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Sarah McKinnonSarah McKinnon

The fact that Otago offers the "whole package" was the deciding factor for Australian Sarah McKinnon.

In spite of getting into La Trobe University in Melbourne - "which is quite hard to do, particularly if you're wanting to study law or medicine"- Sarah turned it down.

"Both places offered the course that I wanted, but Otago has the lifestyle, it's cheaper to live here and there's more financial support available than there is at home in Australia," she says. "As well as all that, Otago has a good reputation."

Another drawcard for Sarah is the University's proximity to the city - "for a place this size, there's a lot happening here. Music, theatre, dance - there's no shortage of cultural things to do, and it's all within easy reach. It takes an hour to get from La Trobe University into the city, so there's a lot of driving involved to get anywhere."

While Sarah has no immediate plans to become a lawyer, Otago's flexible degree programme means she was able to take Political Studies, French, Philosophy and English Literature in her first year, as well as law. "Of all of them, I'm probably more inclined towards Political Studies, but I really enjoyed the chance to try out those other papers," she says.

Sarah is also keen to take advantage of the Student Exchange Programme while she's here. "All the same opportunities available to New Zealand students, are open to me. So I'd really like to look into the possibility of an exchange to the United Kingdom."

For now, Sarah's enjoying the quintessential Otago experience - flatting in Castle Street.

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