Financing and scholarships

As a non-profit organisation, we can help you keep exchange costs to a minimum.

How much does a student exchange cost?

The cost of a student exchange depends on the country you choose, as well as the programme length, airfares, and insurance. You can expect to pay anywhere between $9,000 and $20,000 in total to go on exchange (this covers your NZIIU programme fee, insurance, visa, and airfares).

In addition to these expenses, you will need to factor in other costs like pocket money, school set-up costs like uniforms and textbooks, school lunches and transportation to and from school.

You need to be able to cover:

  • The NZIIU programme fee:
    This includes placement with a host family and in a host school, assistance with visa documentation, and support in the lead up to your exchange and while you’re overseas. The fee varies from country to country.
  • The airfare:
    You can arrange airfares yourself or let us take care of this for you. We try to choose airfares that strike a balance between price, safety, certainty, good layovers, and acceptable routes. You pay what we pay. Please note that budget airfares don’t usually match exchange dates.
  • Travel insurance:
    You will need to arrange for comprehensive medical and travel insurance prior to departing New Zealand. We can help you arrange this or you may arrange it independently.
  • Visa costs:
    Some countries will require you to apply for a visa. We can help you process the application but you may need to pay an application fee and, in some cases, travel costs to the relevant embassy in New Zealand.
  • Pocket money:
    You will want to have some spending money for socialising, food, leisure, and other activities while on exchange. We recommend taking between NZ$250-$500 per month depending on your chosen country.
  • Travel to and from school:
    In some countries, you will be required to catch public transport to and from school. You will need to cover this expense yourself.
  • School set-up expenses:
    You may be required to pay for school expenses such as a uniform, basic school fees, textbooks, and extra-curricular activities. School set-up fees vary from country to country.
  • School lunches:
    Your exchange fee covers full board and all meals except school lunches, so set aside at least NZ$10 a day.

How our students finance their exchanges

Each student and their family have different ways of financing an exchange. Some of the common ways students finance their exchanges include saving up by working part-time, their families contributing to costs, fundraising and scholarships.

How we help as a non-profit:

As a not-for-profit, we help you by:

  • Keeping costs low and charging only for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Charging every student the same fee no matter where they live in NZ
  • Providing scholarships to help eligible students who need financial assistance
  • Charging for actual airfares and insurance separate from your administration fee
  • Providing a fundraising kit for students who would like to raise some funds themselves

Our Scholarships

NZIIU Ambassador Scholarships

Become an NZIIU Ambassador and inspire the next generation of exchange participants.

The NZIIU Ambassador Scholarship exists to make our programmes accessible to more students. Worth up to NZD$3,000, it is directly deducted from the programme fee to reduce the costs associated with an exchange.

To be awarded this scholarship, you must be willing to share your experience and ideas as an NZIIU Ambassador, so you can give back and ‘pass the torch’ to the next generation of exchange participants. You must attend at least two ‘Meet the Ambassadors’ Days, one before your exchange and one after your return. In addition to that, you must be willing to speak about your experience at school – either in the classroom or at an assembly. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for a scholarship when you Apply now.

Going on a 6-month exchange to France for a semester was one of the most memorable things I’ve done. I decided to go on the exchange because I wanted to improve my French and I also wanted to have the experience of a lifetime, and it certainly was that. Exchange is a truly memorable experience, and I would encourage everyone to do one because you won’t regret it. 

Tom – NZIIU Ambassador Scholarship winner 

NZIIU Education Perfect Scholarships

Achieve your learning goals and apply for a scholarship

Every year, NZIIU offers student exchange scholarships to New Zealand schools as part of the Education Perfect national and worldwide competitions. All Gold and Elite Award students are invited to submit an application to be considered for a scholarship. We then select eligible students for an interview to find more about them, as well as learn about their goals and motivation for going on exchange. The students who we feel will best represent New Zealand will be granted the scholarship prize.

I went on exchange with NZIIU for a three-month program in France. After gaining the EP language scholarship, I was able to have this incredible experience all thanks to NZIIU. My French has improved immensely in every way – understanding, speaking, writing, etc. I am also really happy to have had the opportunity to explore so many new places. 

Aria – NZIIU EP Scholarship winner 

NZIIU Fundraising Kits

Hit your targets and come one step closer to sending yourself on exchange!

Once you have been accepted into an exchange programme, you can apply for an NZIIU fundraising pack to help you reach your savings goals. Previous students have had all sorts of creative ideas for fundraising, from bake sales to charging electric scooters!

The fundraising kit includes:

  • A step-by-step guide to fundraising
  • A list of fundraising ideas
  • An NZIIU t-shirt, fundraising bucket, and pens
  • A $100 grocery voucher
  • A fundraising ledger to keep record of your earnings
  • A letter showing proof of your registration with NZIIU Student Exchange

Terms and Conditions apply. Please indicate if you are interested in a fundraising pack when you apply for your exchange.


One of my fundraising activities was selling fudge, and my top location was the University. This was super successful because there were lots of hungry Uni students! I also did a lot of babysitting during the weekends leading up to exams, which is a great way to earn some extra cash. I raised over $1,000 more than my original goal. Spend as much time as possible fundraising, because time is money! 

Angela, Fundraising Champion