically, this is the Intermediate level.

To enroll in a New Zealand language school, you must:

  • Select the appropriate course and accommodation option for the duration of your studies
  • Apply to the language school (you can do it online by filling out the form on the official website)
  • Pay the necessary fees (registration and tuition fees, accommodation, study materials, etc.)
  • Receive an invitation from the language school and attach it to the documents for a visa

For admission to Pathway and Foundation programs, you need certificates confirming your language level and documents on previous education (a diploma or certificate).

The next stage of admission is the visa process. The consulate considers the application within 20-30 days from the date of submission. Before that, you need to have enough time to collect all of the necessary documents, translating and certifying them with a notary. Therefore, it is better to apply for a visa in advance.

Upon admission, you also need to pay special attention to the contract clauses that relate to the conditions for monetary returns. Some language schools, in case of cancellation or rescheduling on behalf of the student, withhold only the registration fee. Others withhold part of the program cost.

Learning process in New Zealand language courses

On the first day of classes, students take a language level test. According to the results, they are divided into the right groups.

Courses at New Zealand universities are aimed at preparing students for undergraduate and graduate programs. They are held in the format of lectures and seminars.

Lessons at private language schools are more variable — students can take special courses for business, study with an individual teacher, or receive practical teacher training. Also, language schools organize leisure activities for their students. Students hike in nature, play team sports, rock climb, windsurf, ride horses, and go rafting. In addition, they attend excursions to popular attractions in Auckland and Wellington, visit the cinema and theater, and go to the filming locations of the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Accommodation options while studying in New Zealand

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomAvg. cost per week
Host familyOptional1-2186 USD
Student residenceArranged by the student1-2173 USD
ApartmentArranged by the student1-3248 USD
HotelOptional1-2186 USD/day

Visa for language courses in New Zealand

For short-term courses in New Zealand lasting up to 3 months, a foreign student needs to apply for a visitor visa.

Documents for a New Zealand visitor visa:

  • Printed and completed INZ 1017 form
  • Passport valid for 3 months upon return
  • Copies of active passport pages
  • Visa fee payment confirmation
  • 2 color photographs pasted into the INZ 1017 form
  • Proof of enrollment at a New Zealand language school
  • Return tickets or booking confirmation
  • Proof of financial solvency at the rate of 619 USD/month or 248 USD/month if the student has already paid for accommodation

Consideration of a visitor visa application takes over 20 working days.

If you plan to study for more than 3 months, you must obtain a student visa.

Documents for New Zealand student visa:

  • Completed INZ 1012 form
  • Valid passport
  • Visa fee payment confirmation
  • 2 photos
  • Medical certificate or chest x-ray
  • Certificate of non-conviction
  • Medical insurance for the entire period of study
  • Proof of financial solvency at the rate of 774 USD/month or 9,292 USD/year for long-term programs
  • Accommodation booking confirmation (proof of payment for housing in a host family or student residence, which can be requested from the school)
  • Return tickets or booking confirmation
  • Language school invitation letter with a seal of the organization (should contain information about the school, curriculum, and course duration)
  • Proof of course payment

You may also be required to provide language exam certificates and/or other evidence of previous education.

You can apply for a visa and fill out the INZ 1017 and INZ 1012 forms online through VFS Global. There, you can also pay for the visa fee and make an appointment at the nearest branch, where you need to provide a package of documents with notarized translations.

The term for issuing a student visa is about 30 working days, but in some cases it can take 2-3 months. It is advisable to start collecting documents as early as possible.

Working while taking a language course in New Zealand

A visitor visa does not allow you to work. Violation of the ban leads to a fine and deportation. Moreover, you will most likely be refused a visa in the future.
Holders of a student visa can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours during holidays. Moreover, language schools help their students with employment: they hold career guidance events and workshops, give advice on writing resumes for local companies, and help prepare for an interview in English.

Also, schools have Work and Study programs where, in addition to learning the language, you can earn extra money, do internships at local companies, and participate in volunteer programs or Demi Pairs.

Additional expenses

ExpensesAvg. cost
Consular fee147 USD31 USD
Medical insurance93 USD/week
Registration fee138 USD
Accommodation164 USD
Study materials

50-62 USD

Delivery of an invitation by express mail71 USD
Airport transfer74 USD
Special menu19 USD/week
Extracurricular activities155 USD
Exams217 USD

Check school websites for additional costs.

