Gap year study experience

Start your studies at Waikato!

Fresh out of high-school or can't decide where to start your Bachelors degree? Spend your first one or two trimesters at a world-class university located in Hamilton, New Zealand, and gain credit towards a bachelors degree that can be transferred to another university.

Many people say their first year of university was one of the best years of their lives. New friends are made and there are countless opportunities to learn more about your academic strengths and interests. Imagine experiencing all of this and more in a new country – you’ll be living life to its fullest!

At the University of Waikato, enjoy the typical ‘kiwi’ first year student experience. Live in one of our fully-catered halls of residence, choose from hundreds of 100 level papers (courses), and participate in fun university-organised adventures.

During your time at Waikato, you’ll be able to explore New Zealand and learn why millions of people visit each year!  Arguably one of the biggest perks of our central Hamilton location is the city’s proximity to many of New Zealand’s top destinations. Visit one of the world’s best surf beaches, Raglan, in a 40 minute drive, or the tourism and cultural hub of Rotorua in 80 minutes. Hamilton is home to an abundance of parks, cafes and restaurants, and we have a number of hiking trails on our doorstep.


Our university stands proudly on the world stage as a provider of future-focused, international education and an active player in global research. Our rankings reflect these strengths. We focus on providing students with practical experience that easily translates from the classroom into the workforce.

Choose from hundreds of papers taught at the 100 level, perfect for beginning your university studies.  All 100 level papers are open and available to Waikato University First Year Experience students.

A typical course load is 4 papers/trimester.  For each paper, you’ll have both lectures and a tutorial session, a small discussion-based class where you have the opportunity to get to know your tutor and classmates


Gap Year Student Experience students must:

  • Be at least 18 years old at time of enrolment
  • Live in one of the fully-catered residence halls (Bryant Hall, Student Village, or College Hall)
  • Enrol in a minimum of 45 and maximum of 60 credit points at the 100 level
  • Meet university entry requirements both for academics and English language

Student Life

Our campus culture is friendly and relaxed and with students from over 80 different countries, there’s always an opportunity to learn more about a new culture.


Choose from one of our three fully catered Halls of Residence options and transition smoothly into university life.

Costs and Scholarships

Find out about our competitive tuition fees, Hamilton City living costs, and any scholarships.

Apply Now

Find out how to apply, entry requirements, tuition fees, and scholarships!

Contact Us

Study Abroad and Exchange – International Office
Email: [email protected]
Phone : +64 7 837 9405

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