UC Exchange Programme (Outgoing Student Exchange)
OE with UC! Ever wondered what it would be like to study at a university in another country? The UC exchange programme may be just what you're looking for!
What is the UC Exchange Programme?
The UC Exchange programme allows you to study for one or two semesters at a university overseas. Your tuition fees are paid directly to UC and you do not incur any international tuition fees while you are away. If you are eligible for a student loan or allowance at UC, you will continue to be eligible while you are on exchange. You will be responsible for all of your own living expenses, although there are scholarships available to help with costs.
You will need approval from the relevant UC Departments and Colleges for the courses you successfully complete at a partner university to be credited to your UC degree. You will still graduate with a UC degree and not with a degree from a partner university.
Search our exchange partner universities to see where in the world the Outgoing Exchange programme could take you.
Why go on a UC Exchange?
Discover the life changing experience of studying overseas with the UC exchange programme. You can immerse yourself in another culture, make lifelong friends and get international experience before you graduate.
- Study at some of the most prestigious universities for teaching and research around the world
- Learn a new language or improve your language skills
- Diversify your degree with take courses that are not available at UC
- Show to employers that you are flexible, adventurous and a self-starter
- Develop skills to deal with change
- Develop your cultural awareness and skills in cross-cultural communication
- Make the most of global networking opportunities
- Develop a greater understanding of both your own and another culture
- Meet new people and develop life-long friendships around the world
- Grow your self-confidence and become more independent
- Travel and see new places
UC International Mobility Outbound Exchange Award
The UC International Mobility Outbound Exchange Award provides support for UC students who choose to spend a semester or one year on exchange at one of UC's exchange partner institutions. You do not need to submit a separate application. If you have met the requirements for the exchange programme you will be considered for the award on merit basis. Regulations and other selection criteria for the award are being finalised for 2018. Please visit this website regularly for updates.
First year students in 2015-2018 - return economy airfare
If you were/are a first year full-time student making satisfactory academic progress in 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018 UC will also offer a return economy airfare to your exchange destination. If you are a first year student at UC in 2017, the earliest you can start your exchange is Semester 2 2018 depending on your degree. You will need to meet the requirements of the UC Exchange programme and be approved to participate in an exchange to be considered for this offer. You do not need to apply for this separately. This offer is available for your undergraduate degree only. Details of the regulations are being finalised and will be available on this web page once they are confirmed.
Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA)
The Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia are outbound scholarship programmes funded by the New Zealand government. These scholarships are awards supporting top undergraduate or postgraduate students wanting to undertake study or research in Asia. The scholarships can cover travel, accommodation, course fees and living costs. If you are applying or have applied for other scholarships, it is your responsibility to check whether the regulations of the scholarships allow you to apply for the PMSA scholarship.
Exchanges in Semester 2 2018
It is not too late to think about going on exchange in Semester 2 2018!
The main application round for Semester 2 2018 exchanges was in September 2017. All applications for exchanges in Semester 1 2018 have therefore now closed. However, applications for exchanges in Semester 2 2018 (Canterbury time) are still open for some partner universities.
Applications for second semester exchanges will be actioned on a rolling basis as they come in. If there are limited places available at a particular partner university, places will be allocated to successful applicants on a “first come first served” basis. You are therefore advised to submit an application immediately for second semester exchanges. For most of these universities you will need to apply to UC for selection no later than 1 February 2018 for a Semester 2 2018 exchange to allow time for the UC selection process prior to the partner university deadline. A few universities may have later deadlines – please check with the UC International Relationships office to confirm. Note that some universities may require us to check with them if they have places available.
Applications for the following universities for Semester 2 2018 have closed as all of the available places for Canterbury students at these universities have been filled.
Aarhus – TBC
Audencia – TBC
Bath – TBC
University of Castilla-La Mancha – TBC
Danish School of Media and Journalism – TBC
Helsinki – TBC
HKU – TBC
Leicester – TBC
Queen’s Arts and Science
Saskatchewan - TBC
Note that some partner universities or programmes have an application deadline earlier than 1 February or they are not recommended for an exchange in Semester 2. Please contact the International Relationships Office and visit the partner university websites for further information on application deadlines and process.
Exchanges in 2019
If you are interested in going on an exchange in Semester 1 2019, the first step is to attend an Exchange Informational Seminar. Exchange Informational Seminars will be held weekly throughout term time in Semester 1 2018. Once the rooms are booked, we will post the dates, times, and venues on this web page. Check back here for further details! Note that some deadlines may change from those advertised previously and some partner universities have an early application deadline. See “Check application deadlines” below for more information.
Ready for a life-changing experience?
Fill out our Outgoing Student Exchange Application Form now.
