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University of Otago

Dunedin, New Zealand

Dunedin, New Zealand

Program sponsor: University of Otago

Snowy Mountain in New Zealand
Hiking in New Zealand
Beach in New Zealand

As a direct university enrollment program, 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. 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.

Begin Application Process

Program Requirements


  • Open to students from all majors with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Junior or senior year standing at the start of the program.


  1. Apply for permission to study abroad
    All students are required to apply for permission to study abroad. Learn more about the process, deadlines, and access the application on the apply to study abroad page.
  2. Apply for your study abroad program
    All affiliated programs and all Northwestern exchange programs require an additional external program application. Please check the program’s website for more details and deadlines.

Term notes

  • This program follows the New Zealand academic calendar: Fall quarter program begins in early July and ends in mid-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.
  • Otago offers a "Summer School," which takes place from early January to mid-February. Students participating in Otago's Winter/Spring quarters are eligible to add on the "Summer School" program. Please contact the Global Learning Office for further instructions.


Course enrollment requirements

You must enroll in the following points:

  • Fall quarter: 54-72 points
  • Winter/Spring quarters: 54-72 points
  • Full year: 108-144 points

Otago-Northwestern credit conversion:

  • 54 points of transferable courses: eligible to earn 7 units at Northwestern
  • 72 points of transferable courses: eligible to earn 9 units at Northwestern

Program Contacts

Estimated Credit

  • 6 to 8 Northwestern units
  • Visit Registration & Credit to learn more about credit types and requirements, registration, and other considerations.


Self-catered university flats with a Kiwi host and other international students. Review Otago's University Flat webpage for details of what's included in your flat.

Program Cost

Study abroad program costs vary widely and may be more or less expensive than studying at Northwestern. Review the comparison.

Fall 2019: approx. $19,277

Estimated Additional Costs
  • Housing: $3,190
  • Meals: $1,110
  • Airfare: $1,700
  • Local transportation: $150
  • Books & supplies: $200
  • Personal expenses: $1,325
  • New Zealand insurance: $205
  • GeoBlue: $228

Total: $8,108

*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.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

  • Financial aid is based on the total cost of the program, including all expenses outlined above.
  • Visit the University of Otago website for information about their available scholarships. 
  • Students are also encouraged to apply for other study abroad scholarships.

Program Financial Details

This section outlines some of the billing and financial arrangements for the University of Otago, and is intended as a guide to help you navigate the financial aspects of your study abroad process. You should always refer to your program materials for the most current information and instructions.


After you are accepted to Otago, you may be required to pay a deposit directly to confirm your participation on the program. If required, it is your responsibility to pay the deposit; Northwestern cannot pay or waive deposits for affiliated programs.

Student Visa Financial Certification

As part of the New Zealand student visa application, you may need to provide documentation that you will be supported financially for the duration of your time abroad. This may require bank statements from your parents and/or a financial aid award letter; review your visa application instructions carefully to be sure you are providing the appropriate documentation.

If you primarily fund your education through financial aid and/or loans, you may contact Krista Bethel in the financial aid office to request a letter of financial support from Northwestern.

Northwestern Invoice

Your Northwestern invoice will be issued through CAESAR on the regular quarterly schedule, and will include only your Otago tuition and the NU study abroad fee. Refer to your program materials for the most current cost information.

As noted above, Northwestern will send your tuition payment to Otago via wire transfer. The exact U.S. Dollar amount of tuition you are charged through CAESAR will depend on the exchange rate when the wire transfer is processed.

If you receive financial aid and/or loans from Northwestern, these funds will continue to apply directly to your CAESAR account.

If you use the Northwestern 9PAY plan, you may continue to use 9PAY for your NU-billed study abroad expenses, but you should request a study abroad 9PAY estimate to have your plan set up appropriately.

Otago Invoice

You will receive separate invoices through the University of Otago's online portals for your University Flat housing and New Zealand's mandated Student-Safe Insurance, as follows:

  • Student Safe Insurance payment: You will be billed and can make payment through your eVision portal for Student Safe.
  • University Flat housing payment:  You must pay monthly rent. Review UniFlats FAQs for information on methods of payment.

It is your responsibility to pay Otago directly by their deadline.

Additional fees may apply for certain courses, housing add-ons, field trips or other optional items related to your program. If applicable, you are responsible for paying any supplemental fees directly.

Program Website