Inbound Student Exchange

Study while discovering New Zealand and fall in love with the natural beauty here that is impossible to forget. The country's lakes, mountains, native forest, open spaces and clean air provide a magical backdrop and an outdoor adventure playground for your student exchange experience.

Ready for a life-changing experience?
Apply online for Inbound Student Exchange

View of Aoraki/Mt Cook in New Zealand

What is the Inbound Student Exchange at UC? 

The Inbound Student Exchange is a programme between UC and our exchange partner universities. If you are studying at an exchange partner institution you may be eligible to apply for the Inbound Student Exchange. When you study through the Inbound Student Exchange programme, you are studying as an exchange student from your home institution and are not required to pay tuition fees to UC.


Exchange partner institutions

To apply for the inbound student exchange programme, you must be nominated by one of UC's partner institutions. As an exchange student you are not required to pay tuition fees to the University of Canterbury and the credits you earn while studying here may be transferred back to your home institution.

Check from the list below to see if your institution is amongst UC's 60+ exchange partners.

If your institution is not listed, your home institution's International Relationships Office will be able to tell you whether there is an exchange agreement in place with UC and advise you how to apply for nomination.

Inbound Exchange Application closing dates

There are two opportunities per year to apply for the Inbound Student Exchange programme:

  • Semester One (February to June) – the closing date for applications is the 1st of November of the previous year.
  • Semester Two (July to November) – the closing date for applications is the 15th of April

Entry requirements for Inbound Exchange students

High academic standard in your studies at your home university are usually expected when applying for the Inbound Exchange programme. Your home institution needs to nominate you to be considered for the exchange programme, so check the entry requirements determined by your home institution.

If English is not your first language, you must also meet UC’s English language requirements.

Select your studies

Some UC courses run first semester, some second semester, and others are full year courses. When you apply, check that the courses you want to take are available.

Search or browse Qualifications and courses or Subjects to explore your options.

A standard workload is 60 points per semester, and although different courses have different points values, in most cases each course will be 15 points. A normal full-time programme for a semester would be three or four courses.

Course offerings are subject to change.

Confirm your course selection

Some courses may not be available to Inbound Exchange students which inclulde the following. If you need to know in advance whether you are able to take a particular course, please include a course list in your Inbound Exchange application.

  • Distance learning courses
  • 200 level Law courses
  • Fine Arts (studio art) courses
  • Forest Biology (FORE218)
  • Teacher Education courses
  • Note: Education courses with EDUC course code under the Bachelor of Arts schedule are available to Exchange students.
  • some Physical Education and Sport Coaching courses require police checks. Please contact us at to check if the Physical Education and Sport Coaching courses you wish to take require police checks. 
  • Journalism courses
  • Courses in MBA and Executive Development programmes
  • All clinical practice courses
  • Communication Disorders are open to students who meet pre-requisites except for the clinical practice courses
  • Social Work – field work courses are not open to Exchange students. Entry to other theory courses will be considered case-by-case basis and approval from Social Work will be required.

Some other courses are limited entry and may have additional entry requirements. Please contact the International Mobility Co-ordinator if you have enquiries about course restrictions.

Engineering courses

Students wishing to study Engineering should provide a list of intended courses with their application.



Some courses have pre-requisite requirements and students need to have sufficient academic background to be considered for entry to these courses.

Tuition fees

As an exchange student, you will not be required to pay tuition fees to UC. You will pay tuition fees to your home institution.

Additional costs

There are additional costs to factor into your budget per semester:

  • Medical and travel insurance - see more information about insurance below
  • Living costs - may vary depending on your accommodation and lifestyle choices. You should budget for approximately NZ$1,700 per month, excluding airfares and tuition. 
  • Course-related fees such as field trips
  • Administration Fee - this fee is waived if you complete your international enrolment by the due date
  • Any applicable visa application fees.


Most exchange students stay on campus and you find out more about the accommodation offer for Exchange students on the website. 


It is not possible for exchange students to travel to New Zealand on a visitor's visa and apply for a student permit upon arrival in New Zealand, even if you are a citizen of a country with which New Zealand has a visa waiver agreement. It is imperative that you apply for and receive your student visa before travelling to New Zealand as you may be refused a student permit if you apply for a student visa once you are here.

Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and supporting requirements are available from Immigration New Zealand. When your application for admission to the University of Canterbury is approved, we will provide you with an Offer of Place letter (acceptance document) which you can use to submit to Immigration New Zealand for your student visa application. 

Find out more about Visas and immigration.


Exchange students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. This insurance must meet requirements set by the New Zealand government under the NZ Ministry of Education Code of Practice.

Studentsafe-university Insurance is the University's current default insurance cover which meets the standards of the New Zealand Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. Exchange students can purchase Studentsafe‐University cover when they complete their enrolment in person on campus. If exchange students hope to utilise an alternative insurance policy, they must have the cover assessed at least four weeks before enrolment to determine whether it meets NZ government requirements. The application form for insurance assessment is available on the web page below. It is important to note that many overseas policies do not meet New Zealand requirements. An insurance policy required by your home university may also not necessarily meet New Zealand requirements and if it does not, you will be required to purchase the default insurance, Studentsafe-University at enrolment.

Step 1. Apply for Inbound Exchange online

Apply online via MyUC - Click here to apply

You must be nominated for the exchange by your home university before applying for admission to UC

You will need the following supporting documents to apply in MyUC:

  • Your academic transcript from your home university
  • If English is not your first language, you will need to provide a satisfactory result in an acceptable English language test. If you are from Sweden, Norway, Germany or Denmark with a pass at a specified level in your final year of high school study you may be exempted from a language test. Students from Germany may also provide  a DAAD English language test which meets UC English language requirements. If your English test result is pending, you may apply in the meantime for conditional assessment of your application, with the English result to be submitted in due course.
  • A copy of the information page of your passport. You may complete the application without this if you do not yet have your passport.
  • You will also be asked to provide a provisional list of courses that you intend to take at UC. We’ll seek approval from UC’s academic departments for you to take those courses and will let you know of their decisions in due course. You are welcome to provide a few back-up courses as well. Note that this is a provisional course list and you will enter your final course selection later.

 Application Notes:

  • For the Type of Application, select “Incoming Study Abroad/ Student Exchange”. Do not select the “New Student” option.
  • Study Abroad and Exchange students enrol in a “Certificate of Proficiency” as their UC qualification (this is the qualification code used for students not doing their full degree or qualification at UC and instead crediting courses back to a home university qualification). As part of the application, you will be asked to select a type of Certificate of Proficiency, for example Certificate of Proficiency in Arts or Certificate of Proficiency in Engineering. Please select the general subject area you intend to take most of your courses in at UC. You will not be confined to this subject area and will be able to take courses across disciplines regardless of which Certificate of Proficiency you select in the application. You should only select ONE Certificate of Proficiency option.

Step 2. Application approval

UC will then process your application and normally notify you within 2 weeks of the decision.

Step 3. Next steps

Once accepted, you will receive an email copy of your Offer of Place letter, along with information on how to apply for housing for international students, insurance, visa, International Welcome, orientation and enrolment. 

Ready for a life-changing experience?
Apply online for Inbound Student Exchange

For more information please contact us.