Recent Adventures - A Semester In New Zealand
New Zealand is an island nation located southeast of Australia and compares in size to Colorado.
Bill McCloy, class of '03, decided to spend the fall semester of his junior
year studying at the Univeristy of Otago, centered in Dunedin, New Zealand.
The exchange program has ties to colleges and universities around the world
and offers the resources of one of the largest institutions in New Zealand.
Bill first noted that even on the southern, sunny island the unique climate
still allowed for skiing, hiking, swimming and kayaking. Having such a diverse
and rapidly-changing environment exposed the students to a rich array of ecosystems
from the Southern Alps, active volcanoes and glaciers to beaches, waterfalls
and tropical rainforests. The broad range of courses available at the University
allowed Bill to choose very specific class topics, including a New Zealand Plant
Ecology course, taught by a well-published professor who directed field trips
to several points of biological interest on the South Island. Because of New
Zealand's ecologically isolated nature, many of the species on the island have
been introduced, making the country a prime location to study invasive ecology.
New Zealand's population is less than 4 million, with approximately 80% of the
people living in the cities (most of which are located on the coastal plains).
The interior is dominated by a continuous mountain range with Mount Cook, the
highest point in the country, rising to 3,764 m. A favorable exchange rate allowed
Bill and several friends to purchase a travelling van which afforded them great
mobility. Whether it was hiking through the snow, kayaking among seals, examining
endemic plants or surfing the Tasman Sea, Bill was able to experience first-hand,
New Zealand's ecological treasures and has volumes of photo albums to prove
Learn more about the University of Otago's Exchange Program here.
A comprehensive site that covers any aspect
of New Zealand's government.
New Zealand Journal of Ecology.
New Zealand Conservation and Ecology Volunteer
Facts about New Zealand from the CIA
New Zealand Nationwide Links Directory.
Back to the ES Student
The University of Otago
A view of Mt. Cook, the highest point in NZ, from Muller Hut