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Information for exchange students coming to Otago

Student having a laugh

This page is designed for exchange students nominated by one of the University of Otago Exchange partners. If your home university is not on this list, please see the International Office page.

The University and surroundings

The University of Otago is New Zealand's oldest university, founded in 1869. It has earned an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. Teaching at Otago is closely related to scholarly research, with the result that most teaching is undertaken by academics at the forefront of relevant knowledge.

As a student at New Zealand's oldest university you will become part of a unique educational experience. Otago's attractive campus is a mixture of historic and modern buildings located in the centre of Dunedin. The campus is a short walk from the city's central shopping and services.

Otago students rate its campus lifestyle as one of its strongest attractions. The students live as a community immediately around the campus area in student Colleges of Residence or self-catering flats.

Exchange requirements

  • Exchange students will study at the Dunedin campus.
  • Level of Exchange: Undergraduate/Graduate course work only.
  • Normally students are required to have a minimum “B” average grade (70%).
  • Students must be competent in the use and understanding of written and spoken English. See English requirements for international students.
  • Restricted programmes: Medicine, Dentistry, Psychiatry, Physiotherapy, Pharmacology, Pharmacy or any other clinical course are not open to exchange students. Some Otago courses such as MBA, Wildlife Management and Master of Science Communication are restricted in admissions.
  • Exchange duration: minimum Summer School or the Otago International School; maximum two semesters + Summer School or International School.


The University of Otago is renowned for its residential campus environment and you are encouraged to apply for Uniflats. All the University Flats are located within an easy walk of the University campus and main shopping centre. Students share the cleaning and cooking duties and usually shop together for the food. Rent fees include electricity, internet, bed linen, kitchen equipment, UniFlats community events and the services of the University Flats. Flatting expenses are shared with the other students in the flat and are not included in the rent.

See When and how to apply for Uniflats.

Cost of living

  • Cost of living
  • Exchange students may be required to pay Student Services Fee at Otago, depending on how this matter is covered in the Agreement between our Institutions.

Arrival and Orientation

Otago International Friendship Network

The Otago International Friendship Network matches new international students with enthusiastic, friendly Otago students to help you settle in and adjust to life at Otago.
Find out more and apply.

Disability Information and Support

Disability Information and Support provides learning support, advice, advocacy and information to students with permanent, recurring or temporary impairments.