Canterbury's international student numbers have fallen since the earthquakes and the government wants them back.
It is putting $5 million into a marketing initiative and will guarantee foreign students a university degree course if they attend a Christchurch secondary school and pass their exams.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says there has been a 37 per cent drop in international student numbers since the earthquakes two years ago, but Canterbury is still the second most popular destination.
An extra $5m is going into the nationwide marketing budget, dedicated to the Christchurch Educated initiative.
"Christchurch Educated is about sending the message globally that Christchurch is safe and friendly, that education providers are back on their feet, and that international students are welcome in the community," Mr Joyce said on Wednesday.
He says work has started on:
* A Christchurch Educated student card which will provide identification and transport and purchasing discounts
* A Tertiary Pathway Guarantee which will ensure all international students who attend a Christchurch secondary school and pass university entrance exams will be guaranteed entry to a degree programme at Canterbury or Lincoln universities or the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute.
They will also be guaranteed an offer of student accommodation and the use of the libraries on all campuses.
A gathering place for international students will be established in the city centre.