Skip to content

Arrival & Orientation

Arrival date

The College will be open for arrival from 9:00 am Saturday, 18 February 2023. All Members must be in residence by 4:00 pm on Sunday, 19 February 2023 when we hold a special welcoming reception and BBQ for Members and their families.

Some early arrivals (i.e. before 18 February 2023) may be allowed on an exceptional basis and they must be approved in advance by the Head of College. In such cases, the reasons for requiring an early arrival must be clearly stated; normally they will relate to University-related commitments. Please note that, should an early arrival be approved, an additional daily charge will apply.

Arriving at St Margaret’s

When you arrive at the College, the St Margaret’s College Leaders and returning Members will be looking out for you, help you with your bags, issue you with a key and take you to your room. They will arrange to show you around the College and introduce you to others on your floor.

If you are arriving by car, parking is available on the University campus immediately in front of the College but only on Saturday and Sunday. Please do not park there on week-days during office hours; your car will be towed away at your own expense.

What to Bring (or Get)

Clothing, shoes, a towel (or two), crockery and glassware (for your personal use in your floor’s kitchen), clothes pegs, laundry bag/basket, coat hangers, pins (for the pinboard in your room), hair dryers, shavers and sensible wet/cold weather gear (jacket or parka, maybe an umbrella).

Regarding bed linen, please note that the College supplies sheets, blankets, bedspreads and pillows. College-supplied sheets are changed and laundered weekly. Please note that if you bring your own linen (you are welcome to do so if you wish), you will be responsible for laundering it.

The College is a warm place with an excellent central heating system. There are heaters in every bedroom; you will not be cold inside our buildings.

There are power outlets in bathrooms for shavers and hair dryers. All electrical equipment, power cords and charges must comply with New Zealand safety standards. The College may arrange for electrical equipment to be tested and tagged for insurance purposes.

Things Not to Bring

Do not bring toasters, electric jugs, heaters, grills, electric blankets or irons. These items are banned from rooms for safety reasons. All floors have kitchens, fridges, stoves, electric jugs, microwave ovens, irons and ironing boards.


During the first week, a wonderful programme is arranged to help orientate new Members to the College and University.

Please note that this College does not have initiation ceremonies. Rather, the Members’ Association Executive (referred to as the Exec) and College Leaders organise various social and fun events where you will meet others in a friendly and non-threatening manner. You will also be given a tour of the University campus so that you know where to go for course advice, preliminary lectures, etc.

Some of the College’s fun events include social games, a scavenger hunt, our very own toga party and dinner, Greek games, floor olympics, a quiz night, and a movie night.

On the more serious side, you’ll attend the University’s Convocation Ceremony at the Forsyth Barr Stadium just down the road, a UNIO101 talk, a wellness talk and preliminary lectures (on the final Friday of Orientation Week). The College also volunteers for a community service project during the week.

The Otago University Students Association (OUSA) organises its own events during Orientation Week which you may or may not wish to attend.