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About Dunedin



The area was initially populated in the late 18th Century by the Kai Tahu Iwi (tribe). The City of Dunedin (population 118,000) was established by immigrants from Scotland in 1848, at the head of an attractive twenty kilometre long harbour. Many of the suburbs climb up the surrounding hills and provide panoramic views of harbour, coast and hills.

The city has an equable climate. Summer temperatures are not excessive, and the winter weather is cool and fine, with frosty mornings. Fog and snow are rare. The annual rainfall is approximately 77 cm, and sunshine hours average 1,695 per year.

The city has several modern cinemas, theatres, concert halls, two museums, many excellent cafes and a centrally located art gallery. There is a high degree of local involvement in the performing arts, as well as frequent opportunities to see and hear national and international artists. Shopping facilities are good and traffic congestion minimal.

In addition to the University Library there is a very good Public Library located in the central city.

Within the city there is a heated Olympic-size indoor swimming pool and beautiful ocean beaches with great surf are within a short distance. Outdoor activities such as tramping, climbing, boating and skiing are within easy access.

Good roads lead inland from Dunedin to the spectacular lakes, snow-capped mountains and fruit growing areas of Central Otago , where the summer climate is hot and dry and the winter snows provide a paradise for skiers. With the scenic lakes of Wakatipu and Wanaka as its focus, the region is well known for the quality of its fruit. Commercial winemaking is a recent attraction to the Central Otago area. Otago vineyards are typically small and on sites carefully selected to maximise warmth in a region previously regarded as marginal for grape growing. Best-known varieties are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The University of Otago takes its name from the beautiful southern province of Otago. Within an hour's drive of the university campus, students can explore some of the region's and New Zealand's most spectacular scenic and outdoor attractions. It's ideal for day trips to any of the southern lakes and to high mountain valleys, rivers and secluded beaches. In contrast to Dunedin's moderate coastal climate, the inland region of Central Otago enjoys extreme seasons that allow snow sports in the winter and water sports in summer.

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The University of Otago in Dunedin

The University of Otago campus is situated in the centre of Dunedin, a city offering the best of both worlds. It has the facilities, entertainment and variety of larger cities, with a wide range of social, cultural and sporting activities. However, it is small enough to be friendly, uncrowded and safe.

Within an hour's drive of the campus, staff can explore some of the region's most spectacular scenic and outdoor attractions. The extreme seasons of the greater Otago province lend themselves towards snow sports in winter, water-sports in summer, and a variety of sightseeing tours and wildlife reserves.

The University of Otago is New Zealand’s top-ranked university for research.  It was founded in 1869, only 20 years after the founding of the province of Otago. Today the University has more than 17,000 students, 1,100 of who are international, and employs 3,000 full time staff.

The University of Otago has four academic divisions: Humanities, Commerce and School of Business, Sciences and Health Sciences.  The academic year is divided into two semesters and commences towards the end of February. There are short mid semester breaks in April and September, and a winter vacation between semesters in June/July. Examinations are held in June and October. The University also offers a number of summer school courses that take place directly after the new-year in January through to mid-February.

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