Updates for International Students

Find key information and guidance for all UC international students, whether you are studying in New Zealand or overseas. 

 

International Student Arrival Week

Throughout the year, we have the privilege of welcoming new and returning international students into the UC whānau. For semester two, 2022 the UC International Welcome will be held on Wednesday 13 July, 2022. There will be a break out session after lunch for study abroad students and new to UC degree students. Please register here.

  • Book your appointment for International Enrolment in Person here.
  • UC offers an International Student Welcome for all international students arriving to study at UC for the first time. This one day programme will help you get settled to start your semester, introducing you to specific learning-related information at UC here as well as a great opportunity to meet fellow students, services on campus and student leaders.
  • Each year UC Herea tō waka Orientation Day (O Day) has a full programme of information sessions and social activities designed to help new students get the best start for day one at UC.
  • Te Pātaka Hub UC’s student services hub, is the first place to visit if you’ve got a question or need help with something while you’re studying at UC. Te Pātaka is located in the centre of Ilam campus on levels 2 and 3 in Puaka-James Hight Central Library. Commonly used services are student enrolment, finance, course planning. 

Study-related

Q: What extra help is available to help me study this semester?

  • IRO International support and engagement staff will be based in Te Pātaka Hub at the International desk. If you are unsure who to speak with, or where to go, come along to see the team who can assist you or guide you on other specialist student support services. 
  • Kaitoko, First Year Advisors, have a team of specialists with academic knowledge. They can help you with your course changes, degree planning and study pathways. Each Faculty has a dedicated Kaitoko.  firstyearadvice@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Student Care Advisors - provide practical and confidential advice for your well being and success as a UC student - studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Academic Skills Centre / Pokapu Pukenga Ako- free advisory service and resource hub to help you improve your writing and study strategies - academicskills@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Equity and Diversity Services - provide a range of supports for students with disabilities - eds@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Te Ratonga Whaikaha|Student Accessibility Service can make sure you have equal access to all that UC offers by partnering with you. Whatever your disability – UC is here to help you.
  • Faculty Student Advisors - please liaise with your Faculty advisor
  • UCSA Student International Advocates - provide advice on your situation, future options and provide support on navigating the university system help@ucsa.org.nz 
  • There are also numerous resources to help you with your study in LEARN

General Support

Q: Who can I talk to if I have questions about my study and life in New Zealand in general?

Your health and well-being are extremely important. The Student Care Team is available for private consultations in person or virtually. If you would like to talk with someone, please make an appointment using their online booking system. The UC Student Care Team website also has lists of existing online resources that you might find useful. One particular link is to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ webpage – it has a whole section on Apps, e-therapy and guided self-help

The International Relationships Office – iro@canterbury.ac.nz are here to help you navigate your transition into your new world. We encourage you to go directly to the specialist support services available, however, if you feel a little lost or are keen to get more involved on campus– just reach out and we can help guide you. The internationalisation desks are located at the Te Pātaka Hub.

Finally, UC also has a dedicated email address for all COVID-19 related issues and enquiries. If you have a question that has arisen because of COVID-19, please email ucprotect@canterbury.ac.nz in the first instance, or see the UC Covid-19 information page. 

Financial Support

There are many financial hardship support mechanisms provided by UC and the UCSA. This support is design to help with immediate, short-term emergencies/unexpected costs, and they cannot be used for tuition fees. Applicants will need to provide evidence to support their hardship applications. In general, one needs to have less than $1000 in the bank to qualify as having hardship.

Please note that all international students are required to provide proof of funds to Immigration New Zealand when applying for a student visa. If you have been granted a student visa for a year and have provided financial documents to Immigration to prove your financial capability, you will need to explain the reasons for seeking hardship support at this point.

Examples of hardship:

  • You are on a tight budget and have an unexpected dental bill to pay
  • You rely on regular money transfer from home & unexpected issue disrupted the immediate transfer schedule

What is not regarded as hardship:

  • Perceived loss of income due to not being able to get a job
  • Failing courses and having to pay fees to repeat them

If you are unsure about whether your circumstances fit with the description above, please contact the UCSA Welfare & Advocacy Team in the first instance. We appreciate that all international students would feel impacted by COVID-19 in their unique ways. However, it is important to remember that these funds are established to protect and care for the most vulnerable and most affected students.

Q: I’m financially struggling - what can I do?

If you are experiencing financial hardship that will have an impact on your studies, you may be eligible for financial support. Please contact the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team in the first instance to discuss your situation. UCSA Advocates will assess your circumstances and may make a further referral to Student Care if your situation fits the criteria for International Student Welfare Fund.  

The New Zealand Ministry of Education provides information here. Please don’t be too proud to ask for help. These are difficult times and these organisations are here to help you.

Visa Information 

Q: I want to drop down a course this semester - will this affect my visa?

In the first instance, please contact the Student Care Team (studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz) to discuss your circumstances.

Immigration New Zealand requires a minimum of three courses (minimum of 45-course points per semester) to qualify for a student visa. At this stage, Immigration has not changed this requirement for student visa holders. 

We also suggest you discuss changes to your courses with your course coordinators. 

Q: How can I extend my student visa?

From 15 December 2021, you will no longer be able to apply for your student visa through UC (Provider Direct). You must instead apply online with Immigration New Zealand. You are advised to apply as soon as possible.

