Arriving in Dunedin

Kia ora!

On June 28th, I started my journey to the University of Otago. I couldn’t believe that after more than half a year of planning and talking about studying abroad I was finally going to be there. Prior to leaving, I had run into a couple of Kiwis at the restaurant I work at over the summer. They were so excited to hear that I was studying abroad in New Zealand that they even gave me their number just in case I ran into any problems during my stay. From this experience and simply hearing other people talk about New Zealand, I couldn’t wait to finally experience it myself. Though the overall excitement of getting there, I also felt anxious about finding my way there. I was mostly worried because it was my first time traveling internationally and I was doing it alone.

The flight to Dunedin was simply beautiful. Because it was an early flight, the sun was just rising behind the mountains on the North Island and the sky was engulfed in an orange glow. Despite the scenery, I fell quickly asleep knowing that in just a few short hours I was going to be arriving in Dunedin. When I woke up, we were flying over an array of snowcapped mountains which I soon learned were the Southern Alps. Simply put, it was beautiful. The sun was just starting to rise above the peaks and it revealed the snowcapped pointed mountains of the Southern Alps and the clear blue sky above.

I was the first one of my flatmates to arrive at my apartment. It was a two-story apartment that was less than a minute walk from campus. If I could describe it in one word, it would be “homey”. My room had a window just above the bed tucked into a cubby hole that was big enough for two people to sit inside. I decorated my room with pictures and tapestries I had brought from home and settled into what would be my new home for the next five months.

The next week was spent meeting my flatmates, friends, and finding my way around Dunedin. On the first full day I spent in Dunedin, my “Kiwi host” took me on a tour of the city of Dunedin. He showed me all of the top tourist destinations in Dunedin including Signal Hill, St.Clair beach,  The Octagon, Baldwin Street, and the Dunedin Botanic Garden.

St Clair Beach; only minutes from the city centre, this sweeping surf beach is a place to walk, swim, surf or dine out.
St Clair Beach
Top of Signal Hill; compact green space offering panoramic vistas, BBQ & picnic areas & walking paths.
Top of Signal Hill

Everyone here has been so nice and everything has been so beautiful that I can’t believe I’ll be living here for the next few months! I feel so lucky to have this experience and I’m looking forward to my time here!