Frequently asked questions

International Students: Start Online, Finish On-campus

UC’s Start Online, Finish on-campus model of learning is the best way to your world-class degree and uninterrupted academic experience for 2022.

Once travel restrictions relax and government guidelines permitting, you will be able to make a smoother transition to face-to-face learning here in New Zealand.

Online to on-campus study means you have a better life at a later stage as you will have met other students in the same programme and will get to meet some of UC’s amazing teachers.

Step 1: Find a course

Choose from a range of our online courses offered for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes – from Business, Data Science, Civil Engineering, Strategic Communication to Sport Coaching.

Step 2: Start Online in 2022

We bring the classroom to you. We're at the forefront of digital technology, with a comprehensive online learning platform, interactive technologies and support (including your native language) to help you get through your study every step of the way.

Step 3: See you on campus

COVID-19 has altered the global landscape for education dramatically; but of all the places in the world, New Zealand is uniquely placed for bounce back and is well worth the wait. Our online-to-on-campus programmes offer the flexibility to begin your study online now, and transition on campus once border restrictions are lifted, and once you have received your student visa.

If you are eager to get ahead in your higher education, then starting your studies online is your best choice right now.

The benefit of online-based enrolment is to give you the option to commence your study with flexibility. This means no matter when borders reopen, you are in the best position for uninterrupted study.

Given the current global conditions, studying online is a viable way to begin your international education journey, save time, and is a stepping stone to achieving a world-class qualification.

Online study will also allow you to stay at home for a little longer, which is comforting in these times of uncertainty. Plus you will save money on living expenses and be able to delay travel until a safer time.

UC recognises online English Language Proficiency, including IELTS, TOEFL, and EAP tests completed online.

We have changed the way we charge tuition fees for this pathway, allowing you to try out online learning before you need to pay the tuition fees. The aim is to give you a sense of how it all works and to decide if online learning personally works for you, without any financial risk.

For new students, your tuition fees will not be due until five weeks after you have begun your online study.

If you are re-enrolling online, then your tuition fees will be due two weeks after you have begun your online study. 

We want to offer you the chance to get comfortable with online learning before you are required to make any financial commitment and pay your fees. If you find online learning is not suitable for you, you can choose to defer your offer and start again whenever you are able to arrive on campus.

This form is for students who have received a UC unconditional Offer of Place and are enrolling for online study in Semester 1 2021. 

As you are studying with UC online, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that you would normally pay in New Zealand may not be relevant. However, there may be equivalent taxes due in your place of residence which the University of Canterbury is responsible for collecting and paying. Therefore, it is important that we understand your individual circumstances to assess your tax requirements of either GST in New Zealand or applicable taxes in your place of residence. All online students will need to complete the form linked below. It is important that the information you provide is correct, as your place of residence and the taxation applicable during the time of your online study varies by country. Please fill out this form as soon as possible.

There are a range of Dean’s awards and special COVID related offerings for new students.  Please talk to us to discuss what might be available to you.

UC has a range of services in place to support you in your online learning, including a special online Orientation, online mentoring, accessible online services and e-learning tools. Discover all support services for online learning here

Under the current New Zealand policy, international students who graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and who study in New Zealand for at least 30 weeks of their qualification, are eligible to apply for a post-study work visa

Please ensure that you check the post-study work rights applicable to your UC qualification on the Immigration New Zealand website, as these are periodically subject to review. 

We strongly advise that you contact Immigration New Zealand for more information about post-study work rights. 

You do not need a valid student visa to begin your studies online outside of New Zealand, but you will need one before you travel to UC.

It is still important to ensure you would be eligible for a student visa to be able to travel to New Zealand and continue your studies when the New Zealand border is reopened to student visa holders.

We strongly recommend you talk to your agent about the visa application process, or email if you don’t have an agent. You can check Immigration New Zealand website for any updates.

Find out more here.

If the border is still not open by the time you need to be on-campus for your programme you may need to defer your studies until it is possible for you to arrive in New Zealand. Either way, you will have made a head start on your studies whenever you are able to arrive.

If you are interested in doing a fully online programme, please email to find out about your options.

The tuition fees will be the same, but there are a number of savings that you will make by starting your studies online for one semester.

  • Exempt from the Student Services Levy for your first semester - $435 for 60 points
  • Exempt from needing medical and travel insurance for your first semester, unless you end up coming to New Zealand during the semester - $310 for one semester
  • Likely reduced living expenses. It costs between $8,632 to $11,362 for six months of living in Christchurch (based on an estimate of $332-$437 per week from the cost of living)

If you have any further questions about your study options at UC please contact your agent, or get in touch with us