NEW! Free Wifi and Library opening Christchurch Central City 19th Dec

Very close to our new Riverbank building at 243 Cambridge Terrrace (on the corner of Manchester Street), will be the New Christchurch Central City library branch, opening 19 December 2011. 

At 89-91 Peterborough Street, the new library will be open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and 10-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Walk on down and check out the FREE Wi-Fi and new fiction!

For latest updates about Opening Hours, to download Free Audio Books, or check out what books are available, visit

Did you know …

… that books can breathe? People visiting the British Museum complained of getting headaches. This was because books seem to absorb or “breathe” in air and “breathe” out smells of their own. There were so many old books in the Museum that there was no fresh air left which meant people got headaches from breathing in bad air! (see

New Shopping Street in Christchurch City Centre

We are happy to say that the new Pop Up Shopping Street in the City Centre is fun and successful.

There were long queues of people waiting for coffee and to buy in their favourite shops. But nobody was impatient, we were enjoying being in the inner city buzz for the first time since the February quake. And the blue skies of early summer always help make a fun atmosphere.

Welcome back to Christchurch!

People enjoy the new City Mall under a typical Canterbury blue sky

Crowds enjoy the unique Pop Up City Mall in central Christchurch

For more news about the Pop Up Shopping Street open NOW in Christchurch city centre, see this link:

For more about the history of Cashel Street Mall from Wikipedia, see:,_Christchurch

How to join a sports team in New Zealand?

 Today Javier, our Marketing Manager for Latin America, gives some tips about how to get involved in team sport here in Christchurch. If you prefer to read in English, just scroll on down! If you want to practise your Spanish, start here!

Como unirse a un equipo deportivo en Nueva Zelanda?

Has querido unirte a equipos de fútbol, rugby o algún otro deporte? No sabes como buscarlos? A quien preguntarle? Te voy a ayudar y decirte lo que puedes hacer para hacer tu deporte favorito aquí en NZ.

Mi nombre es Javier Balcázar y soy el Marketing Manager para Canterbury College, llevo viviendo 10 años en Nueva Zelanda y cuando llegue era un estudiante como tu. Siempre me ha gustado el deporte desde México y lo que quería hacer en NZ era seguir con el deporte pero como nuevo en el país no sabía a donde ir ni con quien platicar para que me ayudara.

  • Lo primero que tienes que hacer es hablar con tus amigos o profesores de la escuela para ver si alguien te puede dar algunainformación sobre lo que necesitas.
  • Puedes buscar en Internet equipos de deportes por tu zona y llamar o visitar los lugares que encuentres que estén mas cercanos a tu casa.
  • Ya que tienes lainformación y el deporte acércate a hablar con el entrenador o con el encargado del equipo y si la temporada apenas esta iniciando es fácil que te den la oportunidad para unirte al equipo.
  • Ya dentro del equipo puedes hacer muchos amigos kiwis e integrarte a la cultura de aquí.

Así de fácil es encontrar equipos en la ciudad. El deporte es muy practicado aquí y te ayuda a relajarte y te entretienes haciendo lo que mas te gusta. Mucha suerte.

How to join a sports team in New Zealand?

Have you ever wanted to join soccer teams, rugby or any other sports teams? Not sure how to find them? Who to ask? Let me help you out by telling you what you can do to start playing your favourite sport here in NZ.

My name is Javier Balcázar and I am Marketing Manager at Canterbury College. I have lived 10 years in New Zealand and when I got here I was a student like you. I’ve always loved sports and I wanted to continue here in NZ but as a newcomer to the country I did not know where to go or whom to talk to help me.
• The first thing you can do is talk to your friends or teachers from the school to see if anyone can give you someinformation about what you need.

• Look online for sports teams in your area and call them or visit the places you find that are closest to your home.

• When you have the sportsinformation go and talk to the coach or the team manager and if the season is just beginning it’s easier for them to give you the opportunity to join the team.

• When you are part of the team you can make friends and learn about kiwi culture.

It’s that easy to find teams in the city. People practise sports all the time and it helps you to relax and do something you like and enjoy. Good luck!


International communities are warmly invited to say what they think of the Christchurch draft CITY PLAN.

Dear Everyone,

Christchurch City Council (CCC) and Office of Ethnic Affairs (OEA) welcome you to a special meeting to hear different community voices about our new City Plan.

This meeting is unique. The Plan Meeting is for communities to join in the earthquake recovery.

When is the Plan Meeting?

Wednesday 7 September 2011

What will happen at the Plan Meeting?

City Council Staff will talk about the City Plan
You can write your ideas for the Plan
You can hear how other cities in the world have put Ethnic Communities in their Plan.
There will be refreshments to eat and drink.

Where is the Plan Meeting?

Riccarton Baptist Church

Corner of Peverel and Rattray Streets, Riccarton
80 Rattray Street
Riccarton 8041
(03) 960 6878

Is there easy parking at the Meeting?

If you want to go to the meeting, you can register by email or

What can I do on the weekend – a Glacier Walk with English School Tours

Coming up soon, from 23-25 September, you can visit the West Coast and take a Glacier walk. Also included: Castle Hill, Arthur’s Pass and a night-time glow-worm walk.

Exclusive 10% discount for Canterbury College students!

•See the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki, explore Shantytown and pan for GOLD!

• Hokitika (wild West Coast Beach), Greymouth – Jade Factory etc.
• Tour includes transport, accommodation (2 nights), 1 dinner, 2 breakfasts, etc.
• Tour run by experienced guide (member ProGuides NZ, etc)

OPTIONS: Hot springs., ½ day glacier walk

English + Barista Class FAQ – Kelly’s 2 weeks intensive class

20 June is the next start date for our intensive English + Barista. The new intake is filling fast, with a limit of 6 places.

