BCA Study Abroad: Dunedin, New Zealand

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About

Dunedin is the only university town in New Zealand, and it provides you with plenty of opportunities to connect to local people and the environment! Through the fantastic student activities program at The University of Otago, you can join one of the more than 70 societies, like dance, hiking, music and sports clubs. In addition, there are many volunteer opportunities available to connect you with local organizations and community members.

The University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious university and is regularly ranked among the top universities in the world. The University offers a rich cultural life, reflecting a diverse international student community and New Zealand’s own multicultural population.

Highlights
  • Follow your own path in New Zealand and uncover the country’s natural beauty! Dunedin is surrounded by white sand beaches, forest-clad hills and volcanic formations. You’ll easily find some of the world’s rarest animals living at the city’s edge.
  • Engage with the community by participating in an internship or volunteer opportunity based on your passions and personal pursuits.
  • Challenge yourself to learn about New Zealand’s indigenous community by taking Māori culture courses. Visit an authentic Māori marae, a traditional meeting place, and connect with local students dedicated to keeping their culture and traditions alive.
  • With internationally ranked departments in arts and humanities, life sciences and medicine, and social sciences and management, it’s the perfect place to take major-specific courses to pursue independent research opportunities or select internships.
  • For students studying Education, the Education Department at University of Otago offers a hands-on teaching experience through its unique program. Students can also take courses focused on educational theory alongside local students.

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Questions & Answers

Hi, great question! Any study abroad experience will be as interesting as you make it! We recommend reading through reviews of the program to get a feel for the experience you may have. There are a lot of a insightful reviews at the bottom of this page, under "Reviews": https://www.gooverseas.com/study-abroad/new-zealand/bca-stu….

Reviews

9.95 Rating
based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 21
Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BCA Dunedin 2018 Spring Semester

I honestly don't even know where to begin talking about my semester abroad in Dunedin, so I'll do my best to fit everything in here.

I'll start by saying my time abroad through BCA was the by far the most life-altering decision I have ever made. Prior to my time in New Zealand, I had never taken a plane by myself or navigated through airports alone, and I had never even left the country before! After my time abroad, I successfully flew 30+ hours alone and visited 2 different countries; and I CAN'T WAIT to visit more. I've caught the travel bug.

I can honestly say my program director, Ashley Mountfort, was my saving grace every single step of the way. Before I even arrived in New Zealand, Ashley made me feel at ease about the whole process of actually getting there. She answered my (many...many) emails within minutes and was extremely patient and informative. She sent out emails with step-by-step instructions on how the flights/ customs would work, where we should meet when we arrived at the airport, etc. And it only got better after I arrived safely.

Ashley met us at the airport with a bottle of water and chocolate bar for each of us; an absolute saving grace after traveling for nearly 24 hours. She arranged transportation for us to our flats and helped us carry our bags in. She even printed out maps for each of us and highlighted the route to our meeting spot. These were all things that Ashley did which were above & beyond what I expected, and I immediately felt safe and at home because of her actions.

Having a program director as awesome as Ashley made my abroad experience 10x what it would have been without her. Throughout the semester she opened her home and heart to me and the rest of the group. She sent us monthly emails with heaps of info on upcoming events, cheap tickets, volunteer opportunities and activities to do all around Dunedin/New Zealand. She even included secret messages within her emails, and the first few students to respond would win a mini excursion with Ashley to places around Dunedin like bakeries, cafes, and beaches, which she would take us to herself for no charge.

Ashley would plan movie nights and provide snacks for us. She invited us over to her home and cooked us meals, and let us play with her dog and baby (who I fell absolutely in love with!). If any of us needed absolutely anything at all from advice to a ride, Ashley was our go-to.

In New Zealand, I came comfortably out of my comfort zone. I made dozens of new friends and made hundreds of lifetime memories. I don't think I would change anything about BCA except to make sure each group has a program director as incredible as Ashley Mountfort! And possibly to provide a meal stipend to help students manage their money.

Overall, my life has changed for the better after my time in New Zealand through BCA, and I love the person I've become because of it.

Thanks for everything!

P.s. More scholarships to help with the cost of the plane tickets would be great. The flights were EXPENSIVE!! Also, STA was a bit tricky to deal with sometimes.

What would you improve about this program?
More scholarships to help with the cost of the plane tickets would be great. The flights were EXPENSIVE!! Also, STA was a bit tricky to deal with sometimes.

Make sure each group has a program director as incredible as Ashley Mountfort! And possibly to provide a meal stipend to help students manage their money.
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Sydney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Nothing a Kiwi can’t do without #8 chicken wire

If you are thinking about this program, go for it. Best decision I ever made in my life. The resident director is so helpful and is really there for you. Also, Otago is an amazing university with amazing opportunities you don’t get in the states. Love the kiwi life! What I miss most about New Zealand are the amazing views, my 50 million friends (baaa), and the amazing people I met. If you like adventure, this is the place to be. I’m counting down the days until I get to go back, as probably any study abroad student says.

