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Living in Christchurch

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Living in Christchurch

If you love to get into the great outdoors, New Zealand is a wonderful playground, with unique fauna, flora and native wildlife. In the Canterbury region, where the main campus of Lincoln University is situated, the beach and the mountains are located within 90 minutes of each other, so whether you are into surfing or skiing, at Lincoln University you will have it all.

Arrival in New Zealand

Before departure

To make preparations easier and minimise stress, write a list of everything you may have been advised to bring, such as winter and summer clothing, your camera, passport and documentation.

Pre-departure checklist

  • Go over all of your checklists/’To Do’ lists
  • Check that you have all the documentation you need, including your passport
  • Pack your bags and weigh them to make sure they are compliant with your chosen airline's luggage allowances
  • Confirm your travel plans and itinerary
  • Make copies of your travel itinerary and New Zealand contact details and give them to your family or friends
  • Keep your NZ contact address and phone number with you for your arrival form
  • Check the New Zealand immigration regulations
  • Arrange for airport pick-up at least four working days prior to arrival in New Zealand
  • Download a copy of the International Student Guide.

Arrival in New Zealand

You will most likely be stepping off the plane into the unknown. While this can be daunting, it is also exciting. If you have arranged an airport transfer to accommodation at Lincoln University, you can meet them at the Christchurch Educated Information kiosk. You may also download the Christchurch mobile app or view it online.

For more details, visit:

Don’t forget to let your family and friends know that you have arrived safely.

Once you arrive in New Zealand, you will never want to leave! It’s such a great lifestyle, the people are friendly and there is so much to do, all just on your doorstep. The activities I have enjoyed the most are tramping (hiking), kayaking, white water rafting, bungy jumping and spending time in the snow. And of course, all the great friends I have made here.” (Nicole Marie Wheadon)


Student life begins

Your first week at Lincoln University will be quite informative, and you will probably be a little bit jetlagged, so try to find some quiet time for yourself amongst all of the activity.

This time can be as social and actionpacked as you want it to be, but there are plenty of peaceful spots on campus if you need to take a quiet break.

The checklist will help you to orient yourself and get settled. Once you have completed your enrolment, you will be an official student of Lincoln University. We are confident you will have a great time in your new surroundings, as there is plenty to do. Make sure you go to the clubs and Market Day during O’ Week. This will help you to set up your social calendar and meet new friends. Enjoy your time here and remember that we are always happyto help you if you need assistance.

First week at Lincoln to-do-list

  • Attend the compulsory Orientation Seminar for international students
  • Take a tour of campus
  • Attend your Faculty welcome (refer to the website for details)
  • Explore Lincoln village
  • Organise mobile phone service
  • Organise internet (if living off campus)
  • Open a New Zealand bank account (if you want to work part-time or transfer funds easily)
  • Attend Orientation events in the first week of lectures, organised by LUSA, your students’ association
  • Check in with Student Administration to complete your enrolment



Life in New Zealand

Kiwi Culture

New Zealanders are known as ‘Kiwis’, which is a reference to our national emblem: the nocturnal, flightless, endangered, and lovable kiwi bird.

We are approachable and speak in a fairly relaxed manner. It is easy to get to know people on campus at social events, before and after lectures, at the dining hall, at the café and in the Halls of Residence.

Our indigenous culture

As a relatively new country, New Zealand has a diverse multicultural population. Many of its customs and way of life have descended from the self-sufficiency of early settlers and the traditional and contemporary Māori world.

Things to do

Playtime and exploration – adventure activities


“you should travel around New Zealand and see Central Otago. It’s great in every season, Diamond Harbour (across from Lyttleton), and Hanmer Springs. They have great walks, lovely hot pools and local ski fields.” (Shona Mardle)



On offer in Christchurch

It is an exciting time to be living in Christchurch, because we are seeing a new city rise up before our eves. New restaurants, stores and entertainment venues are constantly popping up.



There are a range of shops, movie theatres and transport operators that offer student discounts. If you are unsure if a student discount may apply, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the business you are purchasing from has a student discount. A list of businesses offering a student discount in the region can be found online at , or ask your friendly LUSA staff on campus or at


Going out with friends to cafés, restaurants, and bars is a great way to get to know new people and unwind from the rigours of studying all week. Below is a list of some of the delicious restaurants, bars and cafes in Christchurch. For more information, visit:

Life's Necessities

Mobile Networks

Useful mobile/internet websites for setting up communications as soon as you arrive in New Zealand:


  • Banks in Lincoln:
  • ASB - 19 William Street
  • Westpac - 9 Gerald Street
  • Kiwibank (Lincoln Postshop) - 9B Gerald Street


There’s a reliable bus service to and from campus, which travels into the Lincoln township, Christchurch and the surrounding towns. For more information, visit:

Riding a bike is popular for short journeys. Please note that under New Zealand law, you MUST wear a helmet and have front and rear bike lights on at night. Cycling on footbaths is not permitted. Visit:

For air travel throughout New Zealand or overseas, the two main domestic airlines are Air New Zealand (see and Jetstar (see Alternatively, you can visit our on-campus travel agency, APX Travel, on the ground floor of the George Forbes Memorial Building opposite the Bookshop (see


Supermarkets sell groceries, fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, and essential household and personal items.

