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College life

Everyday life at Abbey College involves our residents having the independence and freedom to come and go as they wish.

Abbey College's central location, between Cumberland and Castle Streets, is just a few minutes' walk from all University facilities, the Dunedin Botanic Garden and the central city.

The College environment encourages academic, intellectual and social conversation.......your involvement can be very rewarding.

“It is a privilege to be with so many open-minded people."

The peer support for my research activity is great – there are many here who have an understanding of what I am doing."


Being postgraduates, residents tend to prefer arranging their own activities rather than having college-wide events organised for them. There are many opportunities for sociable and sporting activities including:

  • A collection of books, games and jig saw puzzles
  • A piano in the dining room
  • The 28ha Dunedin Botanic Garden, a one minute walk from Abbey, is ‘A Garden of International Significance’. There are walks and trails to suit casual strolls and the most determined runners; many residents get their daily exercise there
  • Many wonderful walks of varying lengths starting directly from the College, and other walks on the beautiful Otago Peninsula
  • The Catlins, Central Otago and the Southern Alps for keen walkers, trampers and climbers (not the mention the excellent ski fields)
  • Spontaneous groups organised over lunch/dinner will go to the movies, a concert or show, or to the Otago Farmers’ market (yummy breakfasts and the freshest of fruit) on Saturday mornings, all within easy walking distance from the College
  • Many residents join with the other Otago residential colleges for College Sports Day at the beginning of the academic year
  • Formal dinners (for example, an Abbey birthday dinner in February and a mid-winter dinner in July)
  • Dinners for special occasions including Chinese New Year, Eid, Autumn Moon Cake festival, Oktoberfest, and Divali
  • Cultural dinners by special request, for example Mexican, Iranian, Korean, Indian, and Japanese
sports day

We are here for postgraduates

Abbey College meets the specific needs and interests of postgraduate students:

  • Lunch at 12.30 pm and dinner at 6.00 pm are both later than for the undergraduate residential colleges
  • Our chef makes a range of meals from different countries, and is always open to new suggestions
  • Our dining room is ideally suited to meeting new people, and to enjoying conversations well past meal-times
  • Residents can pack their own lunch to take with them each day
  • There is a simple process to order a late dinner, up to 5.30 pm each day
  • Residents can take meals to their room (unusual for a college)
  • Guests are welcome to meals at a very reasonable price
  • Overnight guests are welcome (a fee is payable to cover meals etc)
  • Parties do not need prior approval, just a responsible host with friends who will help clean and tidy up afterwards