IES Abroad Christchurch Direct Enrollment - University Of Canterbury

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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.

Questions & Answers


based on 19 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.4
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 19 of 19
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Galavanting on the South Island

I spent the fall semester of my junior year in Christchurch, and I regard it as one of the best experiences of my life. The social climate and way of life is laid back and foreigners are welcomed with genuine friendliness. Kiwis are extremely hospitable and outgoing people; I found getting to know them really enriched my experience, in learning their perspectives. The country itself is spectacular, with countless outdoor opportunities, such as as climbing, hiking, kayaking, etc. In terms of the program itself, I found that IES had wonderful on-site staff, and the field trips and programs they organized were all very valuable and a lot of fun. It was good to have a base group of friends and people with which to approach so many new experiences. The country as a whole felt very safe, and was easy to travel throughout. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Semester of my College Career

I loved hiking in the New Zealand countryside. A friend and I did the Abel Tasman Great Walk, a five day hike on the northern tip of the South Island. Essentially, we were hiking for five days in one of the most beautiful environments I have ever seen. The people in New Zealand were very friendly and I never felt unsafe. It was the best semester of my college career.

How can this program be improved?
I only wish I could have stayed longer.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Absolutely Amazing

Though the city has been inconvenienced by the earthquakes, that doesn't mean that Christchurch isn't a place to go to. In fact, it may be the best option to go to within New Zealand. Situated on the eastern coast in the middle of the south island, you're within driving distance to so many magical places. Arthur's Pass, Mt. Cook, Dunedin, Lake Tekapo, and many other places are all within a reasonable distance from the University of Canterbury. Places like Auckland or Otago are a bit removed from other places and take longer to get anywhere. Besides, the south island is 100x more scenic than the northern island!

Regarding the IES program, I would say it's an amazing thing to do if it's an option for you. The program leader here in Christchurch is wonderful - extremely helpful and caring for you. She is always looking out for you and will help in any way she can - she even helped pick classes for a few stressed IES-ers! I'm pretty confident in saying that she's more than welcome at my family's holiday dinner (that's how great she is!). Having our coordinator with my group was invaluable. Scheduled trips and going out to eat at different places is extremely helpful (especially when you first arrive). Though it might not seem like a big deal, a good or bad coordinator for an overseas program can have an impact on how you see the country & how you spend your time abroad.

Why go to a program? Why not just study abroad on your own? For starters, when you immediately arrive with your IES group, you have an immediate group of friends that you can rely on. They're going through the same experiences you are and they can help you (and you'll help them) during your time abroad. That isn't to say that they're the only friends you meet though! You'll meet people outside of IES and make friends with tons of Kiwis. However, should something happen, or you need a place to go for a weekend, or you want a traveling buddy, IES has you covered. I have all of my group's contact information (which is incredibly handy) so getting in touch with someone when you needed it wasn't an issue.

Overall, I've had a blast. Christchurch is awesome. New Zealand is awesome. Being able to be a part of the IES family and meet so many people is awesome. Kiwis are awesome people. If you want to have an awesome experience too, definitely look into coming to Christchurch with IES Abroad!

How can this program be improved?
Though the earthquakes hit Christchurch pretty hard, the city is rebuilding and many businesses have started up since then. The number of things to do / see within Christchurch has gone down, so if I had a time machine I would have loved to see what the city was like beforehand. No program is everything you've ever wanted it to be though, but I'm still pretty happy with Christchurch and my experience overall.
Yes, I recommend this program
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IES Christchurch Was Amazing!

I went to Christchurch in order to become familiar with a different culture and to study Biology. I was not disappointed in either of these goals. I lived in student housing surrounded by students from all over the world and studied with mostly Kiwis. Through community volunteering experiences I was able to get connected with the citizens of Christchurch and to learn about the culture of New Zealand.

I also had many opportunities to travel the country through program sponsored field trips (which were great!), a week long field course for a class, and lots of independent travel. The country is simply breath taking and the people you meet along the way are always friendly. We had a lot of great fun camping and hiking in the mountains and on the beaches.

Christchurch is a beautiful city and IES has great on-site support staff are always available.

Yes, I recommend this program


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About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...