Wananga landing Wananga landing

International student support

16 November 2023

UC students and staff are from all over the world! Here's some important information to help you make the most of your time at UC. From language support to student clubs, check out all our international student support options and get in touch straight away if you need some help.


Your international support team

Atawhai Ākonga | Student Care is your international support team at UC. We understand that studying abroad is full of excitement and the unexpected, and we are here to guide you through each step of the way. We are open-minded, knowledgeable, and diverse student advisors who enjoy meeting and working with students from around the world. We provide confidential consultations which you can access by booking online, by sending us an email, or by dropping in to our office.

Student Care Advisors are different from the advisors in the colleges. We provide practical and developmental support rather than academic advice. This means that, while we can’t advise you on which courses to take, we can work with you on how to manage your time and cope with pressure better. There all kinds of things that Student Care can help with:

  • if you are feeling isolated or lonely
  • if you are not feeling well and are considering your options
  • cultural support
  • concerns that may impact my visa
  • if something happens outside of University and affects your ability to focus on study
  • if you need help contacting your insurance or healthcare provider
  • if you have issues with your flatmates or landlord
  • providing advice on how to manage your relationship with your supervisor

And much, much more. If you're in doubt about anything, or have a question and just don't know who to ask, come talk to us. 

The support that the University offers is magnificent. There's just so much that the University has to offer, from international help to the Academic Skills Centre, Careers advice and UC Mentors

David Thoo Sheng Wei

Language support

The English Language Support Programme is a year-long programme run by the Academic Skills Centre and is designed to help students to improve their academic English. Workshops are 50 minutes long and take place once per week during term time.

Reading and Writing for English Language Learners workshops focus on key reading and writing skills. These stand-alone workshops are a more flexible option than the English Language Support Programme and may be better suited to undergraduate students.

Speaking and Listening for English Language Learners workshops provide opportunities for students to practise conversation and discussion with native and non-native English speakers.

Giving an Oral Presentation helps students improve their public speaking and presentation skills. The 2-hour workshop is open to all UC students but is particularly useful for English language learners who would like to practise their speaking in a supportive environment.

Students who wish to improve their written English may also benefit from attending The Writing Process and Making Sentences Work.

Other supports and services at UC

International Student Care Handbook

The International Student Care Handbook is a treasure-trove of information designed to provide you with everything you need to know for living and studying in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand.

From information on how to set up a bank account, insurance and eligibility for medical services, academic life at UC, religion, safety, healthcare, transport, adjusting to life in New Zealand, and so much else, this handbook covers an extensive range of topics. 

International Student Care Handbook

Guide for international students studying at the University of Canterbury.
Download (application/pdf, 1 MB)

The Pastoral Care Code

The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 is commonly referred to as 'The Code'. It is the New Zealand Government’s safeguard that international students will be looked after and experience a high standard of education in Aotearoa New Zealand. As a signatory to the Code of Practice, the University of Canterbury is required to ensure a number of different things, including:

  • Clear, accurate and up-to-date information about studying and living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • A safe study environment.
  • Support to complete your enrolment, such as checking that you have met student visa and insurance conditions.
  • The opportunity to participate in an orientation programme.
  • Support for your overall wellbeing.
  • Information on the range of advice and support services available to you on campus.
  • Access to information about UC grievance procedures.

Find out more about the Code and what you can do if you believe there has been a breach of its requirements. 

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.