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What is Locals?

Locals Before Sports Day Group Photo

Who can be a part of the Locals Community?

Any first-year student who is studying in their first year of a degree at the University of Otago, and is living at home, flatting, or boarding is a part of the Locals Collegiate Community. This includes international students who are moving to Dunedin to study a full degree at the University. 

Short history

Locals started in 2011 as an orientation programme for non-residential students and has evolved to be a full year programme that offers academic support, social events, and volunteering opportunities to provide a sense of belonging to those that historically have not felt included in the Otago campus life.

What do we do?

We offer social events, volunteering opportunities, and academic support in partnership with the Student Learning Development Office (SLD) to support first year students through their first year at the University of Otago. Locals also provides the opportunity for our students to contribute to collegiate life on campus, including competing in the inter-college sports and cultural competition.

Our structure

Locals is a programme run by students for students.


We have a team of Locals leaders who are second or third year students who were in the locals programme in their first year, these students sign up to help other students through their first year at Otago. Each leader is on one of the four committees


Locals has three committees that focus on different aspects of the programme; social, volunteer, and academic. Each committee has a coordinator that is responsible for that aspect of the programme, they organise events, and manage the leaders in each committee.


The locals assistant runs the external engagement committee for the programme. The external engagement committee helps to run all marketing and communications for the programme, this committee also organises that schools outreach that locals does to recruit year 13s into the programme. They also organise trainings for the coordinators and leaders, and helps the Deputy Head of Locals to manage the rest of the locals team.

Deputy Head of Locals 

The Deputy Head of the Locals runs the day to day operations of the programme. They help to organise events, manage the locals team, and provides pastoral care to first year students. The Deputy Head also does all of the administration for the programme.

The Head of Locals works behind the scenes to keep the programme going year to year.

We also have an operational committee that helps guide the direction of the programme, and helps with any large decisions.

Inter-college competition

Locals Group Picture Intercollege Dinner 2018

Being part of locals means that you are a part of the collegiate community on the Otago campus. The inter-college competition is a big part of this collegiate community, it provides an opportunity for the colleges to compete against each other in a variety of sports and cultural activities. There is something for everyone with all the events listed on the inter-college website, if you see any events you would like to participate in email Maya Turner the locals coordinator for more information.

Visit the Inter-college website