Chinese female student writing Chinese characters on a whiteboard. University photo Duncan UC 16-0365-05

The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury (CIUC) offers a range of courses for people with either a personal or a professional interest in Chinese language and/or culture.

We offer classes in Mandarin Chinese for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. These courses are an opportunity to improve your ability to communicate in Chinese, whether you are a total beginner or reasonably fluent. You will learn in an environment that is fun and relaxed and from teachers who are native speakers of Chinese.

Note: Chinese Course HSK1A is run in full in Term 1 & 3.  Anyone keen to participate in Term 2 or 4 needs to be aware the Course will continue from Lesson 5.

For more information, please contact Kate Maxwell. Her contact details are below.

Course Structure

We base our courses on the standard textbook for the HSK examinations. The HSK examinations are the Chinese equivalent of IELTS; they are an international exam that is recognised worldwide. The HSK exams are based on the frequency of words in Chinese, so you will learn the most widely used Chinese words first. The HSK textbooks are modern and user friendly. 

If you are a total beginner, you should register for Lower Beginners. If you have done a course with us before, ask your teacher which course to register for. You can also do practice exams to see which level is most appropriate.  


Confucius Institute Evening Class Registration Form







Room Number

Lower Beginners (HSK 1A)

Huijuan Hu

2 Feb

23 Mar

Wednesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Room 214 James Logie

Lower Beginners (HSK 1B)

Huijuan Hu

31 Jan

28 Mar

Mondays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Room 214 James Logie

Lower Beginners (HSK 1C)

Zhengnan Shen

2 Feb

6 Apr

Wednesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Room 111 Jack Erskine

Upper Beginners (HSK 2A)

Zhengnan Shen

31 Jan

4 Apr

Mondays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Room 111 Jack Erskine

Lower Intermediate (HSK 3A)

Weibin Zou

3 Feb

7 Apr

Thursdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Room 214 James Logie

Upper Intermediate (HSK 4B)

Weibin Zou

1 Feb

5 Apr

Tuesdays 6.00 - 7.30pm

Room 214 James Logie

Please note there are no classes occuring Monday 7 February as this is a Public Holiday (Waitangi Day). Advanced level courses (HSK 6A and 6B) will also not run in Term 1.


Terms usually consist of 10 sessions, but are shorter in the fourth term. Prices are adjusted to the number of lessons offered. We cannot refund course fees for non-attendance.

Please note that HSK 1A and 1B will consist of just 8 sessions in Term 1, while HSK 2A will consist of 9 sessions.

  • Beginners levels $120.00-$150.00
  • Intermediate levels $180.00
  • Advanced levels $200.00

If a term is shorter than 10 weeks, the prices will be adjusted accordingly. The prices above for Beginners levels are reflective of the shorter 8 week course for HSK 1A and 1B.


Contact Person: Kate Maxwell



The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury offers a Chinese calligraphy course. It is held every Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 2pm.

The calligraphy course is open to everyone and is free.

The Chinese language has its own unique writing system made up of characters or 汉字. They were created about five thousand years ago. There are over 60 000 unique characters but only about 4,000 – 5,000 are used in everyday life. The Chinese writing system is used in China and other Chinese speaking regions such as Singapore. The characters not only serve a practical purpose as the writing system for the Chinese language, but writing them has also become an independent branch of art.

For further information, please contact Weibin Zou at 

The Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury has a specialised Martial Instructor who has come to New Zealand for the purpose of teaching and performing traditional Chinese Martial Arts including Tai Chi.

Please note that this course will not run in 2022. Please contact Kate Maxwell (CIUC Project Coordinator) at with any questions or concerns.

Tai Chi is a proven method of stress reduction and relaxation. It integrates the external or physical and the meditative internal. It improves balance, coordination, flexibility, muscle strength and cardiovascular health. It is gentle enough to be accessible to people of every ability level but can be demanding enough to provide a significant challenge to the professional athlete.

The Chinese Tea House is an opportunity for anyone to practise speaking Chinese with a native speaker or to learn more about Chinese culture. It is offered by the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury and is open to everyone – staff, students and the general public included.

Chinese Tea House is held on every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year.  The sessions are from 12 noon – 1pm. All UC staff and students who are interested in the Chinese language and culture are welcome to participate.

For more information, please contact Weibin Zou at