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About us


Exterior view of Caroline Freeman College
Designed by iconic architecture firm Mason and Wales, Caroline Freeman College was named City College when it opened in 2000.

Jointly owned by Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago, Caroline Freeman College was built to house students from both institutions. In 2017, the University of Otago purchased the Polytechnic's share in City College, making it exclusively available for University students from 2018 onwards.

To mark its new era of University ownership, the College was renamed Caroline Freeman College in honour of the University's first female graduate.

Caroline Freeman College has 210 single bedrooms spread across 37 apartments. Each apartment comprises four, five or six bedrooms; a lounge; a kitchenette; and shared bathrooms.

Students also have access to newly-refurbished common areas including a large dining hall, two lounges, an exercise room, a library and multiple tutorial rooms.

Rooms and facilities at Caroline Freeman College

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Our supportive environment

Small enough for everyone to get to know everyone else, but big enough to have a full range of facilities and services, Caroline Freeman College is the ideal size for a great first-year residential college experience.

Our experienced team at Caroline Freeman College are fully immersed in College life to support you to get the best out of your first-year experience and to achieve your goals for the year.

Meet our team at Caroline Freeman College

Students outside Caroline Freeman College
Caroline Freeman College is the ideal size for a great first-year residential college experience.

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Our great location

Caroline Freeman College has the benefit of being a short, flat walk from the University, the North-East Valley village and supermarket, Dunedin Botanic Garden, the North Ground and Logan Park sportsgrounds, the George Street shopping precinct and Dunedin's student-focused hospitality industry.

View our location map

Location Walking time
University campus (main entrance) 5 mins
Subway, Mobil Shop, BP 2go 1 min
Dunedin Botanic Garden 3 mins
Marsh Study Centre 3 mins
North Ground (park and rugby ground) 3 mins
Domino's, KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut 3 mins
Bus stop (for bus to St Clair Beach) 3 mins
North East Valley village, New World supermarket 6 mins
Science Library 6 mins
Otago Museum 8 mins
OUSA (Otago University Students' Association), Student Union Complex
8 mins
Central Library
9 mins
Student Health
9 mins
24-hour Night 'n Day convenience store 9 mins
Logan Park (athletics, cricket, hockey, rugby, soccer, tennis, touch) 12 mins
Otago Polytechnic 12 mins
Forsyth Barr Stadium 18 mins
Unipol student gym and recreation centre
18 mins
Cadbury Chocolate Factory 18 mins
Meridian Mall, Golden Centre, Wall Street Mall 20 mins
The Octagon (art gallery, bars, cafes, cinemas, public library, theatres, town hall) 25 mins
OUSA Aquatic Centre (Otago University Rowing Club)
25 mins
Baldwin Street (the world's steepest street) 25 mins

The courtyard at Caroline Freeman College
Caroline Freeman College is a short flat walk from the University campus.

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About Caroline Freeman

Caroline Freeman – the University of Otago's first female graduate.

Caroline Freeman was born to an English farming family near Halifax, England, and emigrated to Otago as a child in 1858.

Her family farmed at Abbotsford in Dunedin. Caroline attended Green Island School, where she was Dux in 1866. She later served as the single-room rural school's first pupil teacher, from 1868 to 1872.

She had no secondary education but kept studying and became infant mistress at Caversham School in 1872. Encouraged by the principal, she studied for the matriculation exam to gain admission to the University of Otago.

At Otago, she walked over 10 km home to Green Island after lectures each day, while also supporting herself by teaching – although eventually, poor health forced her to take rooms in Dunedin.

When she walked on stage to graduate from University, her fellow students clapped, cheered, threw bouquets and burst into song. Otago Medical School's Dr William Brown then spoke about higher education for women.

Caroline died of a heart attack at her home in Christchurch in 1914. Her pupils erected a tombstone to "The beloved teacher and guide of many of New Zealand's girls".

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