‌Global Rugby Abroad‌

Crusader action shot 2

Global Rugby Abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity for College rugby enthusiasts – a rugby Study Abroad semester in Christchurch, New Zealand in which you’ll combine a semester of academic study at the University of Canterbury with specialized rugby training with the team behind New Zealand’s most successful elite Super Rugby franchise. You’ll have the chance to hone your rugby skills in the hotbed of world rugby and experience an innovative training and development culture, all while studying for credit towards your home university degree in New Zealand’s spectacular South Island.

The Global Rugby Abroad programme is comprised of two parts:

  • A standard study abroad semester at the University of Canterbury
  • A specialized rugby programme which runs throughout the semester, with pre-semester and mid semester training camps.

At a glance

  • Open to male and female college rugby players of any academic major and rugby skill level
  • Rugby training and conditioning will be scheduled in the mornings and early evenings to enable you to attend standard classes at UC and fully immerse yourself in the university experience.
  • At UC you’ll undertake a Study Abroad semester of for-credit study, choosing from UC’s extensive course offerings across Liberal Arts, Science, Education, Engineering, Forestry, Music, Law and Business to meet your home university credit requirements and your own interests.
  • Choose to enrol in either a full semester academic workload or a three quarter academic load
  • Significant award funding is available to provide financial support for students enrolling in the programme in 2018.


UC International Welcome and enrolment: Monday 12 February - Wednesday 14 February 2018 (final dates to be confirmed).
Pre-semester rugby experience: Thursday 15 February – Saturday 17 February 2018 (final dates to be confirmed).
UC semester: Classes begin on 19 February. Exams end on 23 June 2018.
Mid-semester rugby experience – dates to be confirmed.

2018 Fees

Due to the additional commitment involved with the rugby programme, two Global Rugby Abroad options are available, depending on how many academic courses you wish to enrol in at UC.

1. Full academic workload (enrolment in 60-75 UC credit points): NZ $16250, including rugby programme fee of $4000
2. Three quarter academic workload (enrolment in 45 UC credit points): NZ $13190, including rugby programme fee of $4000

*Insurance and compulsory Student Services Levy are not included in the above price.
* Reciprocal Exchange students are also eligible to enrol in the rugby programme, for the $4000 rugby fee.

Global Rugby Abroad Programme

Rugby programmeAcademic programme (Study Abroad)
  • 3 day pre-semester experience (15 – 17 February 2018, final dates to be confirmed): Rugby Conditioning and Development Camp,
  • Club rugby practices twice weekly
  • Saturday game time with club teams
  • Daily strength and conditioning, including programming, testing and recovery
  • Twice weekly technical and tactical sessions, including skill assessments, decision making and positional skills
  • Mid Semester Camp (3 days) during mid semester break in April
  • Gym membership and fitness programming
  • Seminars including leadership, mental skills and nutritional advice
  • Medical support
  • Crusaders training gear
  • Observe Crusader trainings throughout the semester
  • Attend several Canterbury Crusaders matches throughout the semester
  • End of program report and certificate
  • Practice/meet with former and current All Black(s) or Crusaders!
*The rugby component is not for academic credit. Students will receive a certificate of participation for the rugby component of the programme.

Choose from UC's comprehensive range of courses, with over 100 programmes offered across Liberal Arts, Science, Law, Business, Engineering and Education. Select courses to meet your home university credit requirements and your own interests.

Courses are also available to support and enhance the skills you’ll learn on the rugby field .While participants can choose any courses from UC’s extensive offerings, we recommend you consider including one of the following courses to complement your rugby training:

  • SPCO 107 Sport Nutrition
  • SPCO 209 Exercise Physiology
  • SPCO 223 Applied Sport Psychology
  • SPCO 241 Introduction to Strength and Conditioning
  • SPCP 105 Social History of Sport and Physical Education
  • SPCO 101 Introduction to Sport Coaching
  • SPCO 201 Athlete-centered Coaching
  • SPCO 224 Sport Management

Pre-Semester Rugby Experience

15 – 17 February 2018 (final dates to be confirmed)

Welcome and Induction Fitness Testing 1 Conditioning and Skills
Medical and Well being Assessment Observe Crusaders Training Recovery Protocols
Skills Assessment Team Building Activity Fitness Testing 2
The Crusader Way Nutrition and Mental Skills assessment New Zealand Cultural Experience
  Club Training  

*Pre-semester programme is indicative only and may be subject to change.

In-Semester Rugby Experience

A typical week may look as follows (programme is indicative and subject to change):

8-9am Strength and Conditioning/Medical Clinic 8-9am Strength and Conditioning 8-9am Strength and Conditioning 8-9am Strength and Conditioning 8-9am Strength and Conditioning   Recovery Swim – self directed
UC Classes UC Classes UC Classes UC Classes UC Classes Attend Crusaders match *  
5-6:30pm Modified Games

4.30-5.30pm Seminars 

5-6:30pm Technical and Tactical Skills 4.30-5.30pm Technical and Tactical Skills Free  
  Attend Club Training   Attend Club Training    
  • Strength and Conditioning (daily): includes programming, testing, health and wellbeing, recovery.
  • Technical and Tactical (weekly): includes observing Crusaders training; skill assessments; run, catch and pass; decision making and game sense; unit skills; positional skills; defence; breakdown.
  • Seminars (weekly): may include mental skills; leadership; managing anxiety; game day routine; nutrition fundamentals; training and game day nutrition.

* Players will receive 3 free tickets to a home Crusaders match and have preferential bookings to other matches.

Mid-Semester Rugby Experience 

Group Review Nutrition and Mental Skills Assessment 2 Breakfast with a Crusader        
Fitness Test 3 Observe Crusaders Training Technical and Tactical Skills        
Individual Meetings

Skills Assessment 2

Fitness Test 4        
  Rugby Seminar Group presentations        
  Attend Club Training Group Dinner        

*Mid semester experience programme is indicative only and may be subject to change.

Application requirements

  • Required rugby background
    Open to male and female rugby players of any skill level. You’ll need to have a background in rugby and should be in good health and able to participate fully in training activities.
  • Academic background
    You should normally have completed at least one semester of university study at the time of application, with a GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent. Students outside of these requirements may also be considered on a case by case basis. English language requirements will apply if English is not your native language.  

Application dates

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until 15 November. The programme will not be offered if the minimum enrolment numbers are not reached in any given year. Spaces may be limited and maximum enrolment numbers may apply. The availability of this progamme is subject to change.

How to apply

Study Abroad students

Complete and submit the following:

Please email your application to ucmobility@canterbury.ac.nz

Incoming Exchange students

Complete the Rugby Study Abroad Application Form and submit it to your home university with your Incoming Exchange application and other required documents. See the Incoming Student Exchange website for the information on the application process for Incoming Exchange students. 


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.