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Student story

Johann Kissick

20 July 2023

"I find GIS the ideal discipline that falls between technology and geography..."


Bachelor of Arts in Geography and German

Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Science*

* Now offered as the Postgraduate Diploma in Geospatial Science and Technology.


Studying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a subject well worth investigating, according to Johann, for those with an interest in building cities and the human world.

"I live and breathe GIS," he says, "a field which is immensely important in observing patterns across a spatial plane. I find GIS the ideal discipline that falls between technology and geography, with a balance between art and science when it comes to maps and exploration of spatial information."

Johann first discovered GIS through his undergraduate Geography studies, which introduced him to a more focused area of the broad subject.

"I've always found interest in observing the physical and human interaction around us. The undergrad Geography courses at UC fuelled my passion for studying these ideas. I took my interests of GIS to the next level through the postgraduate diploma programme, after finding that the three undergrad GIS papers were some of my favourite."

Undergrad Geography was an especially enjoyable experience for Johann because of the emphasis on practical learning, and his love for the outdoors.

"One of the best things about studying Geography is exploring themes relevant to our surroundings. For this reason field trips to field stations are beneficial to perform research and collect data, in addition to making friends that you would usually seldom talk to in lectures or labs. I met some of my best friends at the Cass Field Station in the Canterbury high country."

Studying German was an extra interest he could pursue due to the variety of subjects in the Bachelor of Arts, and also acted as future-proofing his career options after graduation.

"I also take interest in foreign languages, as they open pathways overseas and expand friendship networks beyond English speaking countries. I aim to work for a GIS firm or local council GIS division, in New Zealand or overseas."

Johann currently works part-time as a Tutor for an introductory GIS course at undergrad level. "I find tutoring to be the highlight of my week, it feels good to instruct and help those new to learning GIS," he says.

GIS study at UC in particular is an experience Johann recommends due to its location and expertise.

"Most of our assignment investigations are set in Christchurch which increases my familiarity with the city. Christchurch is the perfect location for outdoor activities from the Port Hills to the rivers and mountains in the Canterbury high country. UC also offers the best undergrad GIS courses in NZ.

"Overall I am very proud to have graduated from UC and could not picture myself studying at any other New Zealand university."

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