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New Zealand Study Abroad Program at University of Otago

About University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Length of program: 3 weeks, late June to late July
  • Application deadline: April 1
  • Program advisor: Hannah Sutton
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Program Snapshot


Kia ora! We're so excited that you've chosen the University of Otago as your destination this summer. 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!

What Otago has to offer:

  • New Zealand's oldest university and a top-ranked research institution
  • Located in a premier college town
  • An ideal setting for students interested in both quality academic opportunities and outdoor adventures
  • Students choose one or two courses
  • Each course includes field study opportunities outside of Dunedin
  • Field study excursions may include Mt. Cook, Queenstown, local museums, coastal environments and a Māori Marae
  • Accommodation and most meals included as part of the program fee


  • Students reside with New Zealanders and other international students in a house or flat within walking distance of the university
  • Most meals included as part of the program fee



What courses are available?
The University of Otago offers the following courses in the summer:

  • Entrepreneurship: The New Zealand way
  • Māori and Pacific cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Landscape development and environmental change in South Island, New Zealand

To view course details, view the University of Otago International School website.

How many courses do I take?
Students can choose one or two courses from the above list.


IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load abroad. At the University of Otago, an IFSA-Butler full course load for the summer is one or two courses. Each course is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours, so students will earn 3 or 6 credits for the summer.


Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at the University of Otago. You may not 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 appeal 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.


Housing Options

Where will I live?
IFSA-Butler students will live in University Flats. These flats are located within a 15-minute walk to campus. Flats include single bedrooms with shared bathrooms and common areas.


The program fee includes three meals per day while students are living in Dunedin. In addition, most meals are included during field excursions.

Housing FAQs

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, some students may not receive their housing assignment until arrival in New Zealand for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via email when it is released by the university.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Do I have to pay a housing deposit?

No. IFSA-Butler does not require a housing deposit for summer programs.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

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.

Location Info


Population: 120,000
Location: South Island

City features

  • A thriving college town on a busy port
  • Gorgeous views and wonderful natural beauty
  • A strong artistic tradition evident in art galleries, museums and nature preserves
  • Strong interest in sports and access to world-class venues, international events and amazing recreation opportunities

Do more!

  • Explore the unique ecological environments of the Otago Peninsula, home to yellow-eyed penguins, royal albatross, seals and sea lions
  • Visit the untouched rainforest of the Catlins and the rich flora and fauna of the fjords in Doubtful and Milford Sounds
  • Enjoy some of the best ski and boarding resorts in New Zealand along with kayaking, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, surfing and diving

Visit Dunedin
Dunedin Tourism
A-Z Visitor Guide
Regional Tourism Map
Destination Queenstown
Pure New Zealand
Dunedin News

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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* Students may leave New Zealand anytime within the write up period. Assessments must be submitted electronically by the program end date.

** Also the deadline for electronically submitting assessments.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

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.

Program Fees

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What's included in our summer program fees
Expense calculator

Payment Due: May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

Housing Deposit
Students in summer programs do not pay the $300 housing deposit.

Personal Cost Estimates

Personal costs coming soon!

Expense calculator

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:


hannahProgram Advisor Hannah Sutton assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Hannah graduated from Butler University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. During her junior year, Hannah spent a semester in Dublin on the IFSA-Butler Ireland program. Her experience led her to develop a passion for study abroad and education and she joined the IFSA-Butler team to help guide other students to their own study abroad adventures. Hannah currently advises students planning to study in Australia and New Zealand, and can be reached through the email link above or by phone at 800-858-0229 ext. 4266.

beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-3077.

Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our New Zealand staff, including Resident Director Sian Munro. Click here to read more about Sian.

abbyAcademic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program, check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.