When I had to take care of a semester abroad, but my university did not have the right partner university, I asked MicroEDU directly whether you could send me application documents to 2 universities in New Zealand. I received the documents relatively quickly and was able to apply directly. Since I was a little late, I personally submitted the documents to MicroEDU and a personal meeting was also an advantage to get some information myself. Among the two universities was the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. I received an acceptance from this university about 2-3 weeks after applying. From then on I had more contact with the university itself, but was able to fall back on MicroEDU for more complicated questions, which gave me a lot of security. Gradually, more and more formalities have been clarified and I have transferred the tuition fees. Note: according to abbreviationfinder, University of Canterbury is abbreviated as UOC.
Arrival on the large campus
When I was looking for an apartment, University of Canterbury was very helpful because it guarantees me a place in the student dormitory, provided I apply by 1. 5. 2017. This went smoothly, I transferred the money, around 3000 euros for 6 months. The apartment had 5 rooms, was very close to the university and the supermarket was also not far away. There was a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a living room with sofas and a dining table. We also had a balcony.
My first official act at University of Canterbury was the so-called Welcome Day for all international students. This was a very good opportunity to get to know new people and it was also a very good introduction to the university.
In the first few weeks it was still quite difficult to find all the rooms directly, because compared to my university in Germany, the one in Christchurch is quite large. But this problem was also resolved very quickly and gradually I began to enjoy being at such a large university more and more. The campus is very green, which I liked, but of course there was a lot of construction due to the earthquake and some buildings were empty, which you were not allowed to enter. There are several cafes and restaurants spread across the campus. There is also a pharmacy and post office which was very useful to me.
Compact courses for more concentration
My courses were “ Principles of Animal Behavior ”, “ New Zealand Biodiversity and Biosecurity ”, “ Maori-Indegenous Knowledge and Science ” and “ Methods of Mathematics ”. All lectures only last 50 minutes, which I personally think is much better than the 90 minutes at my university in Germany, because you are much more attentive during that time. In addition, the professors are so relaxed that it is customary to address them by their first name. What was very difficult for me was that you couldn’t use a calculator in math. Most courses at University of Canterbury, including my other three, have a so-called field trip in their curriculum. This is an excursion, with me, for example, she went to the zoo, a park and once even for 3 days to Kaikoura (in the Maori course). The costs were naturally taken over by University of Canterbury. In addition, the exam at the end of the semester does not make up 100% of the grade, but usually only 40%. The rest is worked out during the semester through various things such as math tests, online quizzes about the lectures or mostly through essays on certain topics.
If you had problems of any kind, you could simply go to the “ student care ”, who would take care of you and usually take care of everything quickly.
Through the city by bike and bus
To get from A to B in the city, we recommend either the free bike rental at University of Canterbury or the bus system. The buses usually run every 15-30 minutes and if you buy the metro card once for $ 10 you only pay $ 2 per trip instead of $ 4, which is definitely recommended, because you take the bus more often than expected. I can highly recommend Sumner for day trips. This is a part of Christchurch and about an hour by bus from University of Canterbury. There you will find a long beach and those who like hiking will get their money’s worth, because you only have to go one bay further to Taylor’s Mistake. There is also a beach from which you can continue walking past cliffs directly on the coast of New Zealand. Surfers will also like it here.
If you have a whole weekend, I would either go to Lake Tekapo. This is a Dark Sky Reserve where you can observe the perfect starry sky under perfect conditions. In winter you can also ski nearby and relax in the hot pools in the evenings. There are of course a couple of beautiful hiking trails. Another destination is Kaikoura, especially for animal fans, because here you can do everything your heart desires from whale watching to dolphin tours to albatross tours and you are almost always successful on the tours.
If you have time and, above all, money left over after the semester, I would definitely fly to Australia, especially Sydney, and Fijis. Because if you’ve already been down there, you won’t be back anytime soon.