‘The learning culture that the lecturers have at Canterbury suits me...’

Patrick Turner studying towards a MSc in Geology
(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:


Language Learning Stakeholder Summit

24 September 2015: Associate Professor Adam Lam and Dr Masayoshi Ogino were invited to Language Learning Stakeholder Summit at the University of Auckland on 19 Sept. The theme for discussion was "What actions can we take to strengthen Learning Languages in NZ schools without policy?” Read more...

Global, Cultural and Language Studies

7th August

7 August 2015On 7 August the Japanese Programme hosted a concert and workshop by the internationally renowned shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) performer, Mr Yousuke Irie, accompanied by his mother on the koto. He performed a rich range of traditional and contemporary pieces in which he demonstrated the full versatility of this simple instrument and his tremendous technical skills. This was a great opportunity for UC students to experience authentic Japanese traditional music, chat to the performers, and try their hand at playing the instruments themselves. The concert was supported by the Japanese Consular Office.

31st July

On June 24, Postgrad ConferenceHonours, MA and PhD students of European and European Union Studies presented their research cases at the Annual Mid-Year Post-Graduate Conference. Convened within the structure of EURO 480 “Research Topic” course by Natalia Chaban, the 2015 Post-Graduate Conference featured three panels with a range of topics  focusing on the EU-Pacific relations, the EU as a ‘soft’ and ‘normative’ power, and the EU’s trade and energy. The Best Paper Award went to Jeff Willis, MA candidate, for his paper   “Rising Tides, Rising Troubles: Strategic Narratives of Climate Change Vulnerability in the Pacific Island States of Tuvalu and Kiribati”.  The conference ended with a key note address from Dr Gabriel Weibl reflecting on his research career in European Union Studies – from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels.

Toby Birkbeck-Jones (JAPA305 & 307) Toby Birkbeck-Jones has been awarded a 2015 Japanese MEXT Scholarship to study at a Japanese University for one year. This is one of Japan's most prestigious scholarships for undergraduates, with tuition fees, living allowances and airfares all covered by the Japanese Government.  He is the sole recipient of the scholarship from New Zealand this year.  Toby will be leaving for Japan in October.  We wish him all the best for his studies in Japan.  

24th July 2015

The Japanese Programme organised a collaborative dance project involving over 300 secondary school students, UC students, and Japanese teachers.  Dancing together to a Japanese pop song was more than just fun; it connected learners of Japanese and created a sense of belonging to a learning community beyond the walls of classrooms, schools, and institutions.  https://youtu.be/g95Q3qXL76w

Dr Masayoshi Ogino presented a paper at the AFMLTA National Conference, University of Melbourne.  The title of Masayoshi’s paper was “Enhancing visibility of Japanese language education for advocacy through collaboration: Case of Christchurch, New Zealand.  

Anke Richter will be reading from her new book Was scheren mich die Schafe. Unter Neuseeländern. Eine Verwandlung ("What do I care about sheep. Among New Zealanders. A Metamorphosis"). 

When Anke Richter moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, she wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was only when she was invited to her first fancy dress party that one thing became very clear: there was a world of difference between Kiwis and people from Cologne. New Zealand seemed to be the land of sheep, hobbits, and fancy-dress-party-fanatics!

This curious and critical tale of assimilation in a small country in the Pacific poses some big questions that will amuse New Zealanders as well as Germans. In equal parts, shameless but charming, relentless but hysterically funny.  Anke Richter, born in Singen and raised in Cologne, completed her training as a journalist in the United States.  She was a newspaper editor, author for Playboy, and worked for talk shows and radio stations. She also writes a column for the Berlin newspaper, taz, called “News from New Zealand”.  Anke Richter lives with her family in Lyttelton. She has a dog, but no sheep …

Anke will read from her book on 21 August, 4-6pm in Erskine 101.
17th July 2015

William Cheng presented a paper at the “2015 Literary Networks Convention – Australasian Universities Languages and Literature Association in July at the University of Wollongong.  The title of William’s paper was “Insight and Sense of a Fragmented World: The Torn Reality of Peruvian Society in Miguel Gutiérrez’s The Violence of Time”.

22nd June 2015

On June 12-14, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban and Professor Martin Holland co-led a research workshop in Brussels within the framework of the transnational comparative project, “Analysis of the Perception of the EU and EU’s policies abroad,” which is supported by the European External Action Service (EEAS). The workshop was attended by 27 researchers from 10 EU strategic partners.  Following the workshop, Natalia and Martin, together with the partner organisations -- Public Policy and Management Institute (Vilnius, Lithuania) and NFG Research Group of Freie Universität (Berlin, Germany) -- presented their preliminary findings at the European External Action Service. The project studies perceptions of the EU and Europe in 10 Strategic Partners of the EU in order to generate practical policy recommendations for the EEAS to devise its policies and activities, especially within the framework of the EU Partnership Instrument.


