The beautiful island nation of New Zealand is in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean several hundred miles off the coast of Australia. Known as the “the Edinburgh of New Zealand,” Dunedin is in the South Island at the end of the Otago Peninsula. The city is spectacular with a mix of Edwardian and Victorian architecture dating back to 1847 when Scottish Presbyterians first arrived in the Otago harbor. Dunedin flourished as the region grew during the era of the New Zealand gold rush. Today, the city has a population of 120,000 and is known as a university town. It is a perfect location for nature lovers and has beautiful beaches and rolling hills. It is also home to the only Royal Albatross breeding colony in the world and the famous Yellow-Eyed and Little Blue Penguins.

  • Dunedin has a Botanic Garden and it’s famous for the Rhododendron Dell. The city celebrates its beauty at the annual Rhododendron Festival in the third week of October.
  • The city has a Speights Brewery Heritage Tour to take visitors through the journey of brewing across the ages — from the Babylonians to modern-day brewing. The Speights’ tours have been occurring since 1876.
  • Hike, ski, kayak, surf — the outdoors is calling! With its white sand beaches, forest-clad hills, and volcanic formations, Dunedin is at the doorstep of amazing adventures.
  • Learn about the Maori culture with courses in Conversational Maori, Maori Society, and Maori Performing Arts.
  • Volunteer to help local conservation efforts; work with local youth; assist in health and wellness initiatives–there are plenty of volunteer options.
  • Make Kiwi friends! Get to know the local students through clubs, sports and classes.
 Language of Instruction: English
GPA Requirement: 3.0 or higher
Housing: University Housing
Volunteering: Opportunities Available


As a BCA student at the University of Otago you will live in the university flats. Typically, there are three or four international students living together in a flat, with one or two local New Zealand students. The flats range in type, from houses that are next to campus to some new townhouses a bit farther away. Each flat has individual bedrooms, shared bathroom(s) and a kitchen/common area. The University Flats have internet access and wireless is available throughout the campus.


Designed to enrich your understanding of local life and culture, BCA excursions are unique to each program and offer you exciting learning experiences you couldn’t get on your own. All costs are included in the program fee. Excursion destinations are likely to change from year to year, however, students typically visit a combination of the following: 



Ride the historical and famous Taieri Gorge Train, viewing geological and engineering history on the scenic train ride into the hills of Middle Earth.



See the local Dunedin glow-worms (unique to the Southern Hemisphere). Learn how they survive in a treacherous environment and what makes them glow so brightly.



Spend two days and a night at a Marae, the traditional community for the native Maori people of New Zealand. Learn the cultural practices and customs that are still practiced to this day. Become part of the whanau (family) for life.



Spend a day and night on a real sheep farm learning about the economic significance and history of sheep farming in New Zealand and how that impacted the world. Take in the breath-taking landscape scenery during the visit as well. Students in the Fall semester may also have a chance to feed new lambs!



View the only mainland breeding colony of the majestic Royal Albatross on the scenic Otago Peninsula. Explore the historical military base and how it was used to protect the land during the wars of the 20th Century.


As a student of BCA’s New Zealand study abroad program, you will study alongside Kiwi students in courses at the University of Otago,  which is the country’s leading research institution and a world leader in many academic fields. Academic Departments and Schools at the University of Otago are divided into four academic divisions with three available to students studying abroad, including the schools of business, humanities and sciences.

The University

Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious university. Otago also enjoys an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and is a world leader in many academic fields. Students from around the world rate Otago’s reputation and the quality of its study environment as its strongest attractions.

Click the Academics button to learn more about: Otago Programs, Popular Departments, Terminology, Pre-Requisites, Teaching Styles, Assessments, Credits, and Course Registration

BCA Dunedin New Zealand

For Education Majors

The University of Otago College of Education, ranked first in Education in New Zealand based on a 2012 study, offers an exciting program for study abroad students. More about the program here.

Exercise & Sports Science

BCA Study Abroad offers study abroad exercise and sports science programs in New Zealand. Learn more here.

Fast Facts

  • Choose from a wide variety of courses at the University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious university.
  • Otago is ranked among the best universities in the world and enjoys an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and as a world leader in many academic fields.
  • Otago offers a rich cultural life, reflecting a diverse international student community and New Zealand’s own multicultural population.


BCA encourages students to take advantage of learning opportunities both in and beyond the classroom! Our resident director has established partnerships with local organizations where you can complete a volunteer experience. Once you finalize your classes and semester’s activities, you can plan volunteer service possibilities. If you are interested in pursuing an internship opportunity, BCA may be able to find a placement that suits your interests. Immediately after starting your application, please contact BCA to ensure internship options will be available.

Volunteer Opportunities include:

  • Aspire Program: After school program
  • Department of Conservation: Help protect New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage
  • 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
  • StartUp Space Business and Entrepreneurship Groups
  • 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



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. It is an honor 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)!


On-site support staff help you adjust to life in your new community and will be your cultural guide through the program.

Ask an Advisor

Our program advisors will answer your questions, provide guidance on courses and scholarships and guide you step-by-step through the enrollment process.

Ask a Peer

Want to discuss the program with a fellow student? Meet your peer advisor for a virtual chat, email or phone call. All questions are worth asking!

Apply for a Scholarship

Don’t let the finances fool you, study abroad is in reach! Apply for a BCA scholarship and learn about the many ways that students are making their dreams come true!

Get Started Today!

Dive into an application and learn more about program requirements and the steps involved in getting to the finish line.


What's Included

BCA Study Abroad offers a wide variety of services and activities as part of our comprehensive fee, including:

  • Full-time Tuition & Fees
  • University housing
  • Medical and emergency insurance
  • Educational excursions
  • On-site resident director
  • Volunteer and internship opportunities
  • On-site group activities
  • Seminars and guest lectures
  • University services
  • BCA courses taught by host institution’s professors and/or resident directors
  • Cultural and university orientation
  • Intensive language training
  • Academic advising
  • University official transcript
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Three educational excursions
  • On-campus internet access
  • Weekly laundry
Comprehensive Fees

The comprehensive fees for the academic year are listed below. Please keep in mind that every school has a different financial policy for study abroad. Your university may pay BCA for all fees listed below, they may only pay for tuition while you pay BCA directly for housing, or they may require you to pay BCA directly for tuition and housing. It’s important that you talk to your study abroad advisor and financial aid office to learn your school’s approach to financing BCA’s program and what your financial responsibility will be.

BCA Scholarships

BCA offers a number of scholarships for students with financial need. See if you are eligible!

Application Dates

Fall Semester April 1
Spring Semester October 15

Program Dates

Fall Semester Late June to Mid-November
Spring Semester Mid-February to Mid-June


BCA strives to make studying abroad transparent and affordable for all students. The following budget sheet outlines program costs, as well as estimated additional expenses associated with your participation.

Price is subject to change without notice. All independent travel expenses are incurred by the student and are not included in estimated personal expenses.

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