Registering at Otago

So I’ve been in New Zealand for 2 weeks and 2 days, and it feels like it’s been a lifetime! I feel like I know Dunedin like the back of my hand! It is a small town, so if fast-paced bustling city life and great night-life is your thing, don’t choose the University of Otago to study at or you’ll become bored bery quickly! On the hand, if you enjoy a more relaxed way of life, easy access to a multitude of coastal beaches, outdoor pursuits, nature and wildlife, then Dunedin is a great place to choose as a base!

Today I enrolled as a student at the University of Otago, had my pre-approved papers officially approved by course advisers and collected my student ID card. Classes start on Monday and I’m really looking forward to that, despite only having had a short break since my last exams in Glasgow. The papers I’m taking this semester as part of my zoology degree are Conservation Biology, Neurobiology, Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Freshwater Ecology. Next semester I’ll also take 4 papers: Environmental Physiology, Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology, Marine Ecology and Biology and Behaviour of Marine Vertebrates. I am required to take the quivalent of a full course load whilst I am here. A full course load at Otago consists of 3 papers each semester. This is the minimum you can do if you want an Honours degree. The maximum any student can do is 5 papers each semester.

I’m trying to make the most of my last weekend of freedom!

Tomorrow I’m going on a Taeiri Gorge railway trip with the other 1999 international students here, ending with a BBQ and having  a housewarming party on Friday (I actually have the nicest, brightest, lightest and largest room on campus with a turret window and an en suite bathroom in the most beautiful house on campus, one student referred to it as ‘the castle’!). On Saturday I’m going on a Monarch Wildlife Cruise and hopefully will see some dolphins, albatross and yellow-eyed penguins (the rarest penguin in the world).

I’m settling in well but can’t believe it’s July already, it’s going to be a quick year…

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