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Christchurch is called the Garden City because it has many beautiful parks and the green banks of the river Avon that meanders through the city. The city has a well equipped centre that that offers good shopping, eating and entertainment as well as the many shopping malls in the suburbs. The bus terminal in the inner city provides access to buses all over the city. The weather in Christchurch is generally mild but as is it close to the ocean a fresh breeze is to be expected, even on sunny days. The winter can be quite cold with frosty mornings and grey days. So please make sure your child brings enough warm clothing. Spring is lovely in Christchurch with an abundance of blossoming cherry trees and fresh sunny days. Summer in Christchurch is generally hot and dry with the famous “nor-wester”, a hot dry wind.

On such days washing can dry on the line in just two hours. Days like this are perfect for meeting friends in the park under the shady old oak trees. Autumn is mild and still, a favourite season to contemplate and at high school to settle in to a good study routine after the exciting outdoor life of the summer season comes to an end. Although western society has the reputation to value freedom of thought and expression, common rules of courtesy and respect are just as important and common as in any other culture. However, the expressions of these may be different, for example: Japanese tend to express respect and deference to a person through bowing while western society uses verbal expressions such as the phrases “may I”, “please”, “thank you” and facial expressions like the “smile” and “directly looking at the person” (to indicate that attention is being paid). Failure to observe such rules may cause offence.

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