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How to apply for the UC exchange programme

31 October 2023

OE with UC? Ever wondered what it would be like to study at a university in another country? The Tāroia | UC Global Exchange programme enables you to study for one or two semesters of coursework at a UC partner university overseas. Find out how to apply for the UC Exchange Programme.


Attend one of the weekly Global Exchange Information Seminars

If you are interested in going on an exchange the first step is to attend a Global Exchange Information Seminar. Our seminars will cover the key information you need to know, including an overview of UC’s partner universities, entry requirements, and how to plan for your exchange, application deadlines and process, etc. You are also welcome to attend if you are only in your first year and plan to go on exchange later in your degree. It’s a good idea to start planning early.

The Seminars are held in Semester 1 2024 as below. 

Note: some application deadlines may change from those advertised previously and some partner universities have an early application deadline. See “Check application deadlines” below for more information.

We encourage you to register for the seminar you wish to attend using the link below so that we can contact you in case of changes to the seminars. 

If you cannot attend a seminar or need more information, you can come and see us at a Drop-in session (see schedule below). If you aren't able to come to any of the seminars or Drop-in sessions, please feel free to contact the International Mobility Team at

Semester 1 2024 (Term 2):
Click on one of the links below to register. Please also check this website again before you attend a seminar in the event that the schedule or venue is changed.

Schedule of the seminars available in Term 3 in Semester 2 will be available before the start of the semeseter. 

UC Global Exchange Drop-in Sessions

Prior to coming to a drop-in session, we encourage students to attend one of the weekly information sessions (see above), as they provide lots of important information and may answer any initial questions you may have. If you have any specific enquiries or further questions, we would be happy to discuss these with you during our drop-in sessions.

The sessions will be held in room 300b, level 3, Te Pātaka, UC’s student services hub, which is located in Puaka-James Hight Central Library . We encourage you to register for the session you wish to attend using the link below so that we can contact you in case of changes to the schedule or venue. Please also check this website again before you attend a session in the event that the schedule or venue is changed

Semester 1 2024 (Term 2):

Schedule of the sessions available in Term 3 in Semester 2 will be available before the start of the semeseter. 


Choose where you want to study

The UC Global Exchange Programme has over 60 exchange partners so you’re bound to find a destination that’s right for you.


Check you meet the entry requirements

UC look for students who will be good ambassadors of the university and have a clear sense of purpose for going on a student exchange.

To be eligible to for the UC Global Exchange programme you must have a good academic record with usually at least a B average. Students with marginally lower grades may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Normally there is a limit to the number of students who may be selected for any particular exchange partner. Once a student has been selected for a particular exchange the student will be directed to apply to the partner university for admission as a non-degree exchange student.

First year students

Usually, the earliest you can go on exchange is Semester 2 in the second year of your degree, depending on the degree. This is because our partner universities require UC students to have a full year of UC grades on their transcript when they assess their exchange applications. However, if you have achieved a GPA of 7.0 or above in Semester 1, the Faculties will be open to considering your application for an exchange in Semester 1 in the following year. Not all partner universities accept students with one semester of grades on their transcripts. Also, some degrees may not allow students to participate in an exchange in the second year. 

Please contact the International Mobility team to find out whether the universities that you want to go to accept applications with one semester of UC grades before you submit an exchange application.

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science students

Depending on your major, the usual time for students doing a general degree at UC is the second or third year of their degree.

Accounting students who are doing Chartered Accountancy have the responsibility to check with both the UC Business School and relevant professional body for the qualification whether an exchange is permissible as part of this programme and whether the courses you hope to take overseas will meet your programme requirements before you submit your exchange application. You can contact the Internationalisation Team at the UC Business School, for advice on Chartered Accountancy requirements.

Bachelor of Laws students

To be considered for full approval for your exchange, you need to have completed and passed all LAWS 200 level courses with satisfactory grades. Due to the timing of when the UC grades are released and the application deadlines of the partner universities, students who have applied with the LAWS200 courses in progress will only be considered for conditional approval, depending on where you are in your degree and subject to meeting the requirements of the Exchange programme. This means that your exchange may be deferred for one semester, provided that you meet the requirements of the conditional approval.

LAWS301 Equity & Trusts must be passed for LLB degree completion, and LAWS398 Legal Ethics must be passed for admission to practice.  Both these courses can be taken when you return from the exchange, but it is important not to overlook them in your degree planning.

To be considered for the Global Exchange Programme, you need to have maintained a B average or above; however, entry into some exchange partner universities may have additional requirements.

You are unable to select courses that are similar to those you have already taken at UC. You must take a full-time course load acceptable to UC whilst on exchange. Credits can be discussed with the international mobility team. On return from an exchange, it is also not possible to take courses at UC that are similar to those completed on exchange.

