When you look outside your window in Christchurch, you know exploration awaits you—hiking, fishing, kayaking, or swimming. That’s just a typical day here. Enjoy the adventurous, yet relaxed, lifestyle that Christchurch has to offer.
During your time in Christchurch, you directly enroll in the University of Canterbury, one of the top three universities in New Zealand. You also have access to more than 50 academic departments and more than 90 on-campus clubs and organizations—ideal opportunities to connect with Kiwi (local) students.
Spread over 215 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens, the University’s campus is located only 15 minutes from the city. Ski slopes, mountains, native bush, rivers, lakes, hot springs, and beaches are all within 1.5 hours of Christchurch, making this an ideal place to study and experience New Zealand’s outdoor lifestyle.
After the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Christchurch is still in the rebuilding phase. There are areas of empty land, where housings and buildings have been demolished, in the hill suburbs, near the Avon River and in the inner city, but the neighbourhoods surrounding the University of Canterbury give no hint of the earthquakes. The inner city, particularly, has been an incubator of creativity and innovative thinking as the rebuild is taking shape. Christchurch will be your classroom. Take every opportunity to embrace the changes. Meet the residents who are rebuilding their beloved city (there are still ways you can help out, too). Learn about the history of this great city, which is one of the oldest and most European cities in New Zealand. Eager for hands-on field study opportunities? Explore the University’s four field stations throughout the South Island. You can also enroll in an internship, which includes time spent working at your placement in addition to an academic seminar that helps you contextualize what you’re learning.
We want you to feel at home in Christchurch, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. We also offer many opportunities to meet with Kiwis and learn about their culture.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
IES Abroad’s mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. That is why we partnered with the University of Canterbury.
The University of Canterburywww.canterbury.ac.nzEstablished in 1873, the University of Canterbury is one of the top three universities in New Zealand. The University has a population of about 12,000 students and more than 500 academic staff members. Large enough to offer a broad and diverse curriculum, the University is also small enough to ensure that you can take advantage of excellence in both teaching and research.
The University of Canterbury assigns a point value to each course. IES Abroad divides the number of points by four in order to determine the number of IES Abroad semester credits earned. You take between 60 and 75 points, or 15–19 IES Abroad credits (typically four courses).
The University of Canterbury has hundreds of course offerings. The disciplines listed are available to IES Abroad students. In addition to course offerings across the disciplines, the University offers you unique opportunities for field study through its four research stations.
Further information about course content and availability is provided on the University’s Courses, Subjects and Qualifications site.
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Engineering (Chemical & Process, Civil, Computer, Electrical & Electronic, Forest, Mechanical)
European Languages and Cultures
European Union Studies
Freshwater Management (Semester 2/fall only)
Maori & Indigenous Studies
Media & Communication
Science and Entrepreneurship
Science, Maori and Indigenous Knowledge
South Asia Studies
Theatre & Film Studies
Please note that not all subjects are offered every semester or every year. Certain disciplines have enrollment caps and others require prerequisites. Single-semester students cannot enroll in full-year courses. If you have specific questions regarding courses, please contact your IES Abroad Representative.
Location & Commute Time
The University of Canterbury is located on a beautiful, park-like campus in the heart of Christchurch.
The University is a 15-minute bus ride from downtown Christchurch. Students living in apartments will likely have a five to 10-minute commute to the campus by foot, and students living in homestays may have up to a 30-minute bus ride, which is common for many local students.
With a UC internship, you spend 150 hours at your internship placement—a local business or community organization—and enroll in an academic component, ARTS 395. You work under the supervision of a specialist lecturer within the College of Arts to earn 30 points (7.5 IES Abroad credits). A smaller 15-point (4 IES Abroad credits) version may also be available.
Past Internship Projects:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
For more information, visit http://www.arts.canterbury.ac.nz/internships/
The University of Canterbury has established four field research stations throughout the South Island. These field stations are in the Southern Alps, on both the east and west coasts, and in different climatic regions. If you choose to study certain Biology, Forestry, Geography, or Geology courses, you may have the opportunity to do research at one of the field stations as part of your course.
You may be able to visit these research stations through course-related excursions, ranging from half-day excursions to 8-day trips, in conjunction with certain courses at the University. Although the courses that offer these field trips change each semester, some courses that have gone to one or more of these stations in the past include: Marine Biology; Ecology; Global Change and Biosecurity; and Science, Maori, and Indigenous Knowledge.
