Internships Abroad in Christchurch

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Christchurch

Christchurch is the second largest city in New Zealand and a city that offers a plethora of adventure activities and entertainment options. Aside from the chance to have one of the world’s best skiing experiences via a world-class alpine resort, interns can also try out bungee jumping, mountain trekking, wind surfing, and even whale watching during their internship in Christchurch. Interning in Christchurch is the perfect choice for individuals who want to mix their international work experience with plenty of adventure and the chance to earn an income too!

Internships in Christchurch

Historically speaking, Christchurch has had a consistent impact on New Zealand’s economy overtime. As the second largest city in the country, Christchurch has maintained a significant manufacturing business and developed quite a high-end agribusiness. But internships in Christchurch go far beyond these two fields alone.

Agriculture. The economic core of Christchurch is its agriculture industry, as it is home to some of the biggest agribusinesses in the country. Those who want to obtain an agriculture internship in Christchurch will usually need to have a background in agriculture, ecology, horticulture, or animal science. These types of internship placements are popular choices for interns who want to undergo stringent training during their time in New Zealand, and be supplies with a generous compensation package.

Civil & Mechanical Engineering. As the second largest manufacturing center in New Zealand, manufacturers are the second largest contributor to the city’s economy. There are numerous private firms that offer internships in Christchurch, from dealing with steelwork for bridges to working on the construction of tunnels and even hydro-electric dams. Due to the high demand of engineering projects throughout the city,  firms usually have a high demand for foreign interns to help them complete projects on time. Engineering internships in Christchurch come with reasonable salaries for those who are willing to stay for six month or longer.

Technology. In recent years, the technology industry in Christchurch has finally sprouted. Today, Christchurch is known for producing innovative entrepreneurial solutions, products, and concepts. Many local firms and businesses focused on various fields hire interns to continue developing their IT departments and technological resources; therefore, most technology internships in Christchurch require interns to have relevant academic or professional experience in the field.

Tourism. There are many private companies and organizations that provide internships in Christchurch for those with experience in hotel and restaurant management, hospitality, and similar fields. These opportunities are great for individuals who want to gain real experience in the field, through both a professional internship placement and by becoming a tourist themselves!

Life in Christchurch

Bordered by the vast Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is located on the outskirts of the Canterbury plains that run all the way up to the Southern Alps. Hence, summers in Christchurch are usually mild and sunny with low humidity, though it is normally sunny throughout the year. This weather is perfect for nature and garden lovers, and especially those that enjoy going to parks and nature reserves, which are located throughout the city. Christchurch is actually internationally acclaimed for its beautiful gardens, it has even earned the International Garden City Award in the past. 

Christchurch is made even more pleasurable by all the amenities and adventure opportunities it provides. There are places around the city to try out mountain trekking, bungy jumping, and many other recreational activities.

Aside for the city’s numerous amenities and beautiful weather, locals are also very welcoming and will make any foreigner feel right at home.

Salary & Costs

Christchurch is not exempt from the rather high cost of living in New Zealand. However, it is still possible to live affordably in Christchurch, if you know where to live (and rent), where to buy your groceries, and how to use the public transportation. 

The monthly rent for an apartment in an expensive area of the city can cost close to $1,700 per month, but cheaper apartments only go down to about $1,200a month. Monthly rent costs won’t include utilities, such as electricity, water, gas, and internet, which typically cost up to $120 a month.

When it comes to food costs, eating out usually costs around $15 per person, although it is easy to find cheaper restaurants where meals are closer to $10. If eating in, you can expect the average cost for groceries to be just over $100 per month. Keep in mind, these prices may vary depending on the location of your housing and its accessibility to the center of the city. In terms of transportation costs, your daily trip to and from your internship placement in Christchurch may cost as much as $100 a month.

With all of these expenses in mind, foreign interns may have difficulty living a comfortable lifestyle during their internship in Christchurch if they are not properly compensated for their work. It is recommended that interns seek out paid internships in Christchurch, and luckily, it shouldn’t be too tough to find a placement that offers a stipend at the very least (and usually also one that will assist you with some meals and housing).

Accommodation & Visas

Foreign interns from any country are eligible to get a Student Trainee or Intern Visa from the Department of Immigration in New Zealand. The purpose of this visa is primarily for pursuit of further academic studies or internship programs in New Zealand, and it can be available for internships in Christchurch that last for six months to one year. After this initial period of stay, interns can renew their visa if they decide to extend their internship placement. However, the visa is limited to those pursuing study or internships in New Zealand, so interns won’t be able to extend their visa beyond the end of the internship program. The visa requires evidence of an internship offer from an employer in New Zealand that is relevant to a specific academic area of study, evidence of enrollment in a course that requires or accepts the internship, funds to support expenses during the duration of the internship, and a medical certificate.

Most internships in Christchurch offer free accommodation for interns as part of their compensation. However, if accommodation is not provided, it is possible for intern to rent an apartment in Christchurch. Alternatively, interns can stay with a local Kiwi family, which can make the transition into Kiwi life easier. Most Kiwi homes will have all the modern amenities you expect, and your host family will most definitely exude the welcoming nature of the Kiwi people.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Agriculture. Internships in Christchurch are especially beneficial for interns who want to work in the agriculture industry, as it is a major part of the city’s economy and an industry that the government greatly supports. Therefore, most agricultural interns in Christchurch will be affordable a generous compensation package.

Opportunities Outside of the Office. The amenities available all around the city cannot be ignored, and definitely make internships in Christchurch a highly attractive option. There are numerous nature parks and adventure spots for interns to explore and try both in and around the city.

Cost of Living. Although there is plenty of opportunity in Christchurch, awaiting ambitious, adventurous interns, interns will have to be prepared to deal with the high cost of living.

Read our comprehensive guide on interning abroad in New Zealand.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Christchurch


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