Study Abroad in Christchurch, NZ: University of Canterbury

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The University of Canterbury was established in 1873 and is New Zealand’s second oldest university. Their globally recognized programs aim to foster critical thinking and professional excellence across many disciplines and UC graduates can be found in top jobs and graduate schools all over the world. UC also offers you the chance to take your learning beyond the classroom and gain real world experience, through service learning, internship courses and New Zealand’s most extensive network of field stations for field science.

Centrally located on the east coast of the spectacular South Island, Christchurch is on the doorstep of a huge outdoor "playground" where you can surf at the city's beautiful sandy beaches and ski and snowboard in the Southern Alps in the same day. The city is a gateway to some of NZ's most breathtaking scenery and recreational opportunities such as: hiking, climbing, white water rafting, whale watching, kayaking, alpine resorts and surfing!

Questions & Answers


based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 8.1
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 20 of 20
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Experience of a Lifetime

The University of Canterbury has a beautiful campus filled with wonderful people. Adjusting to life at uni was made simple by the welcoming staff. I am incredibly lucky to have been taught by lecturers who are also conducting research similar to my interests. I have learned a lot of valuable insight into career opportunities, and I have made lifelong friends.

Being in a large city in the South Island meant easy travel. I was able to access the whole of the South Island from Christchurch. The weather was perfect in my opinion -- mild compared to what I am used to at home.

I originally chose UC for the location, but if I had to choose again, I would choose UC for the incredible school that I have come to call home.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amazing Experience

Studying at Canterbury was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! It was a great opportunity to make tons of new friends (both Kiwis and other international students), and have tons of adventures. While in my personal experience the academics were very challenging, that was by my choice (I only enrolled in three classes and they were all 100 level), and left me with plenty of time to take advantage of what New Zealand has to offer.

As a pretty outdoorsy person, studying on the South Island was perfect. From the smaller port hills which offer an outdoor playground for trail running, mountain biking, climbing and more, while being a short bus ride from campus; to the Southern Alps and Fiordland, there are sooo many opportunities for outdoor recreation. There are also a number of very active clubs on campus catering to this, including the tramping (what Kiwis call hiking) club and climbing club (both of which I was active in), as well as a kayaking club, multiple ski clubs and more! If I was not going out on an adventure independently with friends, on any given weekend there were almost always plenty of club outings to go on!

Living in, and traveling around New Zealand was an amazing experience, and studying at UC not only made it possible, but greatly added to the experience!

Yes, I recommend this program
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UC Study Abroad

UC was a very welcoming place to study abroad. The staff were all super friendly and helpful if you had questions. Christchurch isn't the biggest city, but it has many fun temporary attractions (gap fillers) and art pieces while it rebuilds, such as the Dance-O-Mat, which is a laundry machine you can plug your phone into to play music through speakers. UC itself has a pretty good social scene, and there are many clubs you can join to get more integrated into the school. Christchurch is also a great place to be based for day or weekend trips on the South Island for beautiful hiking, kayaking, and climbing. The workload varies depending on the classes you take, but the classes geared towards international students tend to be easier. Overall, I had a very enjoyable time at UC and exploring New Zealand, meeting Kiwis though my classes, clubs, and my flatmates.

How can this program be improved?
There could have been more check-ins and social gatherings for the international students throughout the semester, as well as helping us more to meet Kiwis.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great place to study for students who like to travel

I really enjoyed my stay at University of Canterbury. What made it so great wasn't really the challenge of the academics, but the access to the outdoors. My grades transfer to my home university as pass/fail so my biggest aim in going abroad was experiencing an exciting and cool location rather than challenging academics. At UC the opportunities to get outside and hike and tramp were outstanding and everything was close enough by that it was easily accessible through clubs or the bus system, or even by purchasing a car. If you love the outdoors than studying in Christchurch is definitely for you.

How can this program be improved?
The academics weren't really all that challenging, and the orientation for abroad students wasn't all that great. I didn't end up meeting that many kiwis because it became much easier to meet other students studying abroad. This program could definitely be improved by more interaction between full time UC students and students studying abroad.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I'm incredibly thankful that I got to experience UC abroad. I met so many amazing people here and had so much fun while traveling every weekend and keeping up with my studies. I wouldn't pick anywhere else to have studied abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program


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About University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury was established in 1873 and is New Zealand’s second oldest university. Their globally recognized programs aim to foster critical thinking and professional excellence across many disciplines and UC graduates can be found...