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University of Otago

University of Otago


The University of Otago, founded in 1869, is New Zealand’s oldest university. The University of Otago provides a research-led learning environment that is second to none with a richly deserved reputation for excellence. At Otago, you will have unprecedented opportunities to be taught by international experts in their fields, and you will be able to contribute to ground-breaking research. The student experience at Otago is exceptional. You will join a diverse population of well over 20,000 students from around New Zealand and more than 100 nations around the world.

Historic and sophisticated, Dunedin is the quintessential university city. Modeled on Edinburgh in Scotland, it is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. A long, natural harbor gives way to the church spires and towers of the historic town center and university, set against high, green forested hills. A golden trail of beaches and dizzying cliffs skirt the city’s thundering Pacific Ocean flank, where seals, penguins, albatross—and incredible surf—can be found.

Gordon's Biology and Kinesiology Departments require that its majors who study at Otago take advantage of the opportunity to better understand New Zealand culture and history by taking a course such as:

  • New Zealand in the World
  • Maori Society
  • Contemporary Pacific Island Issues
  • Environmental History of New Zealand


Students are encouraged to apply if they:
  • Major or minor in Biology, Kinesiology, or Psychology
  • Have their advisor’s approval
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have Sophomore standing or above


One single semester course is usually worth 18 points, and approximately 12 hours of work per week (including lectures, tutorials, labs, assignments, and readings). 18 Otago points are worth approximately 3–5 US Credits. An average workload for a semester generally includes 3–4 courses per semester or 54–72 points.

Students are expected to take two of the approved science courses as well as at least one New Zealand studies/cultural electives.


The Global Education Office will work with Student Financial Services to reassess each applicant's institutional aid for their off-campus semester. Institutional aid includes Gordon-awarded merit scholarships and grants, honors program awards, and major-or department-specific awards. Federal and private aid will not be affected. Factors in the reassessment process include financial need, GEO program flexibility within your major/minor, and program cost. SFS will provide a breakdown of costs to each student after approval has been issued by the GEO.

The following is included in the cost of the program:

  • Tuition and direct program costs
  • Room (not board as all housing is self-catered)

Not covered:

  • Flights
  • Board
  • Personal expenses
  • Local travel
  • Course materials
  • Visa


All Gordon students applying to this program must first submit an online seat application to the Global Education Office before applying directly to your program. Fall and Spring seat applications must be submitted to the GEO by March 1.

After the Global Education Office has notified you of your approval, you may then proceed with the program's application. See the University of Otago's website for more information on application and deadlines. 


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