Cost of UniPage services

Most popular language schools in New Zealand

LSI

LSI, an international network of English language schools, opened in 1965. It has branches in the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, France, Switzerland, and Malta.

English is taught in the following:

  • General and Intensive programs
  • Business English
  • Special courses for teachers, doctors, lawyers, and pilots
  • Academic English and Pathway programs
  • International language exam preparation
  • Individual lessons

The average cost of courses is 248 USD per week. After completing the Pathway program at LSI, students can enter one of the 150 partner universities, including UNITEC, Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Adelphi University.

Anyone over the age of 16 can attend the school. Moreover, the school has a special 40+ course for adult students, where in their free time they attend excursions and extracurricular activities.

NZLC

Schools of the New Zealand Language Centers organization are located in Auckland and Wellington. As part of one English course, students can study on both campuses. The school takes care of the expenses for the flight between cities.

At the center, you can take General and Business English courses, receive teacher training, prepare for international language exams, and enter a university through the Pathway program. For those who cannot devote 20-30 hours a week to classes, part-time lessons last an hour and a half in the morning and evening. The cost of such courses is 112 USD per week.

The school also has programs for teenagers aged 13-17: a General English course to prepare for studying in high school and an English+Activities summer program.

The average cost of the course is 254 USD per week, while the summer camp for teenagers will cost 365 USD per week.

Among the partners of the school are more than 20 universities in New Zealand, including Massey Business School and UNITEC.

ACG Education

The ACG Education network offers programs for all levels of education: from preschool to professional courses. There are 50 ACG branches in New Zealand, and there are also network schools in Vietnam and Indonesia.

In New Zealand, ACG colleges offer pre-primary, primary, secondary, Foundation, and university preparatory programs. The courses include 4-5 core subjects and Academic English classes.

The school maintains partnerships with the country's leading universities: the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, and the Queen Victoria University of Wellington. Upon completion of their studies at ACG, students can be enrolled at these universities without language exams.

The average cost of studies is 19,946 USD per year.

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Best cities to learn English in New Zealand

Auckland

Population1.5 million people
Expenses971 USD/month
AttractionsAuckland Art Gallery, Auckland Zoo, Kelly Tarltons Aquarium, Sky Tower, Port of Auckland, Cornwall Park
  • City of universities. Auckland is home to the leading universities in New Zealand, which are included in both national and international rankings of the best universities. Among them are the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Massey University, and UNITEC.
  • Career opportunities. Auckland has many job and internship opportunities for international students — Deloitte, PwC, IBM, and other large companies are located in the city. Auckland also has the second highest wages in the country — an average of 68,140 USD per year[4].
  • Cosmopolitan atmosphere. Auckland is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. Its population is 78% European, while the rest are Maori and people from Asian and Pacific countries. About 31% of the city residents were not born in New Zealand[5].
  • Unique nature. The city became the hallmark of the country with its bays, waterfalls, and picturesque mountain ranges.

Wellington

Population412 thousand people
Expenses878 USD/month
AttractionsTe Papa Tongarewa Museum, Dawes Museum, Pataca Museum of Art and Culture, Botanical Gardens, Wellington Zoo, Parliament House, St. Paul's Cathedral
  • New Zealand Hollywood. Wellington is home to the studio of Peter Jackson (the director of the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy), the New Zealand Paramount division, and the well-known Weta Digital visual effects studio. Avatar, MARVEL Cinematic Universe, The Hunger Games, and other famous movies were created here.
  • City of museums and galleries. Wellington has many diverse museums. The City Gallery and Kiwi Art House host exhibitions of New Zealand artists; the Pataka Museum is dedicated to the art of New Zealand's indigenous Maori people; and the Dawes Museum houses an extensive collection of contemporary art.
  • Tolkien tourism. After the release of The Lord of the Rings films based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel, so-called “Tolkien tourism” began to develop in New Zealand — trips to the filming locations. There are several locations in Wellington that have served as these locations. Among them are Mount Victoria, whose woodlands depicted Hobbiton Forest; the Hutt River, which played the role of Anduin; and Kaitoke Park, which was transformed on screen into Rivendell, the place where the Fellowship of the Ring was formed.
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