Ara Institute of Canterbury

  • The Rakaia Centre at Ara. Photo credit: AraThe Rakaia Centre at Ara. Photo credit: Ara
  • International Students at Ara. Photo credit: AraInternational Students at Ara. Photo credit: Ara
  • International Students at Ara. Photo credit: AraInternational Students at Ara. Photo credit: Ara

Ara was created in 2016 when education providers CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic combined, bringing together two well-established organisations and over 200 years of combined experience and success. We are a government owned institution with a reputation for providing high quality degree, diploma, certificate and English language programmes. Our programmes are all New Zealand Qualifications Authority quality assured and our degrees are equal in status to university degrees. Our students graduate with work-ready professional skills. Most of our degree programmes include cooperative education projects in industry leading to great employment opportunities. You can trust Ara to offer you a successful learning experience. Over 25,000 students each year can’t be wrong!

More Information

Facilities and student support

There are two campus sites for international students in the cities of Christchurch and Timaru. Ara has over 1,500 personal computers with 24 hour access for students including Wi-Fi internet access on campus. The very modern campus centre features cafes, a recreation centre, a modern library, a healthcare centre, and other facilities. At ARA we have a team of dedicated international student advisors and admissions staff to help international students with their welfare and enrolments. We’re committed to keeping our resources at the cutting edge with the latest business software systems and technologies, as well as purpose-built training resources. 

Start dates and tuition fees

Academic programmes start every year in February and July. Each year we have two semesters: Semester one runs from late January or early February to June, while semester two runs from July through to late November or December. Tuition fees range from NZ$18,000 to NZ$27,000 per year, depending on the programme.

Our courses

Ara offers a range of applied learning opportunities and qualifications from certificates and diplomas up to bachelor degrees and graduate diplomas. Subjects available to study at ARA include:

  • Architectural studies
  • Accounting
  • Business management
  • Business administration
  • Professional cookery
  • Hospitality management
  • Computing and ICT
  • Event management
  • Restaurant/Wine and bar service
  • Bakery
  • Information design
  • English teacher training (TESOL)
  • Travel and tourism
  • Outdoor education and adventure tourism
  • Interior design
  • Construction management and quantity surveying
  • Social work
  • Nursing
  • Medical imaging
  • Midwifery
  • Mental health support
  • Art and design
  • Veterinary nursing
  • Photography
  • Fashion technology and design
  • Performing arts
  • Musical arts
  • Digital video post-production
  • Fitness training
  • Animal science
  • Applied science
  • Broadcasting
  • Electronic engineering
  • Computer aided design (CAD)
  • Civil and mechanical engineering
  • Project management
  • Operation and production management
  • Information design
  • Business transformation and change
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability
  • Systems administration
  • Japanese language
  • Maori language

Living in Canterbury

The Canterbury region is the educational, horticultural, commercial and tourism hub for New Zealand’s South Island. With the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Southern Alps to the west, our environment is one of extraordinary natural beauty. Christchurch city is vibrant, friendly, cosmopolitan, clean and safe and offers its almost 360,000 inhabitants a unique lifestyle. Situated in the heart of the South Island, one of the most spectacular regions in New Zealand, its beautiful gardens, clean parks and rivers have seen it voted ‘The Best Garden City’ in the world. In 2012, Lonely Planet ranked Christchurch ranked one of the top ten cities in the world to visit. Christchurch International Airport has completed a striking redevelopment, winning the Oceania Routes Airport Marketing Award twice. The airport is just 20 minutes by car from ARA. Many arts, music and cultural festivals are held each year throughout our region and international artists regularly feature at the CBS Arena. Hagley Park is spectacular all year round and is the main venue for outdoor concerts, exhibitions and events. Timaru city, located in South Canterbury, offers an amazing range of leisure, cultural, sporting and adventure opportunities. Dance and live theatre is very popular in our region with stage shows to entertain and studios teaching steps as varied as ballroom, salsa and hip hop. Specialist food and craft markets are held every weekend and diverse ethnicities are well represented in the region’s restaurants and shopping. In short, Canterbury is a great place to study, live and play!

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