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Frequently asked questions

Where is UniCol located?

UniCol is located in the heart of the University of Otago campus right behind the original stone buildings. From UniCol it is a short stroll to lecture theatres, main library, student union, etc. George Street and the Dunedin downtown area are a 5 - 10 minute walk away.

Q - What are the rooms like?

Teal girlsA - All rooms at University College are single study bedrooms. Each room is equipped with a king-single bed with linen, desk and chair, wardrobe, bookcase, etc. All rooms are fully heated. Fees include 21 meals per week and room cleaning once a week. Two sheets, pillow & pillowslip, and mattress protector are provided. You need to bring your own duvet/duvet cover and towels. You might like to bring your favourite pillow also. You are welcomed and encouraged to make your room your own personal space.

Q - Isn't UniCol pretty big?

A - Big is beautiful! The vast majority of our residents are first-year students. An advantage of a big college is that you can almost always find someone who is doing your course of study, shares your interests, etc. You will also become very close to the other residents on your floor. Your floor RA will work to make sure that everyone feels included and supported.

Q - What about the social side of life at UniCol?

A - As a big college we have an extensive and varied social and recreational programme. At UniCol you can take part in formal and themed dinners, College parties, sport competitions, trivia quizzes, ski trips, beach trips, inter-hall competitions, floor missions, movie nights and the list goes on. Or if you just want to hang out in the common rooms, play pool, watch TV or socialise with your mates that's fine too.

Q - Are there lots of rules and regulations?

A - Anytime a large number of people live together in close quarters rules and regulations are needed for the good of the community. UniCol has straightforward and clear rules about alcohol, noise and general behaviour. Our rules are designed to allow everyone the opportunity to succeed in their academic studies and enjoy the lifestyle of the College.

Q - What support will I get to help me adjust to life at university?

A - One of the advantages of living at University College is the high level of support and assistance we provide for our residents. UniCol has 21 Residential Assistants who live in the complex and help residents with their day-to-day needs. Our tutorial support programme is extensive and covers most of the major first-year papers. The administration and management staff are all very experienced in providing support and assistance to first-year students.

Q - Don't you eat the same thing everyday?

Unicol diningA - Every effort is made to make the range of food provided in the dining room as varied as possible. UniCol has a six-week rotating menu and each meal has either a hot or cold alternative, which includes a vegetarian option. The Executive Chef will hold meetings with students to obtain feedback and will act on requests where practical.

Students who have special dietary needs must complete the College Information form (PDF format, 302 KB) at the time of accepting the offer of a place at UniCol and prior to taking up residence and if unsure you can discuss further with the Executive Chef.

Q - What happens during the holidays?

A - Most residents go home or go on holiday during the university mid-semester and semester breaks. Your contract with UniCol is usually for 38 weeks of the year. You do not need to move out of the complex during the holidays. Meal service and administration support continue throughout the holiday periods and you are welcome to stay in the College during these times if you wish.

Q - Isn't Unicol full of big-city people?

A - Residents from over 175 New Zealand secondary schools live at UniCol as well as students from overseas countries. We do have many people from the large metropolitan areas of the country but we also have many from provincial cities and small towns throughout New Zealand.

Q - How can I apply to come to University College?

A -  Apply On Line if you are a new resident or contact the Student Accommodation Centre on 64 3 479 5100 for further information on applying for accommodation.

Q - What does it cost to live at UniCol?

A - Check Fees section of this website. Fees for the following year are uploaded to our web site around the middle of October each year.

Q - Are there any extra charges?

Otago BoysA - Car parks (PDF format, 530KB) attract additional charges.

If you arrive before or leave after the contract period, then a daily rate of $57.86 will apply and be charged to your UniCol account. This must be paid within 7 days of receiving the invoice.

Q - What happens if I miss payments or don't pay my account on time?

A - All fees must be paid in accordance with the payment option selected . On the Accommodation Contract you must indicate the preferred payment option that suits your circumstances and honour direct debit payments by the due dates in accordance with the payment option you have selected. Please also refer to the section on Non-Payment of Fees in the Accommodation Contract and the UniCol_Conditions of Residence. If your account at UniCol is not kept up to date your exam results will be withheld.

Q - Is there any financial assistance available?

A - We recommend that you contact Study Link as early as possible

Toll Free Telephone: 0800 88 99 00
Fax free: 0800 88 33 88
Deaf Link freefax: 0800 621 621

If you need to contact Study Link while you're overseas call them on 64 4 917 3107

You can also visit Study Link at one of their Study Link Offices near you.

Q - How long can I stay at UniCol?

A - Preference is given to first-year full-time students attending the University of Otago. Generally speaking the College does not accept returning residents unless they are part of the RA team.

Q - What if I want to break my contract before the end of the year?

A - Your contract at UniCol is for the entire 38-week period. At his discretion the Master may release a resident from their contractual obligations. Any release is on a case-by-case basis and could include such factors as the health or financial circumstances of the resident.

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