Step 1. Attend one of the weekly information seminars
Step 2. Choose where you want to study
You can study on the outgoing student Exchange programme at any one of UC's 60+ exchange partners so you’re bound to find a destination that’s right for you.
Step 3. Check you meet the entry requirements
UC look for students who will be good ambassadors of the university and have a clear sense of purpose for going on a student exchange.
To be eligible to study on the Outgoing Student Exchange programme you must have a good academic record with usually at least a B average. Students with marginally lower grades may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Normally there is a limit to the number of students who may be selected for any particular exchange. Once a student has been selected for a particular exchange the student will be directed to apply to the partner university for admission as a non-degree exchange student.
First year students
Usually the earliest you can go on exchange is Semester 2 in the second year of your degree. This is because our partner universities require UC students to have a full year of UC grades on their transcript when they assess their exchange applications. However, if you have achieved a GPA of 7.0 or above in Semester 1, the Colleges will be open to considering your application for an exchange in Semester 1 in the following year. Not all partner universities accept students with one semester of grades on their transcripts.
Please contact the International Mobility team to find out whether the universities that you want to go to accept applications with one semester of UC grades before you submit an exchange application.
Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science students
Depending on your major, the usual time for students doing a general degree at UC is the second or third year of their degree.
Accounting students who are doing NZICA/CA ANZ have the responsibility to check with both the College of Business and Economics and NZICA/CA ANZ whether an exchange is permissible as part of this programme, and whether the courses you hope to take overseas will meet your programme requirements before you submit your exchange application. You can contact Hannah Vu, Internationalisation Administrator at the College of Business and Law, for advice on NZICA requirements.
Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) and Bachelor of Teaching and Learning students
Due to the requirements of the degree programmes and the New Zealand Teacher’s Council, it is not possible for students undertaking a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) or a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning to go on exchange.
Bachelor of Sport Coaching students
You should contact the Student Advisor at the College of Education or the Programme Co-ordinator of Bachelor of Sport Coaching in the first instance to find out whether it is feasible to undertake an exchange as part of your degree.
Bachelor of Laws students
You need to complete the compulsory courses of the Bachelor of Laws at UC prior to the exchange.
Law Honours students - you should contact the School of Law to find out how your grades achieved on exchange may be included in the calculation for determining the class of Honours, if you are eligible for it.
Bachelor of Forestry Science students
You are advised to undertake your exchange in the first semester in the third year of your degree.
Bachelor of Engineering students
The usual time for Engineering students to go on exchange is during the 2nd Professional Year. It is not possible to go on exchange during the 1st Professional Year. Engineering students must look carefully at courses offered at the partner university to ensure they meet UC requirements, and must discuss their proposed programme of exchange courses in detail with the relevant Professional Year coordinator at UC before applying.
Engineering applications will not be considered unless a course plan agreed to by the relevant UC Engineering department is included. You must also submit your Engineering course plan form and course descriptions of the courses you want to take at the partner university on exchange. Download the course UC Exchange Engineering course plan.
Civil Engineering students must discuss their course plans well in advance with Dr. Pedro Lee, at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, before they submit an application for the exchange programme. Civil Engineering students are recommended to participate in the exchange in the first semester of the 3rd Professional Year.
Engineering, Law and other students undertaking Honours programmes
You should contact your department to find out how your grades achieved on exchange may be included in the calculation for determining the class of Honours, if you are eligible for it.
New Zealand Permanent Residents / Australian Citizens or Australian Permanent Residents
If you are a New Zealand Permanent Residents, Australian Citizens or Australian Permanent Residents, you are required to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the UC Student Exchange Programme. If you do not meet the first criteria, you will need to select a different country for your Student Exchange application.
- In the last 5 years, I have spent less than 6 months (26 weeks) in total in the country I am going to for my UC Student Exchange. (If you have made multiple trips to your exchange country in the past 5 years, the sum of all the days you have spent in that country on these trips must add up to less than 6 months/ 26 weeks.)
- I am ordinarily a resident of New Zealand and I normally and lawfully live in New Zealand, intend to stay here and consider New Zealand to be home. You cannot be ordinarily resident in two countries at the same time.
- I will undertake face-to-face study on the campus at the Exchange Partner University and I will not undertake any study by distance.
New Zealand Permanent Residents - returning to home country on exchange
Students who hold New Zealand Permanent Residency (NZPR) are not allowed to go to countries where they hold citizenship for their exchange.
Partner institution entry requirements
Once you have found an institution you like you should also check that you meet their entry requirements. These vary between partner institutions. Many of the programmes are open to most faculties and to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some programmes are limited to undergraduate study, a particular faculty or a department, and some programmes may require knowledge of a language other than English.
