Anna was studying a Masters in Marine Science at the University of Otago
“What made me choose Otago? I was keen to study in a new country, and New Zealand had always attracted me. Then, when I looked into it, I found Otago has the best reputation for marine science (and all scientific research) in NZ.
“I arrived a month before term – my sister and I bought a car in Auckland and did a road trip from north to south island. My first impressions of the country have stayed with me – Kiwis are just the friendliest, most chilled-out people and the country is totally stunning.
“I’ve found my course really positive. A couple of my papers have been practical-based – one looking at different skills within marine science (chemistry, physical oceanography, plankton/benthic biology, geology etc) and the other a subtidal ecology diving paper where we dived extensively around Dunedin, then went and stayed on the department’s research vessel for a week of diving at Stuart Island – an amazing experience. Now I’m into the research side of my masters and have been lucky enough do many fieldtrips around Fiordland with lots of diving and fishing, learning new skills.
“The facilities here are great. Otago has a very good library and excellent online facilities such as electronic journals – it’s way better than when I was at Edinburgh University! There’s lots going on too, particularly in Orientation week when they get excellent Kiwi bands like Fat Freddy’s Drop in.
“Otago is in the perfect location – the peninsula has loads of seals, penguins, albatrosses and sea lions, huge white sandy beaches, great surfing (if you can handle cold!), and snowboarding and skiing just three hours away. Fiordland and Stuart Island are close by – they have some of the most remote, untouched marine environments.
“My advice to someone thinking of studying here? Go for it!”