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. 

** GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

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.

Most papers are worth 15 points, and most students take 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 part-time internship and earn credits for this. Please note that there is an additional cost to participate in the internship, which is not included in the Exchange Fee. See further details regarding the internship program, placement process, and internship cost at:

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 science research project and earn credits for this. 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. Semester A is during UO’s winter and spring terms, and Semester B 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

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.

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

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.

Application process

Applying for an exchange program involves 2 steps. First, you will complete the GEO application process and interview. Selection for this program is based on a review of your online written application, transcripts, recommendations, and completion of the interview process. After your initial application is complete, GEO will review it and select successful candidates for nomination to the University of Waikato. Next, you will need to complete a secondary application for the host university. After being nominated by GEO, students will receive instructions regarding the secondary exchange application for the University of Waikato. This typically includes an online application and providing documents such as your transcript, copy of passport, study plan, etc. The secondary application for Waikato is typically due in April for fall semester, and in November for spring semester. The University of Waikato makes the final decision regarding acceptance into the program.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date  
Academic Year 2022-23 02/01/2022 Early July Late June  
Fall Semester (Semester 2) 2022 02/01/2022 Early July Early November  
Spring Semester (Semester 1) 2023 02/01/2022 Mid February Late June  

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.