Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch is the largest city on New Zealand's South Island, with a population of about 400,000, and is characterized by a fascinating blend of “the old” with “the new.” This city, once known for its neo-gothic architecture and gardens, is charged with the energy of change and re-growth after the earthquakes of 2011. Among the historic buildings that are still standing, you’ll find pop-up shops and “food forests”. Located along the coast adjacent to the Port Hills and close to the famed “Southern Alps,” Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s top adventure destinations. It is also one of the world's most unique destinations, combining urban regeneration with exhilarating exploration, Maori heritage, and a combination of Western, Pacific, and indigenous cultures.
About the Program
This program for Geoscience students is offered through the New York 6 Liberal Arts Consortium in partnership with Skidmore College and Frontiers Abroad. Frontiers Abroad organizes the program, weaving together personal exploration and academic pursuits across the physical and cultural landscapes of New Zealand and its communities. This unique program model seamlessly blends an intensive, multi-week field course component and a full semester on campus. There are two Earth and Environment program options from which to choose (Geology of New Zealand and New Zealand Earth Systems) with flexibility in tailoring elective courses to fit your specific academic interests.
The Christchurch program is based at the University of Canterbury, which has a student body of about 15,000 students. Students will select one of two field & research tracks - New Zealand Earth Systems or Geology of Zealand. Both tracks include a five-week field camp experience and four on-campus courses for a total of 5 HWS credits.
New Zealand Earth Systems analyzes current environmental issues arising from the interface between nature and society. The five-week field camp travels to the North Island and South Islands, exploring the Bay of Plenty, Mt. Ruapehu, Banks Peninsula, the Southern Alps, and Kaikoura through a series of field modules. Following field camp, students transition to the on-campus phase of the program where you will enroll in one required course (“Research Methods in Earth Systems Science” and three University of Canterbury courses of your choosing).
Geology of New Zealand begins with a five-week field camp where students travel throughout the North and South Islands studying the geologic evolution of New Zealand through a series of linked field modules. Field work is complemented by map preparation and exercises in the evenings, as well as lectures that highlight a variety of the local staff’s field and laboratory-based studies. After the field camp experience, students will enroll in four classes at the University of Canterbury: “Geological Field Research Methods,” one course in the Department of Geological Sciences, and two university courses of your choosing.
Information on electives available for both tracks is available here.
This program is designed for students majoring in Geoscience, providing a unique opportunity to develop field skills as well as access to a broad curriculum offering coursework to fulfill major or minor requirements.
This program is open to juniors and seniors majoring in Geoscience who are in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students must have successfully completed a minimum of two lab or field-based Geoscience courses prior to departure. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students will live in fully-furnished apartments adjacent to the University of Canterbury campus, and will have their own rooms and access to kitchen facilities to prepare meals. The apartments are located near athletic fields and on-campus recreation facilities available to all students. During field camp, students will stay in a variety of field stations, lodges, and marae (traditional Maori meeting houses). These facilities are generally bunk-style accommodation with two to four students sharing a room. Large living quarters, great rooms, and study halls are the norm. Meals are provided.
Students will visit a wide range of locations on the North and South Islands during the multi-week field camp experience. In addition, University Orientation will include visits to the Banks Peninsula and sites in Christchurch, while a series of weekend trips and one weeklong excursion focusing on outdoor activities also will be offered.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a five-course semester (including the field camp), health insurance, housing, and program-related activities and excursions. Note that no board charge is included. Students should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program. While meal expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate $2200-$2400 should be sufficient for students who prepare their own meals.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1600-$1800 from the East Coast and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
- This program is offered every Spring semester.
- All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
SPRING HANDBOOK (Coming Soon)
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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