See the partner institution details and visit the website of the partner universities to find out if the subject or course options for your specific degree match those available to exchange students at the universities.
Step 4. Plan your study
It is your responsibility to ensure that the partner university you are applying for will be a viable exchange for you in terms of the courses and credit you need for your UC degree. Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with your remaining UC degree requirements. Please note that the UC exchange programme is for course work only and it is not possible to undertake research as part of your degree on exchange. Student Advisors in the relevant Colleges here at UC can assist you with a degree plan showing your remaining UC degree requirements. It is also your responsibility to ensure you have checked the partner university webpage for any required pre-requisites, course restrictions or limitations in your area of study.
Some subjects may be closed or limited for exchange students and this will vary between universities. Usually this information can be found on the webpages specifically dedicated to exchange students on the partner university website. If you are going on exchange to a university which has limitations on courses in your subject area, you do need to be prepared that you may not be able to take the courses you hope to and may have to return to UC after your exchange for a longer period to complete your degree.
UC cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses at the exchange partner university and that you need to plan to be as flexible as possible with course selection on exchange. You are strongly recommended to take the compulsory courses for your degree at UC. If you are doing a UC degree which requires you to take compulsory courses and you plan to take any compulsory courses on exchange, it’s particularly important that you are aware of the possible implications of this for your degree. You also can’t usually take more than a standard course load on exchange (equivalent of 60 UC points per semester).
Step 5. Check the application deadlines
Application deadlines may change from those advertised in previous years, check here regularly to get the most up to date information about deadlines.
Exchanges in 2019
Information Seminars for students interested in going on exchange in 2019 will be held throughout Semester 1 2018 as indicated above. Note that some deadlines may change from those advertised previously and some partner universities have an early application deadline.
UC Student Exchange applications must be submitted to email@example.com or the Helpdesk in the Matariki Building.
You are welcome to submit your application before the closing date, but applications will not be processed until after application closing date.
The deadlines for applying are:
- Exchanges in Semester 1 2019 – apply before 31 May 2018
- Exchanges in Semester 2 2019 – apply before 1 September 2018
Early application deadlines apply to the following partner universities:
- University of California and University of Washington – there is one application round only. Please apply before 31 May 2018 for an exchange in Semester 1 or Semester 2 2019. You should also make an appointment and discuss your plan with the International Mobility team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before you submit your exchange application.
- Waseda University, Bunkyo University and Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) - there is one application round only. Please apply before 31 May 2018 for an exchange in Semester 1 or Semester 2 2019. Students can only commence their exchange at Waseda University or Bunkyo University in Semester 1 (April intake at Waseda / Bunkyo).
- University of British Columbia (UBC) – the application deadline for an exchange to UBC in Semester 1 2019 (UBC's Term 2, January intake) is 1 February 2018. If you wish to go to UBC in Semester 2 2019, you must apply before 1 September 2018.
- University of Nottingham - if you wish to go to Nottingham in Semester 1 2019 (January intake at Nottingham), you should apply before 1 February 2018. If you wish to go to Nottingham in Semester 2 2019, you must apply before 1 September 2018.
- University of Alberta - the exchange with University of Alberta is currently closed until further notice.
- University of Colorado - Boulder is closed for Semester 2 2018.
Step 6. Complete your UC Exchange application
To apply for the Outgoing Student Exchange programme, you will need to submit your application to the International Relationships Office at UC by the closing date, including the relevant documentation and information as outlined on the form.
Submit your application
You must submit your application by email to email@example.com or in person the Student Services Centre, Level 1, Matariki. You cannot apply to the partner university without first being selected by UC. If you are a postgraduate student you should check with the International Mobility team about closing dates and the availability of postgraduate exchanges at any given university before you start your application.
Every effort will be made to accommodate your choice of university, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to nominate you for your first choice university. At least two back-up options are needed for this reason. Some location or partner universities are in high demand; therefore you need to be prepared that you may be allocated to a different university where places are available. The availability of exchange destinations may change from year to year and UC reserves the right to amend the list of partner universities or deadlines at any time. Please check this page for updates.
Medical and travel insurance
If you are a successful applicant you must also get appropriate and current travel and health insurance for the time you are overseas, regardless of whether you are a domestic or international student. The insurance must meet the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements and be valid for the entire period overseas.
Please read ensure you have familiarised yourself with all insurance requirements.
Insurance for studying outside New Zealand
All domestic students and international students in New Zealand who are travelling off-shore as part of their study programme require appropriate and current medical and travel insurance. The insurance must meet the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements and be valid for the entire period off-shore.
Please ensure you have familiarised yourself with all insurance requirements.