Student Profile

‘The variety of course material across the BA subjects makes studying for the degree stimulating...’

Talia Davies BA in French
(read profile)

Olivia Orange - Majoring in Spanish, recipient of a scholarship to study in Spain.

Global, Cultural & Language Studies

The Department of Global, Cultural and Language Studies is a newly created department with an emphasis on European and European Union Studies and Asian Studies, studied from contemporary political, social, cultural and language perspectives. The department collaborates with China through the Confucius Institute, and with Europe and the European Union through the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE); engages with business or community groups that wish to reach out to Asia and Europe and provides teaching in international competence.

The Department works innovatively to equip graduates for careers in some of the major continents and societies of the globalised world in ways that ensure relationships are strengthened and mutual benefit, respect and understanding are established.

Courses and subjects we offer

Majors and Diplomas:
Minors and Certificates:


NZ European Union Centres Network

Opens call for applications to attend a two day Post-Graduate Weekend School in Kaikoura on May 9-11, 2014.  All PG students who study EU/Europe related topics are welcome!  EUCN Graduate Weekend School - Registrations are now open for the 2014 EUCN Graduate Weekend School – to be held on May 9-11 at the UC Field Station in Kaikoura!  The aims of the weekend are to highlight areas of interest for postgraduate students, create a network of expertise for early career researchers and to set up a “region of knowledge” on the European Union.

Get away from the everyday stresses of your studies, come along and:
• Hear presentations by other students
• Practice presenting
• Receive valuable, constructive feedback from others in the field
• Attend workshops on research and study tools, publishing and presenting, and other academic skills
• Network with other students and leading academics

The Programme will consist of skills workshops, presentations and group activities.
Students will need to prepare a paper for presentation and discussion.    Earlybird registrations close Monday 24th March with final registrations on Sunday 30th March. There are limited places and early registrations will be given priority.    For more details please see:  or email your registration or queries to

KEENZ-IRSES Exchange Programme

Global, Cultural & Language Studies - Dr Milenko Petrovic, Lecturer at the GCLS and researcher at the NCRE, is a participant of the KEENZ-IRSES exchange programme and on April 5 - May 3 he is visiting Lund, Sweden, and Belgrade, Serbia, to work on his research project “A United or Partly United Europe? Will the Western Balkans ever Join?”

EU Centres Asia-Pacific

NCRE Director Martin Holland presented at the EU Centres Asia-Pacific meeting on “Public Diplomacy” held on 21-22 March hosted by the EU centre, Singapore.

Trans-Tasman EU Centre

NCRE Director Martin Holland participated in the Trans-Tasman EU Centres meeting held on 31 March, hosted by the ANU’s EU Centre, Canberra.

Mass Communication and EU-China Relations conference

NCRE Director Martin Holland presented a joint paper on 3- 4 April (with NCRE colleagues Assoc. Prof. Natalia Chaban and Dr. Lai Suetyi) ‘The Evolution of EU Perceptions in China 2006-2011” at the Mass Communication and EU-China Relations conference hosted by the College of Europe, Brugges.

Research Workshop

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban is organising and leading a final research workshop to be held 21-26 April in University of Pretoria, South Africa, where she meets with her international research team from eight countries working on the research project “External Images of the EU: International perceptions of the EU as a normative energy actor (views from BRICS vis-a-fiv EU ‘Big 3)” supported by European Commission, Jean Monnet Programme of DG-Education and Culture.

Comments for New Zealand and policy-makers and civil society on the on-going crisis in Ukraine

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban has been invited by NZ policy-makers to reflect and analyse current situation in Ukraine in the panel "Perspectives on the Crisis in Ukraine: Should New Zealand be Worried?", NZ Parliament, Wellington   (Thursday, 20 March 2014, 6.00-7.30pm). She is also presenting a seminar "Ukraine: Where the heart of Europe beats?" at the 4th meeting of the New Zealand Institute of  International Affairs (NZIIA) (Christchurch branch) on Tuesday, March 25 2014 at 5pm (Logie 104 “Virtual Europe” room).

NCRE Roundtable Seminars: open to all students, staff and wider public.

