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Timaru is a charming port city located in southern Canterbury. Home to 28,000 people, this small city offers a laid-back experience to students who want to experience an authentic New Zealand city. There is one English New Zealand language school in Timaru.
Archaeologists believe that Maori tribes settled in the area before 1400 AD. There are traces of their settlements throughout the area and over 500 sites contain remnants of Māori rock art. A favourite pastime of our English language students is exploring these sites where they can experience the region’s unique history first-hand.
If you choose to study English in Timaru, you can stay in private accommodation or a homestay. Many of our students prefer a homestay when they first arrive in Timaru as this provides extra opportunities to practice English, while getting connected with a local family. The Ara Institute of Canterbury, which offers programs in technologies and trades, operates a Timaru branch. If you decide to stay on in Timaru and pursue further studies, Ara provides an excellent local option.
The coastal front of Timaru is dominated by the large and impressive Caroline Bay Park. Our students love meeting up in the park for a walk or a picnic. There are Edwardian-style gardens under the cliff and beautiful lawns that provide the perfect setting for a day outside. The park also features a skate park, rose garden and venue for concerts in the summer. Of course, there are sand dunes and beaches along the coastline to explore as well!
Our students also enjoy visiting the local galleries and museums. The Aigantighe Art Gallery, which is located in a beautiful 1908 mansion, is one of the largest public art collections on the South Island. The South Canterbury Museum is the region’s primary museum and the perfect place to learn more about the area’s rich history. Te Ana Māori Rock Art Centre is a multimedia exhibit that describes the mysteries of the surrounding rock art sites.
When our English students want a change of pace, the bright lights of Christchurch are just 2 hours away. Timaru is connected to Christchurch by bus lines, so it’s easy to plan a day or two away. Another popular option is a visit to Dunedin, which is just 2.5 hours south of Timaru. Of course, given its prime location on the South Island, there is ample opportunity for tramping adventures, skiing, white water rafting and more.
If you’re looking to experience the natural splendour of the South Island from the comfort of a large town, then studying English in Timaru may be the right choice for you!