How much does it cost live and study in Wellington?

Wellington is considered one of the more affordable international cities to live and study

Student life in Wellington

In the 2019 Mercer Cost of Living Study, Wellington was ranked 114th in the world for cost of living – comparably affordable compared to major student cities in Australia and beyond. But to help you make sure your managing your money well when you move, there are few things to consider.

Mt Victoria houses
Coffee cafe stock pouring milk into coffee
Library ladder bookshelf

The big-ticket items

Paying for your study will be one of your biggest bills during your time here in Wellington. The university or education provider you enrol with will give you an idea of course costs, including if there are any increases in fees. You will also need to think about needing to buy other study-related costs including textbooks, lab equipment, stationery or any other specialist equipment you might need.

Rent in Wellington varies depending on the type of room you rent and where in the city or region you choose to live. There are a wide range of accommodation options for students including university-run student halls, inner-city apartments, townhouses tucked away in quiet coastal suburbs, or even options to board with New Zealand families. There are great options available for all budgets.

The essentials

Life in Wellington requires the same essentials as life anywhere else. You’re going to need food, power, internet, a phone plan and transport options. Luckily in Wellington being a student means you can get great everyday deals.

Wellington has student fares on buses, trains and ferries and our compact city means that on a nice day you can walk to and from your destination, usually within 30 minutes. At the start of every year, power and phone companies, banks and other businesses offer student deals so you can sign on to discounted plans for the whole year. As for food, Wellington has dozens of local fruit and vege markets where you can cut your food bill in half and cafes and restaurants will often offer student deals or discounts on coffee, beer and food.

Market egg plant sign
Switched On Bikes Oriental Bay boatsheds with two cyclists

The fun stuff

While occasionally you might want to fork out for a concert or movie ticket, Wellington is set up for students and has a lot of free, fun events and activities you can enjoy.

Our national museum Te Papa and the City Gallery in Wellington are both free entry for visitors. Take advantage of the hundreds of bike and walking trails in the city and wider region or spend sunny afternoons along the Wellington Waterfront.

When you do want to head to a ticketed show, there will often be a discounted student ticket available as long as you bring along your Student ID card to the event.

For free budgeting tips and advice visit It is a safe website where you can find money tools and resources that you can trust.

students shopping iko iko smiling credit grace gemuhluoglu

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