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Student support services

We are here to help you

Otago’s Student Support team is here to help you settle in to life in Dunedin, provide support and advice about health and wellbeing, help with your student visa and enjoy your time at Otago.

Our dedicated Student Support Team works closely with all students and is always available to help you deal with any problems you encounter.

There are no problems too big or too small for our Student Advisers who help with issues such as:

  • Visas and insurance
  • Students under 18 years old
  • Cultural differences
  • General well-being
  • Grief
  • How to make a complaint
  • Homesickness
  • Motivation
  • Referrals to other agencies
  • Family and relationship issues
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Addictions

We will listen to you, give advice if needed, and help you make contact with others who may help. It is very important you understand that anything you say is confidential, and will not be passed on to anybody else. The Student Support Team is also the person to see if you want to make a complaint. They will help you go through the procedure and offer support to you.

We also have a counsellor on site one day per week who is available by appointment – see the Student Support team for more information.

Phone +64 3 479 5711 or +64 3 479 5253

Learn more about Otago’s student and academic services, from course advice to health and well-being, to spiritual support, to student learning development.

Student and academic services

After office hours help and support

After office hours, or if you need emergency help, contact our Campus Watch team, who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tel +64 3 479 5000 or +64 3 479 5001

Freephone 0800 479 5000 (within New Zealand)

Text Campus Watch +64 21 2795000

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Our Student Support Team along with academic departments and other support staff provide a comprehensive introduction to life in Dunedin and studying at the University of Otago English Language Centre and Foundation Year.

The orientation programme includes:

  • Meeting the new important people in your life such as Directors, Student Support Team, Administration staff, teachers and your classmates
  • Learning how to settle into new chapter of your life in Dunedin
  • Learning how to success in NZ education
  • Learning our academic procedures
  • Learning our assessment procedures
  • Discovering what services are available to you
  • Getting your ID student card so that you can access wifi and student services
  • Dealing with any visa / insurance issues
  • Organising your timetable
  • Taking a tour around campus
  • Taking a city tour and other interesting activities
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What to expect on your first day

Helpful information about what to bring and what to expect on your first day onsite

Help with your academic progress

The Student Support Leader is here to assist you with all things to do with your academic progress. We provide help and guidance on how to make the most of your studies; how to plan for your next course and to assist you to make the right career choices. Should the going get tough, we are here to help you with sound advice and academic support. The Student Support Leader is available by appointment throughout the day, Monday to Friday.

Phone +64 3 479 5717

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Our responsibility to you

Code of Practice

The University of Otago is a signatory to the New Zealand Ministry of Education’s 'Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016'. We are committed to ensuring all international students are informed, protected and cared for during their time with us.

New Zealand Ministry of Education's 'Education Code of Practice'


Otago treats complaints seriously. We encourage students to inform us when issues arise.

Learn more about the complaints process at Otago

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Social activities

As well as helping our students through difficulties, we also provide a lot of fun.

Every Friday afternoon we have a fun activity for the students. The activities range from arts and craft, exploring local attractions, social activities and sports. We also run several exciting experiences during the year such as ski trips, camping in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand, dance parties, food festivals, BBQ parties, soccer tournaments and many more.

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