IES Abroad Christchurch Direct Enrollment - University Of Canterbury

Video and Photos

Hobbiton
Hobbiton
Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove
Acroyoga on Ben Lomond Track
Acroyoga on Ben Lomond Track
Field trip to Castle Hill
Field trip to Castle Hill
The view around Mount Somers
The view around Mount Somers
IES Christchurch
IES Christchurch
Learning about navigation in the Port Hills
Learning about navigation in the Port Hills
Sunrise over a Braided River

About

When you look outside your window in Christchurch, New Zealand, 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.
Enroll in courses at the prestigious University of Canterbury, one of the top three universities in New Zealand. During your time in Christchurch, you will have access to more than 50 academic departments and more than 90 on-campus clubs and organizations--ideal opportunities to connect with local students.

When you study abroad, Christchurch will quickly become your classroom. Spend time learning outside the classroom by exploring this great city, which is one of the oldest and most European cities in New Zealand. In addition, you can enroll in an internship, where you will get hands-on work experience while learning from local professionals.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 22 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 8.8
  • Housing 8.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 22
Default avatar
Reeves
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New Adventures and Opportunities

Spending a semester abroad was more than just taking courses in another country for a couple of months. The experience impacted me in every way imaginable. I experienced the unknown a lot while I was abroad – public transportation, Kiwi slang, Māori language and culture, Tim Tam Slams – and each of these experiences is a memory I carry that developed me into who I am today and who I will be in the future. Study abroad taught me to be more independent, flexible and fun-loving. The five months I spent navigating the ins and outs of a new country increased my self-confidence and helped me mature as an individual. The curriculum I engaged with while abroad opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about subjects I thought I already knew, and a spark has been ignited in me to follow my passion and do what makes me happy.

While my experiences abroad may have shifted some of my plans for my future profession, there are certain qualities I acquired that will be useful no matter what field I end up in. I have a greater respect of people who aren’t the same as me. I’ve always been a tolerant person, but study abroad has helped me to better understand habits and notions of my own culture that were so ingrained in me I didn’t realized they existed. Not only have I earned a greater sense of respect for people, but I also feel more comfortable adapting to new situations and environments. My semester abroad threw many things my way I couldn’t plan for. I had to learn very quickly how to juggle them in order to succeed.

As part of my program, we went to Rarotonga, the Cook Islands. The entire trip was unforgettable. IES gave us such an incredible and unique experience that I never would have been able to plan myself. On one of my favorite days, we got to visit a school that had preschoolers through about year eight students. After our introduction and a performance from the children, we got the chance to interact with them on a more personal level. They showed us how to play the drums, husk and grate coconuts, weave plates and make coconut leaf jewelry and I even got the chance to play netball and tips with them on their lunch break. As we were leaving that day, most of the children lined up to give us parting high fives. A little girl that I played netball with grabbed my hand and interlaced our fingers instead of giving me a high five. She had one of the biggest smiles on her face I think I’ve ever seen and at that point I realized I would have been so grateful to just spend every day on our trip playing with those kids. Their lives are so fundamentally different than my childhood was, but their happiness was infectious. I have never been on a holiday where I’ve interacted with the local culture as much as we did that week. Yes, we spent our fair share of time on the beach, but I also left with a greater understanding of what life is like for Cook Islanders. I hope I can do that on all my future trips.

A semester abroad is about engaging with the culture of your host country. My program and my semester abroad helped me to do just that. I got the opportunity to embark on road trips with newly made friends, fly to the North Island and set out on an adventure in a very cramped campervan, work on one of my greatest passions (photography) and just see and experience the awesome New Zealand landscape. It seems like around every turn in the road there’s something new and overwhelming you get to take in. I spent a lot of my time abroad just feeling small in such a grand landscape. It was refreshing.

