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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering

University of Canterbury offers a comprehensive range of courses, including several that you’re unlikely to come across in the US, such as Maori language and culture; Antarctic studies; and courses in New Zealand and Pacific literature, history, and politics. The university has strong programs in STEM areas, such as computer science and civil engineering. Whichever courses you choose, you’ll study alongside local and other international students.

Unique study opportunities

  • Take the service learning course (CHCH 101) to engage the community and design a project that focuses on strengthening communities.
  • Take a course on Land Journeys and Ethics which includes two weekend backpacking trips with instructors.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Study: Optional.

Foreign language study is available. Check the university course catalog.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: 4 courses for a total of 24 quarter/16 semester UC units each semester.
  • You may take one course per semester for pass/no pass credit. 

Current Program Courses

Before you enroll in courses, review the calendar, restrictions, and prerequisites for all courses to ensure success.

Course Numbers and Division
Class codes are made up of letters (representing the discipline area) and numbers (representing the year level). First-year level New Zealand courses (where the numerical portion of the code begins with ‘1’) will be assigned lower-division UC credit, while second- and third-year level courses (where the numerical portion of the code begins with ‘2’ or ‘3’) will be assigned upper-division UC credit. 

Course Restrictions

Courses restricted for UC students may include:

  • Fine Arts (studio art) courses
  • 200-level Law courses
  • Distance learning courses
  • Teacher Education courses
  • Clinical practice courses

Graduate courses are not open to UCEAP undergraduates.

Note: Some courses will require you to have the necessary prerequisites before enrolling.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

To help you acclimate to campus life and culture, here are key differences between UC and New Zealand academic culture:

  • The New Zealand semester is longer and has a slower pace than the UC semester or quarter.
  • Students address local lecturers and tutors by their first name.
  • Similar to UC, the main forms of teaching are lectures (50-500+ students), tutorials (10-25 students), seminars (30+ students; half lecture, half tutorial), and labs/practicals.
  • All lectures are recorded—avoid waiting until the last minute to watch them.
  • In New Zealand, students are expected to be independent and show initiative. Instructors won't chase you down if you miss classes or assignments.
  • Assignments tend to require significant research and critical analysis.
  • You’ll need to use New Zealand English for assignments.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. New Zealand university grades are criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced (curved). This means that your performance on an assignment will be prepared to a predefined standard, not to the performance of your classmates. Your lecturer will advise you of this standard via grading rubric.

Grades for the fall semester are typically available in February. Grades for the spring semester are typically available in August. Requests for early grades cannot be accommodated.