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Life at UCOL

Find out what life is like for international students of UCOL - full study support, part-time work opportunity, and industry experience through work placements.


Find out why students choose UCOL.

Learning methods

Students' individual strengths are developed through our relationship-based learning approach, Te Atakura. This is focused on supporting the needs of all students. 

Our lecturers are friendly and approachable, and generally addressed by their first names. 

Learning methods may include:

  • Creating a shared understanding of what is required for successful completion of study
  • Sharing of students' knowledge
  • Lecturer-led presentations
  • Student-led and peer-assisted study
  • In-class study support
  • Ongoing learning and support after class via the student intranet, email contact with lecturers and peers, and closed Facebook groups
  • Scenario based learning (real-life, practical examples)
  • Case studies

International student support

UCOL's dedicated, professional staff provide international students with comprehensive support.

Student requirements and responsibilities

International students must attend all of their classes and advise of any issues. They can approach any staff member for support, or talk to our dedicated international student support staff.

Academic progress to further levels of study at UCOL requires student completion of specific learning outcomes.

Regional information

Find out what it's like to live in Palmerston North and Whanganui.

Food culture

Students of UCOL Manawatū and UCOL Whanganui are able to enjoy a diverse range of international cuisines a short walk from campus, including Indian and Asian restaurants. There are also specialty stores selling beverages, seasonings, frozen food, rice and other grocery items from around the world.

Māori culture at UCOL

From the first official day at UCOL, international students will be welcomed to participate in Māori culture with a pōwhiri (traditional welcome ceremony). Prior to this, international students will be invited to a special workshop to prepare them for the proceedings.

International students are also invited to use the whānau rooms in our campuses in UCOL Manawatū, UCOL Whanganui and UCOL Wairarapa in Masterton anytime to meet friends, have a hot drink, share food, or join in traditional singing.

Working in New Zealand

International students may be allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during all scheduled holidays and/or during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. See Immigration New Zealand information for the rules and details of working on a student visa.

Work experience

Many of UCOL's degree and diploma qualifications have an industry work placement, giving students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in their field, and make connections with local employers. See the Course Information section on the relevant programme page (qualification page, eg Bachelor of Nursing).

Preparation for work support

UCOL's Employability Hub supports students to prepare for work.