You are recommended to create a verified RealMe account in preparation for your visa application. 

You can request assistance by emailing: student-visa@canterbury.ac.nz

 

 

Update on international students' ability to travel to New Zealand

Page last updated on 24/05/2022

New Zealand closed its border to all non-citizens and non-permanent residents at 11.59 pm on Thursday 19 March 2020. Student visa holders cannot currently enter New Zealand unless they are approved as part of the New Zealand Government's border exception scheme. However, from 11.59pm on 31 July 2022 New Zealand will fully reopen its borders, and students can begin applying for visas with Immigration New Zealand to study on campus at UC. 

If you are planning ahead to arrive in Feburary 2023 for semester one, 2023, Immigration New Zealand has requested that you start your student visa application around 3 months out from the start of your study.

New Zealand border reopening in stages throughout 2022

The New Zealand Government has announced that from 27 Feb 2022 the border will reopen—in stages—to fully vaccinated individuals. The full announcement about New Zealand's reopening can be found here

Under 'Step 3', from 11:59 pm, Tuesday 12 April 2022 the border will reopen for up to 5000 international students, with the intention that they can arrive in New Zealand before the start of semester two (July).

The Ministry of Education is leading the allocation of the 5,000 places across all sub-sectors of international education throughout New Zealand including universities, schools (year 9 and above), private training establishments, Te Pūkenga and English language schools. New Zealand universities have been allocated 1,450 places across the eight institutions.

The University of Canterbury has been allocated 116 places within this cohort. UC has contacted all students we believe to be eligible for this cohort, and are working directly with them to progress nominations. If you have not been contacted by UC about this process it means you are not eligible to be nominated at this time. 

Please note that from 31 July 2022, all international students (new or returning) will be able to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand, so this is not the only chance for international students to arrive on campus.

For more information please visit Immigration New Zealand’s webpage.

What can I study as an offshore student?

  • New to UC students (2022) can study online with UC’s Start Online, Finish on-campus pathway; this pathway lets you start your degree now and transition on to campus once the New Zealand borders open to international students. Discover all online courses and programmes here.
  • Current UC students continuing their studies offshore – please liaise with your college advisor and iro@canterbury.ac.nz to discuss your options.

Where do I find information about online enrolment and orientation?

  • Online Orientation Programme is across two information sessions for all new international students and will be held on 12 and 14 July 2022 via Zoom. This online orientation is an important way to prepare yourself to start university and discover all the support services available to you as a UC online student. If you can we highly recommend that you attend the live session, but if you are unable to. The session recording and start-up information will be available on the Offshore, Online Learning support LEARN page.
  • Information on enrolling online, uploading documents and using AKO | LEARN can all be found here.
  • There are also resources to help you with your study to AKO | LEARN. If you are experiencing particular difficulties adjusting to learning in the online environment, it’s important to reach out to your course coordinators and let them know. 

What support services are available for online learning?

UC has many services in place to support you in your online learning. This includes dedicated online learning support and engagement staff, academic support, e-learning tools, and a range of student care services.

  • Student Care Advisors - provide practical advice for your well being and success as a UC student - studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz
  • Academic Skills Centre / Pokapu Pukenga Ako - free advisory service and resource hub to help you improve your writing and study strategies. The UC Academic Skills Centre (ASC) offers distance students support for 1-1 appointment, some quick queries are answered here. You can contact ASC by phone: +64 (03) 369 3900 or Toll-Free 0800 827 748, and ask for the Academic Skills Centre or email academicskills@canterbury.ac.nz to make an appointment.
  • UC Library supports your learning and provides access to the research database. UC Library provides some key online services including Ask Live chatbox, specialist subject librarians, and access to the online research database. 
  • Equity and Diversity Services - provide a range of supports for students with disabilities - eds@canterbury.ac.nz
  • College Student Advisors - please liaise with your college advisor
  • UCSA Student Advocate - provide advice on your situation, future options and provide support on navigating the university system help@ucsa.org.nz

See all support services here

Visa information

Do I need a valid student visa to begin my studies online?
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.

You can check the Immigration New Zealand website for updates.

What if my travel to New Zealand is delayed?

If you are an international student impacted by COVID-19 please contact our International Team iro@canterbury.ac.nz so we can keep you fully informed.

Border Exception Cohort Update

The New Zealand Government has announced that from 27 Feb 2022 the border will reopen—in stages—to fully vaccinated individuals. The full announcement about New Zealand's reopening can be found here

Under 'Step 3', from 11:59 pm, Tuesday 12 April 2022 the border will reopen for up to 5000 international students, with the intention that they can arrive in New Zealand before the start of semester two (July).

The Ministry of Education is leading the allocation of the 5,000 places across all sub-sectors of international education throughout New Zealand including universities, schools (year 9 and above), private training establishments, Te Pūkenga and English language schools. New Zealand universities have been allocated 1,450 places across the eight institutions.

The University of Canterbury has been allocated 138 places within this cohort. UC has contacted all students we believe to be eligible for this cohort, and are working directly with them to progress nominations. If you have not been contacted by UC about this process it means you are not eligible to be nominated at this time. 

Please note that from 11.59 pm on 31 July 2022, all international students (new or returning) will be able to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand, so this is not the only chance for international students to arrive on campus.

For more information please visit Immigration New Zealand’s webpage.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to UC’s International Support team for ongoing support with your online learning.