If you’re studying abroad in New Zealand, chances are that you want to immerse yourself … Read more
University of Otago
Dunedin is home to the oldest university in New Zealand, the University of Otago, and literally grew around the university – 85% of the university’s students living within a 15-minute walk of campus. With a focus on the traditional arts and sciences, the university offers a broad spectrum of courses for study abroad students paired with an unbeatable location from which to explore the incredibly beautiful South Island of New Zealand. Queenstown and the Southern Alps are only a few hours away, and the wildlife and beautiful landscapes of the nearby Otago Peninsula and surrounding region are easily accessible.
Study at the University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university established in 1869
Get an exhilarating crash course in Kiwi living during our Orientation Excursion in the country’s largest city, Auckland, and the nature-filled, culture-rich Rotorua
Experience the local student living experience, with accommodation in apartments and houses within minutes’ walk to campus
Live in Dunedin, New Zealand’s unique college town, with the beauty and outdoor pursuits of the South Island at your fingertips
Appreciate access to TEAN’s in-country Resident Director and Dunedin-based Resident Advisor for continued support throughout the semester
Go on an adventure with our mid-semester excursion option to Thailand’s culture-rich cities and beautiful beaches
Get read for an exhilarating crash course in Kiwi living, plus a semester orientation with fellow TEAN students. Explore New Zealand’s rich culture and environments starting in Auckland with a traditional Maori welcome ceremony and hangi dinner at a marae (meeting house). Next, stop at Hobbiton, then discover Rotorua’s renowned geothermal activity (including the Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland), soak in natural hot springs, learn a powerful Maori haka, and more. After this packed four program, you’ll feel confident navigating all things Kiwi with a strong foundation on which to build your semester.
You’ll live within walking distance of the University campus. The majority of students live in rented flats, which are apartments or houses, usually shared by four or five students. “Flatting” is an important part of Otago’s unique student lifestyle. It offers both independence and responsibility. Living so close to campus, students feel a real sense of community and a sense of belonging in a supportive environment.
All rooms are singles. While they are called “flats” the properties are either apartments or houses, owned or head-leased by the university.
The Flats are fully furnished. The common areas include lounge seating, table and chairs, oven (cooker), microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine, dryer, basic kitchen set up ie cutlery, dinnerware, toaster, kettle. The bedrooms include double bed, mattress, set of drawers, desk and chair.
The University Flats house mostly international students, and some flats have Kiwi hosts. These are local students who live in the accommodation and are available as a resource to international students. While you will find yourself living with mostly other international students, the University Flats are spread throughout the university neighborhood, so it is likely you will have local student neighbors since 85% of Otago’s students live within a 15 minute walk of campus, and so will you. This makes for a very vibrant campus and student community.
Our team works with you from start to finish through the study abroad process. Our programs staff will help guide you through the application process to go abroad, then upon arrival in New Zealand, you will meet our team who will provide assistance during your time in-country. Throughout your semester you will meet with the Dunedin Resident Director for informal discussions and excursions. Our staff is readily available and able to assist you with any academic, social, or cultural questions or issues that you may face during your time abroad.Meet the Team
About the University
- The University of Otago, founded in 1869 by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council, is New Zealand’s oldest university.
- Today the University has about 20,000 students, from all over New Zealand and from nearly 100 countries around the world.
- The University of Otago is New Zealand’s most research-intensive university and is the country’s top-ranked university for research quality. Otago also enjoys an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and is a world leader in many fields.
- Particular academic strengths are in the Biomedical and Health Sciences; Economics, Marketing and Tourism; Philosophy, Psychology, Theology and History, and Music.
- The University of Otago School of Business is AACSB accredited.
- Students interested in field studies should consider geology and ecology studies at Otago.
- The University of Otago campus is in the center of the city of Dunedin and, as a result, much of Dunedin’s commerce, music, entertainment and sport has evolved around its student culture. Dunedin offers students the variety and entertainment of larger cities, but is small enough to be friendly, uncrowded and safe.
- Located on the edge of the Botanic Gardens, the Otago campus is very beautiful. The Water of Leith winds its way past the majestic stone Clock Tower, a visible reminder of the University’s history and tradition of learning.
The University of Otago is located in the center of the college town of Dunedin. Visit the google map link below to see the campus location.View Map
Courses (called “papers” in New Zealand) are available in the below disciplines. For detailed instructions on how to find and select courses, and a list of popular courses see our course selection instructions. Students enroll in 3-4 papers per semester (between 54 and 72 Otago credits), which usually transfers as 12 – 16 U.S. semester credits.Find Courses
Academic Departments and Schools at the University of Otago are divided into four academic divisions: School of Business; Division of Health Science; Division of Humanities and the Division of Sciences.
|Communications & Media||
|Humanities & Social Sciences||
|Visual, Performing Arts & Design||
- 3.0 GPA. Students with a 2.8-3.0 are encouraged to apply and may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.
