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University of Waikato

Attend the same classes as University of Waikato students, choosing from a wide range of disciplines. The academic program at Waikato is characterized by independent and self-directed study focused in the major.

The university is organized into schools of studies in Arts and Social Sciences, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Education, Law, Management, Maori and Pacific Development, and Science and Engineering. You will enroll in one school of study and will likely select courses from offerings in that school. Of particular note are courses in environmental and ecological sciences; Pacific, Maori, and indigenous studies; communication studies; electronic commerce; and women’s and gender studies.

The University of Waikato ranks top in the nation in the following: Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour; Molecular, Cellular and Whole Organism Biology; Music, Literary Arts and Other Arts; Communications, Journalism and Media Studies; Education; Accounting & Finance; Chemistry; Computer Science, Information Technology, Information Sciences; Management, Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Business; Pure and Applied Mathematics.​

These are examples of courses in basic Maori language and customs:
Take advantage of the proximity to freshwater ecosystems alongside marine environments! The Department of Biological Sciences at Waikato offers a variety of courses with field trip components. Field trips, for example, include Raglan and Rotorua's lakes as well as Waingaro and Kaimai forests.

When searching for courses: in New Zealand courses are often referred to as "papers"; the units earned from a course are called "points" and the university catalog is called the "calendar". So what does "course" mean in New Zealand? It's the term they use to describe a degree program or program of study.
Use the following resources to learn about Waikato courses on EAP:
  • See the academic offerings at all New Zealand universities to determine if University of Waikato is the right partner institution for you. The document also lists course restrictions, if they apply.
  • The University of Waikato online catalogs or course listings.
      • Note: Because New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere, their academic year begins in February with Semester 1, followed in July by Semester 2. When searching for courses at your host institution, keep in mind that you enroll in Semester 1 courses if you are a UCEAP Spring participant, and Semester 2 courses if you are a UCEAP Fall participant. Sequential course series are set up accordingly.
  • MyEAP Course Catalog lists courses previously taken by UC students at each New Zealand university, including Waikato. Additional courses may be available and not all courses may still be offered. Since many Waikato courses have not yet been taken for credit by UC students, they will not appear in the MyEAP Course Catalog.


You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. 21 quarter/14 semester UC units per semester are required.

Research and Independent Study

Research and independent study may be possible in this program. Arrangements are generally made at the Study Center after arrival at the host institution. Predeparture preparation may be required.

The University of Waikato, Hamilton

The University of Waikato, Hamilton 

The university was established in 1964 and enrolls more than 13,000 students; Seventeen percent of these students identify themselves as Māori, and some 2,200 are international students from 70 countries.
Campus life offers a variety of sports and cultural societies, and every Wednesday from one to two pm is set aside for a cultural hour in which these societies can meet.

Test Drive Your Future

Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.

Student – initiated Internships

Be creative and design your own internship. Past participants have interned for a wide range of organizations. These internships are frequently not for academic credit; however, if your internship is substantial you can request credit by following these three steps.
Setting Up Your Internship: Contact companies and organizations that align with your interest.  Career Development Offices on campus also offer excellent guidance on CV and cover letter writing. For students who wish to start the internship search prior to departure, we encourage you to look at the online career resources University of Waikato has to offer. UCEAP staff is available for advice. 

​You are free to choose the housing option that best suits your needs and lifestyle.You may live on campus in a single room in a university hall, in a flat (apartment), or in a rented room in Hamilton. There are four halls of residence: Student Village, College Hall, Orchard Park, and Bryant Hall. All halls except Orchard Park, which is self-catering, offer a communal dining room, lounges, separate TV rooms, laundry facilities, central heating, and linens and blankets.

You will need to be proactive in selecting, securing, and paying for your semester housing, even if you are on financial aid. Housing is not pre-arranged in this program and housing costs are not included in the UCEAP program fees. For more details about housing at Waikato, see their accommodation web page.

