Are you thinking about going to Christchurch?  If so, this post written by one of our Swiss students, René, is for you.  He is here to share his recent first-hand experience of living and studying in Christchurch with you.  Enter René…

You are thinking about going to Christchurch to Languages International, but you are not sure?  I had the same problem like you, but in the end I decided for Christchurch. I don’t regret choosing for this nice and lovely city.

Maybe you are worried about the earthquakes. I would say you don’t have to. Yes there are earthquakes every second or third day. Most of them you don’t even recognize and if you do then it’s only a very little shake. All the students I’ve met were more excited about feeling one than they were worried. The  chance to get another heavy earthquake is according to experts very little.

Your next thought could be that everything is damaged and broken. Most of the broken buildings are cleaned up and gaps are left. The recovery has already started. For example there is the ‘Re:start’-mall. [Pictured in photo above – Ed.] It’s made out of containers and is part of the new city centre. You’ll see that the people are looking forward and not backwards. There is a great plan to rebuild the city. It was already called ‘garden city’, but when they realize that plan it’ll greener than before. It’s interesting to see what happens everyday and I feel sad, that I have to leave before I can see the result.

My sister was here twenty years ago and she said that it’s not the city that makes Chistchurch lovely, it’s the people. She was right. People are in general very friendly here, for example they say ‘thanks’ to the bus driver when they leave the bus. They are very chatty and it’s easy to meet people.

South Island Road TripLast but not least Christchurch is in the middle of the South Island and it’s easy to come around. On weekends there is a lot you can do, because you can go in every direction. In the North is Kaikoura or the Malborough wine region. In the west you can go over Arthurs Pass down to Westport or to the Pancake-rocks. Even Mt.Cook or Queenstown is not too far if you have take a bank holiday. In the South there is Dunedin. There is the steepest street of the world and if you like you can take a look at the local penguins.

Winery visit

South Island winery visit

If you really like the nature then you are definitely not wrong in Christchurch, but if you prefer a big city with nightlife then you should rather go to Auckland.

Written by René, a Languages International Christchurch student from Switzerland.

Third photo from the top by Patrícia Neves