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Source: University of Otago

Earlier this month seven Otago students set off on their exchange to Australian universities and 25 exchange students from Australia arrived at the Dunedin campus.
Restrictions on allowing international students into New Zealand has been one of the many COVID-19 curveballs to impact tertiary institutes.
The Otago Global Student Exchange programme faced a challenging year in 2020.
Just weeks into semester 1, 120 Otago exchange students returned to New Zealand in the wake of the emerging pandemic. This year is looking a little different to previous ones but with the Trans-Tasman bubble, students have been able to again take up the opportunity to study abroad.
Manager of International Student Services Danielle Yamamoto Kerr says the programme is a highlight for many students and one she’s thrilled can still go ahead this year.
“When the Trans-Tasman bubble was announced the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia were quick to get in touch with us. Applications had to be processed quickly but it is just lovely to have the students here now.”

“It’s so expensive in Melbourne so everyone just lives with their parents. Here you get to know people so much easier with the student houses and flats. It’s a very different university culture.”

Earlier this month seven Otago students set off on their exchange to Australian universities and 25 exchange students from Australia arrived at the Dunedin campus.
“There was a lot to think of in a rapidly changing environment. We had to consider things such as students travel insurance and having the housing available for visiting students– as we have more domestic students this year.
“It’s wonderful for the students. Some of them have been waiting over 18 months for this and had to put their previous plans on pause. For a number of them it’s their last chance to participate in an exchange programme.”
Grace Hyslop and Georgia Seitanidi from the University of Melbourne are looking forward to a semester here at Otago.
Grace Hyslop is a second-year Biomedicine student from the University of Melbourne and says she’s excited to get to travel.
“I was originally going to Canada but that got cancelled. When we got offered Otago it just worked in perfectly with my plans to travel for the second year of my studies.
“I’m taking a few electives in English, Event Management and Science while I’m here too. I’m looking forward to it.”
Georgia Seitanidi who is also a second-year Biomedicine student from the University of Melbourne has been pleasantly surprised at how different tertiary life in New Zealand is compared to Australia.
“It’s so expensive in Melbourne so everyone just lives with their parents. Here you get to know people so much easier with the student houses and flats. It’s a very different university culture.
“I’m excited to be in a place where I can travel and I’m looking forward to seeing snow, being in nature and hiking.”
The exchange programme allows an Otago student to switch with a student at a participating international university for a more affordable international student experience.

MIL OSI