Prof. Alison Firth, Visiting Professor from  Newcastle University, an KEENZ exchange visitor to the University of Canterbury will present "European norms in transit: Trade mark norms, TTIP uncertainties and the relevance of TPP” (March 21, 2-3pm, Logie 104 “Virtual Europe” room”)  
Pablo Mateu García, Education adviser, Education Office, Embassy of Spain, presented on March 14 an NCRE Roundtable Seminar where he talked about “Language and Culture Assistants Programme” -- an initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Education devoted to providing scholarships for New Zealand university students (majoring in any subject) and graduates to come to Spain.  For more information, please contact the Head of Spanish Programme, Dr William Cheng or Head of European and EU Studies, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban.

NCRE leads the 4th Asia-Pacific EU Centres Workshop,  13-14 February 2014, Wellington

Professor Martin Holland, Director of the NCRE, hosted the 4th Asia-Pacific EU Centres workshop 13‑14 February 2014 in Wellington. Addressing the workshop theme, “What can the EU learn from Asian regionalism?”, 30 EU academics drawn from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand participated in the event.”

NCRE trains Asian and European diplomats together with Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and  DIPLO Foundation (Switzerland)

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban, Jean Monnet Chair and the Co-head of the E&EUS  within GCLS, and Professor Martin Holland, Director of the NCRE, collaborate with Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF, Singapore) and  DIPLO Foundation (Switzerland) leading the course for Asian and European diplomats on public diplomacy in which they utilise research  findings of the transnational research projects “The EU in the Eyes of Asia Pacific” (22 countries) and “Asia in the Eyes of Europe” (8 countries) led by Natalia and Martin for a decade.  Two face-to-face workshops (in Geneva and Singapore) and two online courses will be run in 2014 linking academia with international relations practitioners. The initiative is supported by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ASEF.

NCRE hosts international visitors

Visitors are on research exchanges at the NCRE: Professor Jan Orbie from Ghent University, Belgium, from the Department of Political Science and the Director of the Centre for EU Studies. He teaches Theories of European Integration, EU External Policies, and EU Trade Policies (Jean Monnet Module) in the Master EU Studies programme. His research focuses on the ‘soft’ (trade, development, social, democracy promotion) dimensions of EU external relations and on the EU’s role as a normative power. Dr May-Britt U. Stumbaum heads the NFG Research Group "Asian Perceptions of the EU" (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) that analyses Asian views of the EU as a security actor in an interpolar world. She is a co-founder and former president of Women in International Security Deutschland (WIIS) and a reserve Captain of the German Air force. Her research focus is on EU-Asia and security policy.  

Interviews with NZ media

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban, Jean Monnet Chair and the Co-head of the E&EUS within GCLS, provided the next set of commentaries to NZ news media (Radio NZ and TVNZ “Seven Sharp”) analysing situation in Ukraine.

NCRE Weekly Research Seminars are open for the broad public (All in “Virtual Europe Room” room, Logie 104)

Sir Michael Leigh of German Marshall Dund will talk about “The 2014 European Parliament elections and the implications for the future of EU policy” (March 13, 2-3pm). Pablo Mateu García, Education adviser, Education Office, Embassy of Spain, will talk about “Language and Culture Assistants Programme” (March 14, 2-3pm) Dr. May-Britt U. Stumbaum, Head, NFG Research Group "Asian Perceptions of the EU", Freie Universität Berlin will talk about "Dealing with Non-traditional Security Threats - Avenues for cooperation and norm diffusion in EU - Asia Pacific security relations"(March 14, 2-3pm)


Vera Leier and Susanne Ledanff went to the meeting of the representatives of GANZ (German teachers and lecturers in NZ) and the Network Deutsch meeting of the German Embassy on 1-2 March in Wellington. Here is a picture with the German ambassador Dr. Schleich.

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban comments on situation in Ukraine on national media

The latest dramatic developments in Ukraine are closely watched by New Zealand.  Associate Professor Natalia Chaban, a anitve of Ukraine and a scholar of European Union studies, has been commenting on the situation in Ukraine on national media: TVNZ Seven Sharp, Newztalk ZB, Radio NZ.

Y20 Summit

EURO MA student Henrietta McNeill has been selected as one of two New Zealand representatives to negotiate at the Y20 Summit in Sydney in July, part of the G20 International Leader's Summit, alongside 132 young people from all around the world. New Zealand is a guest nation at the G20 this year so it is an honour to be able to go. The EU is part of the G20. Topics on the agenda will be economic growth and job creation, global citizenship, and sustainable development. The negotiations that take place will be put into a report which the Prime Minister will take to the G20 Leader's Summit in November.  Henrietta was interviewed by Newstalk ZB as well as by the Southland Times about this achievement.

