University of Waikato


The University of Waikato is a modern and innovative university located in the centre of the North Island. You can be assured you will receive an education that is globally focused, innovative and provides you a dynamic university experience. Our park-like campus in Hamilton provides a vibrant student culture and is reflective of our deep connection to Maori culture.

The Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions offer some of the best tourist attractions in the country, from the Hobbiton movie set to spectacular natural wonders of the Waitomo Caves. Sight-see and explore some of the countries best surf spots of Raglan and Mount Maunganui, and in winter ski and snowboard the slopes of Mount Ruapehu. Auckland City is an easy 1.5 hour commute and the Maori cultural hub of Rotorua is just an hour south of Hamilton.

Add a globally recognised education from Waikato to your resume while you enjoy the best of New Zealand!



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Yes, I recommend this program

This is such a fantastic way to learn more about Maori Culture and the great many adventures New Zealand has to offer. Many of their trips to places were organized and unique, like no other place I've been. The Professors are all very helpful and welcoming. Uni Week is a fun/wild time of meeting everybody! Incredible how the University handled the Covid-19 situation and everyone rallied together. The campus is beautiful, and the style of learning is VERY different than America. Very laid back, but when finals hit, they hit hard, so be ready. The best decision is to study here.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I really enjoyed taking Psychology and Māori & Indigenous courses at the University of Waikato for a semester. All the university staff are friendly and helpful. The professors for all my courses were approachable and engaging!
I took MAORI101, MAORI102, MAORI103, and PSYCH202 and would highly recommend all of these courses. Learning te reo and more about the Māori world has been super fun. PSYCH202 was amazing and actually changed the direction I want to go with my degree and what I want to do after graduation.
The campus its self is beautiful and welcoming. I loved going for walks around the lakes and sports fields.
The only thing that I found was a bit lacking was support for any mental health challenges. Everyone who works at the uni is very friendly but it was unclear where I should go to get extra support.
Overall studying at the University of Waikato has been an amazing life changing experience and a great chance to see the world while studying!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have stepped further outside of my comfort zone and made more of an attempt to make new friends right out the gate!
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Yes, I recommend this program

I was not taking any classes at Waikato, and thus also was not automatically involved in the international students life - but after some start difficulties this was all ok, and i had an awesome time!
New Zealand is an awesome country for an exchange, mostly if you like beautiful landscapes and travelling. It offers some of the most stunning views and most breathtaking hikes i've ever seen. The University itself is good and offers good classes in a nice, familial environment. The city is well situated, but rather calm. No problem for me, i loved my time around here!

What would you improve about this program?
The international office and the student associations dealing with the internationals are doing a good job, but seem to be rather new in the business - and they seem to be missing their own exchange experience. A pity.
Coming to an exchange, help with housing is good, and also with finding classes. This is provided. But i also expected to have some cultural gatherings and, yes, also some organised parties for the internationals. New Zealand has a rather... reserved approach on alcohol, so the Uni doesn't want to be involved with anything party-like. This is very sad, as these gatherings also offer an opportunity to meet new people, and make friends also outside of the typical university atmosphere
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the most amazing experiences I had was the beginning of the semester games we played against the other halls. We got to swim in the pool, and play all sorts of games and challenges with our hall and against others. It really brought us all together and made me feel a connection with the kiwis and the university. It was a fun time and I think a great idea to bring people out of their comfort zone and warm up to the change of Uni.

What would you improve about this program?
Stronger Uni-student interaction. More efficient interactions that do occur. More trip offerings (if affordable).
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Yes, I recommend this program

A+ campus in an A+ country where people walk around barefoot and eat spagetti on their toast! Get to know yourself, new people, travel and soak in the culture. Plus interesting papers & helpful staff!

What would you improve about this program?
More low key 'get to know each other' activities for internationals and locals. It can be tough taking the step out there and a little kick in the butt is usually much appreciated (after some time at least!).
Beachday with social games at Raglan, bowling, the leap, pot-lock dinner, share your culture nights, boardgame night and/or championships. Movienights. Speed dating/ friend dating, pokernight, picnic at the field, the list goes on! :) and of course adventure trips like hobbiton, bungi/skydive, caves, maori experiences and such that you had while I was there! :)


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Bianca Nichol

Job Title
International Student Advisor
Bianca is a key member of the International Student Services Office at the University of Waikato. She provides pastoral care and support for incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students, and facilitates orientations, trips, and events.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I live in New Zealand, so to get amazing travel memories, I don't even have to leave our shores! One of my favourite was a spontaneous road trip we took one summer. We chucked our tent in our car, grabbed some clothes, headed North for 5 days of perfect weather and fun.

Driving up the East Coast lead us to spectacular golden sand beaches, big green rolling hills, and deep blue waters. Yes, we stopped in every single bay and swam.

Eventually reaching Cape Reinga, the peak of the North Island, witnessing the converging waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea was breathtaking!

Driving back down the the West Coast was stark contrast - black sand beaches, black choppy waters, but equally as beautiful. It was the best adventure ever!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Each semester we host International Students from around 80 different countries! That's a tonne of new students, cultures, and traditions that I get to absorb and interact with and be part of every year. And each one has opened my mind and shown me the beauty of the world! It's like travelling and exploring the world, again without leaving our shores.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I always marvel at the relationships fostered between students who come here from so many different parts of the world, not knowing anyone, and then leave with friendships that span oceans and time. Also, who knew you could find love by making the decision to spend one semester abroad in New Zealand?!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Hmmm, where do I start? I'd love to do it all, but if I have to choose only one, I pick... Canada! I've never been to that part of the world, and I'd love to explore the pristine beauty of the outdoors, and connect with the indigenous peoples, and the many diverse cultures there. Oh, and maple syrup!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato – the University of Waikato has had strong connections with Kīngitanga and Waikato-Tainui since it was founded in 1964. We even have an annual event, Kīngitanga Day, that honours these special relationships and celebrates the University’s unique identity, distinctive culture and leadership.

The principles of Māoritanga are visibly woven in to fabric of the University strategy and practice. As an individual of indigenous heritage, this makes me proud.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe when we put the student and their experience at the center of our work, and combine that with staff who are passionate about the student experience and helping students succeed, the company cannot help but be successful. In the world of International Education, the student experience and their desire to share their positive experience in their home country is integral to our success.