New Zealand Study Abroad Program at University of Otago
About University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand
Kia ora! We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen the University of Otago as your destination. Otago is located in Dunedin, a small college town conveniently located near the great outdoor sights of New Zealand's South Island. We're sure you're going to love studying there!
There are just a few more forms to complete before your application is ready to be submitted to the University of Otago for an admissions decision The forms can be found under the Forms tab.
What Otago has to offer:
University of Otago is a semester or yearlong study abroad program. Students take 3 or 4 classes each semester, depending on the credits awarded.
Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
What departments can I study in?
For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:
You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.
You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load abroad. At the University of Otago, an IFSA-Butler full course load consists of 54-72 University of Otago points per semester or 120 University of Otago points per year. For information on the credit weight, please consult the chart below.
18 Points at Otago = 4.5 U.S. semester credit hours
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record query for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit and grades you earned at University of Otago. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.
The University of Otago offers a special teacher education option in semester 1. This option allows education majors to focus exclusively on education courses at Otago, while also undertaking a teaching practicum at a local school.
Concentration courses are offered as a set package consisting of the following four components:
This concentration is a great option for education majors who are in year two or three of their degree programs and who are looking for a practicum experience in a unique, multicultural environmnent. This package of courses is designed for elementary and early childhood majors only. Contact your IFSA-Butler program advisor for more information.
What are my housing options?
In New Zealand a "flat" means some kind of rented living space. It can be anything from a studio apartment to a large, free-standing house shared among many "flatmates." Living in a flat, or "going flatting," is a quintessential part of the University of Otago experience. Dunedin is a student-focused city and the neighborhood around the university is comprised mainly of student flats. Flatting is a great way to have a close group of friends and a good deal of independence while keeping your living expenses down.
In a flat, you will be responsible for buying and preparing your own food and cleaning your living space. Flatmates usually share the food expenses (which can make living inexpensive) and the cooking and cleaning duties. Flats are a great option for students who want independence while living with a small group of people. In just about all cases, IFSA-Butler students will flat with New Zealanders and other international students. Otago does its best to assign students with like interests and living preferences to the same flat, so it is important to be honest and candid when completing your housing preference form.
University Flats are university-owned flats located within a few blocks of campus. Students live in four-five-or six-bedroom flats with shared bathrooms, living rooms, kitchen and laundry facilities. Each flat is unique; some are stand-alone houses, some are duplexes and others are row houses, but in every case, students have a single bedroom with furniture and a space heater. Students attending the University of Otago receive the Guide to Flatting after arriving in New Zealand. This information, based upon the experiences of past students, provides advice about how to get along in a flat and make the situation work.
Each student will receive a bedding pack upon arrival. The bedding package contains two pillows, two pillow protectors, two pillowcases, a mattress protector, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, a duvet (comforter) and duvet cover, a lightweight blanket and a towel. All items are professionally laundered regularly.
When will I receive my housing assignment?
Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.
Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
Yes. IFSA-Butler requires a refundable housing deposit of $300 before going abroad. We will return this deposit to you after March 1 for fall programs or September 1 for spring and year programs, less any fines, damages or outstanding debts in your name.
Can I arrange my own housing?
Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.
Dates & Fees
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* All students must arrive in Auckland by this date.
Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In New Zealand exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.
All program support services end on the “Program ends” date.
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Calendar Year and Semester 1 Payments Due: December 15
Program Fee Bills
† Housing Deposit
Personal Cost Estimates
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The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.
These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.
Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.
All costs are in U.S. dollars.
Applicants to the program at University of Otago must complete three additional forms. Please download, print and complete the following:
We must receive these forms before we can send your application to the University of Otago for an admissions decision. They can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax or regular mail. Please submit these forms with the remainder of your program application.
If you have already started an application to the Otago program, you can check the status of your application using the student portal.
Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team
IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in New Zealand:
Program Advisor David Watkins assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. David can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4229. David graduated from the University of Cincinnati with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and political science. He studied abroad in France, Israel and the West Bank, and began a study abroad program with IFSA-Butler in Egypt during the spring of 2011. After political evacuation from Egypt, he continued his studies in Morocco. David currently advises students planning on studying abroad in England, New Zealand and Australia.
Upon return from your study abroad program, Academic Affairs Coordinator Sara Bell processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record queries. Sara can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4261.
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The University of Otago also offers a summer study option. Students choose one or two courses and take part in field study opportunities outside of Dunedin. Courses offer a range of subjects, but all include a New Zealand focus. Accommodation and most meals are included as part of the program fee.
Click here for more information.