Internship in European Parliament in Brussels

EURO MAs students Berengere Greenland and James Comery were chosen by the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and NZ European Union Centers Network to undertake a fully funded three-month internship in European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, in 2014.This internship is a flagship project of the NZ European Union Centers Network led by the National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE), affiliated with the Department of the Global Cultural and Language Studies, European and European Union studies. The students, selected on a highly competitive basis, will work with Members of European Parliament and use their experience on the ground to advance their research agenda on European integration and develop unique skills and networks instrumental for their future careers.  MPE internship is  a New Zealand public diplomacy initiative towards the European Union.

NZ lures record number of Chinese visitors

 23 May 2013 New Zealand's clean, green image is a key reason why a record number of Chinese tourists are flocking to New Zealand, a UC Chinese language lecturer says.


UC students win scholarships to study in China

 16 October 2012 Three University of Canterbury students have received all-expenses paid scholarships to study in China for a year.



Attention all prospective UC students of Intermediate Japanese Language!

Our new course at intermediate level is JAPA215, starting from 2014. This course replaces the previous JAPA153. The course is designed for students who have passed JAPA115 or JAPA116 (previously JAPA142) or equivalent, Bursary Japanese or NCEA Level 3, or who have gained direct entry through a placement test.
Enquiries to Dr Rachel Payne.

College of Arts Honours Scholarships

Applications are now open for the College of Arts Honours Scholarships. If you are considering studying Honours in 2014 make sure you submit an application before the 21st November to be eligible. Information and application form >>

More film making success

JAPA307 students Reece Bassett, Marissa Powell and Fiona Dunton won best comedy at tertiary level in the Video Matsuri Competition (Japan Foundation, Sydney). Their video was entitled "Little New Zealand". Well done!

Multiple success for students of German at the NZ ShortFilmFest

For the second year in a row, our 200-level German language students won 1st prize in the university category. While two of our students' films won 1st prize equal, a third UC film was awarded a special prize, and these three as well as a forth film by yet another of our student groups will all be featured on a "Best-Of" DVD to be produced by the organizers of the film fest (Goethe Institut, German Embassy and ILEP - International Languages Exchanges and Pathways).
Congratulations to all our students, who impressed the judges with their high standard of language skills, their creativity and the great effort that they put into producing these winning films.

The Dolls of Japan ExhibitionThe Dolls of Japan

The Japan Foundation Travelling Exhibition Abroad, UC Central Library, 12-30 August 2013

The exhibition was presented by the Japan Foundation, in co-operation with the UC School of Language, Social and Political Sciences, the UC Library and the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch. It was very well received and enjoyed by both the University community and the general public.

German Day 2013 UC-Deutschtag 12 August 2013

Over 40 secondary school students of German and their teachers from the Canterbury area attended a German language immersion afternoon, organised by the German programme of the School of Language, Social and Political Sciences and supported by the New Zealand National German Language Adviser, Heike Papenthin, and the Goethe Institut in Wellington.

Renee JulianDorian LiebertPrestigious Japanese scholarships

Renee Julian (JAPA205) and Dorian Liebert (JAPA153) have been awarded the 2013 Monbukagakusho Japanese Government Undergraduate scholarships. Recipients of this prestigious scholarship are able to study at a university in Japan for one year, and the cost for the tuition fee, living allowance and airfares to and from Japan are covered. This is the third year in a row that UC students have been awarded this prestigious scholarship, while there were no recipients in New Zealand in 2010.

Award winners in the Japanese Language Perfect World Championship 2013

We would like to congratulate the following students, who have won awards in the Japanese Language Perfect World Championship 2013:
Paige Newport (JAPA153) Gold Award
Daniel Watson (JAPA115) Silver Award
William Trainor (JAPA115) Bronze Award

H.E. Francis Etienne, French Ambassador, presentingFrench Ambassador visits UC

On Friday 14th June, the School of Language, Social and Political Sciences hosted a seminar by H.E. Francis Etienne, French Ambassador to New Zealand. UC staff and students listened with great interest to the Ambassador's presentation, which was followed by a lively question and answer session. Mr Etienne highlighted the importance of speaking foreign languages. "I think they are essential. We have to
learn other languages not just because it is exotic and fun but it is a necessity if you want to under-stand partners in the political world, in the business world and in the cultural world," he said.
Read more >> Chronicle Vol. 48-3 (PDF, 1.4MB).