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New Zealand Study Abroad Program at University of Canterbury

About University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Required GPA: 2.8 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: November 1 for Semester 1 (Feb-June) and Calendar year (Feb-Nov)
    April 1 for Semester 2 (July-Nov) and Academic Year (July-June)
  • Program advisor: David Watkins

Program Snapshot

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Kia ora! We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen the University of Canterbury as your destination. Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island, and is where you'll find plenty of things to keep you busy! Whether it's going hiking, rock climbing or skiing, or taking in a movie, concert or art exhibition, we're sure you're going to love studying there!

There are just a few more forms to complete before your application is ready to be submitted to University of Canterbury for an admissions decision. The forms can be found under the Forms tab.

What Canterbury has to offer:

  • Ranked among the world's top 250 universities
  • Established in 1873 by scholars of Oxford and Cambridge
  • Four libraries, 24-hour computer labs, many cafes and restaurants, student health center and recreation center on campus
  • Concerts and performances at Court Theatre
  • More than 110 social, cultural and athletic clubs and societies
  • Easy access to Christchurch's city center just 15 minutes away

Housing

  • Furnished student flats in a housing complex across the road from the campus
  • Each flat has single bedrooms and shared kitchen, living area and bathroom facilities
  • Students prepare their own meals
  • NEW! Low-cost bike rentals available at the housing complex

Academics

Academic Structure

University of Canterbury is a semester or full year study abroad program. Students take three or four classes each semester, depending on the credits awarded.

Program Courses

Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?

  1. Open the University of Canterbury online course catalog.
  2. In the middle of the page, click the orange "Online Course Catalog" link
  3. Click on the subject area that interests you and select your preferred courses.

What departments can I study in?

As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course.

For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:

  • When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the New Zealand academic system is an intensive, three-year program.
    • First-year (100 level) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
    • Second-year (200 level) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
    • Third-year (300 level) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
    • Fourth-year (400 level) courses and higher are part of a postgraduate degree (Masters or Ph.D.). You are not eligible to take these courses as an undergraduate study abroad student.
  • You can only take yearlong courses if you plan to study abroad for the calendar year (semesters 1 and 2, in that order).
  • Remember in New Zealand, U.S. fall semester = semester 2 and U.S. spring semester = semester 1. Be sure to select courses for the correct semester you are studying abroad.

Courses

You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

Course Registration

You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

Credits

IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select. For information on the credit weight, please consult see below.

15 Points at Canterbury = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
30 Points at Canterbury = 8 U.S. semester credit hours
60 Points at Canterbury = 16 U.S. semester credit hours

 

Exams

Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record query for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.

Transcripts

After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit and grades you earned at University of Canterbury. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Housing

Housing Options

What are my housing options?
All IFSA-Butler students will reside in Ilam Apartments.

Ilam Apartments has over 800 rooms. They are modern, spacious and conveniently located, across the road from the university and close to local shops and supermarkets. A large number of international students reside there, but accommodation staff work to ensure that kiwi students are integrated into the apartments too, so residents have the opportunity to mix with both locals and international students of various backgrounds.

All flats are fully furnished with a washer, equipped kitchen, living room with TV and a shared, coed bathroom. Students are responsible for buying food and preparing their own meals, but meal plans are also available for short or longer durations. Cleaners touch-up communal spaces periodically, but residents are required to clean flats regularly.

Events are organized for residents throughout the semester under three different themes; 1) "Live"—social events, such as mystery weekends and themed parties, 2) "Learn"—events to help with the academic side of life, and 3) "Grow"—events to help students become more independent, such as cooking lessons and budgeting advice.

Two common rooms are available 24 hours a day, one with a pool table, television, DVD, etc., where you can hold your own gatherings or join in organized functions.

NEW! Ilam Apartments are offering low-cost bike rentals to residents. Click here to read more information.

Meals

Meals are not included in the program fee, and all accommodations are self-catered. However, students can purchase meal plans directly from the university. Meal plans are available on a full semester basis or for short durations.

Housing FAQs

When will I receive my housing assignment?

You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in New Zealand for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Do I have to pay a housing deposit?

Yes. IFSA-Butler requires a refundable housing deposit of $300 before going abroad. We will return this deposit to you after March 1 for fall programs or September 1 for spring and year programs, less any fines, damages or outstanding debts in your name.

Can I arrange my own housing?

Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Christchurch

Population: 400,000

Location: South Island

City features

  • Known as the Garden City for its beautiful scenery
  • The largest city on the South Island
  • A thriving artistic and cultural scene with a symphony, galleries, museums, cinemas, live music, theatre and the World Buskers Festival (circus, street and stage acts) every January
  • A nightlife that is regaining its vibrancy in fun, creative ways

Do more!

  • Bask on the beautiful beaches close by
  • Ski and snowboard at five ski fields within 90 minutes of the city
  • Go mountain biking and hiking in spectacular natural areas
  • Try other South Island activities—whitewater rafting, whale watching, sailing, surfing, kayaking and bungee jumping
  • Visit the area's world-class wineries

Links
What's On Christchurch
Christchurch and Canterbury: Fresh Each Day
Christchurch and Canterbury, Official Visitor Guide

Regional Tourism Map
Christchurch City Council
Chart—Christchurch Music Industry Trust
Christchurch Accommodation and Travel Guide
Christchurch News
Pure New Zealand, NZ Official Tourism

Kaikoura Official Visitor Information

Akaroa
Hanmer Springs

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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* All students must arrive in Auckland by this date.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In New Zealand exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

All program support services end on the “Program ends” date.

Program Fees

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What's included in our New Zealand program fees
Expense calculator

Calendar Year and Semester 1 Payments Due: December 15
Academic Year and Semester 2 Payments Due:
May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

Housing
The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

† Housing Deposit
This program requires a housing deposit of $300. This payment is in addition to the program fee but is due on the same date. The deposit is held separately from the program fee and should be paid separately. The deposit is refunded to the student after the program, less any damages, fines or outstanding debts in the student’s name.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Forms

Applicants to the program at University of Canterbury must complete two additional forms. Please download, print and complete the following:

We must receive these forms before we can send your application to the University of Canterbury for an admissions decision. They can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax or regular mail. Please submit these forms with the remainder of your program application.

If you have already started an application to the University of Canterbury program, you can check the status of your application using the student portal.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in New Zealand:

altProgram Advisor David Watkins assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. David can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4229. David graduated from the University of Cincinnati with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and political science. He studied abroad in France, Israel and the West Bank, and began a study abroad program with IFSA-Butler in Egypt during the spring of 2011. After political evacuation from Egypt, he continued his studies in Morocco. David currently advises students planning on studying abroad in England, New Zealand and Australia.


beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-3077.




alt
Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler for 11 years, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.



Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our New Zealand staff, including Resident Director Sian Munro. Click here to read more about Sian.

saraUpon return from your study abroad program, Academic Affairs Coordinator Sara Bell processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record queries. Sara can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4261.

Get Connected

Social Media

 

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program, check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Christchurch 101

The University of Canterbury has an outstanding Community-Based Learning opportunity for study abroad students. The Christchurch 101 course combines classwork with a service project that focuses on helping the city of Christchurch recover from the February 2011 earthquake that caused extensive damage throughout the area.

The course is worth 15 Canterbury points, which is equivalent to 4 U.S. semester credit hours

Download a PDF about this program.

 
Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.