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

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… .


based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 16 - 21 of 21
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Thank you, BCA!

BCA is an amazing program that makes your study abroad experience so much more rewarding and less stressful! When I first decided I wanted to study abroad I didn't know where to begin. The BCA staff gave me all the information I needed to get started and helped me with any and every question (which was a lot) with the paperwork along the way! Preparation leading up to studying abroad can be really stressful but I promise you the help from a program like BCA makes it much more manageable. And their help doesn't stop there...when you finally get to go they are tremendous with getting you situated and keeping you busy! You will meet your amazing site coordinator, Ashley, right when you get off the plane. From that moment on she will be your mentor, mother and friend. She is amazing to talk to and knows exactly what you're feeling because she's been in your shoes. It's definitely nice to have someone to turn to whereas if you travel alone instead of with a program you may not have that option. I cannot say enough good things about the BCA staff and the impact they will have on you and your journey! (Plus there are some really cool group trips throughout the semester AND Ashley is so amazing that she even adds tons of little adventures on her own time) I highly recommend going through BCA if you are thinking about studying abroad and want the most enjoyable and least stressful experience!! I also wish you the best of luck on your adventure and if you have any questions I am more than happy to answer them the best that I can! Cheers :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Study Abroad Adventure!

Living in a new country for over 4 months is a challenging experience on it's own, and trying to explore the area and culture and also study on top of that can be overwhelming. It's also very rewarding, though, and very much worth it because no matter what you end up doing you'll end up learning amazing new things about the country and yourself (as cliche as it sounds, it's true!). Even though at first I was frustrated with the extra paperwork I had to fill out to participate in the BCA program on top of the rest of the paperwork to study abroad, it was well worth it. The BCA program really helped me fully enjoy my semester in Dunedin by providing excellent support and resources.

The BCA program helps you get set up with the necessary preliminary steps to studying abroad, such as helping inform you about visas, registering for classes, and providing a handbook with useful background and tips about your destination. They prepared me for traveling in ways I didn't even know were necessary, which I am thankful for. The most helpful part of the program though is the absolutely amazing on-site coordinator, Ashely. It was beyond helpful and comforting to have someone to answer my questions and provide local knowledge and guidance throughout the my time in Dunedin. She's caring, always available to answer questions, and made us feel like we had a little family when we were halfway around the world. It's so reassuring to have the support and expertise of the BCA program when you're so far from home.

Dunedin itself is very much a student city, and especially living in the University Flats (which BCA helps arrange) I was surrounded by both Kiwi (New Zealand) students and other study abroad students hoping to make new friends and explore New Zealand. There's always something to do both on campus and in the city, and there's great access to local hiking and beaches just outside Dunedin. Needless to say, it's easy to take short and long trips and to find friends interested in coming along! The BCA program's built-in trips are awesome as well, and visiting a sheep farm and a marae were both fun and provided great insight into New Zealand's farming and Maori (native people) culture.

How can this program be improved?
I don't really have any complaints about BCA itself. My biggest struggle with preparing to study abroad was the paperwork because I had to apply to study abroad through my home university, the BCA program, and also fill out paperwork for the University of Otago. I had never been to a different country before studying abroad and was unfamiliar with some typical travel details, and was confused at first by some of the requirements and the three sets of applications. Perhaps some of that could have been made more clear by various parties, but overall BCA did a great job laying out what I needed to do and answering any questions I had.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program
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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 this program


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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...