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University of Otago

Check whether the University of Otago is right for you as an international student.

Uni facts

Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Type
  • Rank
  • International students
  • Nationalities
  • Total programs
  • Acceptance rate

Study abroad at the University of Otago

The University of Otago was established in 1869, and was New Zealand's first university. Based in Dunedin, it is a well renowned research university and one of the best ranked institutions in New Zealand.

Otago specializes in research-led teaching, with engaged academics who are both award-winning teachers and active, world-class researchers. Otago offers degrees at all degree levels, as well as a flexible degree structure that allows students to pursue other interests alongside their primary area of study.

The University offers bachelor’s degrees in a wide range of areas, including applied science, medicine, law, arts and humanities, business, dentistry, pharmacy, music, physiotherapy, sciences, and teaching.

The campus is located in the vibrant student town of Dunedin. Everything is close and convenient, with most student accommodation no more than a 10 minute walk from campus. The University's location is also perfect for exploring the surrounding area and enjoying the extraordinary scenery the South Island of New Zealand is famous for.

Why study at the University of Otago?

  • Highly ranked

    The University of Otago is ranked 175th in the world by QS World University Rankings (2020)

  • Employability

    95% of Otago graduates go straight into employment or further study

  • Beautiful campus

    The University’s campus has been ranked as one of the 15 most beautiful in the world by The Telegraph

Life as an international student

The University of Otago has a unique student demographic with 80% of students coming from outside the local area. There’s also a large international student population, representing more than 90 different nationalities.

International Student Advisors at the University are available on a confidential basis to assist international students with any issues or questions that may arise during your time at Otago.

Many international students studying at Otago choose to live in a university flat with a Kiwi host as a flatmate. This is a great way to transition into life in New Zealand, as your flatmate can help you get to know the University and the culture of the country.

The University offers over 150 student clubs and societies and a purpose built, state-of-the-art recreation center that offers a range of indoor and outdoor recreational options that all Otago students can enjoy.

Student life & facilities

Group of students planning a presentation in a living room
  • Library
    • Computer labs
    • Group Study Rooms
    • Quiet Areas
  • No. of All Weather Sports Pitches
    • No. of Swimming pools
    • No. of Badminton Courts
    • No. of Diving Pools
    • No. of Basketball Courts
    • No. of volleyball courts
  • Healthcare & Medical
    • Physiotherapy
    • Travel Vaccinations
    • Child Development Assessment & Immunization
    • Minor Surgery
    • Campus Pharmacy
    • Counselling & Mental Health Services
    • Campus Doctor
    • Emergency Contraception
  • Transport
    • Bike Rental
    • Car Rental
    • Campus parking
    • Airport Shuttle Service
    • On-Campus Shuttle
  • Fitness Centre
    • Machines
    • Free Weights
    • Fitness Classes
    • Swimming Pool
    • Personal Trainers
    • Fitness Center Physiotherapist
  • Praying Rooms
    • Chaplaincy
    • Language Center
    • Group Praying Rooms
    • Pre sessional English Academic skills courses
  • IT Support
    • Campus Wireless Connectivity
  • Clubs & Organisations
    • No. of Clubs & Organizations 150
  • Tutoring Support
    • Academic Tutoring & Support

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Fees and funding

International Students studying at Otago pay international tuition fees. Many students will enrol for papers from a range of subject areas. Your actual tuition fee is calculated on the basis of fees for each paper that you include in your program.

The tuition fees do not include the student services and administration fees.

International applicants who have not studied Year 12 and 13 at a New Zealand school or an equivalent foundation level course at a New Zealand tertiary institution are only eligible for the New Frontiers Entrance Scholarship, and application is by invitation only through the International Office.

Undergraduate New Frontier Scholarship - (all programs except Health Sciences programs) Based on IB, A levels, ATAR. Up to NZ$5,000

Coursework master's Scholarship NZ$10,000


University of Otago

362 Leith St, North Dunedin, 9016

Dunedin is a small city between the mountains, the harbour and the sea – that means there’s lots to do and it’s easy to get to.

Find a program at the University of Otago

Program level

Visa requirements for the University of Otago

Many international students will require a visa to study in New Zealand, and this is a vital step of your study abroad journey. Make sure you understand the requirements you may need to meet before applying.

New Zealand student visa requirements