It looks as though, barring an unforeseen obstacle, that we will indeed be traveling to Dunedin in Aotearoa next semester as I begin Ph.d. studies. It was a bit difficult to get motivated to go through this process again after our experience in Ireland, however, my window of opportunity is narrow. If I don’t begin Ph.d. studies next semester I would have little choice but to put off the start of Ph.d. work until fall of 2009. Fortunately the enthusiasm expressed by the faculty at the University of Otago has been infectious and my initial reluctance to go through another three months of planning and preparation has vanished.
My wife and daughter are excited as well after talking to some people from New Zealand who are currently teaching and studying at our college. I’ve located a school for our daughter which is very close to the university, and they quickly replied to my email inquiry with word that they would be happy to accept her. As I am there as a Ph.d. student, she is entitled to be treated as a resident (i.e., free tution) by law. All forms are currently in the mail, as are our accommodation applications. Unlike Ireland, New Zealand requires student and visitor visa be acquired before arrival there. I actually feel better about this as it feels there is a bit less randomness and risk upon arrival.