Whether you’re a student of the arts or the sciences, Dunedin is an inspiring destination to spend a semester abroad. A UNESCO City of Literature, there’s not really a wrong time to hit the books in one of Dunedin’s six libraries. Unless, of course, your classes are best supplemented with field experiences, like learning about endangered yellow-eyed penguins and other local wildlife on the Otago Peninsula.

Much like the educational opportunities, Dunedin also has something for everyone in regards to exploration. Wander around the free Otago Museum, see native flora in the Botanic Garden, and take a hike on Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest road.

Weekends and breaks are the perfect time to get out and discover New Zealand’s national parks, from the majestic Southern Alps to the coastal Catlins region. Every time you wander back around to Dunedin, you’ll be delighted to experience just how much this South Island city feels like home.

Dunedin effortlessly blends city lifestyle with signature Kiwi experiences. Study abroad students in Dunedin will hit the books by day and enjoy quirky local restaurants and bars by night. With an abundance of outdoor activities available in town or just beyond, Dunedin is also a natural gateway to New Zealand’s wild side.

Culture & Immersion

European settlers brought Western influences to New Zealand, many of which are evident in Dunedin. A city that got its name from the Gaelic word for “Edinburgh,” Dunedin houses the nation’s sole castle and displays Scottish roots in everything from local architecture to Haggis ceremonies. For students keen to learn more about Maori life, keep an eye on museum events and cultural tours.

Culture Shock & Support

No matter the distance, length, and destination of an overseas experience, culture shock can happen on any international trip. If you find yourself feeling displaced, try to connect with other study abroad participants -- they’re likely experiencing the same thing. If it’s more serious, don’t be afraid to reach out to your host university for professional support from their guidance team.

Lifestyle

Dunedin is very much a “college town,” with university students populating everything from bookstores to bars. You’ll find it to be typical of city living, with events and festivals on most weekends. The music scene has enticed popular international musicians like Ed Sheeran to play Dunedin venues, and you might be lucky to catch an All Blacks rugby match at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Insider Tips on Studying Abroad in Dunedin

You’ll hear the word “Otago” a lot in Dunedin. It’s the name of the region in which Dunedin resides, the name of the nearby peninsula housing New Zealand wildlife, and graces the names of local universities. When studying abroad in Dunedin, be sure to hit all three of these marks.

Explore everything the Otago region has to offer, like the adventure sports of Queenstown. Make the most of Dunedin’s specific corner, especially the Otago Peninsula excursions that take visitors to view royal albatross, yellow-eyed penguins, sea lions, and more critters. And of course, don’t forget to do your homework!

Deciding to study abroad in a place as cool as Dunedin is a no-brainer, but figuring out what type of course you want to take and where you’ll live is a tad trickier. This section will help you organize the finer details of studying abroad in Dunedin.

Course Types

As a study abroad student in Dunedin, there are a few options for course types. One option is to apply for and attend a Dunedin university of your choice as a regular student in what’s called a direct enrollment program. Alternatively, your own college may offer exchange programs, allowing you to take courses at a partnered institution overseas.

Another option is to go with a third-party provider. Through these independent organizations, you’ll likely be learning alongside and living with fellow study abroad students in Dunedin. While you’ll be a bit more disconnected from the local student life, organized activities will help to foster a close-knit community of study abroad students.

Housing

Typically for study abroad programs, student housing is provided at the local university’s accommodation. Otherwise, you can find a flat to sublet via platforms like Trade Me, Facebook, or Dunedin Craigslist. Since Dunedin’s population contains many students, you’ll be happy to know that flat availability tends to be flexible and line up with semester dates.

Transportation

To take the local buses in Dunedin, students will need to acquire a GoCard. While you’re able to pay as you go on public transit, the discounted GoCard fares are definitely worth the small card fee in the long run. There are a few places around the city where cards can be purchased, and from there you can top-up at those same locations or on the bus.

With the right preparation, studying abroad in Dunedin will be an affordable and enjoyable experience. There are a few things students should know before they get started.

Cost of Living

In New Zealand, the cost of living is slightly lower than that in the U.S. As of today, Numbeo estimates that rent expenses in New Zealand are nearly 25% lower than those in the States, with the average monthly amount being the equivalent of $750 - $900 in USD. Groceries and eating out are more closely priced with U.S. expenses.

Visas

Studying overseas in New Zealand requires either a visitor or a student visa. The former applies to U.S. students in programs under three months in length, and the latter is required for all other cases. With student visas, there are different types depending on factors like the duration of your stay, the nature of your chosen program, and your other plans while you’re in New Zealand.

