Christchurch is located in the province of Canterbury and is the largest city in the South Island with a multicultural population of over 330,000. It has a land area of approximately 45,240 hectares and is bounded by the Waimakariri River to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Port Hills to the south. It was designed in the mid 1800s as a model Anglican settlement laid out in a clean geometric grid and still has many of the original beautiful stone and colonial buildings built by English settlers keen to recreate home making it "the most English city outside England."
Christchurch, with its award winning gardens, is known as the "Garden City" and has over 3,000 hectares of parkland ranging from large metropolitan parks to small neighbourhood reserves. The city provides an all year programme of festivals and events offering the best in visual and performing arts. There are a variety of restaurants, cafes, theatres, cinemas, leisure centres and shopping complexes spread throughout the city along with many attractions unique to Christchurch .
The climate is pleasant and temperate with a mean daily maximum temperature of 21 in January and 10 in July, averaging 36 frosts per annum. The average annual rainfall is 655mm and mean sunshine hours are 2040 hours per annum.
There are many activities within easy driving distance of Christchurch including Hanmer Springs thermal resort, whale watching at Kaikoura, tramping in Arthur's Pass, skiing at Mt Hutt, Banks Peninsula and its French settlement of Akaroa, the Canterbury wine trail.
The University of Otago, Christchurch
The Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences is a School of the University of Otago Faculty of Medicine, which also comprises the Otago School of Medical Sciences, the Dunedin School of Medicine and the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Christchurch has been a base for undergraduate medical students since the 1920s, when the University of Otago final year medical students were first attached to Christchurch Hospitals. The Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences was formally established in 1972 as part of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Otago to provide clinical training for 4th, 5th and 6th year undergraduate medical students.
Since then the School has developed a reputation for the quality of its undergraduate medical training and is now also offering a wide range of postgraduate programmes and continuing medical education. It hosts research projects in biomedical, clinical and public health areas, many of which have gained international recognition.
The School's central building and facilities are located on the main Christchurch Hospital campus and adjacent to the Botanic Gardens, Hagley Park, the museum, art gallery and the Christchurch Arts Centre. The main shopping and restaurant district is only a few minutes walk away. Some of the School's academic units are based at other Canterbury District Health Board hospitals, or in the community. The School has strong links with the region's primary care and community services.