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Student exchange programme for Psychology students

As a student in the Department of Psychology, you may have the opportunity to do a semester or a full year of your study overseas as part of the University's Student Exchange Programme.

If you are considering an overseas exchange, please see the University student exchange web page for general information.

If you plan on taking Psychology papers while you are away and would like these to count towards your Otago Psychology degree, there is specific information that you need to know. Please read the important information given here carefully.

Please note: This information only applies to current University of Otago Psychology students who wish to spend a semester or a year overseas. If you are an overseas student wanting to come to University of Otago on exchange, please refer to the information provided by the International Office on ther University's Student Exchange Programme.

Acceptable exchange partners for Psychology

Not all the University's exchange partners offer Psychology papers that can be credited towards an Otago degree. Below you will find a list of University exchange partners that the Psychology Department approves for overseas study.

Find out more about Partner Universities for Psychology


  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Western Australia


  • Brock University
  • Dalhousie University
  • McGill University
  • Mt Allison University
  • Queen's University
  • University of Albert
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario


  • University of Bristol
  • University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Manchester


  • University College Dublin


  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Strathclyde


  • Boston College
  • University of California
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Florida International University
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Virginia


  • Cardiff University

When is the best time to apply for exchange?

The earliest you will be able to go on exchange is in your third semester at Otago. In general, we recommend that students majoring in Psychology go on exchange when they are in their third year (or when they are taking 300-level papers, if in a double degree) as it is easiest to find appropriate 300-level Psychology papers overseas. However, please note that to fulfil the requirements for your Psychology major, you must complete at least two of your 300-level Psychology papers at Otago – meaning you cannot spend your entire third year on exchange if you are a single degree student.

If you are hoping to apply for postgraduate studies in Psychology there are additional considerations, as you need to complete PSYC 311 or an approved equivalent. Please note that not all exchange partners offer a paper equivalent to PSYC 311, so if you want to go on exchange and also plan to apply for postgraduate Psychology, it is best to plan ahead. Please contact the Psychology Exchange Adviser to discuss your options.

What happens if I am accepted into the Exchange Programme?

Congratulations! Now that you are accepted to study at one of the Universities approved by Psychology, there are a few things you need to take care of. Read ALL your information (acceptance letters, Learning Agreement etc.) very carefully and follow through on the instructions given to you in preparation for your overseas study. In reading, you will see that you need to get approval from the Department for papers that you will take while overseas. Departmental approval is critical if you wish the overseas papers to count towards your Otago Psychology degree. Read on.

How do I go about getting approval from the Department of Psychology?

Once you are accepted into the Exchange Programme and have an overseas university, there are a number of steps you need to take. DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO THE LAST MINUTE! Aim to complete these steps at least 3 weeks before your Learning Agreement needs to be signed.

Step 1: Email the Psychology Exchange Adviser and indicate

  • which university you will be attending overseas
  • how many semesters you will be studying overseas (S1, S2 or full year)
  • what year of Psychology you will be studying while away (200-level or 300-level)
  • whether you are majoring or minoring in Psychology
  • which Psychology subjects you have already completed / will complete at Otago before heading overseas

Step 2: Put together information to give to the Psychology Exchange Adviser

This should include:

  • a wish list of papers that you would like to study overseas and any available information about those papers, e.g., a description of the paper content and assessment
  • information regarding the standard course load at the overseas university (i.e., how many credit points do their full-time student need to take in one semester?)
  • a copy of your student record

This information should be provided to the Psychology Exchange Adviser well in advance of any meeting with the Adviser.

It is a good idea to get approval for more papers than you plan to take. For example, if you need to take two 300-level Psychology papers on exchange, you should prepare a list of 4-5 potential papers. This will give you options in case you cannot enrol in your preferred paper (e.g., because it is cancelled or full when you arrive overseas).

Step 3: Make an appointment with the Psychology Exchange Adviser to

  • discuss your overseas paper selection
  • arrange for approval and signing of your Learning Agreement

Can I take any papers I want?

All papers need to be approved. We try to strike a balance between papers that resemble Otago Psychology papers and papers that are not on offer at Otago. This is what you will discuss with your Psychology Exchange Adviser.

I am a Psychology student, but I don't plan on taking any Psychology papers when I am away. Do I still need to see the Psychology Exchange Adviser?

Yes. You need to have your overseas study approved by the Psychology Exchange Adviser. When you complete Step 1 above, let the adviser know that you are not taking any Psychology papers while on exchange.

The Psychology Exchange Adviser

Dr Vanessa Beanland