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English for Otago (EFO)

English for Otago offers a pathway to degree programmes at the University of Otago

The English Language Centre now offers the English for Otago programme online. Dates, entrance requirements and tuition fees will be the same as those for the programme run for students in New Zealand. It allows students who are unable to travel, or who are looking for a cost-effective option to study in their home country before travelling to start their future degree at the University of Otago. All classes will be delivered live online, so students will need to have a reliable, fast Internet connection and a good computer with a webcam and microphone. A headset, second monitor and a printer would also be useful.

Key advantages of the English for Otago programme

  • Pathway to Otago from your home country
  • Learn in a live virtual classroom with other international students from around the world
  • Interact with other students and teachers using the University of Otago’s online platforms
  • Make new friends with other students who will be studying at the University of Otago with you
  • Save money with no travel, visa or accommodation costs
  • Know whether you have passed before you travel to New Zealand
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English requirements for the University of Otago

There are no 'special examinations' for students who fail English for Otago.

Students must achieve a minimum of a 'C' grade to pass the English for Otago course.

In achieving this grade, students meet the English language requirements for admission to most undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at the University of Otago.

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Admission to English for Otago

This is an intensive course requiring a high entry standard. You are required to pass the entrance exam in order to enter EFO or have achieved the following English proficiency level before the course start date.

Entrance requirements

If you are not sitting the English for Otago entrance test, these are the entrance requirments:

Course Test Entrance Requirement
Undergraduate programme IELTS 5.5 (no band below 5.0)

IELTS Indicator 5.5 (no band below 5.0)*
TOEFL iBT 70 (writing 15)
Paper-based TOEFL 525 (TWE 4.0)
Computer-based TOEFL 193 (essay rating 4.0)
GCE O-Level English Grade C6
HKDSE English Level 2
HK ALE Use of English Grade D7
LanguageCert B2*
SPM Bahasa Inggris Grade 4
Pearson Test of English (Academic) PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36
English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 1
Postgraduate programme IELTS 6.0 (no band below 5.5)

IELTS Indicator 6.0 (no band below 5.5)*
TOEFL iBT 80 (writing 20)
Paper-based TOEFL 550 (TWE 4.5)
Computer-based TOEFL 213 (essay rating 4.5)
Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) Grade B
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) Grade C
HKDSE Level 4
APIEL (Advanced Placement International English Language) Examination Grade 3
GCE A-Level General Paper (English) Grade C or higher
International Baccalaureate
LanguageCert C1*
Pearson Test of English (Academic) PTE (Academic) score of 50 with no band score lower than 42
English New Zealand Accredited Pathway Assessment Level 2

* These test results are temporarily accepted for those applicants in countries where test centres are closed.

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Start dates, study load and assessment

Start dates

  • Mid-February to mid-June
  • Mid-October to mid-February

Study load

Full-time – 23 hours per week

Study period

15 weeks


Assessment is continous throughout the course.

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Information about University programmes

Before you study English for Otago papers, you should have an offer of place from the University of Otago International Office to be eligible for admission to an undergraduate or postgraduate programme.

Information about undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the University of Otago


Contact AskOtago
Tel 0800 80 80 98 or
+64 3 479 7000

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