I had my life turned upside down in the Southern Hemisphere and realized that it was exactly what I needed for a lot of pieces in my life to slot together. I don’t think I’ll go a single day in my life where the impact of my semester abroad doesn’t somehow play a role in how I interact with this world. Study abroad is important. It opens new pathways and changes perspectives. Study abroad enabled me to learn about marine biology, evolution, Māori culture, and land ethics. It enabled me to learn about what it means to engage with your surroundings. It enabled me to learn about how I think about the world and what I can do to be a better global citizen. My experiences during my semester abroad are unparalleled to any method of learning I have previously been a part of. Not every moment was perfect, but I experienced so much sheer joy in the five months I spent abroad, I know I’m going to look back on those memories in the future and just soak in that happiness again. I am so immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to study abroad and I can’t wait to continue traveling in the future.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Barefoot people in the grocery store! Shoes are optional in New Zealand!
Default avatar
Amira
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study abroad was amazing

Be prepared for a fun adventure every single weekend, the best scenery of your life, and being pushed way outside of your comfort zone in the best way possible. I accomplished many feats I never thought I would, made lifelong friendships, and enjoyed every second of being in a new country with a new culture. Work hard play hard is truly embodied in this program. Study abroad is what you make of it, and I do not regret this decision at all. This trip was home to many firsts- traveling independently, climbing mountains, hiking for 7 hours straight, camping for more than a week, seeing gorgeous stars, and driving on the left side of the road. While Christchurch suffered a major terrorist attack during my time here, I will never forget the support and community efforts of its people. You can't run away from real-world problems no matter where you go, but you can be lucky enough to feel the love and support of a people you just met and who help you feel at home.

What would you improve about this program?
More academic rigor and opportunities at UC would have been a great addition to the program.
Default avatar
Lucas
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Self-Proclaimed Northern-boy Loves the South

