Cost of Living
New Zealand is a value for money study destination.
With three universities in the 2015 top 100 QS World University Rankings for art and design, the New Zealand education system gives you a head start in the competitive, fast-paced design world.
Whether you're studying fashion design, graphic design, industrial design or a related discipline, you'll be encouraged to think new, be innovative and challenge conventional design practice. You'll broaden your horizons with internships, competitions and exhibitions, and take a hands-on approach to using materials, processes and technologies.
Expect to work hard and play hard when you study fashion or design in New Zealand. You'll be welcomed into the high-achieving, tight-knit design communities that contribute to our internationally-successful design sector.
In your downtime, discover the amazing natural environment of one of the world's most peaceful and least corrupt countries. New Zealand's wilderness is a spectacular adventure playground, and our lively, dynamic cities are buzzing with energy and creativity. You'll have freedom to create, and freedom to explore.
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.
Studying fashion or design in New Zealand gives you the internationally-recognised qualifications, real-world experience and industry-specific skills you'll need to forge your career in the design sector.
You'll study in small groups with expert leaders to gain practical experience of teamwork and meeting deadlines. Showcasing your work in shows, exhibitions and displays will help you build networks with design industry leaders.
Gain the capability skills that will give you a head start in the jobs market, including English language proficiency, punctuality, self-confidence, presentation skills, problem-solving, leadership and communication.
New Zealand’s high-quality education system and multicultural society drew Thai student Kamonchakrie ‘Misu' Sae Hung to study design in New Zealand.
Now in her second year of studying for a Bachelor of Design (Hons) majoring in fashion design at Massey University in Wellington, Misu says she is enjoying New Zealand’s practical style of learning.
Massey design students spend most of their time in studios, workshops and media labs, and at least two-thirds of their classes are hands-on.
“I’d never sewn before I came here, so I like how we’re able to learn new techniques and to make our own stuff,” says Misu.
“My lecturers support me to develop my own style and are always happy to answer my questions.”
Misu has also become a huge fan of Wellington.
“I love Wellington so much. I’ve been to many places around New Zealand, and Wellington is perfect - not too quiet and not too busy.
“I like the outdoors, and I like shopping and hanging out in town with my friends.”
Bachelor of Design (Hons) in Fashion Design, Massey University
Leona Wang has enjoyed studying fashion design at AUT so much that she is now working on her third qualification.
Leona gained a Bachelor Design degree at AUT, stayed on to extend her knowledge of fashion with a Bachelor of Art and Design (Honours), and is now studying for a Master of Art and Design.
“I learned a lot through the project-focused research during my honours year and was keen to expand on this. I really enjoy doing design projects and I’ve found my lecturers inspirational,” says Leona, from China.
She was drawn to AUT by its impressive facilities and caring staff.
Leona says it has been good to work with technicians from AUT’s textile and design lab and 3D lab.
“The lecturers are also always encouraging and positive, and guide you through your projects.”
Studying fashion in New Zealand has given Leona opportunities to showcase her designs, which are a creative blend of ethnic elements and modern technologies. She presented her work at the 2015 Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand Symposium, and a Future + Fashion event at Spark Lab.
Master of Art and Design, AUT
South Korean student Soohee Moon was hired to work with one of New Zealand’s most well-known fashion labels after completing her studies at Otago Polytechnic.
Soohee has worked for iconic Kiwi label Nom*D on their last three collections, which gave her the chance to apply the knowledge she gained on her Bachelor of Design (Fashion) course to the practical environment of a design house workroom.
Despite a long-time interest in fashion, Soohee had no formal training in design before coming to New Zealand.
“I thought this course would provide the essential foundation for my career as a fashion designer - and I was right!” she says.
“You get to understand the nature of the fashion industry, and learn to develop your own designs as a creative individual through the course.”
A highlight of the programme was the graduation collection that students create at the end of their final year.
“It is the pinnacle of your learning, and represents who you are as an emerging designer,” says Soohee.
“You are given total freedom over your creation, and it is thrilling to be able to promote your name on your own work.”
Soohee’s goal is to launch her own fashion label.
Bachelor of Design (Fashion), Otago Polytechnic
New Zealand’s flexible education system lets you choose from professional postgraduate design qualifications to undergraduate degrees designed to give you design skills that complement a range of careers.
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.