Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

international programs

Dunedin, New Zealand

program description


The Country

Located on 2 islands in the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is one of the most exquisite countries in the world. Each island has a unique ecosystem and blend of European, Maori, and Polynesian cultures, all of which have greatly influenced the culture of the country. With sophisticated cities, outdoor adventures, the natural beauty of volcanoes, glaciers, and beaches, New Zealand is the first country on earth to celebrate the New Year.

The City

Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. Founded by Scottish immigrants in 1848, it is a sophisticated, compact city with a population of around 125,000. Located on the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin is known for its culture, history, and wildlife. As a true “university town,” it is a friendly and welcoming community for students, and an excellent location for exploring other parts of the country.

The University

The University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest university as well as its leading research university. Over eighty percent of Otago students come from outside the city, while ten percent come from abroad, making it both a national and international university. Located in the center of the city, Otago allows study abroad students to select their “papers” (courses) from a broad range of subjects in the areas of Business, Humanities, the Sciences, and Pacific Studies. Students may have an opportunity to pursue special research interests related to wildlife, marine subjects, or geology. BC students may study at Otago for either semester or the full academic year; they are fully integrated with the University of Otago students.

The Program

The University of Otago is one of the world’s top-ranked universities for Life Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Marine Sciences, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Business and Economics. Students select 3 or 4 classes (known as “papers”) from across all subject areas.  Using a British-based model, courses are composed of lectures and tutorials, which are weekly discussion groups. BC students are fully integrated into the university, where they study along side their New Zealand counterparts.


Upon arrival BC students will participate in a comprehensive, on-campus, international student orientation, which introduces students to the city, and the University. They also offer a student mentor program. Academic advisors are available at the course enrollment sessions to help students select their classes.


Like most University of Otago students, study abroad students stay in fully furnished, shared apartments owned by the University. Most flats  are located near the campus and have international students as well as a New Zealand host student living there.


Sports and recreation are a large part of campus activity, and students will find a broad range of recreational facilities and activities on and near campus.  The Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) sponsors over 100 different cultural, sporting, political, and religious interests, which visiting students are encouraged to join. Every Otago student is automatically a member of OUSA.