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Student Support Services

We are here to help!

At UOLCFY, the Student Support team is here to help you settle in to life in Dunedin, provide support and advice about health and wellbeing, help with your student visa and enjoy your time at Otago.

Our dedicated Student Support Officer, Sarah Vanderburg, along with our Academic Dean, works closely with all students and is always available to help you deal with any problems you encounter.

There are no problems too big or too small for Sarah. From simple issues such as applying for a new visa or making an insurance claim, through to accommodation troubles, homesickness, sleeping difficulties, stress, relationship issues, addiction, illness, family issues or if you just want to have a chat - Student Support is there for you.

They will listen to you, give advice if needed, and help you make contact with others who may help. It is very important you understand that anything you say is confidential, and will not be passed on to anybody else. The Student Support Officer is also the person to see if you want to make a complaint. They will help you go through the procedure and offer support to you.

The Student Support Officer is in contact with some parents if this is necessary or requested by parents.

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As well as helping our students through difficulties, we also provide a lot of fun!

Every Friday afternoon we have a fun activity for the students. The activities range from arts and craft, exploring local attractions, social activities and sports. We also run several exciting experiences during the year such as ski trips, camping in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand, dance parties, food festivals, BBQ parties, soccer tournaments and many more.

Trotters gorge_2_305Group at Purakanui fallsPurakanui fallsLogan Park rugby

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We provide a comprehensive introduction to life in Dunedin and studying at the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year. The orientation programme includes:

  • Meeting the new important people in your life, such as the Academic Deans, Student Support, Administration staff, teachers and your classmates
  • Completing paperwork to get you enrolled in the course
  • Taking your photo for our database
  • Getting your ID card (so you can get your wifi and hit the gym!)
  • Organising your timetable
  • Dealing with any visa / insurance issues
  • Taking a tour around campus
  • Discovering what services are available to you
  • Taking a city tour and other interesting activities

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Lidy de Leeuw is the counsellor at University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year. She works one day a week and can see students for up to 50 minutes. If you would like to make an appointment with Lidy, please see Student Support.

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Academic Deans

The Academic Deans are here to assist you with all things to do with your academic progress. We provide help and guidance on how to make the most of your studies; how to plan for your next course and to assist you to make the right career choices. Should the going get tough, we are here to help you with sound advice and academic support. The Deans are available by appointment throughout the day, Monday to Friday.

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Further information about Student Support