Advice shared by recent EAP students

"The housing situation in New Zealand is really relaxed. Don’t stress on finding a place before you get there. It is quite easy to find a flat or a dorm. It depends on what your preferences are. I chose to live in a flat because there was no big town centre. I lived in Raglan for the first semester and then moved to Hamilton for the second. The most helpful suggestion I can give you about flatting is to bring heaps of warm clothes and prepare for a cold winter. The insulation in New Zealand flats isn’t good and they have no central heating. It’s not uncommon to be able to see your breath in your own house! Just crank up the space heater and get used to it. Besides you don’t want to spend that much time in your flat anyway; go travel and see the country!"

"I lived in a private residence with other EAPers. It was really cheap and really nice to be able to cook our own food. I would recommend trying to live with some Kiwis in addition to just Americans."
"I lived in the University of Waikato's self-catered cottages at Bryant Hall. I personally liked the self-catered option more that the fully catered because I didn't want to be tied down to a schedule. I also liked that it was the cheaper option and I could chose what to cook. Having a kitchen was also nice because I could invite people over for potlucks. It's harder to have more than a couple of people over in a single room. Bryant Hall is, however, known as the stricter hall at Waikato so the RAs are a bit more diligent about noise levels and parties. This usually isn't an issue in the cottages since they're off to the side and the residents there are usually a bit older, so it isn't monitored as much as the halls. But the bigger parties are off campus anyway. The insulation is not great so it's pretty cold in the winter, and the internet gets expensive after a while, but those were probably the only downsides".
"Bryant Hall at Waikato University offered a wonderful on campus environment. It was convenient being able to live on campus, and have fully catered meals. Living in the halls made meeting other Kiwi students much easier, and I automatically felt at home upon moving in. I felt like I was able to get the full experience by really interacting with my other hall mates on a daily basis, and having meals together each day. I would recommend Bryant Hall to anyone wanting to get a taste of Kiwi dorm life, and have a quiet space suitable for studying".



Located on the North Island and known for its “café life”; students find that Hamilton is in a central location perfect for enjoying and exploring the best that New Zealand has to offer.  Lakes, rivers, beaches, caves, and mountains in the surrounding area offer a wide range of recreational and adventure opportunities. Hamilton’s Museum of Art and History holds a valuable collection of Maori artifacts and chronicles Hamilton’s past as a military settlement.

Nearby Attractions
The bustling city of Auckland is a short drive away. Within one-and-a-half hour's drive are excellent surfing and swimming beaches, forest parts, lakes, thermal pools and limestone caves.
Surf & Ski
Raglan, a laid-back town that is world-renowned for its left-hand surf breaks, is a mere 45 minutes from campus. Three hours to the south of campus is the largest ski area in the North Island.

Must Sees
The spectacular Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Matamata, the filming location for Hobbiton in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

If you are looking for a close-knit campus in which meeting other students and locals is easy and fun, the University of Waikato in Hamilton offers a warm and welcoming community. There are many ways to connect with other study abroad and exchange students, as well as with Kiwis. You can choose from a multitude of activities offered throughout the semester. For example,

  • Check out the services and clubs at the Waikato Student Union and join student clubs like the WSU Alpine Club or Enactus Waikato.
  • Kick off the semester with a group trip to Raglan beach, where you can surf, swim, visit waterfalls and wrap up the day with a harbor cruise. 
  • Tube in the Waitomo Caves while you observe its famous glowworms.
  • Join a day trip to Te Aroha, a great place for walking, mountain biking and relaxing in the hot mineral springs.
  • Take a popular overnight trip to a Maori community, where you will pick up some basic Maori language, hear about the culture and traditional songs, and become familiar with haka and flax weaving. Learn how this Polynesian society maintains its connection with the sacred in modern New Zealand.
  • Go with a group to see the movie sets for The Hobbit in Hobbiton or to Lake Karapiro for kayaking and paddle boarding.
  • Attend Exchange Mates, a new program for international and exchange students offering weekly drop-in sessions hosted by Kiwi students. It's a great way to meet Kiwis and get their perspective and advice on living and studying in New Zealand.
  • Volunteer to help with a variety of public events like the exciting Gallagher Great Race or Hamilton's favorite event, the Round the Bridges Run/Walk.
  • At the end of your stay, join other exchange students in The Farewell Ceremony, held in your honor.