UC Student Exchange Programme (Outgoing Student Exchange)

Girl reading in Paris

OE with UC! Ever wondered what it would be like to study at a university in another country? The UC exchange programme may be just what you're looking for!

What is the UC Exchange Programme?

The UC Exchange programme allows you to study for one or two semesters of course work study at a university overseas. Your tuition fees, level and other non-tuition fees applicable are paid directly to UC and you do not incur any international tuition fees while you are away. If you are eligible for a student loan or allowance at UC, you will continue to be eligible while you are on exchange, provided that you meet the requirements of Studylink. You will be responsible for all of your own living expenses, although there are scholarships available to help with costs.

You will need approval from the relevant UC Departments and Colleges for the courses you successfully complete at a partner university to be credited to your UC degree. You will still graduate with a UC degree and not with a degree from a partner university.

Search our exchange partner universities to see where in the world the Outgoing Exchange programme could take you.

Why go on a UC Exchange?

Discover the life changing experience of studying overseas with the UC exchange programme. You can immerse yourself in another culture, make lifelong friends and get international experience before you graduate.

Academic benefits

  • Study at some of the most prestigious universities for teaching and research around the world
  • Learn a new language or improve your language skills
  • Diversify your degree with take courses that are not available at UC

Career benefits

  • Show to employers that you are flexible, adventurous and a self-starter
  • Develop skills to deal with change
  • Develop your cultural awareness and skills in cross-cultural communication
  • Make the most of global networking opportunities

Personal benefits

  • Develop a greater understanding of both your own and another culture
  • Meet new people and develop life-long friendships around the world
  • Grow your self-confidence and become more independent
  • Travel and see new places

Financial support

First year students in 2015-2019 - return economy airfare

If you were/are a first year full-time student who have commenced your study towards a bachelor degree at UC in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019, and you have been making satisfactory academic progress, you will be considered for UC's offer of return economy airfare to your exchange destination. If you are a first year student at UC in 2018, the earliest you can start your exchange is Semester 2 2019 depending on your degree. In order to be considered for this offer, you will need to have achieved an overall GPA of 5.0 or above and have been making satisfactory academic progress with your study, meet the requirements of the UC Exchange programme and be approved to participate in an exchange. You do not need to apply for this separately. This offer is available for your undergraduate degree only. Further terms and conditions may apply. 

Note that if you have received this offer of a return economy airfare for your previous exchange programme, and if you wish to undertake another exchange with UC, you will not be eligible for this offer again. 

Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America (PMSLA)

The Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia and the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America (PMSLA) outbound scholarship programmes funded by the New Zealand government. These scholarships are awards supporting top students hoping to undertake study, internship or other independent programmes in Asia and Latin America, subject to Education New Zealand's approval. The scholarships may cover travel, accommodation, course fees and living costs. If you are applying or have applied for other scholarships, it is your responsibility to check whether the regulations of the scholarships allow you to apply for the scholarships. Please refer to the websites of Education New Zealand above for up-to-date information in these scholarships. 

New Exchange Partner - University of Leeds, UK

Interested in finding out about what University of Leeds offers? Join the Live Chat Event run by the University of Leeds which is open to prospective students thinking about studying abroad in Leeds.

The event is run twice during the same day:

Tuesday 9th October: 10:00-11:00 BST
Tuesday 9th October: 15:00-16:00 BST (British Summer Time)

During this event, students will be able to ask about anything; the application process, supporting documents, modules, registration, accommodation or general questions about life in Leeds. Members of the Incoming Study Abroad team at Leeds and current student ambassadors will be on hand to answer these questions. The format will be question and answer, students will type questions and receive typed answers in response.

Do not worry if you can’t make it, the transcript of the event will remain on the website to read at a later date.

Students can register their interest in advance or join in on the day via the following link: https://linkto.leeds.ac.uk/events/

Ready for a life-changing experience?
Fill out our Outgoing Student Exchange Application Form‌ now.

Step 1. Attend one of the weekly information seminars
Step 2. Choose where you want to study

You can study on the outgoing student Exchange programme at any one of UC's 60+ exchange partners so you’re bound to find a destination that’s right for you.

Step 3. 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 study on the Outgoing Student 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. 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. 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 Colleges 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.

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 NZICA/CA ANZ have the responsibility to check with both the College of Business and Economics and NZICA/CA ANZ 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 College of Business and Law, for advice on NZICA requirements.

Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) and 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 Sport Coaching students

You should contact the Student Advisor at the College of Education or the Programme Co-ordinator of Bachelor of Sport Coaching in the first instance to find out whether it is feasible to undertake an exchange as part of your degree.

Bachelor of Laws students

You need to complete the compulsory courses of the Bachelor of Laws at UC prior to the exchange.

Law Honours students - you should contact the School of Law to find out how your grades achieved on exchange may be included in the calculation for determining the class of Honours, if you are eligible for it. 

Bachelor of Forestry Science students

You are advised to undertake your exchange in the first semester in the third year of your degree. 

