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Nihar Duggad

University of Otago graduate in International Business and passionate filmmaker from India. Passionate about the intersection of media & international business.

5 Best things about studying in New Zealand

Apart from the world-class education, top university ranking and an amazing global experience, here are my thoughts on some of the best things about studying in New Zealand as an international student.

Beautiful campus life

When I arrived in New Zealand it was my first international flight. Until that time, I had never traveled outside India. So, you can imagine the level of excitement I had.

Upon my arrival, the next day was the campus tour at Otago Business School, part of the University of Otago in Dunedin. I still remember I couldn’t stop video recording the beautiful campus throughout the campus tour. Let me explain to you, there is a river (yeah you heard it right), a river flowing through the campus right in the front of a beautiful clocktower surrounded by lush green trees and a bright blue sky. I was just awestruck.

So, I took advantage of the breathtaking sights and sounds of this green and lush campus life. I started doing my projects sitting right beside the river, sipping coffee from Café nearby with soft music in the background. This area on campus gradually become my adda (Indian word - favorite hangout place).

Not only was the Otago University campus beautiful, but the places close to the University were also really delightful and full of nature. There was the Dunedin Botanic Garden, lookout points and Signal Hill viewpoint within 2 kilometers radius of the University.

So, no matter how much stress I had of my assignment submissions, I would just go out and take a walk, and it would literally calm me down and freshen me to work again.

Walking distance to everything

I stayed in one of the ‘Uniflats’, which was just two blocks away from the University. It would just take a maximum of 10 minutes’ walk to reach the Otago Business School where my classes were held.

Not only was the Business School close to me, but the recreational center, libraries and supermarkets all were at a walking distance from my Uniflat. In addition to my accommodation being really close to campus, the walk to class were always really refreshing as it was through the beautiful Otago campus past the trees and over a bridge.

Choosing to study in Dunedin was also great for me it was really handy having accommodation only a short walk to campus and other amenities. With accommodation so close I had more time to study or do additional classes of my interest, and everything was always nearby, full of nature and never crowded or congested.

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Student Accommodation at Walking distance from the University

Abundance of study Resources

Finishing my first assignment was the most difficult task as it involved a lot of research, for which I needed good study resources and help.

I then just went to the Central Library and asked for help. It was at that time I came to know that there are seven different libraries around the university with thousands of books. Apart from this, I was also able to access a lot of research papers for free from the University ID.

One thing I really liked about the libraries were the study rooms, all of which are equipped with projectors or LCD screens to rehearse presentations.

So, before the big day of class presentation or just to have chit-chat with my uni friends, I would just book a study room.  Not all our intentions were for study, To be honest, we once watched a movie in there too since the facilities were really good.

Discovering the Kiwi experience

When I first arrived, I took the first few months to settle down, work on some really big assignments but soon enough I started taking out time to explore activities that I haven’t explored yet.

On the weekend I took a bus to Saint Clair beach in Dunedin, which was a 30-minute’ ride. Next thing I knew was I was surfing the waves (well, almost). This was new for me. Although I didn’t become a pro surfer, I ticked off surfing experience in my bucket list of all the things I wanted to do and explore in New Zealand’s scenic South Island, a paradise for those who love nature and the outdoors.

This is one of the many experiences that were a complete surprise for me. Since then I went and saw penguins at the Otago Peninsula, tryed my hand at archery, participating in Inter-college Filmmaking Competition and watched a rugby match in the stadium.

The best part was that all these experiences were just a short drive or bus away.

Quick escape Destinations – A drive away

As soon as my first semester ended, I was ready to explore other cities, places and landscapes during my winter break.

I thought at first it would be expensive to travel, but it was not. Me and my three friends (after long calculations) decided that renting a car would be cheaper than any other mode of travel.

What really amazed us was that it was super easy to rent a car. All we required was our Driver’s License, and we were good to go! Our first destination to explore was Queenstown, one of the most popular tourist spots in New Zealand.

Before moving here, I always wanted to travel to Queenstown and experience the many outdoor adventure sports and activities there, but it was always too far away from my home in India.

But now, it was just 3.5 hours’ drive away and hence began the quest for road trips. I first went to Queenstown, then the small town of Wanaka and then the amazing mountains, waterfalls and glaciers at Milford Sound & Fiordland National Park.

Now it’s really difficult for me to stop doing these road trips with everything so close to me, wait I have to go…  Vroooommmm…

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