270 students from 15 secondary schools participated in the NCEA Japanese Japanese programme photo (1)workshop at UC on the 11th of June.  This is a collaboration between the UC Japanese programme and the Canterbury Network of Teachers of Japanese.  The day started with a warm welcome by Professor Le Cocq (PVC) and greetings by Mr Tsuchikawa (Consul, Consular’s Office of Japan). It was then followed by a special talk by Mr Jonathan Hendriksen (CEO, Shuttlerock) on his encounter and experiences with Japan, its culture and business opportunities. Secondary school students had three intensive language sessions, and 26 UC students helped them as a teaching assistant and mentor on the day.  All the students had a great learning experience and it was a great success.

12 June

On June 8, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban of European and EU Studies and Professor Annika Björkdahl of Lund University (Sweden) launched their book, “Importing EU Norms: Conceptual Framework and Empirical Findings,” at Lund University’s Department of Political Science. They co-edited the book with Associate Professor Annick Masselot (UC, NZ) and Dr John Leslie (VUW, NZ). Published with Springer in 2015, the book offers an original theoretical framework and features 13 case-studies. The book is a result of an international research collaboration supported by the exchange framework of KEENZ-IRSES (Knowledge and Expertise Exchange Europe – New Zealand –International Staff Exchanges), which is sponsored by the European Commission and the Ministry of Research Science and Technology New Zealand.

29 May 2015

Japanese Programme students, Jade Doglione (200 level JAPA) and Jono Glassey (Hons level JAPA), recently returned to their former high school (Lincoln High) to talk to the NCEA Japanese classes about Japan, Japanese, studying Japanese at UC and career pathways using Japanese. At the end of the classes pupils all dressed up in Japanese props lent by the UC Japanese Programme. This outreach event was organised completely by the UC students and their former high school teacher, and was hailed by all as a great success. We hope to encourage more of our senior students to take initiatives like this in the future, so they can engage meaningfully with their Community of Practice.

22 May 2015

Dr. Peter Low, of the French programme, gave a seminar on May 1st under the auspices of the NCRE, concerning "The Global Nuclear Weapons Debate". This was a presentation he had given previously at the University of Otago, after attending conferences in Vienna last December.

17 April 2015

On April 17-22 2015, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban of GCLS/NCRE led a research workshop in Korea University (Seoul, South Korea) in her role as a Partner Country Project Director in NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Project “NATO Global Perceptions – Views from Asia-Pacific region”.  The project aims to systematically trace the NATO’s external media images and elite perceptions, treating perceptions as the key factors behind global expectations of NATO and a cultural filter triggering range of its Asia-Pacific Partners’ reactions to NATO global initiatives. The Project traces NATO perceptions in six countries – Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand and China.

20 March 2015

On Wednesday 18th March the Japanese Consul, Mr Tsuchikawa, came to UC to present the Japanese Consular Prize for Excellence in Japanese. This year’s recipient is Victoria Wang, who is now studying Honours Japanese. Mr Tsuchikawa also presented the UC Japanese Excellence Awards to Fangfei Wang and Brittany Cheung. The third recipient of this award, Felix Giles-Rosanowski, is at present studying on a Japanese government MEXT scholarship at Fukui University. Congratulations to all 4 students!

13 March 2015

JAPA315 students (Topics in Advanced Japanese) hosted 40 Japanese students from Tokyo City University on 6 March. They were on the College of Education International Short Courses, and it was organised as part of language exchange which gives the visiting students a chance to interact with UC students.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the JAPA315 students and Japanese students to interact in Japanese and English.

Associate Professor Natalia Chaban was invited to be the key note speaker at the Asia-Europe Public Diplomacy Training Initiative taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 10-12. The Initiative, supported by Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) (Singapore), Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DIPLO Foundation (Geneva) and the NCRE (UC), brought together 32 diplomats from Europe and Asia discussing public diplomacy strategies and tools in order to improve the dialogue between Asia and Europe. Natalia presented the findings of her ongoing research projects on mutual perceptions between Europe and Asia -- a pioneering project in the field of EU-Asia public diplomacy -- and trained the participants in the methods of her analysis. This Initiative is a part of a two–year project on the role of public diplomacy in relations between Europe and Asia.

27 February 2015

Assoc. Prof. Evgeny Pavlov delivered a keynote talk "Dragomoshchenko';s Revolution"; at the international conference Other Logics of Writing: in Memory of Arkady Dragomoshchenko at Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia, Feb 13-14, 2015. The conference was organised and sponsored by St Petersburg University.

Students in the Japanese programme, Anna Greenlaw, Renee Julian, Jie Fang and Toby Birkbeck-Jones and Dr Masayoshi Ogino were invited to talk with Mr Kazuyuki Nakane (Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs) and Mr Yasuaki Nogawa (Ambassador of Japan to NZ) at the Consular’s Office of Japan in Christchurch on 22 Feb.
Mr Nakane loves New Zealand and showed great interest in Japanese language education at UC and in New Zealand.  It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to talk (in Japanese) about their encounter with Japan and experience of learning Japanese.