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Ara Institute of Canterbury
Ara Institute of Canterbury
32 Arthur St
Timaru 7910
South Canterbury
New Zealand
03 687 1800
03 687 1809
0800 24 24 76
Ara Institute of Canterbury
Ara Institute of Canterbury
Welcome to Ara Institute of Canterbury


Ara Institute of Canterbury is one of New Zealand’s leading tertiary institutes. It’s also one of the largest in the South Island, with around 19,000 students attending one of the five Ara campus locations in Canterbury and Waitaki each year.

Ara specialises in real-world learning and sustainable career outcomes. We offer more than 150 certificates, diplomas, degrees and graduate qualifications across a wide range of subjects including primary industries, food and hospitality, business, health, computing, outdoor education, hairdressing and beauty.

All Ara programmes have a strong emphasis on work-integration and our tutors are industry professionals with extensive knowledge and experience to share with students. We work closely with industry to provide students with a wide range of work placement opportunities and to ensure they graduate with relevant skills for a rapidly changing global workplace.

To assist our students to achieve their study goals and enjoy all the benefits of being a student, we provide a comprehensive range of support services ranging from enrolment and accommodation advice through to learning support and career planning. Ara students also have many opportunities to socialise and make friends, with on-campus cafes, clubs and a calendar of student events.

To learn more about Ara Institute of Canterbury:

call 0800 24 24 76
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Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury
More Info
With campuses spread across the Central South Island, Ara is ideally placed to help you succeed.

Primary Industries
Positioned in the centre of the South Island, surrounded by primary industry opportunities, allows Ara to be in an ideal situation to deliver a suite of innovative, exciting and effective agriculture and horticulture programmes.
  • Animal Care
  • Primary Industry Skills
  • Agriculture
  • Vehicles Machinery and Infrastructure
  • Farming Systems
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Horticulture
  • Commercial Driver Training

Arts and Design
Creative thinking and skills that underlie art and design practice are fundamental to all the creative industries.
  • Graphic Design
  • Visual Arts and Design

Beauty and Hairdressing
Take the opportunity to express your creativity, interact with clients and be the one to make people look and feel their best through a career in beauty or hairdressing.
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Hairdressing

Business and Tourism

A career in business and tourism can open up a world of opportunities within New Zealand and across the world.
  • Office Management
  • First Line Management
  • Project Management
  • Tourism
  • Business
  • Human Resources
  • Accounting

English Language
In New Zealand it is essential to gain a high level of English language skills in order to study, work or apply for permanent residency..
  • Intensive English (start every Monday)
  • English language for Academic Study

Health & Education
Enter a compassionate and rewarding career providing valuable services to the community and utilise your skills in working with a diverse range of people.
  • Parenting and Care of Children
  • Early Childhood
  • Childbirth Education
  • Life Skills
  • Te Reo Rangatira
  • Mental Health and Addiction Support
  • Social Services
  • Massage Therapy
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Science

Enter an industry that offers a broad range of careers in hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars and bakeries.
  • Hospitality
  • Cafe and Barista
  • Food and Beverage
  • Career Baker
  • Culinary Essentials
  • Culinary Principles
  • Cookery

Information Technology
Keep up with changing technology and join an industry in high demand here and abroad.
  • Information and Communications
  • Information Systems Development

If your passion is to supply information, news or entertainment to New Zealand and globally then media is the industry for you.
  • Film and Television
  • Digital Photography
  • Media Communication
  • Journalism

Outdoor Education

If you have a passion for adventure and would like to open up a world of outdoor activities to others then a career in outdoor education can fulfill your goals.
  • Outdoor Instruction
  • Outdoor Recreation


If your enthusiasm lies with a career in sport or fitness, we have a programme that can lead you into careers such as sports co-ordinators, health and fitness instructors, or coaching.

Help solve the skills shortage. Professional tradespeople and those with skills to keep up with ecological trends are in high demand around the world.
  • Certificate in Automotive Technology
  • Automotive Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
  • Motorcycles
  • Automotive Heavy Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Carpentry
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Electrical

Short Courses
Learn new skills in your spare time

If you are looking to acquire new skills or pursue an interest, Ara offers a variety of short courses. Our short courses give you choice; they run for different lengths and times that suit you. Come along and learn something new in a fun, vibrant environment.

Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury

International Students

Ara welcomes students to study any one of a selection of its highly interesting and rewarding programmes.

Ara has hosted international students for many years and its graduates recall not only the first-class programmes but also the friendliness, support, smaller classes and facilities.

International students will enjoy the advantage of study at a top rate organisation set amongst the spectacular scenery of the region as well as the opportunity to experience world renowned outdoor pursuits.

Ara, with its wide range of internationally and nationally recognised qualifications, anticipates that your study and life experience here will be memorable and productive.

Internationally Recognised Qualifications
Ara offers International Therapy examination Council (ITEC) beauty qualifications and City & Guilds for International Tourism and Hospitality/Cookery.

These qualifications are recognised internationally and provide great career opportunities for those working in the Beauty, Tourism and Hospitality/Cookery industries.

International Department Contact details

Ara Institute of Canterbury
32 Arthur Street
Private Bag 902
Timaru 7940
New Zealand

Phone: 0800 24 24 76 
International phone: +64 3 687 1800
Fax: +64 3 687 1809

Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury
Studying at Ara

Our specialist facilities and equipment complement our students learning by ensuring they have the ability to practice their skills in real-life situations using industry standard equipment.

From modern, comfortable classrooms to specialist electrical workshops we provide the facilities that ensure our students are familiar with real working situations.
  • Beauty and Hairdressing students run real clinics with real clients
  • Our Hospitality students' cafe, customer service and cooking skills are tested by running a restaurant and bar on campus catering to paying customers
  • Automotive students get their hands dirty through maintaining and repairing the cars of real customers
  • Carpentry students use our extensively equipped workshop to build a house
  • Pre-Trade Electrical students learn in a Schneider Electro-technology purpose-built classroom
  • Sport and Fitness students flex their training muscles in our campus gym
  • Outdoor Recreation students reach new heights on our indoor climbing wall
  • Office Management students run a real office dealing with a wide variety of customers and solving business challenges
  • IT students get to grips with the many internal and external parts of a computer by pulling apart and rebuilding hardware
  • Automotive Heavy Engineering students fix heavy vehicles and machinery in their own ‘Big Machine’ workshop.

Our facilities extend beyond the campus through education partnerships, industry connections and work placements, opening a world of possibilities and experiences that give our graduates credible, career-focused skills.

10 things you may not know about Ara…
  1. 1- Every year, two Cookery students, and one Front of House student comprise a team, which competes nationally at Nestle Toque D’or in Auckland. A number of our teams have achieved gold and silver awards for their efforts.
  2. 2- Many of Ara's qualifications credit towards a degree, enabling you to get started on your degree without having to leave home.
  3. 3- Our Outdoor Education students are known as 'hardcore' with much of their focus being on the practical elements of the industry, not just in a classroom.
  4. 4- In order to give students from our region access to all programmes offered at our Timaru campus, Ara runs a daily return bus service for students from Ashburton and Oamaru.
  5. 5- Many of our qualifications are internationally recognised through ITEC and City and Guilds.
  6. 6- Hospitality Tutor Steve Le Corre has been Captain of the New Zealand Culinary Team and was NZ Culinarian of the Year for 2012. In 2011 Ara hosted the South Island Masterchef auditions on campus; in 2013 Ara hosted the 2013 Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition and in 2014 Ara hosted the Southern Lights Salon Culinaire.
  7. 7- Our carpentry students build houses that are auctioned each year.
  8. 8- We have a fully functional student operated restaurant, beauty therapy and massage clinics and hairdressing salon – all open to the public.
  9. 9- We have a 60 hectare farm. Where our agriculture and horticulture students gain real world, hands on experience.
  10. 10- Find us on facebook. We keep our page updated regularly with photos, events and posts of cool stuff happening on campus. If you’re not sure if a course is right for you, just ask our fans! 

Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury 
Ara Institute of Canterbury
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