30 June 2023

How to enjoy the perks of student life in New Zealand

Jo Miller

When you study in New Zealand you need to manage your spending. The good news is you can benefit from your student status with various discounts and deals – often all you need is a student ID (identity) card from your education provider.

If you’re looking for free things to do, New Zealand has plenty of options, from walking on the beach to free events and activities for international students.

Following are some of the best deals that students can access while studying in New Zealand, from discount cards to free entertainment.

Student discount memberships

StudentCard is a well-established student discount membership scheme which offers deals with large retailers as well as smaller local businesses. For a small fee, students can access a range of discounts from fast food to adventure activities.

Signing up for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) costs less than a StudentCard and gives benefits both throughout New Zealand and worldwide.

UNiDAYS is another student-focused savings website which offers discounts, particularly on fashion and health & beauty. StudentBeans is one more scheme with some good deals for online shopping.

School supplies and technology

Many art supplies and bookstores offer student discounts and there are often student bookshops on campus with special deals. Just show your student ID card to see what’s on offer!

Apple and Microsoft’s websites also offer discounts on products for students – check if you get free Microsoft software through your provider first.

Banking, phone and internet

Some banks in New Zealand offer a student account package for international students that can include a New Zealand account in your home currency.

A number of telephone companies offer bonus deals with a student ID. When you sign up, check what’s available. If you have a StudentCard there may be other options too.

Most education providers offer free wifi and you can also find connections in city centres, libraries and cafes throughout New Zealand.

Public transport

Public transport on buses, trains and ferries is discounted for students in all the main centres. If you want to explore New Zealand, using your student discount on buses can be a good option for intercity and regional travel. Find out more about how to save money travelling in New Zealand and check out these tips for travelling light on a budget.

If you’re looking for more sustainable transport options, students get discounts on some of the e-scooter and e-bike share schemes that can be found throughout New Zealand. Best of all, walking and cycling are free!


Students often get discounts on movies, plays, art exhibitions or activities with a student ID card – check out what’s available in your place of study.

Most cities in New Zealand also put on free events – from concerts in the park to fireworks at Matariki (Māori New Year), there’s something for everyone. Museums and art galleries throughout New Zealand also offer free entry.

Health and wellbeing

If you want to stay fit and active, tertiary providers often offer free or discounted gym memberships to students. Many fitness centres, yoga studios and swimming pools also offer student discounts.

Want to get fit for free? A walk in the park or a run on the beach are both great ways to keep in shape.

Finally, for more top tips on how to make the most of your time in New Zealand check out 6 budget-friendly musts for your first week in NZ.

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About the contributors
Jo Miller

Jo Miller is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is originally from Scotland but now lives in Wellington with her family. Jo is currently studying psychology online with the University of Auckland.