If you are an Honours student wishing to go on exchange you should discuss this further with Senior Academic Advisor at the Faculty of Law.

Bachelor of Forestry Science students

You are advised to undertake your exchange in the first semester in the third year of your degree. You are also advised to discuss your course plan for the exchange with Jeanette Allan at the School of Forestry. 

Bachelor of Engineering students

The usual time for Engineering students to go on exchange is during the third year of the degree. It is not possible to go on exchange during the second year. Engineering students must look carefully at courses offered at the partner university to ensure they meet UC requirements and must discuss their proposed programme of exchange courses in detail with the Director of Intenrational Studies in the first instance or relevant Director of Studies of the appropriate year of study at UC (if the position of Director of Intenrational Studies isn't available in your department) before applying.

If you intend to undertake an exchange in the 3rd or 4th year, depending on your major, you may undertake an exchange for one semester, subject to approval from your department and the Faculty of Engineering. Full-year exchange is only available for students undertaking an exchange in the 3rd Year, provided that your department and the Faculty of Engineering allow it. 

Engineering applications will not be considered unless an Engineering course plan has been agreed to by the relevant UC Engineering department is included. The course plan needs to be approved and signed by the Director of Intenrational Studies in the relavant Engineering department. If this position isn't available, then it needs to be approved by relevant Director of Studies of the appropriate year of study at UC or the Programme Coordinator before applying.  You must also submit your Engineering course plan form and course syllabi of the courses you want to take at the partner university on exchange. Download the course ‌UC Exchange Engineering course plan.

Civil and Natural Resources Engineering students - the above information does not apply to you. But you must follow the instructions provided on the "UC Global Exchange Programme" Learn site to apply to go on exchange and get your courses approved. You are permitted to travel on exchange in the first semester of the 4th year of your BE(Hons) only. You refer to the Learn site of the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, for additional details.

Mechanical Engineering students are only allowed to undertake an exchange in the third year, subject to your department and Faculty approving your study plan for your exchange and your exchange application. You must also consult your Engineering Course Plan with and provide the course syllabi of the courses you wish to take on exchange (including alternative or back-up course options) to Natalia Kabaliuk, Director of International Studies at the Mechanical Engineering department. 

Note: Engineering students are not advised to study at an institution overseas outside the UC Global Exchange programme. 

Engineering, Law and other students undertaking Honours programmes

You should contact your department to find out how your grades achieved on an exchange may be included in the calculation for determining the class of Honours if you are eligible for it.

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning students

Due to the requirements of the degree programmes and the New Zealand Teacher’s Council, it is not possible for students undertaking a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) or a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning to go on exchange.

Bachelor of Sports Coaching and Bachelor of Health Sciences students

You should contact your Programme Co-ordinator in the first instance to find out whether it is feasible to undertake an exchange as part of your degree. You should also discuss the possibility of undertaking an exchange and what you need to be aware of such as compulsory course requirements, the timing of the exchange, etc. with Karen Edgecombe, Academic Manager at the Faculty of Health.

New Zealand Permanent Residents (or Residents) / Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents

If you are a New Zealand Permanent Resident or Resident, Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident, you are required to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the UC Global Exchange Programme. If you don’t meet any of the criteria, you will need to select a different country for your Global Exchange application.

  •  In the last 5 years before the date on which the overseas study for your exchange begins, you spent a total of less than 6 months in the country for your exchange. (If you have made multiple trips to your exchange country in the past 5 years, the sum of all the days you have spent in that country on these trips must add up to less than 6 months)
  • You are at both of the following times, ordinarily resident of New Zealand
    • immediately before you begin studying overseas; and
    • while you will be or are studying overseas.
  • At any time (even if not present in New Zealand), you are ordinarily resident of New Zealand which means that you
    • have your usual place of residence in New Zealand;
    • intend to reside indefinitely in New Zealand;
    • you normally and lawfully live in New Zealand; and
    • intend to stay here and consider New Zealand to be home.
    • Note: You cannot be ordinarily resident in two countries at the same time.
  • You will undertake a face-to-face study on the campus at the Exchange Partner University and you will not undertake any study by distance.

International Students

International Students can participate in the UC Global Exchange programme if you meet the requirements. However, you are not allowed to return to your home country for your exchange. 

You are not advised to go on exchange in the final semester of your degree. If you intend to complete your degree on an exchange, you may not be eligible for the Post-study work visa. Please contact Immigration New Zealand for further details. 

If you wish to undertake an exchange in Japan, you should check with the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch to find out whether you will be able to apply for a visa at the Embassy of Japan in New Zealand and whether you will be required to return to your home country for the visa application. 

