Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cost of Living as International PhD Student in New Zealand

At the end of the year, it seemed right to do an overview of the fixed cost of living as an international PhD student in New Zealand, now that there is over a year's worth of data. No warehouse stores or coupons, so it is more difficult to get a bargain. Costs are annual unless stated otherwise and in NZ dollars.

$7,200 Postgraduate PhD tuition and admin fees

$600 - Medical insurance for university international students
(basically equivalent to travel insurance)
$58 - Doctor's visit at university health center
$25 - Dentist visit (10-minute cleaning and X-rays) subsidized by university
(normally ~$80)
$80 - Hygienist visit (30-minute cleaning) at separate location
$22 - 3 months of generic drug at university pharmacy
(with prescription, not covered by ins.)
$36 - 6 months of oral contraception at university pharmacy
(with prescription, not covered by ins.)
$1/pill - most other medicines at any pharmacy (e.g. pain relief, allergy)

$200 - Annual government car registration
$115 - AA car insurance, Third Party policy (not required but good to have)
$60 - AA membership
$2,000 - Gas costs (~$70-100 per fillup with older car) with two roadtrips around islands

$19,240 - Rent ($370/week in lower-income neighborhood)
$8,000 - Groceries and household supplies ($120/week for low-carb groceries for two)
$2,000 - Electricity costs ($150/month summer, $300/month winter)
(being away during weekdays)
$900 - Internet, unlimited data, slow speeds ($75/month)
$265 - Contents/renters insurance
$240 - Cell phone plan, 500MB data, unlimited texting ($20 topup/month)

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