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Paying Fees and the Cost of Living

Students celebrating

Payment of Tuition Fees

Information about International tuition fees at the University of Otago.

The Cost of Living

In order to live comfortably while you are in Dunedin, you will need to have about $NZ15,000-17,000 per academic year (40 weeks) available for living costs, above the cost of your tuition. You will need to budget more than this if you are planning to stay for a calendar year.

Some students will stay in a University College of Residence. In 2016 the typical cost for a catered Residential College is NZ$13,794.00.  Many students will stay in a flat and will share the cost of living together with other students. 

Estimated costs of flatting per person for a flat of 4-5 people (based on 40 weeks)
Rent at $105-145 per week (for a flat of good/average condition in the University area, rental for 52 weeks) $5,460 - $7,540
Groceries at $70 per week $2,800
Electricity/Gas, internet at $30 per week $1,200
Total cost of flatting $9,460 - $11,540

Additional Costs

Other living costs students may/will incur include:

Dunedin rental properties are generally let for 52 weeks.Extra money is needed at the start of the year for refundable bonds on flat, power, and telephone. This average rent includes furnished and unfurnished flats.

Unfurnished generally includes the whiteware – fridge/freezer, washing machine.

Students may need to include the purchase of furniture, bedding, and flat equipment in their budget.

OUSA offers an advisory service to help with budgets and flatting costs. Further information on flatting and the availability of flats for rent is available on the accommodation section of this website.

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Currency and Banking

Local currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZD). There are 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 coins, and $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.

Information regarding the current foreign exchange rate of the New Zealand dollar against your currency can be found at:

It is important to note that you should have some New Zealand cash for immediate costs (eg airport costs or transport). You may need further funds in the form of travellers cheques which can be readily cashed. There are foreign exchange offices at the international terminals of each New Zealand airport.

We strongly recommend that while in New Zealand you do not carry large amounts of cash around with you or leave cash in your room.

We suggest opening a bank account as soon as possible after arrival.

There are a number of banks with branches around the campus area including:

Automatic teller machines can dispense cash 24 hours a day. You can also purchase goods using EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) at nearly all retailers.

Any major amounts of money may be sent in the form of a bank draft, but electronic transfers are, in most cases, the most efficient method of sending funds to New Zealand.

Overseas cheques are sometimes difficult to clear and are not recommended.

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Goods and Services Tax (GST)

All costs in New Zealand have 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST) added. By law, the prices displayed must include the GST content.

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Tipping is not normally the custom in New Zealand airports, taxis, hotels or restaurants.