Jake Hanrahan (21), from the United States, talks to
reporter Vaughan Elder about coming to Dunedin to study.
Jake Hanrahan (21) says after leaving behind 30cm of snow
in the United States, he is glad to be in sunny Dunedin.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from Iowa in the United States where I studied at
Iowa State University in a city called Ames.
Q: Why did you make the decision to study in
A: I am an international studies major and to finish the
degree you have to do a study abroad programme and University
of Otago is included as part of a partner programme back
home. A lot of students from my university have come here and
they had good impressions of the city. They gave me all the
information about the city and it looked like a great place
to come to.
Q: What did you know about Dunedin before you moved
A: I learnt a lot about the city from students who had
already been here. They said it was a really laid-back town,
a great place to live and very scenic. They also said the
weather was more stable than back home - it's not super hot,
it doesn't snow all that often, and I like that. There was a
foot [30cm] of snow on the ground when I left and it will be
100deg Fahrenheit [37.8degC] when I get back. I also did a
lot of looking myself.
Q: What are your impressions of the city so far?
A: I am loving it so far. We just spent two days at two
different beaches. We went down to Sandfly Bay and Tunnel
Beach - they were awesome. They [the people back home] were
right, it's a really laid-back town, my flatmates are great.
We have got three Kiwihosts who have been showing us around
and showing us different things to do.
Q: How different is Dunedin from back home?
A: There are parts that are really different and there
are parts that are much the same. Like the student culture is
about the same. The town I come from back home has got about
the same ratio of students to total population - so that's
really similar. But then you know there is obviously other
things that go on that aren't at all like at home, especially
driving on the wrong side of the road - or right side of the
road from a New Zealander's point of view.
Q: What do you hope to get out of your stay in
A: Just a better outlook on the world. It's great to meet
people from all over the world. I have travelled a little
bit, but not a lot. So, making new friends from every corner
of the world. It's really cool that there are people from so
many different countries at Otago University. Being able to
interact with people from around the world goes a long way
when it comes to getting a career.