University of Waikato Exchange

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or above
Location: Oceania, New Zealand
GPA: 2.75
Program Overview

The University of Waikato is ranked among the top 2% of universities worldwide, with a triple crown accredited (including AACSB) business school and an emphasis on experiential learning like internships and student research. It is committed to delivering a world-class education and research portfolio, providing a full and dynamic university experience, distinctive in character, and pursuing strong international links to advance knowledge. The campus culture is diverse, friendly, relaxed, sustainability-conscious and class sizes are typically small.     

See photos and a video from an exchange student here.

Because New Zealand is an English-speaking country, a UO student participating in an Exchange at the University of Waikato has the opportunity to enhance their academic experience without learning a second language. Students may choose class topics, views and approaches unavailable in the US, while alongside NZ classmates with world-class faculty and facilities.     

New Zealand’s natural environment dominates the skyline and recreational opportunities abound. The University of Waikato is located in Hamilton near the center of the north island, about 1.5 hours’ drive from the largest city of Auckland. There are Indigenous Maori communities close to campus, and there are opportunities to experience Maori culture. New Zealand is an ideal location for students with outdoor interests, and the campus is located close to wildlife preserves. Hamilton has features that might seem familiar to someone from Eugene – great restaurants and brewing establishments in a mid-size and affordable city near hiking trails and only 45 minutes from some of the world’s most renowned surfing beaches.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date  
Academic Year 2024-25 02/01/2024 Early July Late June  
Fall Semester (B Trimester) 2024 02/01/2024 Early July Early November  
Spring Semester (A Trimester) 2025 02/01/2024 Mid February Late June  

Discount for Pell Recipients

To expand access to study abroad, GEO is offering a $400 discount for this program (Summer 2024 and beyond) to UO students who currently have the Pell Grant as part of their federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Academic Details

The University of Waikato offers a wide variety of classes (called ‘papers’ at Waikato) within their various subjects (majors).

In addition to classes on topics from Molecular Biology to Marketing, Waikato also offers a variety of classes on topics unique to New Zealand, such as Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Health and Wellbeing; Freshwater Ecology; New Zealand Politics and Policy; Sustainability in Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Contexts; and more.

You will be registered as an exchange student at UO while abroad. You need to make sure you earn enough credits to fulfill minimum fulltime enrollment requirements at the UO--12 UO credits for the Fall Semester program, 24 UO credits for the Spring Semester, and 36 UO credits for the Academic or Calendar Year programs. The number of credits you will need to earn varies depending on the number of UO terms during which you will be abroad.

Most papers at the University of Waikato are worth 15 points, which translates back to 6 UO credits. A fulltime workload at Waikato is 4 papers per semester.

Internship opportunity: Students in any major who are a junior or above while they are abroad have the option to replace one of their classes with a credit-bearing, part-time internship. Please note that there is an additional cost to participate in the internship, which is not included in the Exchange Fee, and the internship is unpaid. See further details regarding the internship program, placement process, and internship cost here.

Research opportunity: Science majors who are a junior or above while they are abroad have the option to replace one of their classes with a credit-bearing science research project. There is no additional cost to participate in the research project. For more information, visit the website.

The University of Waikato operates on a semester system. A Trimester is during UO’s winter and spring terms, and B Trimester is during the UO summer and fall. If you want to spend 2 semesters at Waikato, you can either select the Calendar Year, which is the regular school year at Waikato, or the UO Academic Year. Please note that if you choose the UO Academic Year option, you will have a 3.5 month break between the two semesters, from November to February.

Course Equivalencies

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Application process

The application process for this program is competitiveGEO staff will review your application materials, and a decision about your enrollment will not be made until after the application deadline. In some cases, an interview is required. If your program requires an interview, you will be contacted with further details about this process after the application deadline. Early applications are encouraged.

Successful applicants will receive an exchange nomination from GEO. Selection will be based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and written statements. 

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. If you receive a nomination from GEO, you will also need to complete the host university's application, which is administered and reviewed by your host university directly. Instructions will be provided after acceptance by GEO. The host university makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program.

Housing Description

The four halls of residence on campus are the perfect place to settle into university life, meet new people and gain more independence in a safe and secure environment.   

Three of the halls have both fully catered (i.e. a meal plan is included) and self-catered (no meal plan) options and the other is solely self-catered. All are single rooms. Residents share bathroom and kitchenette facilities. Fully catered halls have a dining room where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. All halls have lounges with TV’s, computer rooms with quiet study areas, and free wi-fi. 

Flatting is when you share accommodation with other students in a private house located off campus.

Homestays are also available. In a Homestay, you will receive your own bedroom and have all meals provided. You are expected to keep your room clean and tidy and help with other household duties as if you were one of the family. Homestays are usually located within 30 minutes travel time from the University campus.

For more information, visit the University of Waikato Housing website.