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Study Options

Making the Right Choice Starts Here

Studying abroad is a significant investment and a life-changing experience. Take some time to explore your study opportunities in Christchurch and Canterbury.

It All Starts at School

Christchurch and the wider Canterbury region has around 160 schools including both state and independent (private) schools. Each school has its own unique history and personality that has been developed by the school community, board, Principal and teaching staff.

Whether you are looking for traditional, sporting, academic, faith-based or a creative focus, you will find a school in Christchurch that will suit your child’s needs. Our school system is based on:

  • Primary School: ages 5-12 (years 1-8)
  • Intermediate School: ages 11-12 (years 7-8)
  • High School: ages 12-18 (years 9-13)
  • Co-Educational (co-ed) and single sex option

Hosting international students is a profound undertaking that requires investment in staff, systems and facilities to provide the best possible experience. Schools make this investment not just for financial benefit, but because international students bring with them different perspectives and cultural diversity that adds to the learning and development of the whole school community.

Over 50 schools welcome international students and are signatories to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (Code of Practice).

Many schools welcome the opportunity to host short-stay, study tours as well as longer term individual students.

Explore Greater Learning with Tertiary Education

Canterbury is proud to be the home to two top quality universities that feature in the top 2% in the world – Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury.

In Christchurch you can also find the largest polytechnic in the South Island, Ara Institute of Canterbury along with many specialist vocational training providers. Other major universities and education providers also have campuses in Christchurch.

Tertiary providers in the region welcome international students and will work with each individual student to determine the best possible programme of study for successful attainment of academic and career goals.

Foundation courses are available for those students who may require a period of preparation for successful completion of their study.

English Language Study

Learning English in a small city is an ideal way to have fun and meet people from around the world.

Short or long term English study options are available with all of the providers in Christchurch. The practical, applied teaching style will give students the confidence and ability to use their new language skills from day one.

New Zealand Institute of International Understanding (NZIIU)

NZIIU is an incorporated non-profit, charitable trust approved by the Ministry of Education to promote international understanding through overseas student exchange. Their quality host family homestay programmes have been operating for over 30 years and in that time thousands of young people have experienced educational and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and other countries. 

There are three programmes that enable you to experience high school as a ‘Kiwi’ and live with a New Zealand family:

  • High school exchange programmes (3 months – 1 year) 
  • Short-term tour programmes (1 – 4 weeks) 
  • Full Fee Paying (FFP) programmes (3 months – 3 years) 

For more information, please visit their website

Choosing a Provider with Christchurch Educated

Christchurch Educated is a network of over 65 education providers in the Canterbury region, all of which take pride in providing international students with an experience of a lifetime.

Providers collaborate to offer a future-focused pathway for students from primary through to tertiary education, and into employment.

Christchurch Educated providers are happy to talk to you directly about your learning needs and many will have staff who can talk to you in your first language. If you prefer to use the services of an education agent this is fine too. There are a number of local Christchurch based education agents and guardianship services available, as well as agents based in your home country. We recommend using the services of an Education New Zealand Recognised Agent (ENZRA).