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This information is for new international students (currently offshore or already in New Zealand) who are preparing to start studies on campus at Otago.

Follow the steps below to complete your enrolment for studies starting on campus.

Step 1 – Accept your admission offer in eVision

Accept your offer in eVision so that we know you are coming to Otago and we can get ready for your arrival!

Step 2 – Pay your tuition fees

Your admission Offer of Place will include an estimate* of the tuition fees you will pay.

To avoid delays, we encourage you to pay the estimated amount set out in your offer letter.

You must pay your tuition fees before you apply for your visa. A receipt confirming payment of tuition fees will be required for your student visa application.

*Note that the exact cost of your tuition fees will depend on the specific papers you will study, which may take time to finalise. We therefore recommend you pay your tuition based on the estimated fee set out in your offer letter, to avoid any unnecessary delays for visa processing.

Scholarship students

If you have been awarded a scholarship, you should pay the tuition fee amount minus the scholarship amount.

Your scholarship will be applied to your fees account after you have completed your enrolment and declaration. Do not be concerned that you have not paid the full amount in your fees account.

Requesting a fees receipt

Once you have made your payment, request your official tuition fee receipt (required for student visa purposes) via the AskOtago Service Portal:

Log an enquiry with AskOtago

Further information about paying tuition fees

Note: The eVision fees receipt is not sufficient for your visa application.

Exchange and Study Abroad students

Exchange students do not pay tuition to the University of Otago. Study Abroad students may have a different process for tuition payment – please check with your home institute or Study Abroad provider.

Step 3 – Apply for your student visa

All international students must have a visa valid for study at the University of Otago, with the correct location of campus and programme of study specified.

It is your responsibility to ensure you hold a valid visa and passport.

Students offshore and in New Zealand must apply for their student visa online through the Immigration New Zealand website. The University of Otago's Student Visa Services will provide assistance and support to students making visa applications where possible.

To apply for your student visa you need to include a pdf of your offer letter (admission Offer of Place). You can download a PDF from eVision. To do this, look in the 'Actions' column and if you can see an 'Offer of Place' link, download your offer from there. If you don't have the 'Offer of Place' link, do the following:

  1. Click on 'Tasks to complete'
  2. Find the alert that starts "A decision has been made…" (note: you may have to click on Previous alerts)
  3. Download your offer

Find out more from our student visa team or

Contact Immigration New Zealand for immigration advice or to check on your application.

Common visa questions

What does the 120 credits question mean? Where/what are the term and vacation dates?

Your offer of place will cover Immigration New Zealand's requirement for both vacation dates and the 120 credits question.

Please upload your offer of place letter again for this requirement.

Does my course need to be approved in order to apply for a visa?

No, you do not have to wait for course approval to submit your visa application.

It is helpful to start paper (course) selection, and submit for course approval as soon as possible, but that process does not affect the visa application.

Step 4 – Healthcare and insurance

The New Zealand Government requires all international students to have appropriate medical and travel insurance during their period of study.

What you need to know about insurance at Otago

Studentsafe Inbound University is Otago's recommended insurance policy.

You can take out another policy but it must be compliant for studying at Otago. Contact our insurance team for advice:


Step 5 – Select your papers in eVision

You need to select the papers (courses) you wish to study for the year through your eVision portal.

The system will guide you through the process by suggesting papers relevant to your programme. Once you have selected your papers, please remember to submit them for approval.

We strongly recommend you choose your papers in eVision and submit them for approval before you arrive on campus.

More information about selecting your papers

Study Abroad and Exchange students (studying the Certificate of Proficiency) often select papers that require 'Special Permission' and it is common that all of your papers may require Special Permission. For more information on this process, refer to instructions on requesting Special Permission:

Requesting Special Permission – AskOtago Service Portal

Course approval of your paper selection must be completed as part of the enrolment process. The timeframe for course approval can vary depending on when you submit your paper selection and any special permissions or departmental reviews involved.

There will still be opportunities to change your paper selection at a later date if you need (e.g. you change your mind, there is a paper better suited to your study goals, or a timetable clash, etc).

Help with planning your degree and selecting papers

Useful information to help you plan your degree

For students currently at a New Zealand high school, contact your Schools' Liaison officer

For other students, contact Student Development:

Email (with subject line: International Student - Course Advice)

Step 6 – Compulsory international enrolment and orientation seminar

Before your enrolment can be completed, you must attend an international enrolment and orientation seminar, where you will present your passport and student visa.

The orientation and enrolment seminar is compulsory for all international students – you cannot commence studying at Otago without attending one.

Information about upcoming orientation sessions for new international students are published on our International Student Orientation webpage.

Step 7 – Course declaration

Most students complete their course declaration at the end of their enrolment and orientation seminar. Once you have course declared you will have full access to University resources – welcome to Otago!

Students with any issues will be assisted to complete all requirements and final course declaration.

Do you have questions?

If you have questions, contact AskOtago who will answer your question or put you in touch with someone that can.

Use the AskOtago Service Portal


Other useful information

Help – university has a whole new language!

If you are confused about what words mean, or what you need to do, go to the Prepare to Enrol pages.


Learn more about your study timetable with our handy video and other information

Changing papers

What you need to do to change your papers will depend on where you are in the enrolment process.

Changing papers

The deadlines for making changes to your paper selection

More information on changing your course

Important: remember that while you might be able to change your papers, your degree must remain the same as the one for which you got your visa.

Studying ECOL 313, GEOL 252 and GEOL 344?

These papers start earlier! If you are studying one of these paper, make sure you check out all the paper information at the following links and get in touch with the paper coordinator if you have any concerns about the early start:

ECOL 313 – Ecology Field Course

GEOL 252 – Field Studies and New Zealand Geology

GEOL 344 – Advanced Field Studies

What if I don't get University Entrance?

If you have attended high school in New Zealand and did not get university entrance (UE), contact the Schools' Liaison team for advice.


If you have attended an overseas high school and did not get university entrance (UE) you may be able to study our Pathway options instead.


Important information for first-year students

Otago's website includes a section dedicated to first-year students. You'll find plenty of useful information, including a couple of really important things:

1. Academic Orientation and preliminary lectures

Academic Orientation is a week of academic events to help you settle into university life.

Details about Academic Orientation week

2. Blackboard

Depending on the papers you are enrolled in, Otago uses Blackboard and Moodle to keep in touch with students in the class and share important resources. You will also be part of the International Students Blackboard page where we share important news and information just for international students.

If you have not seen the International Students link appear in your Blackboard homepage by the end of the first week of lectures, contact our support team.


US Financial Aid

If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen you may be eligible for U.S. Financial Aid for studies at the University of Otago.

Information about U.S. Financial Aid

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