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Academic information for exchange students coming to Otago

Student looking away smiling

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.

Academic information

  • Language of instruction: English. See English requirements.
  • Courses at Otago are called 'papers'.
  • While there is no limit on the number of students accepted to a particular course, entry to any course is based on relevant academic background.
  • University of Otago grading Scale

Level of courses

  • 100: often first year papers; most have no pre-requisites.
  • 200 and 300 (2nd and 3rd year): you must meet prerequisites to take these courses at Otago.
  • 400 and above: Honours/Graduate level papers.

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Explore courses

Course load requirement

Exchange students are required to maintain a full time student status while at Otago.

  • Minimum Course Load: 54 Points per semester (3 papers).
  • Recommended Course Load: 54-72 Points per semester (3 or 4 papers).
  • Only in exceptional circumstances an Otago Academic Advisor will approve a programme of 5 papers per semester.
  • Otago workload information
  • Law: students from non-English speaking countries or from a civil law background can take maximum of 3 Law papers (45 points) per semester. A 4th paper will be required in order to fulfil the minimum 54 points immigration requirement.

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Academic dates

  • Academic Year: February to November
  • Semester One: February to June
  • Semester Two: July to November
  • Summer School: January to February
  • International School: June – July
  • Key Otago dates

Prepare for Otago

The University of Otago offers a free course for new exchange students in February only. The course focusing on study, language and cultural skills. Limited number of places available. You are encouraged to apply early.
Prepare for Otago application form.

In 2020 the Prepare for Otago course will be held from 10 February - 14 February.

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Examination period

Please check when the examination period ends at Otago prior to booking your return flight. Students must sit their final exams on the Otago campus.

Otago transcripts

Official grades are available to students online as soon as grades are released. Your Otago transcripts will be sent to your home University at the end of your study at Otago. Transcripts are usually posted in:
March (Summer School); July (Semester One); December (Semester Two).

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