Coffee Culture


Coffee Beans



The amazing, titillating aroma of freshly ground coffee beans can once again be enjoyed by everyone in the building at Canterbury College.

The enticing smell is wafting throughout the office and classrooms.  Your choice of Cappuccino, Mocha, Hot Chocolate, Macchiato, Americano, Flat White, Short/Long Black or Latte for only $2 a cup! Life doesn’t get any sweeter than this. This is really a bargain and a blessing from our baristas in training on level two.

Here’s what some people had to say about the coffee:

“The coffee is good and the atmosphere is good for students to mingle and it creates a real harmony. It’s a good chance for the baristas in training to learn and it’s a good deal because the coffee is cheap!” – Andre Nunes

“The coffee is good. Shiori (one of the baristas in training) makes the best hot chocolate in New Zealand.” – Kate Petero

“The coffee has improved so much – nice taste and nice presentation. Let it continue everyday! – Heather Yaxley


Beautiful Coffee



If you’re interested in learning the art of coffee making and becoming a barista, Canterbury College offers a course of General English plus 2-weeks Barista training aimed to teach international students Barista industry skills and knowledge which can be applied to worldwide standards.

The Barista Course is taught in the afternoons, with English in the mornings.  The certificate is delivered at NZQA level 2 and is made up entirely of unit standards. After completion, International students have the opportunity to:

- Find a job at a Coffee shop, Restaurant, Pub, Bar, and more

- Qualify to work in the hotel & hospitality industry. Student visa holders will be able to change their conditions to work 20 hours per week

- Study hospitality at diploma level confidently with knowledge and experience.

Barista + English Course Brochure

Our Barista classes have just ended, but will be starting up again on 28 March 2011. In the meantime Barista students and teachers are volunteering their time so that nobody in the building has to suffer from CWS (Coffee Withdrawal Symptoms). Show your support and gratitude for our kind volunteers and keep Canterbury College’s Coffee Culture alive. After all, it’s only two dollars!


For the Love of Coffee



Love is in the Air

Whether you’re in love or have lovely friends, Valentines Day is a magical day for all.  Valentine’s Day is a jumble of traditions, beliefs, and celebrations that has come to us from a distant past. The story goes all the away back to the 2nd Century A.D.

Click the link below for a brief history of this special day.

Some of our staff enjoyed a fabulous Valentines Day party together.  The theme was pink and red.  The decorations were breathtaking! The food was great, but most of all the atmosphere was enchanting.


Gorgeous Decorations

But did you ever wonder how teachers and other staff members at Canterbury College spend the big day? We asked a few staff members what they thought about Valentines Day and how they spent it. This is what they had to say.


“Single red roses say a lot more than a romantic candlelight dinner.” – Keith Burgess, Teacher

“My husband took me punting on the Avon River.  I have a very romantic husband!”

- Magdala Williams, Teacher

“Had a break from the red commercial buzz. Instead had a relaxing night with champagne, chocolate, good conversation and a romantic film. I could certainly do that every week!” – Chris Hilton, Marketing Manager

From the bottom of our hearts, all of us at Canterbury College hope you had a Happy Valentines Day, however you chose to spend it.

Really accurate feedback for Canterbury College students!

Orn (far left) and Haoming (second from left) study Reading and Writing with teacher Kelly

Orn (far left) and Haoming (second from left) study Reading and Writing with teacher Kelly

Today 10 students finished their 100-hour Free English programme, funded by the Government to help migrants improve their Literacy.

Students test their Vocabulary and Reading Skills online, both before and after their course. In this way, they can get an exact measure of their progress after 100 hours of study. The computer test also tells the government whether the College’s programme is good value for money or not!

The first group of students, from China, Germany, Japan, Russia, and Thailand, were all keen to learn English. They juggled family and other responsibilities with the demands of the tough course.

Congratulations to Orn, Rie and Shiori, who all achieved improvements in both tests. That means both Reading and Vocabulary improved. Well done!