Growing up in Northern Minnesota, I became accustomed to the dark and frigid winters. In the land of Ice hockey (sorry Canada), I instead picked up cross country skis and took to the trails hidden underneath the towering pines and oaks. This quiet winter wonderland of Scandinavian Americans is my home. So, when the option of studying abroad came to the table, naturally, I was interested in the Scandinavian destinations: Sweden, Norway, Denmark. Additionally, I had to study at a location where I would attend a university—one in which biology courses were offered. A list of viable programs was generated, and at the top of the list was a program in Sweden. Conveniently, it met all of my requirements; I could have stopped the search right there, but something drew me to scroll down the whole list. There were plenty of decent options, but nothing caught my attention or piqued my curiosity until I got to the very bottom of the list. It was a program in Christchurch, New Zealand of all places: Christchurch Direct Enrollment – University of Canterbury. As I sat there pondering the land of hobbitses (i.e. “Middle-earth”) this curiosity transformed into a deep desire to explore this isolated land. I dropped all commitments to study in Scandinavia and refocused my attention to this program. Now, after successfully taking part in this program, I can confidently say that was one of the best decisions I’ve made—here’s why.
First, this program centers around direct enrollment at the University of Canterbury (UC). This is great for a couple reasons; for one, it is easier for students to take classes that will count towards one’s major(s)—in my case, I needed to take a microbiology course and I had no problem “finding” one that was offered at UC. On that note, classes at UC are on par with the difficulty of academics I experienced in the United States—of course, someone might find the classes easier or harder than what one has experienced in the US, but on average I would say most students will feel adequately prepared. That being said, the academic format is slightly different than what one might be used to in the US. Primarily, in most classes, there are few assessments of your learning (i.e. “homework”) throughout the semester; in most classes your final grade will heavily depend on your grade on a Final paper or exam. That being said, the grading scale is different than what I was used to in the US. For example, the grade range of an “A-” corresponds to 80–84.9%. The second reason direct enrollment at UC is great is that it allows you to connect with other students that are not in your program—kiwi students, international students, fellow biology nerds. These connections can happen in class, and they can also happen through the myriad clubs and organizations offered at UC. For example, those who are keen on trekking through the beautiful landscapes New Zealand has to offer should join the Canterbury University Tramping Club (CUTC), as outdoor gear can be rented by members, and the club takes frequent trips together. In short, studying at a UC keeps students “on track” for their respective major(s), and it allows for optimal social opportunities.
Another reason this program is a good choice is that the IES program has great staff at all levels. Before I even left for New Zealand there was work to be done—paperwork, preregistering for classes, etc.—the IES staff who were responsible for answering my last-minute questions and concerns before I left for NZ were always timely and helpful (thank you Maria!) I felt confident that there were a group of people who wanted me to successfully study abroad. When I got to New Zealand, I was not surprised that the staff were equally as helpful and genuine. The program director, Candice—who was just starting as the new director—was very kind and easy to talk to. I never had the need to discuss anything serious with her, but if the need had come up, I would have felt completely comfortable discussing it with her. Moreover, she was a great person to chat with, and you could tell she actually cared and was interested in each student’s story. Upon talking with her and sharing my pre-dental plans, she was even able to set up a meet and greet with a local dentist! There was also a “right-hand man” of sorts, Fraser, who occasionally helped Candice. Fraser was a fun, witty, guy, who was quite adept at quick quips and sarcasm; but more than that he was also very helpful—and he took wonderful photos/videos of the group. I am not entirely sure he is a permanent staff member, but if he is around if you end up in this program, make sure to get to know him too.
In terms of the housing options offered, there were not a lot of options. In the semester I went, all of the students in my program were housed in the Ilam Apartments—a large block of apartments, or “flats”, that house most of the international students at UC. This was nice because it was easier to meet other international students, but conversely, not many kiwi students lived in these apartments—so the only avenues for meeting kiwi people were through your classes or the clubs/organizations. I think it would be interesting to live in a homestay housing situation, to really integrate into kiwi lifestyle via a willing family. That being said, I was happy with my flatting situation, as my flat mates and I got along nicely, and we often went into town together. However, even though I had a good flat, I know some other students in my program didn’t have the same situation. So, it can be a bit of gamble as to whether your flat situation is pleasant or not. Despite this uncertainty, even if your flat situation is not what you hoped for, this is hardly a dead end—as mentioned earlier, there are other venues for meeting people, and extreme flat annoyances can often be resolved with the help of IES or the University of Canterbury. I should also mention that these flats are arraigned with five single bedrooms, two bathrooms each with a shower, and one shared living room and kitchen. For a student such as myself, who was used to sharing a small room with several roommates, I found the accommodations relatively spacious.
Last—and arguably most Important—is what New Zealand had to offer. When I was considering New Zealand, I honestly didn’t really know too much about the country—I knew Lord of the Rings was filmed and produced there, I knew they were crazy about rugby, and I thought I heard there were a lot of sheep there. Well, I wasn’t wrong, but this initial assessment barely scraped the surface of what New Zealand is. First of all, New Zealand is chock-full of amazing scenery. From snow-capped mountains, to dense forests, to massive fjords, there is something spectacular everywhere you turn. For those who love the outdoors, look no further than New Zealand to satisfy your need for fresh air and natural beauty. Then there are the people of New Zealand—kiwis; they are generally very laidback and kind people. This laidback attitude and lifestyle was somewhat familiar to me, as there is a similar way of life in Minnesota. But more than that, it made it easier to be an international student learning about the country/culture, as the kiwis were never rude or confrontational in our interactions. I can recall one instance in which I was riding the bus into the city center with a couple other IES students; we were at the front of the bus and were chatting about our experience abroad—it was clear we were international students studying abroad—and when the bus stopped at its destination, the bus driver turned around and said, “I think it’s so great that you guys are here studying in New Zealand, good for you guys,” or something along those lines. We were all pleasantly surprised and began chatting with the driver. I think this interaction summarizes the people of New Zealand quite well. I should also note that English is one of the main languages in New Zealand—along with te reo Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language—so if English is your first language you will feel comfortable communicating with people and understanding most written instructions.
Overall, this program was a fantastic experience; the country is beautiful, people friendly, and the opportunities for amazing memories—practically endless; this Northern boy is certainly happy he went South.

What would you improve about this program?
Overall this program is great. The one thing that could be improved however, is having more options for housing. For example, I think it would be great if homestays were offered.
Default avatar
Isabella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Please go to NZ

New Zealand is the most beautiful place I have had the opportunity to travel to. The mountains and coast are within a 3 to 4 hour drive of each other... The landscapes are otherworldly... gosh, honestly New Zealand holds such a special place in my heart. Studying abroad with IES was the best decision I have made thus far in my life. If you are a student looking to study overseas but still speak Enlgish, New Zealand is the best best best option. If you love outdoor activities, NZ is the place for you. If you like independence, laid backness, and adventure, NZ is it.

