Program Overview

Spend your summer in Dunedin, New Zealand, the country’s adventure capital! Enjoy world-class academics at Otago University, picturesque landscapes, and a youthful city bustling with students. Trek one of New Zealand’s Great Walks that dot the South Island, hit the powder for some of the world’s best skiing, or test your nerves in the adventure capital of the world – Queenstown. Turn New Zealand into your classroom for three weeks this summer. As a student at University of Otago’s International School, you’ll be paired up with local Kiwi students, who will help you adjust to and explore your new summer home.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
Summer: April 1
Avg Course Load
1 course (3-4 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
  • Learn about Maori culture on a course field excursion
  • "Lord of the Rings" country on the sparsely populated South Island
  • Bustling college city, where one in five residents are students
  • Study at New Zealand's oldest university
  • Easy access to beautiful sand beaches, mountains, and rugged coastline
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.



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

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. 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.

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.

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

Course Information

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses.

Courses can range from term to term. However the majority of the courses offered are in the following academic areas: Art History, Business and Economics, Geography, Maori Studies, Modern Languages, and Sciences.

The course available this term is the following:

Southern Landscapes

Click here to find out more about the course listed above.

Life in Dunedin

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll be picked up from the airport, brought to your accommodation and begin your two day orientation in your new home of Dunedin, New Zealand with our onsite staff. 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.

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

As a Summer in New Zealand study abroad program participant, you’ll live in the self-catered Otago University Flats.The university flats are located within a few minutes walking distance from the University campus and only ten minutes from the main city shopping center. You may live with Kiwis to fully immerse yourself in New Zealand culture.


  • Basic kitchen amenities to prepare your meals
  • Bedrooms contain a double bed with mattress, a desk, chair, and drawers
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 the second most populous city on New Zealand's South Island. This historic yet lively college town situated on the Otago Peninsula is a prime representation of the country's tendency to blend history, culture, natural beauty, and adventure. Just over 120,000 folks call Dunedin home, enjoying the city's impressive selection of restaurants, bars, nightlife, museums, and shopping, as well as an abundance of natural attractions within easy reach. The city's preserved Victorian architecture feels like stepping back in time.

Between its rugged coastline and volcanic-remnant hills and mountains, Dunedin is an excellent jumping off point for adventures of every kind, including hiking, skiing, water sports, and adventure tourism (including bungee jumping). The northern hemisphere summer is winter in New Zealand, but Dunedin's temperate coastal climate remains relatively warm year-round.

New Zealanders, also known as "Kiwis," are generally a laid-back, fun-loving and sarcastic bunch. They 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.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in 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.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Emma Van Loon
Senior Program Coordinator - Australia, New Zealand, and Hawai'i

Travel Tip: When I begin planning a trip I love to leave two or three days free. There are always fun activities you’ll learn about while in country so you don’t want to miss out on them due to over scheduling!

Learn more about Emma

Helena Henare-Coolen
Site Director of New Zealand

Travel Tip: Leave the umbrella at home as it is no match for the capital known as ‘Windy Wellington”. Make sure you pack a good raincoat and some warm socks.

Learn more about Helena

Student Feedback

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, Semester in New Zealand - South Island, Colby Sawyer College, English

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.

  • Summer 2020
    Application Deadline
    April 1
    June 20 (Estimated)
    July 11 (Estimated)
    $5,590 (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