Top Reasons to Study in Christchurch (NZ)

Last updated: 12 March 2024 NZ University Guide

Christchurch, New Zealand, is an excellent destination for international students looking to study abroad. The place is a treasure trove of world-class education, iconic architecture and landmarks. Studying in Christchurch will introduce you to a rich history and culture, making it a perfect place to learn about the place.

Founded in 1850 by English settlers, Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, with a population of around 400,000. Universities in Christchurch use higher education methods, a blend of practical, hands-on approaches and adaptable courses that are globally renowned. Aside from academics, Christchurch is also a welcoming and safe city for international students. 

To begin applying to study at a university in Christchurch, New Zealand, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

why study in christchurch new zealand

Why Study in Christchurch?

1. World-Class Universities

Christchurch is a great place to study because of its high-quality education system, vibrant student life and natural surroundings. The city is home to top-ranked universities and institutions, such as the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, and Ara Institute of Canterbury. These institutions provide students with unique academic programs, great learning opportunities, cutting-edge research labs, and faculty experts. 

2. Affordable Cost of Living

Christchurch has an affordable cost of living compared to other places in New Zealand. Shared apartments and student dormitories, which are much cheaper, are available to international students. 

3. Easy Commuter Options

Christchurch has a well-connected public transport system, with buses and trains running throughout the city. To pay for public transport in Christchurch, you must pay in cash or use a MetroCard. The fares are determined by zones based on the travel distance. 

4. Lively and Vibrant Place

Beyond academics, Christchurch is a welcoming and safe city with a lively student community. You have plenty of opportunities to get involved in clubs and societies, as well as social events and cultural festivals. The city also has some stunning cultural institutions like the Canterbury Museum, Court Theatre, the Christchurch Art Gallery, and beautiful beaches, providing students with various outdoor activities to enjoy their free time. 

5. Thriving Food and Drinking Scene

Christchurch, New Zealand, has many cafes, restaurants, and pubs, with a range of local craft breweries and wineries offering delicious cuisine from locally sourced ingredients. 

Top Universities in Christchurch

1. University of Canterbury

Founded in 1873, the University of Canterbury is a public research university based in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is New Zealand’s second-oldest university, ranking in the top 2% of universities worldwide. The university is recognised for delivering research-informed teaching and learning and for its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The University of Canterbury is known for its engineering and science programs, with its civil, structural engineering, and geography programs ranking in the top 100 in the QS 2023 Subject Rankings.  

UoC has four libraries, computer suites with 24-hour access, lecture theatres, labs, studios, and clubs to offer various recreational activities. 

University of Canterbury - Highlights

University Type

Public research university

Established year


Number of international students


QS Ranking 2024


Acceptance rate


Faculty-Student Ratio


Campus facilities

Library, Campus Gym, Cafes, Health Centre, Polo Farm Sports facilities, and gardens

International scholarships 

Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships

2. Lincoln University

Lincoln University was established in 1990 in Canterbury, New Zealand, claiming to be one of the smallest universities in New Zealand. However, the university aims to offer world-class facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching that have gained accolades. It is ranked 15th best small university globally and rated 51st out of 956 universities worldwide in the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. 

With a graduate employment of 87%, Lincoln University ranks the highest in New Zealand. Courses like agriculture, forestry, hospitality and leisure have ranked 101-150 in the QS 2023 Subject Rankings. The campus offers several facilities like libraries, arts centres, labs, and more.

University Type

Public university

Established year


Number of international students


QS Ranking 2024


Acceptance rate


Faculty-Student Ratio


Campus facilities

Great Central Warehouse Library, Arts Centre, Cafes, Pubs, Entertainment Venues, Labs, Healthcare counselling, Sports Clubs and Societies

International scholarships 

Lincoln University International Undergraduate Scholarship, International Pathway Merit Scholarships

Popular Fields of Study in Christchurch

Universities in Christchurch offer various courses and programs in different disciplines. International students have access to popular study options like bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in subjects such as:

Student Life in Christchurch

Christchurch is a welcoming and comforting place for all students interested in pursuing their education. The city has exciting activities in the heart of the South Island, New Zealand’s natural beauty. It is a vibrant city that offers a great student life experience. There are plenty of things to do on and off campus, and students who love sports can get involved in clubs and teams, perfect for picnics, camps, rides, and hiking. 

Looking for entertainment options? Christchurch has several theatres, cinemas, and music venues regularly hosting concerts and shows. Overall, student life in Christchurch offers various activities and experiences for a well-rounded and enjoyable university experience. 

Student Cost of Living in Christchurch

The cost of living in Christchurch for international students can be affordable compared to other popular study-abroad destinations, depending on lifestyle factors. On-campus accommodation can cost between $200 and $350 per week, while off-campus accommodation can range from $150 to $250 per week. Other living expenses, such as food, transportation, and utilities, can cost around $200 to $300 per week. 

As an international student, you should budget around $18,000 to $25,000 per year for living expenses in Christchurch. However, your costs may vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

Study in Christchurch

If you want to study in Christchurch, New Zealand, you can give yourself the best chance of successfully applying by arranging a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

Universities featured in this article:

  • Lincoln University
  • University of Canterbury
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