- Minimum sophomore standing at a four-year institution at the time of participation.
Events & Excursions
Activities / Immersion
Our local staff arrange various activities during the semester designed to help immerse you into the local culture. These activities are included in your semester program. In addition, if you have a specific interest or hobby, your Dunedin based Resident Director will be able to point you in the right direction. Below are examples of previous activities arranged for students. Note that activities may change each semester.
In addition to the TEAN events, to make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities, our local staff send out frequent emails letting you know what is happening in Dunedin and throughout New Zealand – ranging from community events to music festivals. We aim to tap you into the local culture right from the start.
It’s the national sport! Cheer on the local team, the Highlanders, or when available TEAN students are treated to an All Blacks rugby game.
Otago Peninsula Tour
Take an afternoon to explore the untouched beaches and wildlife of the Otago Peninsula including the world’s largest fur seal colony.
Kiwis love their fabulous coffee. We follow their lead and meet up for coffee and cake at various times during the semester. This is a great opportunity to catch up with your TEAN local support staff.
During the semester, you’ll be busy with class and exploring your local area on the weekends. With this in mind, TEAN encourages students to get to know New Zealand better or travel to even more exotic destinations with excursions organized during school breaks. Participating in these excursions will depend on your program dates and semester abroad.
South Island New Zealand
New Zealand’s South Island offers some of the most magnificent natural surroundings this planet has to offer! And it’s home to some of the world’s most extreme adventure sports. From the Southern Hemisphere's highest (and original) bungee jump, to jet boating through ravines, white water rafting the raging rapids, and hiking glaciers, you won't be disappointed or bored!
Take advantage of your ideal location in the South Pacific and explore incredible Asian destinations. With TEAN’s exclusive 9-day excursion to Thailand, you’ll find yourself hanging with Southeast Asia’s majestic giants - the elephants, introducing your tastebuds to tropical fruits, and lounging on a white sand beach. With the culture of the north and the beaches of the south, this excursion is not to be missed.
Don’t miss your chance to explore the hidden gems of Melbourne. On our weekend trip to this uber cool city you’ll explore hidden alleys and be introduced to the sporting culture of Aussie Rules Football. Led by our local Resident Director, this is one place you absolutely must visit.
TEAN has a rolling admissions process. We recommend submitting your application anytime from June for Spring applications, and from January for Fall applications. Late applications may be considered. Contact TEAN if the application deadline has passed.
|Spring Deadline||Nov 15|
|Fall Deadline||April 15|
|Depart the US||Feb 14|
|TEAN Orientation||Feb 16||Feb 19|
|Classes Begin||Mar 1|
|Semester Break||Apr 2||Apr 11|
|Classes End||Jun 4|
|Study Period||Jun 5||Jun 8|
|Exam Period||Jun 9||Jun 23|
|Program Ends||Jun 24|
|Date of Departure||June 24|
|TEAN Orientation||June 26||June 30|
|Housing Move-In||June 30|
|University Orientation||June 29||July 3|
|Classes Begin||July 6|
|Semester Break||Aug 22||Aug 31|
|Classes End||Oct 9|
|Study Period||Oct 10||Oct 13|
|Exam Period||Oct 14||Nov 7|
|Program Ends||Nov 8|
Fees & Inclusions
- Estimated tuition and program fees: $14,350*
- Estimated university off-campus housing: $3,950
*Tuition for 4 courses. Students are permitted to enroll in 3 courses but there is no tuition discount.
- Tuition and program fees: $14,350*
- University off-campus housing: $3,950
*Tuition for 4 courses. Students are permitted to enroll in 3 courses but there is no tuition discount.
- Full tuition (4 courses)
- Guaranteed, pre-arranged housing including internet
- Bedding Pack
- Comprehensive health and travel insurance
- Services of local TEAN support staff throughout the semester
- 5-day Orientation Excursion Program with meals, excursions, accommodations and transportation
- Local SIM card
- Cultural events and catch ups during the semester such as attending a rugby match
- Access to unique and exciting optional mid-semester excursions, which may include New Zealand’s South Island, Thailand and other places
- Access to pre-arranged flight itineraries and booking agent
- Extensive pre-departure advising
- University and course selection advice
- Official academic transcripts from host institution
- Credit approval and transfer assistance
- Help with student visa preparation
- Financial aid transfer planning
- Airport pickup and reception upon arrival at TEAN Orientation and in host city
- Bus transfer from Queenstown to Dunedin after TEAN Orientation
- Student association fees
- Host university orientation
- Farewell Dinner at conclusion of program
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- International airfare ($1,800)
- Domestic airfare in U.S. ($500)
- Books ($200)
- Meals during the semester ($1,700)
- Student visa ($30)
*Numbers are estimated based on previous student experience and budget. Actual amounts will vary depending on the student.
