Category Archives: International students

Host UC international students for a Kiwi Summer Day

Did you know that UC has approximately 1100 on-campus international students who have not been able to return home to their families for the past two summers, given NZ’s ongoing border closures? These students have committed to staying in Aotearoa so as not to jeopardise their studies with us.

This summer the International Relationships Office wants to ensure all international students who are staying in Christchurch over the break feel welcomed and supported by our UC community. We want to encourage our students to have some fun and get to know new friends in the UC community.

How can you help?

We welcome UC staff to invite a couple of international students to take part in a summer activity with you and your whānau. This could be a BBQ at your home, a walk at Sumner beach, or even a day trip to Akaroa. Perhaps students could join you for a community event in Christchurch e.g., Christmas Carols at Hagley Park – it’s up to you. This is a one-off activity, designed to fit with your existing summer plans. There is no expectation of ongoing interaction with the students, though we hope that you’ll now have another friendly face to see around campus.

Please note that we ask any staff who sign up, to host two international students. Pairing students up gives them a level of comfort and confidence. The IRO will connect you to students who are not in the same department as you, to ensure no conflict of interest.

If you’re interested in taking part in this programme please complete the form here before 10 November 2021.  IRO will be in touch after the deadline with more information, guidelines for H&S etc.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact

Thanks for helping to ensure UC’s international student whānau feel supported and connected to our community this summer. You are truly engaging in the UC Values!

2021 Ramadan Fasting Challenge

A video from last week’s Ramadan Fasting Challenge organised by the UC Business School Internationalisation Team.

A group of non-Muslim students fasted for the day to experience Ramadan and learn more about this important annual tradition from our Muslim students. It was nice to see so many people take the time to learn about another culture.

To learn more about Ramadan, head over to on instagram to watch their videos.


The offshore visa application suspension has been extended

The inability of most people offshore to apply for a visa (unless a border exception applies or they are in a quarantine-free travel zone) has been extended. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is not currently processing visas for most individuals who are offshore unless they meet the strict border exception criteria or are currently in a COVID-19 quarantine-free travel zone. This is because legally INZ is unable to grant visas to individuals who are unlikely to meet entry requirements. From 10 August 2020, the Government suspended the ability for most people offshore to apply for temporary entry class visas (including visitor, work, student, and limited visas). The most recent extension of the suspension was due to expire on 7 May 2021. The Government has made the decision to extend the suspension for a further three months until 6 August 2021.

Feedback on online learning

Over the past few weeks we have had feedback from students studying online offshore. It’s been pretty inspiring to hear the ways that all of our staff are making a difference for these students. This particular feedback sums up the many responses we have received (and shared with the individuals) the sentiment well…  She is very supportive towards all her students. We have been treated as equals. And she is really supportive during Online teaching. She has put the time zone difference in to consideration very well. Replying to emails on time. Sacrificing her own time for students who aren’t able to attend the lectures in person. Explaining the exams and essay structures clearly to us. Really good at control the lecture times. Reasonable workload for students. Over all, I am grateful to be one of her student during my time in University of Canterbury.

1,000 Exception Cohort update

We were excited on the weekend to welcome back UC’s first student of the “1,000” returning students (there are currently 16 students in total who have made it back into the country from this cohort).  The bulk of our allocated 82 returners will be back in time for a Semester 2 start. The International Relationships Office and the International Deans are working together to ensure a smooth transition back to campus for them (including support during MIQ, transition activities, special accommodation offers and a welcome back function once everyone in this cohort has returned). If you have any queries about these students please contact the IRO.

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem to all of our Muslim students, staff and community. May you have a blessed Ramadan, filled with peace, harmony and joy.

Ramadan is the holy month in Islam when Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours.

For Ramadan 2021, which starts tomorrow [14 April] the UC Business School’s Internationalisation Team are excited to invite you to fast with them for a day.

At the end of the day, you will be able to enjoy a free meal with the other participants as we break fast together.

The event will take place on Tuesday, 4 May.
There are limited places available to join the dinner, with half the tickets reserved for Muslim students and half for non-Muslim students. We hope this will be an opportunity to meet new people and to learn about each other.

To register, scan the QR code at the end of the video below or click this link>