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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 Dunedin?
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 here?
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 Dunedin?
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.