Receive money to study abroad starting at $1,000 by applying to TEAN scholarships. Each year we award thousands of dollars in need- and merit-based scholarships, diversity scholarships, a full ride scholarship and more. Visit our scholarships page for details!
Other New Zealand Study Abroad Scholarships
Additional scholarships are available for students planning to study abroad in New Zealand ranging from $500 – $15,000. For more information see our list of New Zealand Study Abroad Scholarships.
"My study abroad experience was incredible. I now have so many experiences I will keep for the rest of my life."
"TEAN pushed me beyond my limits without me even realizing it."
"I learned to believe in myself and my own abilities. Studying abroad really was a transformative experience."
We Love Dunedin
The Rob Roy Dairy is best dairy (think convenience store, but more quaint) in the world for ice-cream and is pretty much right on campus. Use up the small, small change jangling in your pocket (prices are student friendly) and be sure to choose the ‘Learner’ Cone as anything above that is legitimately gravity defying.
Tell us a little about what you do at TEAN?
I currently work on our New Zealand and Thailand programs. My role as team lead and Program Manager is to make sure everything on these programs is running smoothly working with our team. It includes everything from making sure students have pre-departure information on time to making sure they submit all of the items they need to study abroad (i.e. transcripts, courses, contracts, arrival details, payments, visa confirmations).
Where did you study abroad?
I studied with TEAN in Melbourne, Australia at Deakin University. It’s a more traditional campus, just outside the city but being able to live in the city and commute gave me the best of both worlds. Honestly, Melbourne has something for everyone – think sporting events, art, music, theatre, comedy, laneway cafes/restaurants/bars, shopping, the list goes on. Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities, so why wouldn’t you choose to study there? If you’re looking for a Melbourne equivalent in New Zealand, check out Wellington known as the coolest little capital in the world. It’s a smaller city, but that makes it an easy city to get around by foot. It’s a very accessible city for study abroad students.
What brought you back to Melbourne to live and work after graduation?
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to return to Australia. My time studying abroad had given me that exposure to living abroad and I wanted to spend more time there as a professional. For my career, It was great to gain work experience at a university abroad. I’m so glad I went down this path or I might not have ended up at TEAN today!
Packing for study abroad is always a challenge and popular topic, as a frequent flyer – what insider tips do you have for someone packing for the semester?
I’ve become pretty good at packing light over the years since there have been so many times earlier on where I’ve overpacked. I took half of my closet and never touched the majority of it. You will hear the advice – pack everything you think you’ll need then take half of it – and it’s so true. My other advice is to pack articles of clothing you can mix and match to create different outfits to help reduce items. Also try to keep the shoe situation under control, they take up a lot of room. Bring a couple pairs that are super versatile (and comfortable).
If you were going to study abroad tomorrow on a TEAN program where would you go?
I’m biased, but I would study on one of our New Zealand programs. Since working with our TEAN New Zealand students, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand several times and have visited all program locations. I also recently lived in New Zealand for a year based out of Auckland. I love the idea of going for a semester, joining a tramping club on campus and getting out into the beauty of New Zealand in my free time!
On Lee Lau
Resident Assistant - Dunedin
Signal Hill Walk
Signal Hill is a great walk from campus for amazing views of the city and the surrounding hills, beaches and sea. Best time to go is at sunset where you can watch the sun go down and the lights turn on.
What is your role at TEAN?
I’m a Resident Assistant based out of Dunedin, New Zealand. I look after students that study abroad at the University of Otago and help introduce students to New Zealand culture during TEAN Orientations as well as throughout the semester.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part for me is planning group events to do things most students otherwise wouldn’t know about or have the budget to do on their own. I love seeing how newly arrived students react when they walk up to an amazing vista – like in the Otago Peninsula or Queenstown or Milford Sound – that perfectly encapsulates the natural beauty of New Zealand. It’s also fun to see how excited students are to see the All Blacks vs Australia rugby match at our local stadium.
What makes Dunedin a great place to study abroad?
Dunedin is the only place I know where you can see albatross and penguin colonies in amazing nature reserves close to town – it really deserves its reputation as the wildlife capital of New Zealand. Students in Dunedin get the perks of being in a college town, in a place with a rich indigenous and immigrant history, and surrounded by green hills and wild beaches.
What should be on every student’s bucket list for a semester in New Zealand?
Every student in New Zealand should plan to do a Great Walk or at least a part of it. Great Walks are backpacking or boating trails that go through New Zealand’s National Parks managed by the Department of Conservation. I also recommend taking the time to watch kapa haka groups that often perform during community events, and learning about Maori history and culture.
What places would you recommend to someone visiting New Zealand?
I’m a big fan of Te Anau. The town is right near the start of the Kepler Track and is the closest town to Milford Sound. Te Anau tends to have less people compared to Queenstown or Wanaka, but it still has great restaurants and cafes, and a year-round boat tour to otherworldly glow worm caves on the opposite side of the lake.