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Skidmore College


Skidmore in New Zealand

Skidmore in New Zealand - University of Canterbury

ChristchurchChristchurch brings a mix of old and new. This South Island 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 adjacent to the Port Hills (rock climbing and mountain biking) and the beach (surfing) and close to the Southern Alps - Christchurch is a NZ adventure capital!

The University of Canterbury has a student body of just under 15,000 students. university with 50 departments accessible by study abroad students. Students not taking the Field & Research component will enroll in 4 classes at the University



Students can choose between two academic structures the Skidmore in New Zealand program. One option allows students to direct enroll at the University of Canterbury, taking a full course load from a variety of disciplines. The second option, tailors the curriculum based on the field & research theme. 

Option One: Field & Research Component with Direct Enrollment

The Field & Research component is designed for students that want to take their learning outside of the classroom. Students will begin the semester with a five-week field camp experience that leads into the semester at the University where they will direct enroll in classes as well as conduct research based off of data collected in the field. While participants should have an interest in geoscience, this program has drawn students from many disciplines, including environmental science, environmental studies, biology, economics, and anthropology. Students will select one of the following field & research tracks:

  • New Zealand Earth Systems (5 credits) track 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. During field camp, students learn the field techniques needed to solve the environmental issues. Following field camp, students transition to the University of Canterbury, where they enroll in four courses:

    • Research Methods in Earth Systems Science - 4 credits
    • Three University courses of your choosing – 4 credits each

  • Geology of New Zealand (5 credits) begins with a 5-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 wide variety of our staff’s field and laboratory-based studies.The field camp experience will transition into a semester at the University of Canterbury. Students will enroll in four semester courses:
    • Geologic Field Research Methods – Geology 356 at the University of Canterbury – 4 credits
    • One courses within the Department of Geological Sciences – 4 credits
    • Two University courses of your choosing – 4 credits each

Option Two: Direct Enrollment

Students choosing to direct enroll without the field & research component will enroll in 4 university courses. Details on specific courses that are available to Skidmore students can be found here.


All students can apply to participate in an internship at the University of Canterbury by enrolling the course PACE 295. You can read more about this option here: