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Application information for International students

Welcome to the Department of Geography at Otago. We have many international students from around the world studying here, and we know how to help you find your way around. Here are a few facts and links you may find helpful:

The academic year in New Zealand begins in late February. Unless you are taking a degree that has no classes (e.g., PhD), you must apply by 10 December, and arrive in mid-February.

The university has an excellent International Office that will coordinate your arrival and help you to set up a base in Dunedin.

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Have a look through our academic staff profiles for a more information on the kinds of research staff in the department is most closely involved with. It's often best to contact the staff member(s) whose interests seem close to yours by email asking about possible projects, the supervisor’s expectations of students, and the supervisor’s availability over the course of the research. An important source of information is other research students. It is important at the outset to establish that the financial or laboratory resources are available to complete the planned research. Generally, the greater the shared interest in the topic of the thesis project, the more likely it is that both the student and the supervisor will be stimulated to work together productively., and have a chat with them.

Our postgraduate students' profile pages are also a good place to look for information on the kinds of projects our post grads are working on.

Be sure to check the department's research framework for ideas on the kind of work we're currently undertaking.

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Planning your travel around semester dates and exams

Before you finalise your travel, please check key dates such as semester and exam periods at Otago. These are set by the University and cannot be changed. Students must arrive at the start of semester, if taking papers and should plan to stay until the end of the exam period. See here for key dates

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Applying to Otago is a simple process. All you need to do is:

  1. Complete the online application (follow the link and click the qualification you wish to apply for)
  2. Meet the University of Otago's entrance requirements
  3. Meet the University of Otago's English requirements

When applying, you need to include the following with your application:

  • A detailed research proposal that shows you are familiar with current literature surrounding your topic.
  • An up-to date curriculum vitae.
  • The name of the academic staff member with whom you have been in contact.
  • An approximate start date.

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Documents you will need to provide

Gather and scan your supporting documents before you start. As you go through the online application, you will be required to upload your supporting documents as follows:

  • You are required to provide scanned copies of your previous official academic transcripts (awards gained, marks, grades) with your application. High school results are not necessary.
  • You may also be required to submit an Educational Credential Evaluators report (ECE). If this applies to you, your application will not be assessed until your ECE report has been received by us. If you choose to submit your application through one of our approved agents an ECE report may not be necessary. Official University of Otago representatives & agents
  • You are required to provide proof of your identity; this is usually achieved by providing a certified copy of the personal details page of your passport or a birth certificate (in English). A scanned document may be uploaded in the first instance, but a 'hard copy' original or certified version of that document will be required in order to complete your enrolment. What is a certified/notarised copy?

As soon as you have completed your online application, your proof of identity document must be posted to:

International Division
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand


The International office will contact you directly if additional information is required.

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