Cost of Living
New Zealand is a value for money study destination.
Whether you're studying game design, animation, visual effects or another digital design discipline, New Zealand offers you unique opportunities to bring your creative ideas to life.
Build connections with industry leaders, such as the Oscar-winning filmmakers who made Lord of the Rings, Shrek and Avatar. Gain real-world experience in vibrant design communities and showcase your work in shows, galleries and competitions.
With three universities in the 2015 top 100 QS World University Rankings for art and design, the New Zealand education system sets you up to meet the demands of the rapidly-changing global design industry.
Digital design students work in close-knit, high-performing teams while they're studying, just like they would in the workplace. But it's not all work - there's also time to explore New Zealand and discover the extraordinary landscapes captured in filmmaker Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
New Zealand is a land of outdoor sports, wilderness adventures and incredible travel experiences, but we also have cosmopolitan cities with great restaurants, music, arts and shopping. You'll be given a warm welcome in our safe, multicultural and friendly communities.
Working while studying can be a good way to gain New Zealand work experience and help support you while you’re studying abroad.
Student visa holders may be able to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during scheduled holidays, depending on their programme of study. Masters by research or PhD students may work full-time throughout their studies.
You can study up to three consecutive programmes over five years on a single Pathway Student Visa.
Find out more about working while studying on Immigration New Zealand’s Study + Work website.
Digital design students work collaboratively on group projects under expert leadership. They also network with world-leading innovators - people that students wouldn't usually get the chance to meet.
Study digital design in New Zealand and you'll gain skills, qualifications and experience that will make you in demand on the global job market. You'll also have the capability skills - such as English language proficiency, leadership, communications, creative thinking and problem-solving - graduates need to stay at the top of the fast-moving design industry.
Aiden Jaeyun Lee chose to move to New Zealand from South Korea to study for two reasons: because he’d heard Auckland was a safe city to live in, and because he was fascinated by the country’s global reputation for its creative and digital industries.
During his time studying creative technologies at Media Design School, Aiden developed a strong friendship with his lecturer, Matt Stevens, who constantly encouraged him to try new things.
A highlight of the course was collaborating with Bachelor of Communications students from Unitec to create a website highlighting stories of unknown soldiers who fought in the First World War.
Aiden particularly valued the time he and his classmates spent discussing their final projects.
“We touched on topics including user interface, web and mobile programming and new technologies. It helped us to improve our problem solving abilities and increase our self-motivation.”
Aiden is now a front-end developer for Flipmind, a web and mobile app development company, where he is able to explore his passion for the internet and enjoy Auckland’s “ocean-friendly lifestyle”.
Graduate Diploma in Creative Technologies, Media Design School
Deep Chahal’s studies in New Zealand have set him on the path to achieving his dream - directing his own movie.
Deep moved to New Zealand from India to study graphic design at ACG Yoobee, but as his English wasn’t yet at the required level his tutors suggested he sign up for an animation and digital video course instead.
“Once I began learning 3D software, I discovered I was pretty good at creating stuff. I realised that was the direction I should be taking,” he says.
Deep did so well in his studies that he won both the best technical artist award and the best overall award at his graduation.
“I learned so many valuable things at ACG Yoobee,” he says.
“I developed skills using different software, such as Maya, Zbrush and Mari, plus life skills like patience, time management, teamwork and how to meet deadlines.”
Deep now has an internship at Yukfoo Animation, an animation facility and production company in Auckland. In the evenings, he works with a partner on developing a 40-minute film.
“Moving forward makes me happy,” says Deep. “One day, I’m going to make my own feature film.”
Diploma in Advanced 3D Graphics, ACG Yoobee
Studying computer graphic design in New Zealand has won Ryan Serrano a coveted job with internationally-famous design and effects facility Weta Workshop.
“Being a Weta Workshop artist has been my dream job ever since the release of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. I love my work,” says Ryan, whose role involves 3D sculpting of digital models for props, collectables and costumes.
Ryan, from the Philippines, has a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Graphic Design at Whanganui UCOL.
“I decided to study here because I wanted to learn the culture and have an introduction to the way of living in the country that I want to spend the rest of my life in,” he says.
UCOL helped Ryan to present his portfolio in a way that showcased his ability and potential to New Zealand employers. He used the same technology studying at UCOL that he now uses at Weta Workshop.
“I believe it was this experience and the guidance of my lecturers that gave me the edge I needed to secure my dream job.”
Ryan’s Level 8 student visa enabled his wife, Windy Grace Duque, to come with him to New Zealand. The couple are enjoying exploring New Zealand’s beautiful natural environment and culture.
“I love the people here,” says Ryan. “They’re very friendly and polite and most of all trustworthy.”
Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Graphic Design, UCOL
New Zealand’s flexible education system gives digital design students the freedom to choose from many different study options, ranging from professional postgraduate qualifications to undergraduate degrees.
This is a generic pathway. Length of study may vary depending on how students choose to structure their degrees.
Scholarships can help pay for your studies and help your CV stand out from the rest.