I’m Mel, a 20-something girl from Southwest Germany. I’m passionate about politics and web design. I also love books and music, spending time with my friends, cooking and baking. I enjoy being outdoors, although I don’t spend as much time outside as I’d like to.
My favourite place in New Zealand is Central Otago, especially the Maniototo area. My favourite places in Dunedin are the beaches and every spot that offers a decent view of the harbour and the city.
This is my third trip to New Zealand within the past five years and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
My first time in New Zealand was in 2008/2009 as part of my trip around the world. I was able to join Otago University for O-week 2009 when the student life was in full swing and Dunedin was celebrating the most exciting week of the year.
The singularity of its student culture really impressed me. I instantly knew: this is something I want to be part of!
Luckily, my parents supported my decision to study abroad. I started my degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in the second semester.
My first year was all about gaining first-hand experience in the Kiwi lifestyle. Although I had been travelling through New Zealand for around five months, I was mostly hanging out with fellow travellers, not with locals. This was different at university. I lived in two of Otago’s residential halls: the newly established City College and the oldest traditional hall Selwyn College.
What I love about Otago University is the rich student culture that is full of action and creativity.
I love that student life is concentrated in one place and always offers an opportunity to do something fun. I also have never been at a place where I could just walk down the street and be invited by a complete stranger into a flat to join for a party or a movie session.
Furthermore, the most beautiful landscape surrounds Dunedin.
You can go swimming and surfing at the beach, hiking and tramping on many walks that are just outside the city or a little further away.
Dunedin is close to many tourist attractions (Milford Sound, Queenstown, Moreaki Builders, Catlins, Steward Island and more) and your weekends will be busy exploring or just spending a good night out in the Octagon.
I’m about to start my last semester in Dunedin and over the next few months, I’ll share insights about my current life and lasting memories about this exciting and wonderful place. Stay tuned!