Program Overview

Warm up your January in the pleasant climate of Dunedin and take your academics to the next level. You’ll study at the oldest university in New Zealand, the University of Otago. The University provides a distinguished educational experience in the small, yet vibrant Victorian-style city of Dunedin. Tucked away along the southeast coast of the South Island, Dunedin is the stepping stone to New Zealand’s many majestic landscapes. Adventures abound, from dolphin cruises to cycling to trekking some of New Zealand’s Great Walks that dot the island. You’ve arrived just in time for the Dunedin Summer Festival, the New Zealand Masters Games, and numerous cricket matches. You won’t find a dull moment on the January in New Zealand program.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
January: October 15th
Avg Course Load
1-2 Courses (3-6 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction

Key Program Highlights

  • "Lord of the Rings" country on the sparsely populated South Island
  • Summer concerts, festivals, and sports events galore
  • Diverse student body with international students
  • Extensive on-campus sports facilities
  • Housing in the heart of campus
  • AACSB-accredited business school

Your Journey Begins Here

  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Life in Dunedin

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in a three day CISabroad orientation program in Wellington, then a shorter one hosted by the university in Dunedin. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of living in Dunedin, New Zealand. Where to go out, how to stay safe, getting around, best places to buy food are just a few of questions that will be answered. You’ll also learn some helpful Kiwi and Maori sayings and gain some insights into NZ culture. As we know students love food, we will also host you to a yummy welcome meal showcasing modern Asian food that Wellington is known for.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

At the end of the program we will all get together for one last epic meal and talk about your adventures and experiences. Our staff will also share some precious tips on going back home feeling like a champ! Your study abroad experience is something to be cherished and shared with your family and friends back home.

Housing Options

January in New Zealand students are offered a complete residential experience.  Housing is conveniently close to Dunedin’s central business and shopping districts and minutes away from classrooms, lecture theatres, labs, libraries and other Otago facilities. All residents have a fully-furnished single bedroom with a king single bed, all bed linen and towel, modern bathroom and laundry facilities, floor common room, study rooms, library and a gymnasium. Internet access is available at the College.

Summer accommodation includes all meals in The Refectory, the college’s spacious and modern dining room. Food is prepared on-site by the professional catering staff.

cyclists on the coast of Dunedin

Local Life

  • Street Art Trail: Experience 28 vibrant, whimsical artworks from international & local artists.
  • Foodie Life: Dive into the cuisine scene.
  • Outdoor Life: Explore Dunedin’s iconic surf beaches, bike tracks & golf courses this summer.
  • Wildlife: Enjoy the beauty of Dunedin's eco-tour attractions. They are easily accessible to students and interns living in the city.

More About Dunedin

Dunedin is a small, lively, coastal city that lives up to New Zealand's reputation for natural beauty and adventure. Just over 120,000 folks call this city home, which is located towards the southern tip of New Zealand's South Island. Considered the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin has an impressive selection of restaurants, bars, nightlife, museums, shopping, and natural attractions. The city's preserved Victorian architecture feels like stepping back in time.

Consider Dunedin ground zero for hiking, skiing, water sports, and adventure tourism (including bungee jumping). For the adrenaline junkies, journey up to Queenstown, which is considered the adventure capital of the world. For a more mellow experience, explore the majestic Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. Film buffs might want to tour the many filming locations of The Lord of The Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. Dunedin is a UNESCO-designated City of Literature. Another fun fact: the city is home to Baldwin Street, which holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the steepest street in the world.

New Zealanders, also known as "Kiwis," are very proud of their sports teams, especially rugby. In Dunedin, join the locals cheering on their favorite rival teams, including the All Blacks or Highlanders. And, you don't have to just sit on the sidelines. You can play intramural rugby at the University of Otago for the complete New Zealand experience.


Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.


Experience a city that’s reinventing itself after the 2010-11 earthquakes. Visit the amazing cardboard cathedral made out of giant "toilet rolls," dine at food vendors in the mall housed in shipping containers, and ride the Gondola up to the top of the Port Hills.


This is a chance to take the ferry from Wellington to Picton and spend the weekend in the marvelous Marlborough Sounds.

CISabroad Study Abroad Semester Program new zealand otago peninsula

Otago Peninsula, Otago

In Otago, sea lions, penguins, and albatrosses outnumber the locals. Experience amazing wildlife on remote parts of the peninsula.


GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

Course descriptions and catalog: Click here to view all courses offered.

Timetables: Timetables are included in the description of each course.

How to read the University of Otago course catalog:
You will find “papers,” or courses, offered at the 100, 200, and 300 levels. The 200- and 300-level papers are often equivalent to courses you would take in your junior and senior years in the US. They will have prerequisites. Papers above the 300 level are graduate-level.

Select courses offered in Dunedin only. You’ll note that some course have other locations listed after the course name, for example Auckland or Wellington.

The University

At the University of Otago, you can study in a harbor city on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand. Don't be fooled by Otago's age as the country's oldest university (founded in 1869); you'll find a lively and exciting community. The University’s campus is a picturesque mix of grand architecture and gardens alongside more modern buildings. You can reach Dunedin's vibrant center in just a short walk. Since this is a comprehensive university, students are able to enroll in any of the the subjects offered on campus.

To truly immerse yourself, consider joining a club—there are literally hundreds of clubs to choose from. New Zealand is known for its scenery for a reason, and the ever-popular outdoorsy clubs will help you explore the South Island's splendor. If you'd like to lend a helping hand, Otago also has many volunteer and service learning opportunities. Finally, you can take a deep dive into learning about the native Maori culture of New Zealand.

The University of Otago has about 20,000 students, including 1,000 international students from over 100 countries. While Otago is considered a larger university, Dunedin is actually quite quaint. In fact, Otago accounts for about 20 percent of Dunedin’s population. Dunedin is the perfect place to study abroad if you want to live in a historic setting with a college-town vibe!

Accreditation: EQUIS and AACSB




local otagians enjoying the quad at otago university campus

Student Feedback

CISabroad student photo kayaking study abroad semester in South Island
CISabroad created a comfortable and eventful atmosphere. This program opened my eyes to the world and allowed me to grow comfortable in my own skin when placed in new surroundings.

Rebecca Garibaldi - Colby Sawyer College

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

Your Support Staff

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • January 2018
    Application Deadline
    Oct 15
    January 8 (Estimated)
    January 8-11 (Estimated)
    Classes Start
    January 11 (Estimated)
    Classes End
    February 19 (Estimated)
    February 26 (Estimated)
    $6,490 - $9,090 (Estimated)

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing (residence halls)
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • University of Otago orientation
  • On-site support
  • University of Otago official transcript
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program