Now, the IES program itself was lovely, and my classes were nice and not too challenging when I put in the work, but these arent the aspects that made NZ for me. New Zealand itself, is what make this the most amazing time. The mountains summited, the weekend adventures, the people I met along the way, the people I got to know. Those were the moments that made it all

What would you improve about this program?
Allowing students to drive would make transportation so much easier. It is completely unrealistic to get around NZ without a car.
Default avatar
Tess
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Christchurch is the BEST

I absolutely fell in love with Christchurch, and am so happy I got the chance to study abroad there! It's the most perfect little city, and definitely provided the atmosphere I needed to grow as an individual. Eunice, our program director, was the BEST, and really helped us get acclimated to life as a kiwi. We also got a chance to go to Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands, which wouldn't have happened if not for IES!

Default avatar
Camille
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Little Corner of the World

Program: Our program director, Eunice, is such an amazing and sweet person. She really genuinely cared about us and wanted us to have the time of our lives. We could email/ call/ text her with any question and she responds ASAP. She gave us tips and advice for anything and everything.
Country: Breathtaking. No other words can describe how beautiful the country is. My friends and I traveled all over the country every single weekend and still could not hit everything we wanted to get to. Will definitely go back.
University: Beautiful campus. Small class sizes. Flexible instructors. No smaller assignments but more focused on papers and exams.
Safety: I felt safe all the time, even at night.

What would you improve about this program?
Less handholding for group trips. Allow car rentals because it is very unrealistic to travel around the country for cheap without one.
Audrey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Christchurch

I participated in IES Christchurch, direct enrollment into the University of Canterbury(UC) July-November 2017 and could not have been more pleased! The program coordinator was the most down to earth woman who made the transition into the Kiwi life super easy. All of my UC classes were 20ish students because I was taking junior-level courses. The courses were challenging but very manageable compared to what a junior level Biology course at my home university would require. I had the opportunity to get to know my professors and other students in my classes. Not to mention, the south island of New Zealand is a prime location to study abroad for the outdoor adventurer! I'd go back in a heartbeat!

What would you improve about this program?
The required on campus housing was sub par for what we were paying.
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Sabrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Upside down and Backwards

Travelling to New Zealand, a country on the other side of the world, was more than just a far-away country with new accents and foods. I wasn’t just on the other side of the globe – I was upside down and backwards. From navigating the airport and making my way to my new school, to walking on the other side of the street and greeting “Kia Ora!” to everyone I met, little things added up to create an upside down and backwards world. Going to New Zealand with IES, though, gave me a steadfast support structure and people to help me navigate everything new. Our program director was there for any and every question I had, and the other people there with IES were instant friends.

Going abroad with IES gave me an invaluable entry into Kiwi society that I would not have been afforded otherwise. In both New Zealand and during an IES sponsored trip to the Cook Islands, the IES Christchurch program gave me the opportunity to converse with local figureheads about social, economic, political, and environmental issues. Moreover, our program director from IES took us on amazing trips throughout the semester to a wildlife sanctuary, showed us hidden highlights of the city, and brought us to a Marae. (A Marae is a Maori community meeting place, and you have to be invited to a Marae by one of it's members in order to visit. Once there, we got to learn about Maori songs, language, art, traditions, and modern day culture.) All of these trips were just a few ways that I was welcomed into the Christchurch community that I would never have glimpsed if I hadn't gone with IES.

Default avatar
Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My New Zealand Road Trip

My semester studying abroad at University of Canterbury through IES Abroad was one long road trip, both literally and figuratively speaking. Literally, it was a semester full of spontaneous weekend (and weekday, sometimes) road trips. These trips taught me so much about myself, about others, and about this incredible, diverse country. These trips pushed me mentally and physically, made me overcome fears and build trust in myself and in others, encouraged me to engage in meaningful conversations, and made me appreciate this beautiful, wild world we live in and learn what I can do to help preserve it. Over the 5 months I spent down under, I summited numerous mountains, become a vegetarian, had yarns with people old and young from all over the world, jumped off a mountain, drank way too much goon (bagged wine), swam with dolphins (and sharks), and put thousands of kms on Gus (my beautiful car that I bought my first month in NZ). Figuratively, it was a journey with many ups and downs. It was not always easy being away from home – my younger brother graduated this year and for the first time (ever???) I felt homesick. Further, it was not easy balancing school and travel – especially since classes aren’t mandatory and there is SOO much to do and see in this country! However, there is no doubt there were many more “ups” than “downs”. And when there were downs, IES Abroad and the other study abroad students gave me all the support I needed. 10/10 would recommend studying abroad in NZ with IES Abroad.