Beate made a significant improvement in her Reading skills, while Haoming, Stan and Sacha all made good progress in Vocabulary. The most outstanding increase in Vocabulary score was by Mei Haoming who in just 5 weeks of study improved 130 points from 431 to 561!

We asked Chinese student Haoming how he improved his vocabulary so quickly and he replied, “I went to the library after school and looked at books and magazines around my level. And I listened to the radio, even when I couldn’t understand 100%, I just kept trying.” Good advice, Haoming, which we should all try to follow.

In Reading, the greatest gain was by Japanese student Rie Odai, who moved from 553 to 637, an increase of 84 points! Rie also achieved a Level 2 qualification in Barista (see photo). Rie reckons she was just “lucky on the day” and wouldn’t offer any advice, but she admits that it is easier to concentrate in reading when she chooses documents that are interesting and relevant to her personally.

Student Barista Rie concentrates on making the perfect expresso

Student Barista Rie concentrates on making the perfect expresso

Click here for more info about our 2-week Barista Qualification which Rie studied.

Click here to read about 70 cool ways to improve your English:

Click here to find out how you can learn English at the Christchurch City Libraries

Did you know:
1. Did you know people tend to use bigger vocabulary words around the opposite sex? How hypersexualised are we?
2. Did you know that the 5000 most common English words and expressions will help you understand 95% of the English World?

Canterbury College Has A Lot To Celebrate…


Happy birthday!

Today was a very special day at Canterbury College.  It was the birthday of 2 staff members, including longtime Canterbury College teacher, Deborah Harding-Browne. For Deb it was a proper send off as we are very sad to see her move on. Deborah will be raising a family and we wish her all the best with that.

Teachers and other staff came together to enjoy delectable desserts and to congratulate the women of the hour. There was a fine-looking Chocolate cake covered in strawberries and a mouth-watering Meringue.

Birthday cake

Birthday cake

Oh wait, there’s more!  Today Canterbury College also welcomed two lovely new teachers, Heather Yaxely and Josephine Cox. Heather will be joining the International department and Josephine will be teaching IELTS II.  A great, big Canterbury College “welcome” to the both of you. Watch the blog in coming days for news of these 2 dynamic teachers.

All members of staff enjoyed this special occasion over good food and fine conversation. There was laughter and a lot of silly poses for pictures. Everyone benefited from a relaxed break from their daily duties.

Happy Birthday!!! We wish you all the best!

What should we expect from the Year of the Rabbit?

Golden rabbit

Golden rabbit

Chinese Lunar Year in 2011 began on February 3. The New Year is that of the Golden Rabbit. In Victoria Square in Christchurch, a New Year Lantern Festival will be celebrated on 26 and 27 February. For more information, see

What luck will this year bring?

The Rabbit is a lucky sign.  Traditionally, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves.  It is a time for negotiation, not forcing issues. If you are confrontational, you are likely to fail. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle. Then you can calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

The Rabbit is the symbol of the Moon, while the Peacock is the symbol of the Sun.  In the magical year of the Rabbit, the wish-granting aspects of the Sun and the Moon are multiplied.  On each of the Full Moon nights of this year, you might like to go out into your garden to gaze at the Full Moon and visualise Moon dust and Moon glow flowing into you, filling your whole body with bright white light and granting you fearlessness, love and courage.  This not only strengthens your inner “Chi”, but also develops wisdom into your life.

Were you born in the Year of the Rabbit?

If you were born in a Rabbit Year, this is your year and it will be specially lucky for you!

Rabbit Years:

02/14/1915 to 02/02/1916 (Wood)

02/02/1927 to 01/22/1928 (Fire)

02/19/1939 to 02/07/1940 (Earth)

02/06/1951 to 01/26/1952 (Metal/Gold)

01/25/1963 to 02/12/1964 (Water)

02/11/1975 to 01/30/1976 (Wood)

01/29/1987 to 02/16/1988 (Fire)

02/16/1999 to 02/04/2000 (Earth)

02/03/2011 to 01/22/2012 (Metal/Gold)

Famous Rabbits:  Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore, Edith Piaf, Helen Hunt, Joan Crawford, Kate Winslet, and Tina Turner.

