New Zealand

Students with a strong academic record and pertinent interests have the opportunity to study in beautiful and historic Dunedin, New Zealand. The University of Otago provides students with an opportunity to explore a wide variety of academic offerings while living on the beautiful South Island. Please note that the number of students attending this program is limited and admission is highly competitive.

  • Based at the University of Otago in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand
  • Fall or Spring semester
  • Enrollment capped at 15 students per semester (a backup option is encouraged for competitive programs)
  • Pre-requisites: 3.25 GPA. Applicants should have prior coursework in the subjects they intend to study on the program and must articulate clear reasons for advanced study of these subjects in New Zealand. Applicants should also describe their interest in studying the peoples and cultures of New Zealand.
  • While on the program students are required to take at least one class focused on the peoples and cultures of New Zealand
  • All applicants must have completed at least three semesters at a four-year college or university at the time of application.
  • Live in student flats

Apply to study in New Zealand

Location     Academics     Co-Curricular     Housing     Calendar     Orientation      Program Contacts


The University of Otago is the oldest University in New Zealand and has four campuses in four different cities.  SLU students study at the Dunedin campus on New Zealand’s south island during the fall or spring semester.  Dunedin is a coastal city located in the southernmost Otago province.  It is home to the only mainland breeding colony of the Albatross.

Learn more about the University of Otago. You may refer to this video and their brochure

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You must take 4 courses (also known as "papers") while studying in New Zealand and one paper must pertain to the peoples and cultures of New Zealand.  Every Otago course is equivalent to 1.2 unit at SLU.

A list of courses at the University of Otago that have been pre-approved by St. Lawrence can be found here. Please keep in mind that these are just the courses that have been preapproved. Students may enroll in other courses and seek transfer credit approval at SLU. In order to have credits returned from the University of Otago, students must complete a credit transfer form (pink form) before their departure and have each credit approved by the relevant department head at SLU.

See the University of Otago's website to search available courses

While searching for courses (papers), remember Semester One in New Zealand runs from February - June and Semester Two runs from July to November.

The University of Otago uses letter grades. Grades from New Zealand transfer back to St. Lawrence University as follows:

A/A+ = 4.0

A- = 3.75

B+ = 3.25

B = 3

B- = 2.75

C+ = 2.5

C = 2

C- = 1.75

Fail D = 0

Fail E = 0


* Since SLU doesn't use 'letter' grades or plus/minus, the Registrar's Office chose what works the best in favor of the student. The Registrar's Office gives the A-  the 3.75.  If the Registrar's Office hadn't assigned 3.75 as the A-, it would have been the 3.5.  3.0 is the 'standard' B so it made sense to give the 3.25 the B+.

Suggested New Zealand Content Courses

  • Maori 110 Introduction to Conversational Maori
  • Maori 102 Maori Society
  • Anth 205 Contemporary Pacific Cultures
  • Anth 103 Anthropology, Culture and Society
  • Soc1101 Sociology of New Zealand Society (SLU Equivalent: SOC-3045)
  • Maori 108 Waiata: Te Timatanga
  • DANC 101  Dance and Popular Culture (Count to SLU PCA 100 level course)


New Zealand and Pacific-focused courses recommended by the University of  Otago.

Field courses recommended by the University of Otago.

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Students are encouraged to get involved in the University of Otago's cultural, sporting, and recreational activities. Outdoor excursions are a large part of the lifestyle! 

Kiwi students normally use study breaks to study; therefore, SLU students should plan to do the same.

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Students live in university-owned flats (apartments) with fellow international students and one or two kiwi hosts. All flats are located within a 15-minute radius

There is no dining hall at the University of Otago. Students have to cook their meals and will receive a board stipend to cover that cost. SLU will pay for the utility bill for students.  

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Visit the University of Otago website to view the academic calendar. Semester 1 typically begins in late February and ends in late June. Semester 2 typically begins in mid-July and ends in mid-November. 

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Pre-departure: The CIIS office organizes in-depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students' participation in the program. This includes a program-specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information. There is also an orientation session led by the CIIS office on culture shock as well as safety and security while abroad.

On-site:  Otago will host orientation sessions when students arrive. Otago has a helpful video with orientation and orientation information for incoming students. You can get information about airport arrival service, the specific dates for the mandatory orientation meetings, and other arrival information

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Program Contacts

If you are interested in learning more about the New Zealand program please contact one of the following people:

CIIS Office: Dr. Yanqiu Zheng, Associate Director of Asia and Pacific Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.

Faculty CoordinatorDr. Nadia Marano, Questions about program academics.

Apply to study in New Zealand

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