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Refugee background students

15 April 2024

Information about support and advice available at UC for students from refugee backgrounds.


Kia ora! Haere mai! Warm welcome to the University of Canterbury. Every year New Zealand becomes a new home for more than 1000 refugees, and students from refugee backgrounds who study at UC help form part of the vibrant and diverse campus culture. UC is committed to ensuring that your time here is safe and rewarding, and a number of support services are available to assist you with your journey. 

UC support
English 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.


Academic Skills Development

In addition to the above, the Academic Skills Centre runs a wide range of other services. It's like Google maps, but for working out how to succeed academically at UC.

For example, International Students’ Academic Orientation is a free academic orientation where you can meet other international students and participate in workshops to prepare you for your studies. This event is designed for students from non-English-speaking countries, but all international students are welcome to register. The programme includes academic writing, avoiding plagiarism and understanding university expectations. To register, contact ASC.

"To have another chance to create a new beginning, start with grasping all the opportunities you wished you'd once had."

—Viyan Basharati

Need to talk to someone about a question, issue or concern?

Confused by University processes? Falling behind in your studies? Feeling like it's all a bit of a struggle? Student Care Advisors are your support team. The service is free to access and is available to all students, including off campus (distance) students.

UC support services
UCSA (University of Canterbury Students' Association)
External Links

– for free, confidential, independent information and advice about people's rights and how to access the services people need.

Succeeding at University in New Zealand

Succeeding at University in New Zealand
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