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We understand how crucial it is for international students in New Zealand to find the right scholarships. That's why we're here to help you. We want to make sure you have the support you need to succeed in your studies and reach your goals.

Book IELTS for scholarships

Scholarship application criteria

Scholarships are generally awarded to students who have a good academic score, and who are likely to perform well in their chosen field of study.

However, each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria. Some scholarships are only available to students from a certain country, or who have completed certain qualifications.

Different scholarships also have different conditions. For example, some scholarships will require a one-off application, while other ongoing scholarships may need proof of academic success in order to continue.

Because every scholarship is different, you’ll need to carefully read the eligibility criteria and application process, so you won’t miss any requirements or deadlines.

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New Zealand scholarships for international students

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When looking for a tertiary scholarship in New Zealand, there are many different options to consider. Because of this, we recommend you begin researching and applying for scholarships well in advance.

Here is a list of some of the most popular scholarships available for international tertiary students:




Value of award


University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship

Undergraduate degrees, PGDip or masters programmes

18 April 2024

Up to $10,000 for either postgraduate study or undergraduate study

New international students

Victoria University of Wellington Study Abroad Scholarship

All postgraduate; Returning students

1 May 2024

Up to $1,000 for either postgraduate study or undergraduate study

International students who plan to experience New Zealand culture through the Study Abroad and Exchange programme at Victoria University of Wellington

Lincoln University International Undergraduate Scholarship

Available to International Students

30 June for commencement in Semester 2 31 October for commencement in Summer School


International Students who have not previously studied at Lincoln University

University of Otago Academic Excellence Entrance Scholarship

Application for all Entrance Scholarships are normally open to students are New Zealand citizens, New Zealand Residence Class Visa Holders, Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents with domestic fee status; OR International students who have completed Year 12 and/or have completed or are in the process of completing Year 13 at a New Zealand school, or an equivalent foundation level course at a New Zealand tertiary institution. And Are intending to enrol or have enrolled for the first time for first-year (100-level papers), full-time degree-level, undergraduate study at the University of Otago. But Those who have studied more than 0.4 EFTs at any University or tertiary institution at degree-level or higher are not normally* eligible

15 August 2024

Accommodation fees in a Residential College (at least $16,000) plus tuition fees (if not eligible for Fees Free) in First Year. $7,000 towards tuition fees in Second and Third Year (subject to conditions) = >$30,000

Involvement in activities at school, in the community, and/or in sport and cultural pursuits in which leadership has been shown. Achieved NCEA Level 2 endorsed with excellence, or equivalent.

Massey Business School Promising Student Assistance Bursary

Full-time, Part-time, Undergraduate, Postgraduate

31 Oct 2024


Undergraduate or postgraduate student enrolled in a programme of study within the Massey Business School

New Zealand scholarships search tool

Depending on your level of study, your home country, and the institution you wish to study at – you may be eligible for other available scholarships.

If you are looking to research scholarships that might apply to you, the New Zealand IDP Education website has a helpful tool that will filter available scholarships so you can find the most appropriate ones.

Universities in NZ for IELTS scores of 5.5 and above

Top tips for applying for scholarships

When researching scholarships, it’s important that you understand what the scholarship will cover, and what you will need to provide. Here are some top tips for applying for scholarships:

1. Start early

Don't wait and put off your application until the last minute. Start researching and applying for scholarships as early as possible. The application process can be time-consuming and the earlier you get prepared the better your chances are to meet the deadline.

2. Research scholarships in advance

First, determine what your academic interests are and what is important to you. Then, look for scholarships that align with your plans and make sure you meet the eligibility criteria.

3. Understand the terms

Find out all that you need to know to make sure the scholarship is a good fit for you. Is the scholarship a one-off payment, or if it will provide ongoing support? Will you need to demonstrate high academic marks consistently? Are there any conditions around employment after you finish your course of study?

4. Keep track of your applications and deadlines

Create an Excel sheet and make a list of all the scholarships you plan to apply for. Include a checklist of the requirements and any supporting documents needed and their respective deadlines.

5. Create a great application

If you want people to notice your application, you need to make it special. You can do this by talking about the things you're really good at, things you've done well before, and the things that make you different from everyone else. You also need to write your essay in a way that makes people interested in you, by telling them about what motivates you, your achievements and what you hope to do in the future. If you do this well, the person reading your application will learn more about you and will want to know even more!

6. Get help

Speak to your lecturers, teachers, mentors and other professionals in your field as they can provide guidance on which scholarships to apply for. They can also provide valuable advice and offer feedback on your application.

7. Check everything thoroughly

It's recommended that you double-check your application to ensure that everything is correct and complete. Go through your checklist to make sure that you haven't missed any documents and check all for spelling and grammar.

8. Follow up

After submitting your application, it's important to follow up with the scholarship provider to ensure that they received it and that it's complete. Send an email or make a phone call to inquire about the status of your application. This will show that you are organised, motivated, and interested in the scholarship.

Your work is not done after one application. It's important to continue your research and look for other scholarship opportunities.

IELTS requirement for scholarship applications

Various scholarships are available to New Zealand students, each with its own eligibility requirements. A majority of scholarships may still require evidence of English language proficiency.

Generally, applicants require an IELTS (Academic) band score of 6.0 (with no individual band score of less than 5.5). The best way to find out about the requirements for the scholarship program you’re interested in is to contact the institution or scholarship provider directly. Alternatively, you can also get in touch with an education counsellor. They have access to information from multiple education providers.

Top 10 IELTS study strategies

How to prepare for IELTS?

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Achieving a great IELTS score takes time and planning. You can’t just book and take your test in a matter of days – no matter how strong your English skills are. Successful test takers create a schedule to help them study everything they need to know before they sit an IELTS test. They make time to practise all four English skills – ListeningReadingWriting and Speaking – as they know that each one is different.

If they have trouble with a topic, they attend a FREE Masterclass with an IELTS expert who can teach them how to improve. And, when they’re almost ready to take IELTS, they will complete as many practice tests as they can find. 

So, when there are hundreds of resources to help you study, where do you begin? Click here to access your go-to guide to IELTS preparation. All of our most important materials – both free and paid – are listed here, divided by category.

Start preparing now

By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be in the best position possible to find, apply for, and receive a scholarship. All the best.