Can You Work While Studying in Dunedin?

Even though some students might be eligible for a visitor visa, you’ll have to apply for a proper student visa if you intend to work while you study. Exchange, Fee Paying, and Foreign Government Supported Student Visas all permit visiting students to work under certain conditions. The Working Holiday, which is a 12-month visa, allows students to study for six months and work for the length of the visa.

Scholarships

Scholarships open up the possibilities for foreign students. If you need some extra help funding your study abroad in Dunedin, explore options from these organizations:

  • Go Overseas: Yours truly supports annual scholarships to study abroad in New Zealand. Participating Dunedin schools include the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, two esteemed institutions.
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship: For U.S. citizens who wish to study abroad, the Department of State runs this program for need-based students.
  • Fulbright Scholarships: A Fulbright Scholarship supports awarded students for ten months of study, and there are conditions under which some students may be able to extend.

Study Abroad Programs in Dunedin

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 programs
The Education Abroad Network
TEAN: Study Abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand
9.95 •40 reviews

TEAN's partnership with the University of Otago provides an...

BCA Study Abroad
BCA Study Abroad: Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand
9.95 •21 reviews

Dunedin is the only university town in New Zealand, and it provides...

University of Otago
Study Abroad at the University of Otago in NZ
New Zealand
9.46 •39 reviews

The University of Otago is located in New Zealand’s only true student...

ISA (International Studies Abroad)
ISA Study Abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand
9.89 •9 reviews

Established in 1869 as New Zealand's first university, the University...

Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)
IFSA: Study Abroad Programs in New Zealand
New Zealand
8.94 •16 reviews

Top-notch academics meet exquisite natural beauty and Maori culture in...

Arcadia Abroad
Arcadia University- University of Otago
New Zealand
9.86 •7 reviews

The University of Otago is New Zealand’s oldest university. The high...

Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)
IFSA: University of Otago Partnership
New Zealand
9.86 •7 reviews

Kia ora! We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an...

University of Otago
University of Otago Intl. School: 3 Week Program
New Zealand
10 •4 reviews

The International School provides international students with a unique...

University of Otago
University of Otago - Graduate Studies programs
New Zealand
10 •3 reviews

The University of Otago is New Zealand’s leading postgraduate research...

API
API Study Abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand
New Zealand
10 •1 review

Why wouldn't you want to study abroad at one of New Zealand's most...

Otago Polytechnic
Study Abroad at Otago Polytechnic - New Zealand
New Zealand

Otago Polytechnic offers internationally-recognised qualifications and...

Tours & Trips in New Zealand

Looking for something to do during your time in New Zealand? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • Nomads
    Work and Travel Program Australia and New Zealand
    Multiple Countries
    10 •1 review

    Finding a job in a new country can be daunting right? That is why the...

  • EA Ski & Snowboard
    Ultimate Winter Travel Experience: Improve Your Skiing & Gain a Qualification
    Multiple Countries
    10 •2 reviews

    Do you want to spend a winter gap year in the world's top ski...

  • Stray
    New Zealand South Island Tour (14 days) - Mackinnon
    New Zealand

    The Mackinnon tour will introduce you to the best of New Zealand's...

  • GoPlay Tours
    International Golf Tours Around the World
    Multiple Countries

    GoPlay Golf Tours offers fully customizable golf experiences for avid...

  • Flying Kiwi
    Ultimate Explorer Tour
    New Zealand

    Our Ultimate Explorer trip is the most popular and, quite possibly the...

  • Globus
    20-Day Highlights of The South Pacific With Fiji Tour
    Multiple Countries

    Experience the best of Australia and New Zealand on an unforgettable...

  • Just New Zealand
    5 Day Alpine Explorer
    New Zealand

    Discover the unforgettable splendor of New Zealand’s central South...

  • Foris Eco-tours
    Hike New Zealand's finest forest - Whirinaki Forest
    New Zealand

    Explore primordial rainforest with an expert guide. Think dinosaur...

What People Are Saying

If you're looking for a high adventure and culturally immersive experience, API's study abroad program at the University of Otago is for you! I studied at the University of Otago in Spring 2017. This...

Queenstown

I must start by saying that my time abroad in New Zealand was absolutely the best experience of my life. I stayed there for the full 6 months that my student visa allowed me to, and I am so grateful...

Journaling on the west coast of the south island at sunset! Mid road trip.

My time spent studying abroad in New Zealand was truly phenomenal. Being based in Dunedin was excellent for a variety of reasons. The city itself is a very comfortable size. There are always things to...

Relaxing at the highest point on Fiordland National Park's Kepler Track

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