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Starting university as an older student or after being away from study for a while has different challenges. Here are some programmes that might assist.


If you left formal education some time ago, have had a gap year, or are coming to university for the first time as a "mature" student, we've designed an extra orientation programme for you. UniStart gives you the opportunity to network with other mature students and provides a friendly introduction to some aspects of university life, such as:

  • Surviving the first few weeks
  • Using technology
  • Study skills such as note-taking and finding information
  • Managing the first assignment
  • Balancing life and study

Register for UniStart @ Otago

UniStart also offers the option of weekly peer study support groups during your first semester while you settle in.

Locals programme

Locals is an inclusive community for all first-year students who choose to flat, rent, board, or live at home. A large part of our community, 30 per cent, are mature students. We organise all our events to appeal to as many people as possible, including a specific event in Orientation week for mature students. The Mature Student Meet and Greet event is a chance for you to connect with other students who are in a similar situation and form a support network to help you succeed in your first year.

Locals HQ is a common room space located centrally on campus for all Locals students to relax, study and meet. It has kitchen facilities, study space and comfy chairs. All first-year students, regardless of age, are welcome to utilise this space.

Moving to Dunedin

It's a big step moving from another city or country. You're not only thinking about your upcoming study but maybe moving your family as well.

The Dunedin City Council (DCC) has answers to some of the questions you may have if you are moving here from overseas.

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