  • Lincoln - Lincoln New World
  • Rolleston - New World and Countdown
  • Riccarton - Church Corner Countdown, Bush Inn Centre Countdown, Westfield Riccarton Mall Pak’n Save
  • Hornby - Hornby Mall Pak’nSave


New Zealand has a subtropical climate, meaning it’s generally fairly mild, with temperatures in the mid ranges. However, we still have four seasons, sometimes all within one day. In other words, New Zealand weather is changeable. The coldest month is generally July and the warmest months tend to be January and February. Christchurch may get a little snow in winter and frosts often form on cold nights in the cooler months.

You‘ll need to bring warm clothing, eg base layers, sweatshirts, and jackets, as well as summer clothing, such as shorts and t-shirts.

When heading outdoors, be aware of the environment you are going into.

  • When participating in an outdoor activity such as tramping, always take a pack with emergency supplies, regardless of the length of time you expect to be in the outdoors. The pack should include a first aid kit, food, bottled water, SPF 30+ sunscreen and extra clothing for warmth.
  • Familiarise yourself with the area you are visiting. For more information visit:
  • If you are outdoors, whether it is sunny or cloudy, wear SPF 30+ sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, and don’t expose your uncovered body to UV rays for long periods of time. It can take only 10-15 minutes to get sunburn in New Zealand.
  • Understand New Zealand law and local customs regarding the need for licences. Some activities, like fishing and hunting, require licences. Make sure you have an appropriate licence to avoid a fine.
  • Be aware of the risks when swimming in rivers, lakes and oceans, and be conscious of water safety. For more information, visit:
  • Know your surroundings. Download or purchase a map of the area before you set off.
  • Always let someone know where you are headed.

Driving in New Zealand

  • Before driving in NZ, it is important to become familiar with the road rules. Please visit for more details about driving in NZ. It’s a good idea to test your knowledge before you drive, visit:
  • It is important for you to take out a vehicle insurance policy (at least third party insurance) if you are going to drive in NZ.
  • The maximum speed on open roads (which are country roads outside cities and towns) in NZ is 100 km/h. The maximum speed limit in towns and cities in 50 km/h, unless speed signs indicate otherwise.
  • Whatever the posted speed limit, you should always drive to the conditions – drive slower when it’s hard to see or if it’s raining or snowing.
  • It is illegal for drivers under 20 to drink any alcohol before driving. For those over 20, driving with excess breath or blood alcohol is illegal. There are severe penalties for breaking these laws.
  • All passengers must always wear a safety belt, whether seated in the front or back of the vehicle.
  • Drivers must not use a hand-held phone. Writing, reading or sending text messages while driving is illegal.

Alcohol and smoking

Although alcohol is widely consumed at social events in NZ, it is acceptable not to drink. The choice is yours, and if you choose to drink, you should do so responsibly.

In New Zealand, alcohol and tobacco smoking are legal and regulated. You have to be over 18 to purchase alcohol and tobacco, and you will need to show proof of age and photographic identification.

There are strict rules about when and where you can and cannot drink alcohol and/or smoke. Smoking is not permitted indoors and is also banned in some outdoor areas.  

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students sets the standards of care that education providers must provide to international students who are living and studying in New Zealand. The framework covers minimum standards, best practice and student complaint procedures.

When students from other countries come to study in New Zealand, they must be well-informed, safe and properly cared
for. New Zealand educational providers have an important responsibility for international students’ welfare.

Here is an overview of the Code, and the procedures you can follow if you have concerns about your treatment by a New
Zealand educational provider or an agent of a provider. Full details can be found in the Code itself. It sets standards for
education providers to ensure that:

  • High professional standards are maintained
  • The recruitment of international students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner
  • Information supplied to international students is comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date
  • Students are provided with information before entering into any commitments
  • Contractual dealings with international students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner
  • The particular needs of international students are recognized
  • International students are in safe accommodation
  • All providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances

Visit NZQA for more information or click here to download your own copy of the Code.




Lincoln University website redevelopment project 2014
Nick Goodey - C# back end and SharePoint Developer
Star Chen - Web Developer
Karaitiana Taiuru - Web Developer SharePoint administrator
Ting Wu - Front end Developer
Jeremy Baker - Senior managment
Tafflyn Bradford-James Marketing director
Richard Corby - Project manager
Pikselin - primary partner, web designers, UX design