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University of Otago

University of Otago website  (map)

Sponsor: University of Otago

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand


Founded in 1869, the University of Otago is New Zealand's oldest university, best known for its strong departments of environmental and conservation studies and geological and earth sciences.  As a direct university enrollment program, Northwestern students experience first-hand what it’s like to be a student in New Zealand, with access to nearly all the same opportunities and courses as Kiwi students and the University of Otago International Office for support.

A wide variety of course options are available, ranging from anthropology, Maori studies, film & media studies, and theatre studies to ecology, genetics, biochemistry, bioethics, business, and psychology. Review Otago's Guide to Enrolment for specific course options. Located on South Island and close to the Otago Peninsula, famous for its colonies of yellow-eyed and blue penguins, in New Zealand's only true university city, University of Otago is ideal for independent students who are looking to immerse fully into regular Kiwi life.

Program Type: Affiliated


  • Full Year
  • Fall
  • Winter/Spring

Term Notes: This program follows the New Zealand academic calendar: Fall Quarter begins in early July and ends in November. Winter/Spring Quarters begin in early February and end in late June. Full Year is either February through November (the New Zealand academic year) or early July through late June (the U.S. academic year). Students may choose either option.


  • Junior or Senior year standing at the start of the program

Credit Enrollment Requirements:

Read Choosing Courses to Take Abroad for information about maintaining a full-time course load while abroad. At Otago, students must enroll in the following:

  • Fall Quarter:  54-72 points
  • Winter+Spring Quarters:  54-72 points
  • Full Year: 108-144 points.

Credit Conversion:

Admission Info:
To apply, Northwestern students must: 

  1. Complete a Northwestern Study Abroad Application by the appropriate deadline
  2. Complete an Otago application by the program's deadline

Summer Session at Otago:  Otago offers a "Summer Session", which takes place in the month of January.  Students participating in Otago's Winter/Spring quarters are eligible for the Summer Session program and must submit a Northwestern Summer Study Abroad Application in addition to the Northwestern Academic Year Application. Northwestern students are not eligible to apply to Otago's Summer Session as a stand-alone program. Contact the Study Abroad Office with any questions.

Languages: English


Self-catered university flats with a Kiwi host and other international students.

Program Costs: 

Fall 2016: approx. $20,410

Billed by Northwestern:

Estimated additional costs: $8,290

  • Housing: $3,100
  • Meals: $1,100
  • Airfare: $1,800
  • Local transportation: $135
  • Books & supplies: $210
  • Personal expenses: $1,550
  • New Zealand insurance: $205
  • GeoBlue: $190

*Note: This is a direct enrollment program. Northwestern will send your tuition payment to Otago via wire transfer. The exact amount of tuition you are charged by Northwestern will depend on the exchange rate when the wire transfer is processed. All other estimates above are in U.S. Dollars.

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