Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the South, is one of the largest cities by geographic land area; most of the land being covered by scenic green hills, beaches, bush trails, historical sites, spectacular architecture and of course lots of sheep. Also known as the wildlife capital of New Zealand, Dunedin is home to some of the world’s rarest yellow-eyed penguins, glow-worms, sea lions, fur seals and a wide variety of birds including the magnificent Royal Albatross.
Sitting at the bottom of the South Island, Dunedin has four distinct seasons with a mix of comfortable sunny days and cool rainy days (that’s what makes the area so beautifully green). The University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university, holds incredible opportunities for studies, research, sporting events, student clubs, trips and excursions and of course great student deals. Neighbouring the student area is the Forsyth Barr Stadium, home to the Otago rugby team, the Highlanders, and also a venue used by other teams and visitors such as the All Blacks, Aerosmith, the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge and Elton John.
While the opportunities for travel and exploration are endless in Dunedin alone, we will be able to go beyond Dunedin boundaries to view and explore more unique landscapes, notable discoveries and experiences with real Kiwis that you just cannot find in a tourist travel book or on a general tour. You can also take advantage of classes and opportunities to learn more about New Zealand’s fascinating and indigenous Māori culture which remains strong today.
Prior to the start of the semester, you will be notified of various opportunities for clubs, events, and excursions of all sorts. I encourage you to think about what you enjoy, because chances are that the University of Otago has something to offer! Your new friends and Kiwi students can make suggestions and requests to start something new for the campus!
Most BCA students live in the University flats with a KiwiHost. KiwiHosts are local university students who are your immediate resource for providing answers, information and assistance to their international flatmates. The University Flats Office has wonderful and caring staff who are available to offer any needed services, as well as exciting events and trips!
While you are in Dunedin you will have me available 24/7. I first came to Dunedin as a university student on study exchange in 2011, so I know first-hand what it’s like to be studying abroad in Dunedin. I completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training and will be completing a Master’s Degree in clinical exercise physiology.
It is an honour and pleasure to show you some of historical Dunedin, New Zealand’s real and true Kiwi culture and breath-taking landscapes. I look forward to helping make your University of Otago experience one that creates treasured lessons and memories for a lifetime.
Hei konā (“see you later” in Māori)!
Ashley Mountfort, ATC, BCA Dunedin Resident Director