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  • Timaru Pop. 47,300



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The Canterbury region is an education powerhouse with leading universities, polytechnics, primary and secondary schools, training institutions and English language providers. Whatever you want to study, at whichever level, you’re likely to find a high-quality provider in Canterbury.

Where can I study?

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Canterbury’s many education providers include the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University, Ara Institute of Canterbury, specialised training institutions, English language schools and about 160 primary and secondary schools.

Why you should study in Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is ranked among the top 250 in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. Its civil and structural engineering programme is ranked in the top 100 in the world, and it has another four subjects in the top 150.

Lincoln University is rated 356th in the 2020 QS World University Rankings with agriculture and forestry ranking in the top 100 subjects.

In the 2015 International Student Barometer survey of current students, Lincoln was number one worldwide in helping students choose study topics, in how it ran its accommodation and finance offices, and in tasks such as helping students with health insurance.

With campuses in Christchurch and Timaru, Ara Institute of Canterbury is the South Island’s largest technical and vocational training institution.   

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Whether you’re looking for a school with an academic, traditional, sporting or creative focus, you’ll find the right place for you in Canterbury.

The Canterbury region has about 160 primary, intermediate and secondary schools, each with its own unique history and personality developed by the school community. Many schools host short-stay study tours as well as long-term individual students.

Christchurch schools are known for their academic expertise and traditions of excellence, with strong programmes in the arts, sports, culture and languages. 

Specialised sport programmes include an international rugby academy.

Mid and South Canterbury offer safe and close-knit communities. Schools that welcome international students include: Mount Hutt College, where students can take part in a snow programme every week during the snowsports season; Timaru Boys’ High School, where students can gain their pilot’s licence; and Ashburton Borough School, where students enjoy beautiful grounds with an orchard and vegetable gardens.

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Students from other countries are welcomed for the diversity they bring to Christchurch, with almost half of the city’s secondary schools accepting international students.

Study in a Christchurch secondary school, gain the right entry requirements and you’ll be guaranteed a place in a degree programme at a Christchurch tertiary institution.

All international students who obtain university entry requirements from NCEA levels 2 and 3 are guaranteed a place at the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University or Ara Institute of Canterbury. They’re also guaranteed an offer of student accommodation, and the use of libraries on all three campuses.

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Canterbury is New Zealand’s largest region, stretching from the alps to the sea. Students can take advantage of big-city attractions such as shopping, concerts, festivals, restaurants and public art, or explore the snowy mountains, sparkling lakes, white-sand beaches and rolling hills.

Why you should live in Canterbury

Inspiring, innovative and dynamic, Christchurch is in the process of transforming itself into one of the world’s most modern and sustainable cities.

New Zealand’s second-largest city featured on the New York Times’ list of 52 place to go to in 2014 and Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to travel to in 2013.

Christchurch has all the attractions of a big global city with a safe, relaxed Kiwi vibe. It hosts more than 250 events, concerts and cultural festivals each year, as well as having outstanding shopping, art galleries, restaurants, cafes and a vibrant public art scene.

The Christchurch Education Student App can give you guidance on things to see and do on the weekend, and offers discounts at a range of shops, cinemas and transport operators. It also connects you with international student ambassadors, making it even easier to enjoy everything the region has to offer.   

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Schools in Canterbury are popular with international students because of their academic results, high-quality homestays, strong support systems and unbeatable lifestyles.

The great Canterbury outdoors are accessible all year round. There are surf beaches along the Canterbury coast, and the Southern Alps - famous for snowsports - are only a hour’s drive from main centres.

With snowy mountains, glaciers, crystal-clear lakes, braided rivers and rolling hills to explore, international students will never forget their time in this region of natural wonders.

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Christchurch is a gateway to the breathtaking scenery - as seen in the Lord of the Rings films - and the unforgettable experiences and attractions of the South Island.

Study in Christchurch and you’ll be within an hour of snowsports, mountain bike parks, surf breaks, swimming beaches, rivers and walking tracks.

Within easy reach of the city, you can stroll or mountain bike through a forest or wetlands, or head up to the Port Hills for fantastic views of the Southern Alps.

Canterbury has more ski areas than anywhere else in the southern hemisphere, and is home to the most accessible rock climbing in New Zealand. Study in Canterbury and you’ll be less than three hours away from seeing whales off Kaikoura.

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Learn more about living in Canterbury

Canterbury’s unemployment rate is about half the national average, with the rebuild of Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes sparking a major jobs boom. Students have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of rebuilding a major city, through work placements or career opportunities after graduation.

Why you should work in Canterbury

Canterbury’s economy is New Zealand’s fastest-growing, with the gross domestic product rising 11% in 2015.

The $40 billion investment in rebuilding greater Christchurch is the biggest economic undertaking in New Zealand’s history, and is driving an exciting range of new developments and initiatives.

International companies are establishing centres of excellence in the revived Christchurch, providing more job opportunities for graduates.

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Canterbury is a centre of opportunity for students and graduates as Christchurch transforms itself into one of the world’s most modern and sustainable cities. Graduates have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the rebuild.

Skilled graduates are especially needed in areas including manufacturing and software development, construction engineering, biotechnology, avionics, forestry, agriculture and tourism.

The region is also a great place for students interested in community service. The Student Volunteer Army has given thousands of students the chance to develop their disaster response skills through volunteering.

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Ara Institute of Canterbury, the South Island’s largest technical and vocational training institution, has created a new workplace development unit to meet the need for skilled staff for the Canterbury rebuild.

Skills for Canterbury (SFC) will develop student work placements and other ways of connecting students with local businesses that need staff, particularly in architectural studies, business, engineering, health and safety, and trades.

Earthquake research is being carried out in almost every University of Canterbury department, from engineering to social and political sciences. The university is running 200 earthquake research projects, many of which are directly contributing to Canterbury’s recovery.

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Discover more about the Canterbury region at christchurcheducated.co.nz

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