BCA encourages students to take advantage of learning opportunities both in and beyond the classroom! BCA Dunedin’s resident director has worked hard, alongside the University of Otago’s UniCrew, to establish partnerships with local organizations (agencies, non-profits and/or NGOs) where BCA students can complete a volunteer experience complementing their academic study (though not for academic credit).  The resident director can also work with the student to develop another unique opportunity if desired.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering in New Zealand typically refers to an unpaid activity that takes place through not for profit organizations or projects and is of benefit to the community and to the volunteer. You volunteer your time because you want to of your own free will. It is not something you should be forced to do.

Can I volunteer in New Zealand on my student visa?

You are free to volunteer in New Zealand if you possess a student, visitor or work visa. However, Immigration New Zealand does state that you are not permitted to receive any gain or reward for your volunteering activity.

Important: Many international students like to take part in WWOOFING (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) while in New Zealand. This is considered by Immigration New Zealand to be paid work and WWOOFers must apply for a work visa.

Here is a current list of volunteering opportunities available:

  • Aspire Program: After school program
  • Department of Conservation: Help protect New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/volunteer/groups/otago/
  • Forest and Bird – Lenz Reserve: Wildlife monitoring, walking track and visitor facility improvement, weeding and planting
  • Lab Assistant for Geology
  • Orokonoui Ecosanctuary: Planting and weeding,pest and fence monitoring, track building and maintenance, regular care of habitat areas
  • Penguin Place: A private conservation reserve dedicated to helping the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin survive. Activities include habitat restoration, predator control, a research programme and on-site rehabilitation care for penguins that are sick, starving or wounded. http://www.penguinplace.co.nz/
  • Psychology Research Assistant
  • StartUp Space Business and Entrepreneurship Groups
  • Research Assistant for Psychology, Geology, Health Research (School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences)
  • Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust: Supports the work of their community-based native plant nursery, which specializes in propagating plants of local origin for habitat restoration
  • UniCrew: Various sites in social services, cultural events, working with children and in health and fitness:
    • Heart Foundation Otago Branch (healthy school lunch program); Otago Heritage Bus Society; The Stewart Island/ Rakiura Community and Environment Trust (SIRCET); Wakari School (school garden program); Carers’ Society Otago; Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (community events program); The Methodist Mission (kindergarten program); Generation Zero (cut carbon pollution program); University Relay for Life (Cancer Society); 100Percent (tutor your talent program); social services (Community services, Family support, Homeless, Human rights, Migrant support, Seniors); Fringe Festival and the Midwinter Carnival; health & wellness (Disability services, Drug and alcohol support, Health, Recreation, Sport)
    • Check out the UniCrew Facebook Page!
  • University of Otago Student Association: Art Week, Battle of the Bands, Capping Show, Environment Week, Market Days, Orientation and Re-orientation, Women’s Week; Class Representation: OUSA class representatives are the voice for student experience. Most professors will ask a student or two from each class to volunteer for this impressive role in each class at the start of each semester. The volunteering role usually involves attendance at a few departmental meetings and an end-of-semester event. Every class representative will receive a reference letter to include with his/her CV/resume.
  • Rock Solid: Youth Group Leader for Community Christian Youth Group
(Kait Tothero, BCA Dunedin 2014 alumna at her volunteering site, Rock Solid)









We are working to establish new volunteer opportunities all the time, so please let us know when completing your application if you are interested in volunteering while studying abroad. Once on site, your resident director will work with you to find a placement that fits your schedule and your goals, as well as the organization’s needs.  Our hope is that your volunteering experience will be mutually beneficial for both you and the organization!  BCA’s expectation is that students take their volunteering commitment seriously and demonstrate this by faithful attendance and communication with their organization.