Tovah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Adventure of a Lifetime

It's hard to have any boring experiences when traveling in New Zealand. That being said, IES Abroad made my adventure so much more worthwhile. They truly made every single experience I had full of cultural learning and meaning, and that has made all the difference. I truly felt like I was a part of the culture around me, not like I was paying someone to perform their culture for me, an that was extremely important to me. IES took us to the Cook Islands, which is where I truly felt this way; that I was participating and learning rather than being a vacationing tourist. I believe that the unique connections IES has within these international communities is what made these experiences possible and significant.

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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision of my Life!

My study abroad experience was made 10x better because of the people I met through IES and the excursions we went on through the program. Christchurch is a cute city and soon felt like home. It is rebuilding from the 2011 earthquake still but it's adding quirky and fun additions, and it has perfectly cozy coffeeshops for studying. It's also perfectly located to easily reach the best destinations in New Zealand over the weekends. IES, and Eunice our program director, made the experience even better. The first week, you're exploring and instantly making incredible connections with people. You also have occasional meetings to reflect so that the semester has a meaningful impact on you. And the semester break fieldtrip to the Cook Islands... do it! IES has us do activities that you wouldn't think of doing or wouldn't know how to book on your own, and it's just all so fun! I have absolutely no regrets on choosing IES Christchurch and it was the most amazing experience of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
If they organized a reunion... I'm already missing my other IES people like crazy!
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Sarah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

#1 Choice for Study Abroad

I firmly believe that Christchurch is one of the best possible places to study abroad, and I CANNOT wait to go back. IES makes it so easy to apply - everyone is excited to have you working with them. They continue to be incredibly supportive throughout your semester in Christchurch - our program director Eunice is absolutely incredible, going the extra mile wherever she can. The program also offers field trips that show you a new aspect of the culture - and there's even an optional field trip to the Cook Islands over the midsemester break! Christchurch is an incredible city, with so much to do. It's constantly changing as it rebuilds from the 2011 earthquakes - every time you go to the city center, something will be different! Christchurch is also very well located if you're interested in exploring the South Island - there's so much to do and see in this country, and weekend trips are incredibly easy to do!

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly thought this program was perfect just the way it was!
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Bethanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying in Christchurch, NZ!

I had the most incredible time studying abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand! Choosing to do so through the IES Abroad program was a decision I'm glad I made. IES is an incredibly organized program and advisers prior to my departure were helpful in answering any and all questions I had. When we arrived in NZ, program director/mom Eunice was consistently there to offer assistance and answer any questions we had. A Christchurch local, she has an insider view of the city and many locations all around NZ. Her humor and kindness made my experience that much greater. The orientation at the beginning of the semester introduced us to the incredible NZ scenery and local culture and left me ready to adventure! The mid-semester field trip to Rarotonga, Cook Islands allowed me to learn about a culture I most likely wouldn't have the chance to explore otherwise.

Ilam Apartments are beautiful and a short walk from the university campus. Although I was placed with 3 people from the states and one international student and I got incredibly close with them, it would have been nice to have a local student to live with as well in order to get a greater sense of "living with locals". I met the majority of my kiwi friends through classes and academic clubs. Academics are less rigorous and you have much more free time but time management is extra important because of that. I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of my classes (shout-out to Cultural Politics/Cultural Activism-the best class!)

