Study Abroad and Student Exchange

When you're an Otago Polytechnic student, you can study abroad at one of our partner institutions, located around the world. Or, if you're an international student, come study with us here in New Zealand.

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Study Abroad

For Otago Polytechnic students

When you're a student you can apply for our Study Abroad programme which gives you the opportunity to study overseas for one or two semesters at one of our partner institutions. Fancy studying in Argentina, Switzerland or Hawaii? There are so many options to choose from.

You pay your regular Otago Polytechnic tuition fees, receive your student loan and/or allowance and be able to credit your overseas programme of study back to your Otago Polytechnic qualification. Make new friends, unlock your potential and have the experience of a lifetime.

Ask us about studying abroad

“Travelling was always something I wanted to do and this seemed like a great opportunity to get some career experience, life experience and travel at the same time.”

Jamalia Henderson

Bachelor of Social Services (Career Practice) (Counselling) or (Health and Wellbeing Practice)

Shandong, China

Study abroad FAQs

Am I eligible to study abroad?

To be eligible you must be a current Otago Polytechnic student. Students should have achieved and maintained a minimum grade average of a B. We have study options at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

What type of accomodation will I stay in?

All partner institutions offer advice and assistance with accommodation options. For more specific information, check your chosen institutions website.

What type of support will I receive overseas?

All partner institutions have international office staff who will support you. You will have a contact person in communication with you during the application process, through to your arrival at your chosen institution. You will still receive Student loan and/or allowance through StudyLink while you are studying overseas, and will have access to your institutions student support services.

Your Study Abroad Advisor will also give you support throughout your period overseas and prior to leaving.

How much will it cost?

Studying abroad, you will pay your regular Otago Polytechnic tuition fees and receive your student loan and/or allowance. You will be responsible for paying your own airfare, accommodation costs, living expenses (your student loan will usually cover the accommodation cost), insurance and visa. Some schools have travel scholarships that cover, or partly cover, the cost of your flights. Some partner institutions have scholarships that can be applied for, please check with your Study Abroad Advisor.

Will I need insurance to study outside of New Zealand?

All New Zealand students travelling overseas as part of their study programme will require current and comprehensive medical and travel insurance. For more information about insurance, please talk to your Study Abroad Advisor.

Will I still graduate with my chosen Otago Polytechnic degree?

Yes. You will be able to credit your overseas programme of study back to your Otago Polytechnic degree.

I studied in Finland

I studied in Finland

Tane Leilua spent four months studying Civil Engineering at Finland's Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Student Exchange

For international students

If you're a student who wants to come study in New Zealand, you could study at Otago Polytechnic for one or two semesters as an exchange student, or as a study abroad student paying the discounted study abroad fees. You should check with your institution's international or study abroad office about credit towards your degree.

Explore our campuses

Student exchange FAQs

What can I study?

Explore all your study options here (downloadable booklet).

Fact sheet and nomination template
Am I eligible for a student exchange?

To be eligible to apply for a student exchange you should have:

  • Completed at least one year of study at an accredited tertiary institution outside of New Zealand. US students are expected to be in their Junior year.
  • Current enrolment at an accredited tertiary institution.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater (USA) or have ‘credit’, ‘good’, or 'above average' results.
  • Been nominated by your home institution.
  • If you aren't sure if you meet the eligibility criteria, get in touch and we will confirm if you're eligibile for a student exchange
What type of accommodation will I stay in?

Otago Polytechnic can offer advice and assistance with accommodation options. Many of our exchange students stay in a Homestay, where you live with a Kiwi family, have all your meals provided for you, and explore New Zealand together.

How much will it cost?

The cost for a student exchange will differ between each student, so take into account how far you have to travel to reach New Zealand. Enquire about costs with your international office or contact us at

Will I have to defer my degree to complete an exchange?

No. With some planning, you will be able to credit your Otago Polytechnic programme of study back to your original degree. Please check with your institution's international or study abroad office about credit towards your degree.

Semester 2, 2023 applications are now closed

  • An exchange or study abroad student from a partner institution must be nominated for the programme by the international office of your institution. You will then be contacted by Otago Polytechnic and advised on the application process.
  • Otago Polytechnic must accept your application, and if selected, you must remain enrolled with your home institution.
  • You continue to pay your home institution fees, and do not pay Otago Polytechnic tuition fees if you are an exchange student. Study Abroad students pay a reduced tuition fee.
  • The courses you study may be credited towards your home degree.

Find out if your institution has a partnership with Otago Polytechnic

For any enquiries please email

Contact us

If you’re not sure what to study and would like some guidance, we’re here to help. Feel free to chat to us directly about any questions you may have.