The Sign of the Rabbit

People born in the Year of the Rabbit share certain characteristics:  Keen, wise, fragile, tranquil, serene, considerate, fashionable, and kind.  Generally, they are quite calm, do not exhibit aggressive behavior, and will avoid confrontation at all costs.  When angry about something, they will approach it calmly and considerately, hardly ever raising their voice.  And they are quite keen and pay close attention to the situations developing around them.  They are intelligent and quick, and can talk themselves in or out of most situations with no problem.

The Rabbit is a symbol for mercy, elegance, and worship of beauty.  People born in the Year of the Rabbit are kind, loving persons, and dislike any hostile act.  They give others an impression of being frail-looking because of their gentle appearance.  But, in fact they are strong-minded and have strong wills.  They pursue their ideals all their lives in a precise and orderly way.  They do things slowly and deliberately because of their cautious characters.

There is no need to worry about their lives.  They are nimble, clever and good at avoiding harm to themselves. They are talented and like artistic ventures, such as painting and music and are generally quite present in these worlds.  They are also very hospitable, good hosts and warm-hearted companions.  They never embrace others in public places.  They know the art of saving face and giving consideration to the interests of both sides.

Rabbit people are usually relatively careful when it comes to their finances.  They use much of their money for possessions such as their homes, cars or furniture.  They love hunting for antiques, arts and crafts and will tend to make sound investments in these types of things.

What can I do this weekend in Christchurch?

fun at the trip

Near lake Tekapo

Weekend fun is important for international students. Work Hard and Play Hard is an excellent recipe for study success.

That’s why Canterbury College cooperates with Dermot Hall to offer School Tours around the South Island, with several other language schools in Christchurch. All the College students who have joined Dermot’s trip had 100% satisfaction!

See photos and our previous blog report here:

Or check out Dermot’s photos from the Mt Cook/Tekapo tours here:

Don’t waste your weekend, visit Mt Cook and Tekapo, get to know some students from other countries and other schools in Christchurch. The photos are fantastic and the memories are unforgettable!

Phone or email Dermot NOW to book your place for this weekend’s trip!

Dermot has another exciting opportunity: anyone interested in sky-diving could join a small group of other students to jump from 12000ft high near Pudding Hill, Methven!

We asked Dermot why he chose to create a school tours business, and he told us:

“I am an ex-teacher who taught English in NZ and Japan. I started taking students on South Island tours about 15 years ago and it has grown into a business I really enjoy. I often tell students I have the best job in the world ….. showing visitors from all over the world the beauty of our South Island ! Please join a tour and learn about New Zealand !

Our most popular weekend tour is the Tekapo/Mt Cook Tour and my personal all-time favourite place is Abel Tasman National Park. Day tours to the seaside town of Kaikoura for whale-watching and Akaroa for a Dolphin Cruise are favourites too!”

Did you know: “New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook, stands 3754 metres tall. Its Maori name – Aoraki – means ‘Cloud Piercer’.”

Ruby Fusion’s first album, Disciplinary Hearings by Cris Fulton, new teacher at Canterbury College

Chris Fulton

Teacher Cris helps Chinese student Carly with a grammar query, while Saudi student Mansuar takes a keen interest.

Cris Fulton is our new teacher at Intermediate level. He’s been teaching English for over 15 years in countries as diverse as France, Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.  He has taught all levels from beginners to exam classes.

We asked Cris to tell us something about himself, and he said, ”I love meeting people from all over the world and it’s great to see students making progress.

I’m also a musician who plays guitar and sings with the Christchurch band Ruby Fusion

You can hear our music if you click on the links below and click on PLAY ALL. Hope you enjoy it”.