Bachelor of Engineering students

The usual time for Engineering students to go on exchange is during the 2nd Professional Year. It is not possible to go on exchange during the 1st Professional 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 relevant Professional Year coordinator at UC before applying.

Engineering applications will not be considered unless a course plan agreed to by the relevant UC Engineering department is included. You must also submit your Engineering course plan form and course descriptions of the courses you want to take at the partner university on exchange. Download the course ‌UC Exchange Engineering course plan.

Civil Engineering students must discuss their course plans well in advance with Dr. Pedro Lee, at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, before they submit an application for the exchange programme. Civil Engineering students are recommended to participate in the exchange in the first semester of the 3rd Professional Year.

Engineering, Law and other students undertaking Honours programmes

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

New Zealand Permanent Residents / Australian Citizens or Australian Permanent Residents

If you are a New Zealand Permanent Residents, Australian Citizens or Australian Permanent Residents, you are required to meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the UC Student Exchange Programme. If you do not meet the first criteria, you will need to select a different country for your Student Exchange application. 

  • In the last 5 years, I have spent less than 6 months (26 weeks) in total in the country I am going to for my UC Student 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/ 26 weeks.)
  • I am ordinarily a resident of New Zealand and I normally and lawfully live in New Zealand, intend to stay here and consider New Zealand to be home. You cannot be ordinarily resident in two countries at the same time.
  • I will undertake face-to-face study on the campus at the Exchange Partner University and I will not undertake any study by distance.

New Zealand Permanent Residents - returning to home country on exchange

Students who hold New Zealand Permanent Residency (NZPR) are not allowed to go to countries where they hold citizenship for their exchange. 

International Students

International Students can participate in the UC Student 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 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 visa for personal travels to find out what visa regulations may apply to you and what the visa application process or timeframe is. 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

Postgradaute exchange programmes for 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 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. 

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.

Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch

Step 4. Plan your study

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 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 Colleges 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.

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 cannot guarantee the availability of specific courses at the exchange partner university and that you need to plan to be as flexible as possible with course selection on exchange. You are strongly recommended to take the compulsory courses for your degree at UC. 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. You also can’t usually take more than a standard course load on exchange (equivalent of 60 UC points per semester).

Step 5. Check the application deadlines

Application deadlines may change from those advertised in previous years, check here regularly to get the most up to date information about deadlines.

Exchanges in 2020

Information Seminars for students interested in going on exchange in 2020 are held throughout Semester 1 2019 as indicated above. Note that some deadlines may change from those advertised previously and some partner universities have an early application deadline.

UC Student Exchange applications must be submitted to ucmobility@canterbury.ac.nz or the Helpdesk in the Matariki Building.

You are welcome to submit your application before the closing date, but applications will not be processed until after application closing date.

The deadlines for applying are:

  • Exchanges in Semester 1 2020 – apply before 31 May 2019
  • Exchanges in Semester 2 2020 – apply before 1 September 2019 

Early application deadlines apply to the following partner universities:

  • University of Washington – there is one application round only. Please apply before 31 May 2019 for an exchange in Semester 1 or Semester 2 2020. You are required to make an appointment and discuss your plan with the International Mobility team (ucmobility@canterbury.ac.nz) before you submit your exchange application.
  • Waseda University, Bunkyo University and Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) - there is one application round only. Please apply before 31 May 2019 for an exchange in Semester 1 or Semester 2 2020. Students can only commence their exchange at Waseda University or Bunkyo University in Semester 1 (April intake at Waseda / Bunkyo).
  • University of British Columbia (UBC) – the application deadline for an exchange to UBC in Semester 1 2019 (UBC's Term 2, January intake) is 1 February 2019. If you wish to go to UBC in Semester 2 2019, you must apply before 1 September 2018.
  • Queen's University (Arts and Science) - the application deadline for an Arts and Science exchange to Queen's University in Semester 1 2020 is 1 February 2019.  Applications for the Engineering exchange programme at Queen's for Semester 1 and Semester 2 2020 close on 31 May 2019 and 1 September 2019 respectively.
  • University of Nottingham - if you wish to go to Nottingham in Semester 1 2020 (January intake at Nottingham), you should apply before 1 February 2019. If you wish to go to Nottingham in Semester 2 2020, you must apply before 1 September 2019.

Step 6. Complete your UC Exchange application

To apply for the Outgoing Student 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 form.

Outgoing Student Exchange Application Form

Submit your application

You must submit your application by email to ucmobility@canterbury.ac.nz or in person the Student Services Centre, Level 1, Matariki. 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 closing dates and the availability of postgraduate exchanges at any given university before you start your application.

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.

Please read ensure you have familiarised yourself with all insurance requirements.

Insurance for outgoing exchange students.

Insurance for studying outside New Zealand

All domestic students and international students in New Zealand who are travelling off-shore as part of their study programme require appropriate and current medical and travel insurance. The insurance must meet the University of Canterbury's minimum requirements and be valid for the entire period off-shore.

Please ensure you have familiarised yourself with all insurance requirements.

Insurance for outgoing exchange students


For more information please contact us.