Study Abroad at New Zealand University of Otago with Arcadia University

University of Otago
Preliminary Course Instructions 

The Course Selection Process

In order to proceed with your application to the University of Otago, you will need to propose a preliminary course selection for your semester. Your courses should be chosen in consultation with your academic advisor, so if you have not previously done so, please meet with your academic advisor to ensure that the courses that you plan to take overseas will transfer back to your degree program.

To obtain the most up-to-date listing of courses, we advise that you refer to the overseas universities website. Please refer to the section "Navigating the Overseas Course Website" listed below for more information.

In addition to your proposed course selections, we recommend that you choose a series of alternate courses. Your first choice selections may not be available due to scheduling changes, time conflicts, prerequisites or cancellations. Your flexibility is very important to the process.

If your enrollment is conditional upon entry into a specific course or courses, it is very important that you indicate these requirements at the bottom of the course selection form. While every effort will be made to accommodate your selections, Arcadia University cannot guarantee placement in any specific course.   


Course Registration

You are required to maintain a full-time course load throughout your period of study in New Zealand. A full-time course load is defined by Arcadia University as 13.5-18 U.S. semester hours of credit. This is equivalent to three to six courses at the University of Otago. You should also be aware of any credit requirements at your home institution.

University of Otago
Credit Point Units
U.S. University
Semester Hours of Credit
9 2.5
12 3.0
13.5 3.5
18 4.5
24 6
27 7

Course registration will begin online and will be finalized before arriving to Otago, so it is very important that course selections are limited to your final four choices (listed first), and three alternate choices (listed below your first choices), which will only be assessed if any of your first four are declined. The preliminary course form must indicate which courses you actually want to be enrolled in while you are studying at Otago, so please consider your course selections very carefully. You cannot take more than 4 courses per semester. Once you have registered, you will need to be aware of the add/drop policy at the University of Otago before making further alterations to your schedule. You should also inform your home institution of any alternations you make to your schedule once you’ve arrived.

The University of Otago requires a copy of your passport in order to officially register you as a student. Please submit a copy of this document along with your course selection form.

Other Important Points:

  • Students must take at least one upper-level (200 or 300-level) course per semester. As part of the course approval process, University of Otago faculty will review your home school transcript to ensure that you have completed the equivalent pre-requisites.

  • When completing the Preliminary Course Form, list 200 or 300-level courses first, followed by 100-level courses.

  • Additional course fees may be associated with some of your overseas course work. Courses that include laboratory work, field excursions or theater trips will often require a supplementary fee. Additionally, many fine art or production courses will include a supplemental fee for the materials used in the class. Please refer to the online course description to determine whether the courses you have selected have additional fees. Please see our fee information online here.

  • If you intend to enroll in studio art, graphic, art media production, drama, dance or music courses, you will need to submit a portfolio or audition tape. Arcadia University will accept slides or a CD of your work. It is recommended that you submit between 8-12 examples of your work. Because your work is sent to the overseas university, we are unable to return the art portfolio to you. Please be aware that all fine arts courses in New Zealand are year-long courses commencing in February.


Navigating the Overseas Course Website

When selecting your courses from the overseas website, you should be aware of some differences in terminology. In New Zealand, individual courses are referred to as papers. Additionally, please be mindful of the semester in which you intend to take courses. Courses listed as being on offer Semester I will run from February to June and Semester II will run from July to November.

University of Otago Courses

The above link will take you to an alphabetical directory of subjects on offer at the University of Otago. Click on the subject(s) of your interest and scroll down to 'Papers' (which is the term used for course in New Zealand). Click on the link for a full list of courses. You'll find relevant details for each course, including course description (which is referred to as a prescription in New Zealand), point value and semester the course is on offer.



For assistance with any part of the application process, email your program manager or call 1-866-927-2234.

Please review your course choices with your academic or study abroad advisor, and submit the online course registration form on your Arcadia Passport.