Listen up to Cris’ First Broadcast:

Here’s the link to Ruby Fusion’s first album, Disciplinary Hearings:

Pleasantly surprised to find that my knowledge of English has increased significantly

rusian student Elena

We often receive feedback from our students and we like to receive it. Below is a quick comment from Russian Pre-Intermediate student Elena, who’s been enjoying Magdala’s afternoon class:

My name is Elena. I have been living in Christchurch for 3 ½ years. In November 2010 a friend of mine invited me to come to Canterbury College, where she studied. I decided to try it too.
I have really liked the warm and friendly atmosphere in the college, and the friendly staff.
Very soon I was pleasantly surprised to find that my knowledge of English has increased significantly and became stronger. I’ve gained more confidence and I’m no longer too shy to speak.
I am sure that in the near future I will be able to find work and friends! “

Меня зовут Лена. Я живу в Крайстчёрче уже 3 с половиной года. В ноябре 2010г моя подруга предложила мне прийти в Кэнтербури Коллед, где она училась. Я решила попробовать.
Мне очень понравилась тёплая и дружеская обстановка в колледже, приветливый персонал.
Очень скоро я была приятно удивлена, что мои знания английского существенно возросли и окрепли. Я обрела большую уверенность и перестала стесняться говорить.
Уверена, что в скором будущем я смогу найти работу и друзей!”

You can read more about General English classes, both part-time and full-time on our website

Did you know:

Russian is one of the five official languages of the United Nations, and ranks as the major world language along with Chinese, English, Spanish and Hindi. Nearly 220 million people speak it. To find out more about Russian language visit

‘Seeing things’ linked to high coffee intake



making coffee makes people smile:)

People who drink more than 7 cups of coffee a day are 3 times more likely to see visions or hear voices than those who drink 1 cup, suggests research from UK’s Durham University.

However, a great deal of research shows that “moderate caffeine intake, 400-500mg per day, is safe for the general population and may even confer health benefits”, according to Dr Euan Paul, of the British Coffee Association. Suggested benefits include preventing skin cancer and reducing nerve damage from multiple sclerosis.

Whether for mental or health benefits, coffee-drinking is becoming ever more popular in western countries. A growing number of cafés compete fiercely for this spending. By learning the history and culture of coffee, and the secrets of brewing the perfect cup, you can become a desirable employee, or open your own business.

Café owners and baristas need to charm customers with retail sales skills, sensitive cultural communication to establish rapport, and the technical skill to get the best out of sophisticated (and expensive) espresso coffee machines. International students have flown in from Japan and other countries to do the Barista + English course now running at Canterbury College, which has established a reputation for quality language and business training. Start a new career as a barista!

Check out the Barista Prospectus at to learn more about the Barista Training


Crazy birthday party

Fun at the party

Fun at the party

Last Saturday there was a big Brazilian costume party held to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of Andre Nunes, Latin American marketing manager.

Andre was the DJ in a Death costume and rocked the crowd with Brazilian music and other sounds from New Zealand and the world. More than 200 people from many countries, among them Brazil, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabian, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and many more, attended the party. Students had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of Brazilian parties and socialise with people of diverse cultures. Check out the video on YouTube.

We asked Andre how he felt about turning 30 – was it important? His answer: “No, it’s horrible. Getting Older!”

The Brazilian party is mini-carnival: with all the costumes, fun and fiery music. And the most famous carnival is held in Brazil as well: annual festival held forty days before Easter. It  is farewell to bad things in a season of religious discipline to practice repentance and prepare for Christ’s death and resurrection.

Costume guests
Guests in costumes

Music is very important part of every party or carnival. Samba was one type of music played by Andre on the party. Though this genre originates from Africa, Samba is the world symbol of Brazil and is played on trombones, trumpets, flutes, and clarinets.

Did you know: by 30 the average person has had 7.5 jobs, and will have 2.4 more by age 35. To find out more interesting facts about turning 30 visit “11 Wild Statistics About Turning 30