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California State University, Chico, USA

Undergraduate students only

CSU Chico.jpg Chico State received the best score possible on the U.S. Department of Education's College Scoreboard, and The University has been rated a top-10 regional public university in the West by U.S. News and World Report since 1998, when the rankings began.

Beyond academics, in 2013, Chico State was designated, for the sixth time in seven years, a member of the President's Higher Education Community Service Honour Roll, highlighting civic engagement activities. Additionally, Chico State was one of 22 schools in the U.S. and Canada named to The Princeton Review’s 2014 "Green Honour Roll," honouring environmentally friendly" institutions. Chico received the highest possible score.

The main campus is situated on 119 acres in downtown Chico, but Chico State also owns a 1,050–acre farm and five acres of off-campus dorms about one mile from the main campus. The University also manages 3,950–acre Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve and the 300–acre Butte Creek Ecological Reserve.

Exchange Student Travel Grant

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents who apply to go on exchange to Chico are automatically considered for a Massey University Exchange Student Travel Grant.  No additional paperwork needs to be submitted.

Credit System

Students should take 15 semester credits.  This should equate to 60 Massey credits.


CSU, Chico offers 66 undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts and in professional and technical areas. Many of these ‘majors’ are divided into areas of specialization either as options or patterns.  All these programs are offered within seven colleges and forty-five departments.  Colleges include:

Course Codes

Courses numbered 200-299 at Chico equate to 100-level at Massey. 300-499 courses equate to 200 or 300-level courses at Massey.

Academic Calendar

The Fall semester begins in late August and ends in mid-December.  The Spring semester begins in mid-January and ends in mid-May.

Student Life

Chico State is in the heart of Chico, (pop. 100,000) a college town rich with history, music, arts, and a deep connection to the surrounding land. A creek flows through nearby Bidwell Park into Chico’s downtown and then right down the middle of campus, reflecting the seamless connection between the University and the community. Chico is a few hours from Lake Tahoe to the east and San Francisco to the southwest, allowing convenient access to other northern California treasures.

At CSU Chico, exchange students are paired with an American Student Mentor through the International Buddy Programme (IBP).  This is a student who recently studied abroad in a foreign country, and is someone who is genuinely interested in learning more about your culture, while also serving as your personal “guide” to Chico college life. This program was developed to help exchange students meet American students and other international students quickly so that you are able to make a new circle of friends immediately upon arriving in the States. Because you are only here for a semester or two, it is crucial that you meet as many people as possible in a short amount of time.

At CSU Chico you can also choose from more than 260 student organizations.  These include cross-cultural, academic, professional, religious, and recreational organizations.


Adequate health insurance is required by law for all exchange students going to the USA.  Travel insurance alone will not provide the appropriate coverage.  Health insurance plans in the USA are typically more expensive than plans in New Zealand.

Be sure you check the university’s insurance requirements and enrol in the appropriate plan.


You will need to have a J-1 exchange visitor visa to enter the U.S. You cannot study full-time at the university on either a B-2 tourist visa or the visa waiver program.