Some countries may require you to submit your visa application or have an interview in person at the Embassy of the country. You should check with the Embassy of the relevant country where you intend to undertake your exchange and the countries that you intend to visit for personal travels to find out what visa regulations may apply to you and what the visa application process or timeframe is. Some countries may not have an Embassy in New Zealand and you may need another visa to travel to the country where the Embassy is located to apply for a visa for your exchange. It is important that you check this before you submit your Student Exchange application as it may determine whether your exchange will be feasible or not. 

Postgraduate exchange

Postgraduate exchange programmes are only considered on a case-by-case basis. Some partner universities do not accept postgraduate exchange students or have restrictions on postgraduate courses. Please note that the UC Global Exchange programme is for course work only and it is not possible to undertake research as part of your degree on exchange. Please contact the International Mobility team at the International Relationships Office before you submit an exchange application for postgraduate course-work study to us. 

Arts students

For non-language subjects in Arts, students are only allowed to undertake an exchange at undergraduate level. 

Business Taught Masters students

Due to the structure and nature of the Business Taught Masters programmes listed below, it is unfortunately not possible to undertake an exchange as part of these programmes: 

  • Master of Business Management
  • Master of Business Information Systems
  • Master of Financial Management
  • Master of Professional Accounting
  • PG Dip in Business
  • PG Dip in Business Information Systems
  • PG Cert in Business.

Partner institution entry requirements

Once you have found an institution you like you should also check that you meet their entry requirements. These vary between partner institutions. Many of the programmes are open to most faculties and to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some programmes are limited to undergraduate study, a particular faculty or a department, and some programmes may require knowledge of a language other than English.

See the partner institution details and visit the website of the partner universities to find out if the subject or course options for your specific degree match those available to exchange students at the universities.


Plan your study

1. Check what your course or degree requirements are.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the partner university you are applying for will be a viable exchange for you in terms of the courses and credit you need for your UC degree. Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with your remaining UC degree requirements. Please note that the UC Global Exchange programme is for course work only and it is not possible to undertake research as part of your degree on exchange. Student Advisors in the relevant Faculties here at UC can assist you with a degree plan showing your remaining UC degree requirements. It is also your responsibility to ensure you have checked the partner university webpage for any required pre-requisites, course restrictions or limitations in your area of study.

2. What courses are available at the partner universities? What are the course restrictions?

Some subjects may be closed or limited for exchange students and this will vary between universities. Usually this information can be found on the webpages specifically dedicated to exchange students on the partner university website. If you are going on exchange to a university which has limitations on courses in your subject area, you do need to be prepared that you may not be able to take the courses you hope to and may have to return to UC after your exchange for a longer period to complete your degree.

UC or the partner university cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses at the exchange partner universities and that you need to plan to be as flexible as possible with course selection on exchange. You are strongly advised to take the compulsory courses for your degree/major/ minor at UC, since your UC degree completion may be impacted or delayed if you are unable to take the required courses at the partner university. You will need to ensure that you consult with the appropriate Faculty/ies and departments here at UC and that you are clear on your UC degree requirements and plan your courses accordingly. If you are doing a UC degree which requires you to take compulsory courses and you plan to take any compulsory courses on exchange, it’s particularly important that you are aware of the possible implications of this for your degree. It is your responsibility to make sure that you will have a feasible exchange in terms of meeting any course or degree requirements and how the exchange may affect your degree completion. You also can’t usually take more than a standard course load on exchange (equivalent of 60 UC points per semester).

3. Discuss your your exchange courses with the department(s) or Faculty.

You should do careful research on potential courses at the partner university and discussed these with the relevant departments or Faculty here at UC (see further information below), to ensure that the courses you hope to take are likely to be creditable here at UC at the levels you need (course listings for the year of your exchange may not always be available yet so you will need to use the current listings as a guide, bearing in mind that course offerings may change every year). 

Note: You need to do your own research and provide short list of your preferred and back-up courses with course descriptions to the departments or Faculty. You shouldn't expect them to go through the whole course catalogue for you. 

Course transfer is not done on a course for course basis (i.e. taking one course on exchange does not necessarily equate to one course at UC, since courses taken on exchange may be larger or smaller in weighting than UC courses) but rather on a points ratio equation. If you don’t know what the credit conversion ratio between UC and the partner university is, please contact us and we will be able to provide the information. You need to check the credit value of each course, apply the credit conversion ratio and work out how many courses you should take on exchange. You should also check what courses you could take as back-up options in case your preferred courses are not available. 