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Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best possible study abroad experience for me

I can go on and on about how lovely my experience in Dunedin was with the BCA crew. Even before I left the United States, I already felt so much support from Ashley and Jan, the program coordinators. Upon arrival, there was a perfect amount of activity, orientation, bonding, help, etc. BCA did a VERY good job setting me up for life in New Zealand, and I felt very little confusion. The coordinators made themselves regularly available, and we became very good friends. It felt like we were a family-- it wasn't just professional. It seemed like they genuinely wanted me to be as happy and comfortable as possible. I appreciate the experiences I had on the trip. It was absolutely ideal, largely in part because of BCA's wholehearted support. I had no idea this program would be so worthwhile, so I consider myself extremely lucky to have applied with it. Hands down the best experience of my life. Even though I was on the other side of the planet from my regular support system, I still never felt alone. I can't recommend it enough.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can't think of anything. It truly was ideal for me.
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Nicole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Missing NZ everyday

I absolutely loved my experience being abroad. I lived in a student house and was able to live with other international students and a Kiwi student. I made friends from all over the US and also in NZ. My favorite memory is hiking Roy's Peak (3 hour uphill hike) it was so tiring and hard, but we finally made it, and it was so rewarding. It's definitely one of my biggest accomplishments. University of Otago also offers so many different classes that you can take. I ended up taking classes that gave me more insight into the social classes of New Zealand and the history of New Zealand, just so that I got a better understanding of the culture. If you love the outdoors New Zealand is the right choice. It has the most breath taking scenery.

woman in nature
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 4.5 Months of My Life

Dunedin, New Zealand is the perfect place to study abroad. The culture within the country is unlike anything I've ever experienced. Everyone is so friendly and the entire country is extremely clean. If you are looking for a clean, safe, and gorgeous place to travel, then this is definitely the place for you! Classes are not extremely hard, so you have a lot of free time to travel and explore the city. I went to a new place in the country almost every weekend I was there... and still couldn't see everything I wanted to. There is so much to do and see there, you will never get bored. The landscapes are out of this world beautiful. It is amazing how you can go from the rainforest to beaches to mountains to rolling hills all in one area. In one day, I slept at the top of a mountain, walked down into the rainforest, and ended up on a beach by the end of the day. I loved every single second I was there and the only regret I have is that I did not stay for the full year. The program directer Ashley was very helpful and while she was on maternity leave, Jan was just as friendly and helpful as well! From a school aspect, there are so many things to get involved with. While there, I had many opportunities to volunteer and try new things, such as volunteering at a nearby after school programme, replanting native plants on wetlands, and joining intramural type teams for lawn bowl and volleyball. This trip was the most life-changing experience of my life. I was able to depend only on myself which allowed me to grow as a person and become much more independent than I thought was possible. I also met some of the most amazing people, both those studying abroad from all over the world and kiwis too. I highly recommend this program, you will not regret it.

Read my full story
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Alyssa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dunedin is the BEST!

If you would have asked me freshman year if I was going to study abroad, I would have said no. Never in a thousand years did I ever think I would travel and live half way across the world for 5 months, but it was the best experience of my life! New Zealand is absolutely amazing!

BCA is a great program to study with. The resident director, Ashley, is extremely helpful and makes Dunedin feel like home from the very beginning. She took us on many excursions including a trip to the marae, Wanaka, and a sheep farm in Cromwell. BCA allowed me to experience the New Zealand culture and I wouldn't have changed anything. If you are planning to study abroad, I would highly recommend going to Dunedin with BCA!

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Leanne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dunedin

Dunedin, New Zealand.....
1. GO!!
2. Its something you will want more of
3. Everyone there is friendly and down to get out and do things
4. Otago University is beautiful
5. Adventures galore (beaches, mountains, fields, rivers all within 30 min drive)
6. Good housing
7. Lots of food, shopping and nightlife, all within walking distance of Otago

BCA Program
1. Great "mom" (Ashley M.) helps with any and everything
2. Good amount of food money given
3. Adventures set up through "mom" that are always fun and informative
4. Helpful

What would you improve about this program?
I enjoyed all of it
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Georgianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

Not only was New Zealand the best place I have ever been to, but this program helped me feel so comfortable in a place I have never been. Ashley was my program director and from when we got off the plane to when we left, she was always checking in on us and planning excursions. I really didn't know what to expect when going to New Zealand when studying abroad besides that there is so much of the country to explore. Right away it was easy how to figure out how to get around and being in the program made it so easy to make friends. I got to travel the whole country and even go to Australia. Most people are in the same boat as you when you get to New Zealand so it is easy to find people who want to travel and explore. I am so grateful to have had this experience and the only thing I would have changed was I would have started traveling earlier on in my experience. I waited a little too long to start exploring and ended up not doing one or two things I wanted to do. New Zealand is amazing and I wish that everyone could experience the country and culture.