Here are some questions students ask about this course:

Q: Will I enjoy the course?

A: Tutor Kelly says that the students really enjoy the course because of the mix of “hands on” and theory.

Q: Is my English good enough?

A: Students need a level of IELTS 4.5 to enter, or an equivalent score on the Canterbury College‘s internal test.

Q: What are the dates of the exam?

A: The tests are all included in the intensive 2 weeks of the English + Barista Course. Still, it is good to know that there is a back up plan – if a student does not pass the test, they have the opportunity to resit the test in the following week (resit fee applies).

Luckily, the college has had 100% success in students attempting the theory tests as well as the practical coffee-making.

Q: Will it help my English?

A: In preparing for assessment, the students can’t help improving their English reading and writing skills. 

New Russian students at Canterbury College

What does it feel like to arrive in New Zealand when you speak no English at all? For Nadzeya and her mother Svetlana, pictured here with Nadzeya’s sister Veronika (centre), the experience has been very exciting, and they really want to start learning in our FREE ENGLISH classes so they can express themselves directly. In the meantime, we asked them to write down their thoughts in Russian, and we translate below.

Suprun Nadzeya

Пролетев значимое количество киллометров,дорога от Сиднея до Крайсчерча показалась не долгой, но тревожной.Все ближе приближаясь к островам Новой Зеландии, первое впечатления поразила красота природы. Все прелести природы как нарисованы по плану архитектора.Все подобрано одно к одному.Понимая, что ты оказался совсем на другом континенте, незная ни культуры, ни менталитета, ни смысла жизни людей, к чему они стремяться.Сделав первые шаги после приземления было страшно, но и интересно,с желанием скорее узнать и постичь все прелести этого маленького в своем роде “уголка земли”. Начиная общаться, понимаешь, к этому стремяться многие, но таков шанс выпадает не каждому.Здесь люди свободные и не зависимые,они живут в прекрасном уголке, где не только пекрасно, но и экологически чистый воздух.Все права каждого гражданина защищены. Понимая что ты совсем чужой в этой стране и не гражданин Новой Зеландии,но государство  тебя поддерживает и дает все возможности для реализации задуманных планов.Посещая общественные места,знакомишься с культурой, модой,разновидностью кухонь. Очень необычное поведение людей, совсем не зависимое от мнения общества. Так же обратила внимание на воспитание детей, нет всех тех запретов которые встречались в Белоруссии.Незнаю, что будет в будущем, но могу сказать одно, если правильно все взвесить и расчитать, то может у меня и есть возможность овладеть языком, получить проффесию и обосноваться здесь для дольнейшей жизни в прекрасной стране.



Despite the number of kilometres, the journey from Sydney to Christchurch passed quickly. Suddenly we were approaching the islands of New Zealand, and our first impression the striking natural beauty. All the charm of nature is displayed, as if by design. We realised that we were not just in another continent, but in a new culture or mentality, where the meaning of life was different. Our first steps after landing from the plan were scary but also full of interest, as we felt a desire to learn more and understand all the charm of this world on a  human scale.

Many people would love to have this experience, but the chance is not granted to everyone. Here we feel people live freely and independently, in a beautiful place, which is also environmentally friendly, and where the rights of every citizen are protected. Arriving as a foreigner in this country, not a New Zealand citizen, but recieiving the support of the Government  which gives you every opportunity to realize your dreams as  a Permanent Resident!

Exploring public places, you can get acquainted with the culture, fashions, and variety of cuisines. You can even observe unusual and excentric behavior, which is not limited by the views of society. Even children are under less prohibitions than in Belorusse. Who knows what will happen in the future? Still, I can say one thing, if properly weighed and calculate, then I can and have the opportunity to learn the language, get settled and enjoy making  a contribution here for the long life in a beautiful country.


Suprun Sviatlana

Летели с Москвы на самалете фирмы “Эмираты”.Делали пересадки в Дубае, Бонкоке, Сидней и конечный пункт назначения город Крайсчерч. Во всех аэропортах делали фото на память. Больше всего поразило-это вид с самолета, когда пролетали над Новой Зеландией. С высоты кажется,что над землей Новой Зеландии трудился какой-то искустный архитектор,так затейливо поделена территория на ровные квадратики, и с высоты смотриться очень красиво. А какие здесь приветливые и улыбчивые люди. Даже не зная ничего по английски. Встречали нас наши родные:дочь, зять,внучки,сваты.Встреча была долгожданной, почти девять лет невиделись с родными,а внучек вообще не видили.Мы очень рады, что мы все вместе, вся наша семья.Хочеться выразить благодарность всем людям принявшее участие в воссоединении нашей семьи.

Suprun Sviatlana

We flew from Moscow on “Emirates”, passing through Dubai, Bangkok, Sydney and the final destination city of Christchurch. We were most impressed when flying over New Zealand. From avove, it seems that over the land of New Zealand some landscape architect has intricately divided territory into flat squares, which looks very nice from a height. And what friendly and smiling people!  We felt this even without knowing English.

Soon, we met our family: a daughter, son, relatives I had not seen for almost nine years, and a granddaughter I had never seen. We felt very happy to be all together again. I felt I want to thank all the people who have been involved in  reuniting our family.

Snow in Canterbury

Hope you are warm and comfortable at home these few days while most of New Zealand enjoys an unusual snowfall! 

Christchurch bus services will not run today Tuesday 16th August. An update will be posted tomorrow between 6.15am – 6.45am on

 Check out the snowy weather news at

If you were feeling playful enough to take photos in the snow, please send them to, so we can share them.

Or maybe you just want to Practise your SNOW English with your homestay family?

In case you want to know more about the science of snow, have a look at this URL: