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First Year Students

Get ahead in your first year at Otago

Doing well in your first year at university is the key to completing your degree, so getting a head-start on knowing how to succeed is important.

New to Otago V1

The University Of Otago's First-Year Students web page is a fantastic resource for all first year students and is a great place for you to get your bearings.

 It includes information about:

  • The differences between high school and university
  • What to expect and how to cope
  • Effective study strategies
  • Strategies for success
  • Where to find information

This page is a must see for all Otago first year students and those still at secondary school coming to Otago.

How can Student Learning Development support you in your first year?


Peer Writers 

Talk to our staff

Workshops 1st year filter

Preparing for first year (PDF format, 361KB)

Returning to study? Unistart @ Otago

If you left formal education some time ago, have had a gap year, or are coming to university for the first time as a "mature" student, we’ve designed an extra orientation programme for you. UniStart will give you the opportunity to network with other ‘mature students’,  and provides a friendly introduction to some aspects of University life, such as:

  • Surviving the first few weeks
  • Using technology
  • Study skills such as note-taking and finding information
  • Managing the first assignment
  • Balancing life and study

UniStart is a one-off three hour workshop offered in the first week of semester one each year.

Register for UniStart @ Otago

Locals Programme

The Student Learning Development team partner with the Locals Programme to offer academic support to all first year students living at home or in a flat.

If you are going to be a first year student at Otago next year and will be living at home, boarding or flatting here in Dunedin, why not sign up for the Locals Programme? Enrolments are open now and it’s free to join. In addition to academic support you will get access to different O-Week, and social events throughout the year and you can pick and choose as many events as you wish to attend.

Find out more about the Locals Programme  or check us out on Facebook

Other useful University of Otago links

University Services Directory

A complete list of all University Student Services