Study Abroad

Three girls next to glacial lake_Study Abroad

What is Study Abroad at UC?

Study Abroad is for students who wish to study at UC for one or more semesters as part of an overseas degree.

Studying at UC allows you to study at an internationally recognised institution in a city that is the gateway to the beautiful South Island in New Zealand. Our lakes, mountains, native forest, open spaces and clean air provide a magical backdrop and an outdoor adventure playground for your Study Abroad experience.

See how our Study Abroad and Exchange students have experienced New Zealand with their own photos and videos in our gallery.

Check out this video for a glimpse of UC and the South Island.

Your 2023 and 2024 Experience Offer

As a Study Abroad student at UC, you can select your own combination of courses from across UC’s wide range of courses and subjects, provided you have the necessary background for the courses you wish to take. You can browse courses here (search by subject) to choose a combination of courses that suits you.

In addition to the wide range of courses on offer, in 2023 and 2024 you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, at no additional cost, to undertake a unique hands-on experience in the Canterbury region as part of your Study Abroad semester. This includes a free Explore adventure around Canterbury. 

The UC opportunities listed are included in your Study Abroad programme, at no additional cost, and can be incorporated into any programme of study. Choose one or more of the experiential opportunities – click below to find out more. 

Ready for a life-changing experience?
Apply online for Study Abroad

Recommended application dates

  • Applications for Semester One (February – June) should be received by the 15th of November
  • Applications for Semester Two (July – November) should be received by the 15th of April

Applications for admission after these dates will be processed, but please make sure that you allow time for all the necessary travel preparations, including applying for and receiving a student visa before you travel.

There is a separate online application for accommodation.

You must apply for accommodation (housing) by the following deadlines:

  • Semester One (February start) – 1st of December
  • Semester Two (July start) – 1st of May

The academic year in New Zealand is usually the reverse of the northern hemisphere year. The US or European first semester will normally be the dates of Semester Two at Canterbury, and the US or European second semester will be the dates of Semester One at UC. Our long summer recess runs November to February.

Study Abroad Awards

In 2023, UC is offering a number of UC International Mobility Inbound Study Abroad awards of NZD$2000 to students who are enrolled in a degree programme at a recognised institution outside of New Zealand, and who will study at the University of Canterbury for one or two semesters under UC’s Study Abroad programme.

  • Awards are open to fee-paying, non-degree international students enrolling at UC in the Study Abroad programme for a minimum of one semester. Please note that New Zealand and Australian permanent residents or citizens are not eligible for the award. Students attending UC as reciprocal exchange students or non-Study Abroad international students are also not eligible for the award.
  • To be considered for the award, you must have applied and been accepted by UC to the UC Study Abroad programme for 2023.
  • Please apply for the award by sending a statement outlining why you have chosen a Study Abroad experience in New Zealand and how the award will be beneficial to you to by 15 November 2022 if you will be attending UC in Semester 1 2023 (February semester) or by 15 April if  commencing at UC in Semester 2 2023 (July semester). You may also provide a statement of support from the Study Abroad advisor at your home university if you wish.
  • Awards will be deducted from the UC tuition fee.

Entry requirements for Study Abroad Students

International students may apply to enrol as a Study Abroad student for one or more semesters. Study Abroad students are required to pay a set tuition fee at UC.

You’re usually able to apply as a Study Abroad student at UC if: 

    • You have completed at least one year of university study at a recognised university or college. Students with less than one year of university study may also be eligible in many cases, contact for advice
    • You have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 or higher (on a scale of 4.0), or a B average or higher

If you are a postgraduate student, you will need to provide evidence of your completed undergraduate degree. Please see postgraduate students for more information.

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

For students coming from Germany for a one or two semester Study Abroad programme, we will also accept a DAAD English test score which meets UC requirements.

Email us if you’re unsure that you meet the requirements set out above, or for any further details.

Select your studies

Browse Qualifications and courses or Subjects to explore your study options at UC.

You'll also need to check that the courses you propose to take are acceptable for credit at your home university.

Some UC courses run for the first semester only, some for the second semester, and others which are full year courses. You will need to check when applying that the courses you want to take are available for the semester you want to be here.

A standard workload is 60 points per semester and individual courses are worth either 15 or 30 points.

Choose your courses

Study Abroad students can select courses from across UC’s wide study options and are accepted provided the entry requirements for each course are met.

There are some courses which may not be available to Study Abroad students. These include Fine Arts/Studio Art courses (Graphic Design, Film, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture), Forest Biology (FORE218), 200 level LAWS courses, distance courses, clinical practice courses and some teacher education courses.

Physical Education and Sport Coaching courses may require police checks. Please contact us at to check if the Physical Education and Sport Coaching courses you wish to take require police checks.

Please note students who have been accepted into CMDS281 are required to provide a police report.

If you need to know in advance whether you are able to take a particular course, please include a course list in your Study Abroad application.

If you are a postgraduate student you must provide a complete list of courses you want to study.

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

If you are applying to other engineering courses it is also recommended that you provide a list of courses with your application.

Tuition fees

As a Study Abroad student, you are required to pay tuition fees to the University of Canterbury.

  • Tuition fees for one semester of undergraduate courses for 2023 are NZ$12,400 (flat fee).
  • Tuition fees for postgraduate courses are calculated on a course-by-course basis. Tuition fees for a Study Abroad programme containing postgraduate courses may therefore be higher than the undergraduate flat fee.

Additional costs

There are also additional costs to factor into your budget per semester. 

  • In 2023, the Student Services Levy will be depending on your course load as follows. 
    • 45 points per semester: NZ$372.15 per semester
    • 60 points per semester: NZ$496.20 per semester
    • 75 points per semester: NZ$620.25 per semester
  • Insurance which meets UC requirements - NZ$375 per semester in 2023 for Studentsafe - student insurance (costs vary depending on selected provider). All students are required to have medical and travel insurance which meets UC requirements.
  • 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. 


Most Study Abroad students stay at Ilam Apartments on campus, which offers an accommodation package for Study Abroad students. 

Find out more about our accommodation package for study abroad students.


As a Study Abroad student, you must apply for and receive a student visa prior to arriving in New Zealand, even if your country of citizenship has a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand.

Find out more about visas and immigration.


As a Study Abroad student it is compulsory to have medical and travel insurance, and your insurance must be valid for the duration of your stay. Please check the insurance requirements.

Step 1. Apply for Study Abroad online

Apply online via MyUC - Click here to apply

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

  • Your academic transcript from your home university. Please make sure that this is an official transcript.
  • 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.

Applying through an outside organisation

It is also an option to apply through one of the organisations below. UC has been working with the partners listed below for many years and welcomes all students that apply through their programmes.

Whether you apply directly or through one of the following partners, you will still be considered for UC's International Mobility Inbound Study Award.

Photo Story

Incoming Exchange student Harry Whan from the University of Nottingham, from saying goodbye to Mum at the airport to making new friends at UC and exploring the South Island, Harry has chronicled his time at UC in a series of photos, below. Check out his photo story here!

Collection of photos taken and compiled by Incoming Exchange student Harry Whan.

Study Abroad Student Profiles

For more information please contact us.