Why choose Ara?

Ara is one of the largest institutes of technology in New Zealand with five campuses and a choice of more than 150 qualifications including degrees and graduate diplomas.

At Ara we specialise in education for employment; when you study with us you'll gain skills, knowledge and practical experience, and you'll graduate work-ready with a globally recognised qualification.

Our tutors have years of professional experience and extensive industry connections. Most of our programmes include work-integrated learning (up to 1400 hours for some qualifications) and our course completion rate is among the highest in New Zealand.

Our classes are small so you'll get to know your tutors and classmates well. Our staff are committed to your success and we offer a comprehensive range of accessible student support services.

Wherever in the world you come from, you will be welcomed into our inclusive community made up of staff and students from more than 50 countries. You'll also have many opportunities to enjoy free time in a safe, friendly region close to beautiful scenery and adventure pursuits.

Student testimonials 

Read our student stories of some of our international students talking about their experience here.

Zhiwei Deng  |  China
Graduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technologies
International student Zhiwei Deng

A web system developer in his home country of China, Zhiwei Deng came to CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) to add to his skills ...

A web system developer in his home country of China, Zhiwei Deng came to CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) to add to his skills by studying the Graduate Diploma of Information and Communication Technologies.

He chose to come here because of the institute's reputation for high quality IT industry education. "It's helped me understand the New Zealand IT industry culture, and the professional terminology," he says.

Zhiwei has had the opportunity to put his new skills into practice through industry projects, which are a key part of the programme. "I used a lot of what I learned on my course during my graduate project, including testing and Software Quality Assurance." He says the experience was a highlight of the programme.

Beyond the course itself, Zhiwei has taken advantage of the help available at the Career Centre on campus to prepare his CV and brush up on his job interview skills. His plan for now is to "keep working hard to implement my career objective".

Read more of our student stories.

Teerada Puengpoom  |  Thailand
Certificate in English as an Additional Language
International student Terrada Puengpoom

Teerada Puengpoom's desire to own an import/export business was the driving force behind her decision to travel from Thailand to study English at CPIT (now ...

Teerada Puengpoom's desire to own an import/export business was the driving force behind her decision to travel from Thailand to study English at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) in Christchurch.

"I chose to study English so I can communicate with people in business," she explains. "My friend's brother graduated from CPIT and he said there were a lot of international students here. It's also a place where you can have new experiences."

Correct English pronunciation is important for Teerada, who learnt some English at school, although not from a teacher whose first language was English. "I didn't learn much about pronunciation in my hometown, but here I have studied to speak with clear pronunciation. I've learned to understand a lot of different English accents and that's helped me to listen and speak better."

Teerada praises the support provided to students at Ara. "The teachers take care of every student and there's lots of learning equipment available."

As well as learning English, Teerada has enjoyed the social aspects of student life including clubs and making new friends. "We go to movies and eat out and I try things here that I've never done before. It makes me enjoy speaking English."

Read more of our student stories.

Noothan Mathew  |  India
Graduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technologies
image of Noothan Mathew

When Noothan Mathew was considering where to study for a post graduate qualification, New Zealand was high on her list. "New Zealand offers high quality ...

When Noothan Mathew was considering where to study for a post graduate qualification, New Zealand was high on her list. "New Zealand offers high quality education and affordable fees, and I thought it would be a great place to try new things, sharpen my soft skills, explore my potential and broaden my horizons," she says. "It's also one of the safest places to live, work and enjoy."

Having decided on New Zealand, Noothan's next step was to choose a tertiary institute to enrol at. She chose CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury) because of its internationally recognised qualifications and strong partnerships with leading institutions, businesses and associations. "They were significant factors in my decision."

Noothan studied the Graduate Diploma in Information and Communications Technology, a 10-month programme which included a collaborative industry project in the last semester.

"In India, the academic style is completely based on theoretical information, but here it is concentrated on practical knowledge. Through the industry project I learned to design, implement and evaluate an appropriate piece of work. It was good to develop something which is useful for someone, rather than preparing reports like an assignment."

Her advice to anyone thinking of studying at Ara? "You don't have to think twice – it's worth studying here."

Noothan's career has gotten off to a great start; she's currently working as a programme developer for Modlar in Christchurch, a city which she describes as "calm, quiet and almost like my home".

Read more of our student stories.

Putu Tasya Sanjivani Oka  |  Indonesia
Bachelor of Applied Management (Event Management)
image of Putu Tasya Sanjivani Oka

Putu Tasya Sanjivani Oka has a passion for events and hopes to become an event manager in New Zealand after completing her studies at CPIT ...

Putu Tasya Sanjivani Oka has a passion for events and hopes to become an event manager in New Zealand after completing her studies at CPIT (now Ara Institute of Canterbury).

Putu was not long out of senior high school in Indonesia when she came to Christchurch to study the Bachelor of Applied Management, specialising in event management.

"CPIT has a good reputation in Indonesia and the balance between theoretical and practical learning here suits me," she says. Putu also likes the class and study environment, where students are encouraged to discuss their opinions.

"The teaching style is good because we can always ask for clarifications about the materials and the tutor always makes sure that we understand the subject."

One of the attractions for Putu of studying here is the chance to get real-world business skills while studying. "The strength of the programme is the ability to do an industry internship and industry project in the last year of study. It will prepare me well for my future employment."

Read more of our student stories.