University of Waikato

Originally established in 1964 on Māori land, the University of Waikato is deeply connected to its Indigenous heritage and cultural values.  

Waikato supports its Māori community through a variety of cultural events, specialized degree programmes, and culturally mindful support for its many Māori students - the highest proportion of any university in New Zealand. With its main campus in mountainous Hamilton and a secondary campus at the beachside Tauranga, Waikato has grown to become a leading research institution. It is ranked within the top 5 institutions in New Zealand (#274 globally - QS 2019), and offers one of the strongest programs world-wide in Indigenous Māori Studies.

Key information




Fall, Winter, Academic year

Program type


Application information

Application status



2020-21 applications

Applications for Winter 2021 and "New Zealand Full Year" (Winter 2021-Fall 2021) exchanges are still open. First come, first considered for remaining spaces!

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

2021-22 applications

Open Nov. 1, 2020

Program details

University-wide Areas of Study:

Waikato offers a wide variety of subjects, including Anthropology, Asian Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering (Biochemical, Electronic, Materials, Mechanical, Software), English, Environmental Science, Geography, History, Linguistics, Media Studies, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Social Work, Sociology, Sport Studies, Statistics, Women's Studies and more.

Haskayne students please apply through the Haskayne only program.

Course Information:

Courses at Waikato are called "papers". Exchange students are expected to take 60 Waikato Points per semester. 3 UCalgary units (1 Half-Course Equivalent) = 12 Waikato Points.

Student Experience: "I took classes which are within my academic major but I was not expecting the difference in classes. My major and career path is the same as expected, however the perspective I gained at Waikato has made me rethink how to approach history and what I would like to focus on post-grad. I truly enjoyed my classes and the unique perspective they gave me about how historical events ripple across the world. I loved being a part of a community in Waikato that supported itself and welcomed strangers."

The academic year is divided into 2 semesters.

  • Semester A runs from mid-February to late June
  • Semester B runs from early July to mid-November.

Students can start in either semester, however full-year students must start in February.


Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. 

It is recommended that students budget a minimum of NZ$9000 per semester to pay for accommodation and living expenses. Cost of living estimates can be found online. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations etc in your budget planning.

Hamilton cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

Student Tips: "Cell phone plans in NZ are extremely cheap, roughly $15 CAD for a basic call/text/data plan. Many cell phone providers have student pricing and it is worth having a NZ phone in case of emergencies or phoning home. The Wi-Fi in Waikato dorms is speedy and unlimited. McDonalds, KFC, and most cafes have limited Wi-Fi. Since international calls cost extra, using Wi-Fi or data to call home through an app like Hangouts or Whatsapp is cheaper. 
If you own or rent a car, a parking pass for the university for one semester is $60."


Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? 
Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

Exchange students to Waikato are guaranteed housing from a range of options.

  • If you wish to stay on-campus, you may apply for a Hall of Residence, which offers either private rooms with access to a fully-catered dining hall or private rooms in an apartment for five with a shared kitchen.
  • If you wish to stay off-campus, you can rent inexpensive flats privately or with flatmates.
  • You can also apply for a homestay with a local family. All host families have been approved by the university and will provide a room and daily meals for students. Because of the range of housing types and meal packages, rental fees can vary greatly.

Students are encouraged to look into the detailed information provided.

Student Experience: "I lived in the Student Village fully-catered dorms. The housing arrangements were cheap and provided everything necessary. For a short, one semester, exchange, living on campus was easier than finding a place on my own. I liked that classes were so close and the living arrangements forced me to interact with others. Our housing provided food, the dining hall was located in a building directly outside my dorm building. The dining hall provided a cold breakfast of cereal or toast, and a hot lunch and dinner each day. Food was not available outside of the scheduled meal times, however students could arrange for a meal to be packaged and picked up early if they were unable to attend a meal. Meal cards could not be traded or used by anyone other than the student it was assigned to."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at UCalgary, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (B-).

An academic reference is required for a complete application.

Haskayne students must apply through the Haskayne-only option.

What's special about Waikato?

Waikato's main campus is located in Hamilton, whereas their secondary campus is in Tauranga. Compare the two with the university's fantastic online summaries! 

Waikato has a smoke-free campus policy. Smoking on campus is not permitted. 

Student Experience: "NZ is a first world country with many of the same products as Canada, however because of its distance from other countries, certain things are extremely expensive. Reese's peanut butter cups, Nutella, and sweets made by Hershey are expensive and worth taking if you cannot live without them. Another Canadian student I met had brought with her a 5 month supply of Tim Horton’s hot chocolate!"

What resources are available for new students?

Waikato runs a compulsory International Student Orientation with a variety of informative and social events for incoming students.

Student Experience: "The school planned for us to go to a Marae, a local hike, a beach which is nearby and other trips. Each trip was free for international students. The school also had an international culture week where the main social area became an area of activities and food from multiple cultures and it ended with a lantern lighting ceremony over the lake. 
I did not join any clubs, but I did join the intramural Indoor Netball team. The team cost $20 for 8 weeks of sport. Our team had a game every Thursday which lasted ½ an hour. It was not competitive but was a fun way to make friends and learn the sport without pressure to preform well. Take any opportunity and make friends with locals who can direct you to places a travel pamphlet might not tell you about."

What accessibility resources are available?

Waikato's Disability Support Services office provides comprehensive support for students with disabilities.

Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Kathryn Bauer

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.