Incoming Study Abroad

The University of Canterbury welcomes Study Abroad students who want to study at UC for one or more semesters as part of an overseas degree.

Mount Cook, New Zealand Depositphotos 4687852

Why Study Abroad at UC?

Come Study Abroad at UC and discover New Zealand! New Zealand is known throughout the world as a country of great natural beauty that is easy to fall in love with and impossible to forget. The country's lakes, mountains, native forest, open spaces and clean air provide a magical backdrop to your Study Abroad experience.

Check out what our Study Abroad and Exchange students have been up to around the South Island below and view other photos from the Photo Competition!

Read through the incoming Study Abroad prospectus for more information:

And explore our facebook page for helpful links, cool photos, and updates from other study abroad students.


2015 Photo and Video contest

Congratulations to Matthew Oglesby from the University of Alabama, one of the winners of the Semester 1 2015 photo and video contest! Check out Matthew’s winning video of his Study Abroad adventures below

Entry requirements for incoming Study Abroad

Overseas students may apply to enrol as a Study Abroad student for one or more semesters. Study Abroad student s are required to pay a set tuition fee at UC.

In general, you are eligible to apply to study abroad at UC if:

  • You have completed at least one year of university study at a recognised university or college. Students with less than one year of university study may also be eligible – contact for advice
  • You have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher (on a scale of 4.0), or a B average or higher

If you will be a postgraduate student, you will need to provide evidence of completion of an undergraduate degree.

If English is not your first language, you must also meet UC’s English language requirements.

For students who are coming from Germany for a one or two semester Study Abroad programme at UC, we will also accept a DAAD English test score which meets UC requirements. Email for details.

Select your studies

Search or browse Qualifications and courses or Subjects to explore your options.

UC offers a Certificate of Proficiency for courses completed, which can be taken back to your university as a component of your degree there. Although there is seldom any problem, it is important for you to check that the courses you propose to take are acceptable for credit in your home university.

Some UC courses run first semester, some second semester, and others are full year courses. You will need to check when applying that the courses you want to take are available for the semester you want to be here.

A standard workload is 60 points per semester and individual courses are worth either 15 or 30 points.

Confirm your course selection

Some courses may not be available to Study Abroad students. These include Fine Arts (studio art) courses, many teacher education courses, 200 level LAWS courses, distance courses and clinical practice courses. Some Physical Education and Sport Coaching courses require police checks.  If you need to know in advance whether you are able to take a particular course, please include a course list in your Study Abroad application.

If you are a postgraduate student you must provide a complete list of courses you want to study.

While the Department of Civil and Natural Resource Engineering welcomes Study Abroad students and can usually accommodate most course requests, there are limits on capacity in some Civil and Natural Resource Engineering courses. If you want to take any Civil and Natural Resource Engineering courses (courses coded ENCN, ENNR or ENCI) you must include a list of courses you want to take at UC with your application. If you meet the general admission requirements you will be granted admission to the University first as per usual and your courses will then be sent to Department of Civil and Natural Resource Engineering for a decision as to whether you are able to take your selected courses. The International Relationships Office will then advise you as to which courses have been approved.

If you are applying to other engineering courses it is also recommended that you provide a list of courses with your application.

Tuition fees

As a Study Abroad student, you are required to pay tuition fees to the University of Canterbury.

  • Tuition fees for one semester of undergraduate courses for 2016 are $12,250 NZD (flat fee)
  • Tuition fees for postgraduate courses are calculated on a course-by-course basis. Tuition fees for a Study Abroad programme containing postgraduate courses may therefore be higher than the undergraduate flat fee

Additional costs

There are also additional costs to factor into your budget per semester:


Most Study Abroad students stay at Ilam Apartments on campus, which offers an accommodation package for Study Abroad students. 

Find out more about accommodation for international students.

Study Abroad Scholarships

A number of UC International Mobility Inbound Study Abroad Awards are available to Study Abroad students who are enrolled in a full-time degree programme at a recognised institution outside of New Zealand, and who want to study at the University of Canterbury for one or two semesters under UC’s Study Abroad programme. Awards may be worth up to NZ$5,000, with the majority of awards to be allocated at NZ$1,250 or NZ$2,500.

Recommended application dates

  • Applications for first semester (Feb – June) should be received by 15 November
  • Applications for second semester (July – November) should be received by 15 April

Applications for admission after these dates will be processed, but please make sure that you allow time for all the necessary travel preparations, including applying for and receiving a student visa before you travel.

There is a separate online application for accommodation.

You must apply for accommodation by the following deadlines:

  • Semester 1(February start) – 1 December
  • Semester 2 (July start) – 1 May

Remember that the academic year in New Zealand is usually the reverse of the northern hemisphere year. The US or European first semester will normally approximate the dates of second semester at Canterbury, and the US or European second semester the dates of Canterbury's first. Our long summer recess runs November to February.

Apply for incoming Study Abroad

Step 1. Complete the incoming Study Abroad application form

You may either make applications directly to the University of Canterbury or through a Study Abroad programme based in your home country.

Download and complete the Study Abroad Application Form:

Step 2. Send in your completed form and supporting documents

Once you have completed the form you need to post it along with:

  • Originals or certified true copies of university (or other acceptable tertiary institution) academic transcripts, which list the courses studied and the grades achieved
  • evidence of English language proficiency (if English is not your first language). If you are from Sweden, Norway, Germany or Denmark with a pass at a specified level in their final year of high school study you may be exempted from a language test.

Post to

International Relationships Office
Level 3, Matariki
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Step 3. Application approval

When the International Relationships Office has received your application, UC will send you an email to confirm this. UC will then process your application and normally notify you within 2 weeks of the decision.

Step 4. Next steps

If you have been accepted, you will receive an email copy of your offer of a place, along with information on Accommodation for international studentsInsurance for incoming students, orientation and enrolment.


As a Study Abroad student, you must apply for a student visa prior to arriving in New Zealand, even if your country of citizenship has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand.

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

Other Study Abroad contacts

It is also an option to apply through one of the organisations below. UC has been working with the partners listed below for many years and welcomes all students that apply through their programmes.

Whether you apply directly or through one of the following partners, you will still be considered for UC's International Mobility Inbound Study Abroad Award

More information

International Relationships Office
Phone +64 3 364 2459

Level 3, Matariki