Even though you’re directly enrolling in one of our partner universities, there’s something IES Abroad wants you to know: we’re here for you if you need us.
Choosing and directly enrolling in courses abroad can be confusing and overwhelming. This is why we offer you predeparture advising that’s specific to your needs. Our goal is to provide support and guidance throughout your application and enrollment process.
But our advising services don’t stop there. While you’re in Christchurch, our staff is available to help you transition into your new home.
The support services we offer IES Abroad direct enrollment students are specifically designed to help you achieve your study abroad goals as effectively and smoothly as possible. We know studying abroad is an adventure, and, at times, you may need help or just someone to talk to—that’s why our staff will be there for you.
Whether you have questions about academic requirements, housing, or well-being and safety, our Christchurch-based IES Abroad staff is available to fully support you. Our staff in Christchurch accompanies you throughout orientation, as well as on IES Abroad field trips and cultural events.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Christchurch, it will feel like home.
As part of IES Abroad’s direct enrollment services, we offer well-located, comfortable housing for all students because securing housing independently can be challenging. IES Abroad’s housing options reflect the local student culture and meet our safety and security standards.
Ilam University Apartments – Located across from the University of Canterbury campus, Ilam Apartments is home to more international students than Kiwis. You have your own bedroom in a four- to six-person suite. The apartments are fully furnished with kitchens, phones, and Internet connections (for an additional cost), and ample study space. Limited meal plans can be purchased onsite after arrival, but are not included in the program fee.
The Ilam Apartments complex also offers a large recreational room where community events and social activities are held. There are table tennis and pool tables, Sky (cable) television, DVD players, board games. There are also outdoor barbecue facilities and sports equipment you can borrow. For study space outside of your room, Ilam offers large, quiet study areas. There are a number of Kiwis who live at Ilam, but we also encourage you to join student clubs and organizations as a way to make friends with local students.
Part of making you feel at home in Christchurch is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, teaches you about emergency services on campus, finding housing that is well-located and comfortable, or guiding you on the field trip that takes you places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
There are two orientation events during the week before classes begin: the IES Abroad orientation program and the University of Canterbury International Student Welcome.
The three- to four-day IES Abroad orientation gives you the opportunity to get to know your fellow students and IES Abroad staff, explores academic differences between the United States and New Zealand, and includes a field trip to Springfield at the foothills of the Southern Alps. Past highlights of the orientation have included a scavenger hunt around Christchurch, boulder climbing in an area of unique limestone outcrops, a hands-on New Zealand farming experience, and jet boating on a typical Canterbury braided river.
The one-day University of Canterbury international student welcome provides insights into New Zealand student culture and helps with the integration process. The program includes an official university academic orientation where you are further introduced to the facilities and offerings at the University, with a special break-out session just for study abroad students.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and
continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
University Clubs & Events
While you’re in Christchurch, joining a social or sports club is a great way to meet Kiwis. You have access to all of the University of Canterbury’s amenities, including a library, cafés, a health center, recreation center, and the University of Canterbury Students Association with more than 90 cultural, interest, and sports clubs and societies to join. The University routinely hosts cultural events and guest lecturers for the general student body and for individual courses.
Although your adventure begins in Christchurch, our field trip to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands provides contrast and context for what you are learning in Christchurch. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad.
RAROTONGA, COOK ISLANDS
Explore the mountainous island and white sand beaches, learn outrigger canoe paddling, visit local institutions such as a primary school or perhaps an animal shelter, and witness first-hand the island nation’s political and education systems and the place of song and dance in everyday life.
About the Center
We can’t wait to welcome you to Christchurch! Whether you need advice about your coursework or have questions about everyday life in Christchurch, our local IES Abroad staff will be there to support you when you need it.
Eunice has been the Program Director in Christchurch since 2007. She has spent her career working with educational institutions in culturally-varied environments. She previously served as a guest home manager, and as a teacher of Music and French while living in Malaysia. Prior to living in Malaysia, she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington, and a Bachelor of Divinity through Melbourne College of Divinity. She has also taught English as a Second Language at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, where she earned her Graduate Certificate in English Language Teaching. Most recently, Eunice spent more than 10 years working as an International Student Advisor at the University of Canterbury (where the IES Abroad Christchurch program is located), providing pastoral care and academic support to international students and their families.
IES Abroad students in Christchurch are taught by University of Canterbury faculty.