BCA Study Abroad: Dunedin, New Zealand

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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.

  • 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.

Questions & Answers


based on 19 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 16 - 19 of 19
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Studying Abroad Spring 2014

Thinking back, I honestly have nothing bad to say about the program. As soon as I landed in NZ, I was embraced by nothing but warm and friendly people. I instantly felt right at home and had no problem transitioning to another culture. BCA reduces a lot of the stress of arriving because you pay them to cover your housing and meals, which means you don't have to worry about arranging rental costs, etc when you arrive. T

The academic structure is similar to the US and all of the professors I encountered were passionate in what they taught. It was easy to tell that the University of Otago only hires the best. The larger, research oriented school was harder to get used to due to my small school background, but the fact that you live with others in the same situation and are part of program with others makes the whole thing stress free and exciting.

My favorite thing about studying abroad was New Zealand itself. Going to NZ was the best decision I have made thus far. I met amazing people and got to visit so many beautiful places. There is not a spot in NZ that isn't picture perfect. The Resident Coordinator, Ashley, was such a blessing. She made sure we were are taken care of and was available at any point if we had questions about anything. She spent a lot of time ensuring that we had an excellent experience abroad. Our group got to visit various friends' farms in NZ which was an excellent way to learn more about the Kiwi lifestyle and farm life as well as the chance to eat some amazing home cooked meals. Aside from these trips, NZ is an easy place to travel throughout and I found myself constantly taking trips. Even with four months of traveling, I still want to go back and see more. I have no regrets in traveling to NZ, except that I wish I had stayed longer!

How can this program be improved?
You will encounter other programs that study abroad, but I know that ours was the smallest group. I liked it because then we got to know everyone and take more smaller group trips. However, I wish additional trips were included in the program. I also wish I would have known exact amounts for the stipend and when I would be receiving it, as well as some other smaller details before I had left.
Yes, I recommend
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Can I Move To New Zealand Now?

Studying abroad through BCA was one of the best life decisions I have made so far. When I first arrived in New Zealand I couldn't believe how green and peaceful it looked. Almost every person I encountered was warm and loving. I can honestly say I didn't meet anyone that I didn't like. The people in New Zealand have this loving and humble mentality that everyone should be treated like family. People would go out of their way to help me if I was lost or if I need something in general. Living in the flats was also a ton of fun! I grew pretty close with the people that I lived with and they somewhat became my New Zealand family during the time that I was there. We would go out to dinner together and we also devoted wednesdays to cooking and eating together. The university is definitely one of a kind. Not only is is beautiful but the people that go to Otago know how to have fun. (make sure you have a camera because you will take way too many pictures of everything) I would have to say my favorite thing about living in New Zealand was the amount of adventures you can go on. Exploring the land and places in general is really what makes New Zealand amazing.There is so much to do there, I wasn't able to accomplish everything that I wanted to see! One of my favorite places I visited was Hobbiton on the North Island. Having the opportunity to actually be on the real movie set was seriously the coolest thing I've ever done.
Even though New Zealand is much different than my home, I can honestly say I consider New Zealand my home away from home. I loved being in New Zealand so much that I have bought flight tickets to return this January and May. If New Zealand wasn't so amazing, I probably wouldn't want to go back as much as I do. The only difficulty I encountered was having to leave and come back to California.

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing, it would be doing more things with my group. I wish we went on more adventures together throughout the semester. Some of the best times I had was when I spent it with the girls in my group. There were a lot of places that I didn't get to visit and I wish that I could have gone with my program. One of the reasons why I am going back to New Zealand is because I want to see some of the places that I didn't get to go to.
Yes, I recommend
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Best Semester

I have been having an amazing experience at the University of Otago. There are many clubs for you to join to get involved, and most students are active on the weekends instead of just studying. The resident director, Ashley, is very supportive and makes sure that we are all happy and have everything we need. She gave us many money-saving tips at the beginning of the semester as well as teaching us many Kiwi terms, which was very helpful. She also planned a few trips throughout the semester for the BCA crew, which were all well organized and catered to the group. The flats in Dunedin are not as warm as I am used to back in the States, but you get used to the cold within the first few weeks.

Yes, I recommend
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My study abroad experience in New Zealand through BCA has exceeded every expectation I had. I absolutely LOVE Dunedin and all it has to offer. From great outdoor activities to a very robust social scene, Dunedin and U of Otago has it going on. And going through BCA has been an absolute god-send! I was able to receive so much help from Phil at BCA throughout the application process and even through the visa application. BCA handles so many details that I didn't have to worry about. Plus, the on-site coordinator, Ashley Mountfort, is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. She works so hard to make sure all BCA students are having the best experience possible, and she plans some great trips for us as well as offering a lot of advice for travel throughout the country. I actually feel bad for students who didn't go through BCA because I know how much work they must have had to do on their own to get into the uni. Trust me, going through the BCA Dunedin program will change your life and make you wish your study abroad experience will never end!

How can this program be improved?
There is very little I would change about the program, but I think one thing would be having more group trips. Since the BCA Dunedin program is relatively new, this explains why there isn't as many group trips as other study abroad programs, but this often comes at much higher cost. Other than this small change, I can't think of any other aspect BCA needs to improve.
Yes, I recommend


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Established in 1962, BCA Study Abroad has been committed to helping students understand contemporary issues by offering challenging and rewarding study abroad programs. From its start, BCA has focused its educational mission on engaging students with...