Bachelor of Arts 

You should provide the course descriptions of your preferred and back up courses to and discuss them with Liz Bond, Academic Manager at the Faculty of Arts

Bachelor of Science

The International Relationships Office (IRO) can provide you with the names of the right academic staff you can discuss your courses with at various departments. You are advised to research on the courses offered by the partner universities first and provide the departments with the a shortlist of courses. (You should not expect the departments to go through the whole course catalogue for you.)

Bachelor of Commerce

You should discuss your options of partner universities for your exchange and courses with International Team at the UC Business School before you apply for the exchange programme. Karina will be able to advise you on which partner university may be a better fit for which Commerce majors. 

Other degrees

You should see the information on the previous tab "Step 3. Check entry requirements" on how to seek advice on courses you wish to take on exchange.


Check the application deadlines


Semester 2 2024

Did study get in the way of your UC Global Exchange application for Semester 2 2024?

It is not too late to think about going on exchange in Semester 2 2024!

The main application round for Semester 2 2024 exchanges was in September 2023. However, applications for exchanges in Semester 2 2023 (UC time) are still open for some partner universities. Note that some of the partner universities are closed already such as but not limited to:
Bunkyo University, Waseda University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Akita International University, University of British Columbia, University of California, University of Washington, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Leeds and Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics. If the universities that you are interested in are not listed above, please contact us at to check on place availability before applying.

Applications for exchanges in Semester 2 2024 will be actioned on a rolling basis as they come in. If there are limited places available at a particular partner university, places will be allocated to successful applicants on a “first come first served” basis. You are therefore advised to submit an application immediately for exchanges in Semester 2 2024. For most of these universities you will need to apply to UC for selection no later than 15 February 2024 for a Semester 2 2024 exchange to allow time for the UC selection process prior to the partner university deadline. A few universities may have later deadlines – please check with the UC International Relationships office to confirm. Some universities may require us to check with them if they have places available. 
Important: whether we are able to accept late applications or not will be subject to availability of places and the required application timeframe or deadlines of UC and the partner universities you wish to apply for. There may be early application deadlines for some partner universities. 



Application deadlines may change from those advertised in previous years and some partner universities have early application deadlines. Check here regularly to get the most up to date information about deadlines. 

The deadlines for applying are:

  • Exchanges in Semester 1 2025: 31 May 2024
  • Exchanges in Semester 2 2025: 1 September 2024

Early application deadlines apply to the following partner universities:

  • University of California and University of Washington: There is one application round only. Please apply before 31 May 2024 for an exchange in Semester 1 or Semester 2 2025. You are required to make an appointment and discuss your plan with the International Mobility team ( before you submit your exchange application.
  • Waseda University, Bunkyo University and Kwansei Gakuin University: There is one application round only. Please apply before 31 May 2024 for an exchange in Semester 1 or Semester 2 2025. The possibility to commence an exchange in Semester 2 2025 at Waseda is subject to the approval from the partner university and the relevant department(s) at UC. There is only one intake in Spring semester (UC’s Semester 1) at Bunkyo University.
  • University of British Columbia (UBC): The application deadline for an exchange to UBC in Semester 1 2025 (UBC's Term 2, January intake) is 1 February 2024 .  If you wish to go to UBC in Semester 2 2025, you must apply before 1 September 2024.
  • Queen's University (Arts and Science): The application deadline for an Arts or Science exchange to Queen's University in UC's Semester 1 2025 is 1 February 2024.  Applications for the Engineering exchange programme at Queen's for UC's Semester 1 and Semester 2 2025 close on 31 May 2024 and 1 September 2024 respectively.
  • University of Nottingham: Due to the application timeframes of Nottingham, it is not possible to study English or Physics in Nottingham's Spring semester, (UC's Semester 1).

Complete your UC Global Exchange application

To apply for the UC Global Exchange programme, you will need to submit your application to the International Relationships Office at UC by the closing date, including the relevant documentation and information as outlined on the online form.

UC Global Exchange Online Application form

Submit your application

You must submit your application using the online form. You cannot apply to the partner university without first being selected by UC. If you are a postgraduate student you should check with the International Mobility team about the availability of postgraduate exchanges and closing dates at any given university before you start your application. Note that UC Global Exchange is designed for course work only which does not included research. 

Every effort will be made to accommodate your choice of university, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to nominate you for your first choice university. At least two back-up options are needed for this reason. Some location or partner universities are in high demand; therefore you need to be prepared that you may be allocated to a different university where places are available. The availability of exchange destinations may change from year to year and UC reserves the right to amend the list of partner universities or deadlines at any time. Please check this page for updates.

Medical and travel insurance

If you are a successful applicant you must also get appropriate and current travel and health insurance for the time you are overseas, regardless of whether you are a domestic or international student. The insurance must meet the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements and be valid for the entire period overseas.

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