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been more convenient to have permission to drive in New Zealand, as the IES Abroad restricts us from doing so. While I was lucky in that I had a friend with a car and other people from different programs that had access to driving vehicles, I know many other people in my program that were more restricted by the rule.
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Meg
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester on the South Island

I had an amazing time studying abroad in Christchurch through IES. First off, the IES staff back in the US were helpful leading right up to when I left for New Zealand, and, Eunice, the program director in Christchurch, was so nice. She was always willing to talk or help you figure out scheduling, things to get involved in the community, etc. - she's great and made all of our IES meetings fun.
The semester offered plenty of time for traveling but also for exploring Christchurch which is a great city especially once you get to know it. I'd definitely take a few weekends and just spend them in Christchurch. Traveling around New Zealand is great, but there is so much around UC like Sumner Beach, Port Hills, Akaroa, etc. Christchurch is a great, easy city to live in.
The best way to meet and befriend kiwis was to join clubs and to get out into the community. There are a ton of sport clubs which are great and have fun outdoor trips nearly every weekend. There are also clubs like Student Volunteer Army which hold volunteer events every weekend and even a few trips throughout the South Island. SVA is great because a ton of international and local students are a part of it and it is a great way to get involved in the community. I'd also highly recommend volunteering at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve if working with animals is of interest to you. It was a great way to meet Christchurch locals and you get to care for a bunch of different animals (wallabies!).
Overall, it was an incredible semester. Planning and executing travel is pretty easy within New Zealand and you definitely have a lot of time to do so. There are so many tracks, lakes, coastal towns, etc. that are just great to hike around and explore. I felt safe everywhere I went and met so many helpful kiwis. It was incredible getting out there and seeing New Zealand but also finding at home in Christchurch!

What would you improve about this program?
There is really only one negative thing to say about my semester in Christchurch. For housing, all IES students live in international student apartments. You may have a kiwi flatmate or two, or a few flatmates from various countries throughout the world, but you may also get flatmates from the US. If you didn't explore the Ilam Apartments or branch out from them, it could be really hard to meet kiwis or to feel like you're a part of the community. Otherwise - the apartments were nice and quite spacious.
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Olivia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Down Under's Little Cousin

Wow, what I would give to return to Christchurch, New Zealand. While my study abroad experience posed certain challenges like adjusting to a new uni system and living with randomly assigned flatmates, the positives of the whole experience definitely outweighed the negatives. The city of Christchurch was exactly what I desired out of a host city: the city itself felt small and manageable enough that I could get to know its nooks and crannies, yet it was large enough to be the main transportation hub of the South Island which made air and bus travel easy to arrange. If you desire to really get to know your host city as well as travel frequently around your host country, Christchurch could be the perfect home base for your study abroad!
Speaking on the IES program in particular, I felt so cared for from the moment I stepped off the plane in Christchurch in February to when I boarded the plane for the States in June. Eunice is the absolute best – she genuinely cares about each of her students as individuals. From planning an orientation that immersed us both in the culture of Christchurch and took us on a field trip to ensuring there was always an allergen-free cake at our IES meetings to organizing our budget-friendly field trip to Rarotonga to meeting with all of us one-on-one at the beginning and end of the semester, Eunice was both our Kiwi mother and first Kiwi friend. In my last couple days in New Zealand I unfortunately had a run-in with a bus while crossing the street, landing me in the hospital for an evening. Eunice made time in her busy schedule to meet with me several times, ensuring I knew what steps to take with the insurance company if necessary as well as making sure Air New Zealand provided me with a comfortable passage back to the States at the end of the program. No matter what situation you find yourself in, Eunice will take care of you!
My critiques for the program are minimal, but are important to acknowledge. Firstly, you are not permitted to drive during your time abroad under IES policy. Before arriving in New Zealand I did not think this would be a big deal, but in trying to get to smaller destinations around the country this restriction complicated travel quite a bit. This brings me to my second critique: unless you elect to independently find housing and are approved to do so by IES, you will be housed in Ilam Apartments at the University of Canterbury. While there is nothing wrong with the complex, it is traditionally where all the international and study abroad students attending the university are housed. My flat consisted of four girls from the States and one from Malaysia. So, if you want to befriend local students, you will have to be bold and venture out from Ilam. Overall though, I would highly recommend studying abroad with IES to Christchurch!

What would you improve about this program?
I would suggest that IES reconsider their policies on allowing students to drive while abroad; in the early weeks of my program I had not made good enough Kiwi friends to ask to travel with them, and found bus travel to the smaller destinations very limiting.