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The New Zealand experience

Otago’s International School provides an ideal opportunity to explore New Zealand, either before or after the three weeks on campus and in the field.

Rest assured that winter in New Zealand – particularly around Central Otago – well worth the sacrifice of part of a Northern Hemisphere summer.


The International School is primarily based on the University of Otago campus in Dunedin – a city defined by the University. The campus is close to the centre of town – the Octagon – which adds vibrancy to the city as a whole. With 20,000 students in a city of 120,000 residents, Dunedin is a true student city.

Dunedin has the facilities and entertainment options of larger cities, but is small enough to be friendly, uncrowded and safe. International students find it welcoming and feel comfortable after a very short time.

It is less than four hours’ drive between Dunedin and Queenstown. While students are unlikely to find snow on the ground in Dunnas (as it’s affectionately known), it’s not impossible. Regardless, there are plenty of activities and events on the calendar around that time, including the Mid-Winter and Cadbury Chocolate Carnivals.


Otago encompasses Dunedin in the east, Queenstown in the west, the Catlins in the south and some of the country’s most impressive coastlines in the north (including the Moeraki Boulders).

Otago is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations for good reason. The region is home to the country’s top skiing and snowboarding fields, with four major ski resorts and plenty of smaller fields for the more adventurous. The timing of the International School will particularly appeal to those who take their snow sports seriously.


While Otago International School will not visit Fiordland, students may want to take advantage of their proximity to this beautiful and remote region.  Towering mountains - clad in native bush and surprising waterfalls - rise from these deep fiords.  Even New Zealanders find Fiordland breathtaking.