International students' step-by-step guide

Step 1 : complete the International Student Application form 

We have an online or paper-based application form. You can go straight to the online form here, or by clicking Apply on any of our programme information pages. You can download the paper form from this page, and send it to us as a scanned email or by post.

We are here to help and can send you information about Otago Polytechnic and your intended programme of study.

Step 2 : submit your application 

What you need to do

Application dates vary, so please check the programme information to make sure we receive your application in time. If you are not already in New Zealand, please send us your application at least three months before your programme starts as it can take some time to organise the necessary documents. If you are in New Zealand, please contact us to discuss the documents you need for your application.

We require with your English language (ESOL) application form: 

Official identification: A photocopy or scanned copy of the photo page of your current passport. 

You can apply anytime for our English Language (ESOL) programmes. We will not require an English language test result.

We require with your application form for ALL other programmes: 

Official identification: A photocopy or scanned copy of the photo page of your current passport.

Your academic history:

  • Certified English language translations of your academic records, including your academic transcripts from your previous study (secondary school or tertiary study)
  • Certified copy(ies) of your final award (the diploma or degree you received) and any other qualifications you have received
  • Proof of your English language capabilities: A copy of your official English language test results. We accept IELTS, TOEFL and New Zealand Certificate in English language (Levels 1-5) results. We also accept other English proficiency tests. Please contact us for more information.  

What we will do

Communicate with you and respond to any questions or concerns you have. Email or phone +64 3 477 3014

We may ask for other requirements, such as:

  • A copy of your current resumé or curriculum vitae
  • Letters of reference
  • A portfolio (Creative Studies, Art and Design applicants).
  • Other information may be requested. We will let you know what you need to send us.
  • We may ask you to submit your documentation to Education Credentials Evaluators (ECE) for more information. See

Step 3 : acknowledgement of your application form 

We will confirm that we have received your application. We will also let you know if you need to provide us with more information. And, we will let you know how long it will take to receive your Offer of Place package.

Step 4 : review your Offer of Place package

What we will do

Send you an unconditional or conditional Offer of Place package.
  • If you meet all of the requirements and are successful, you will be sent an unconditional Offer of Place package. This means you are accepted.
  • You may be sent a conditional Offer of Place. This means that we require more information from you before you can be accepted.

What you need to do

If you receive a conditional Offer of Place, you must send us additional documentation or evidence that shows that you meet the conditions of entry. For instance, you may need to send us your English language test results.

Step 5 : accept your Offer of Place and pay your fees 

What we will do

Send you an unconditional Offer of Place package which includes: 
  • Offer of Place letter with a statement of fees (this includes your tuition fees and all additional fees)
  • Acceptance documents
  • Student visa and travel/medical insurance information 
  • Your Accommodation and Arrival form
  • Other important information to help you prepare for your Otago Polytechnic studies. 

What you need to do

  • Read and understand our refund policy for international students. You’ll find these details on our website.
  • Accept your Offer of Place and return it to us as a scanned document by email, or as an original by post. 
  • Pay your fees (tuition and additional fees). We will send you a payment receipt which you will need to obtain your student visa. 

Step 6 : accommodation and arrival 

What you need to do

Give us details about your accommodation. Tell us about your arrival. 

Complete the Accommodation and Arrival Response form (found in your Offer of Place package) and return it to us by email or post. Contact us if you require help to find accommodation or a place in a local homestay. 

What we will do

With the information you give us, we will make sure that you have found the right type of accommodation. We can also organise your airport pick-up in Auckland, Dunedin or Queenstown (for Central Otago students) OR arrange for someone to meet you at another location when you arrive. 

Step 7 : student visa and travel arrangements 

What you need to do

Obtain your student visa. Make your travel arrangements. 
  • Make your travel arrangements to New Zealand.

What we will do

We are still here to advise you. Let us know if you have any questions when applying for your New Zealand student visa or if you need help with your arrival or travel arrangements. Email

Step 8 : arrival in New Zealand 

What you need to do

Arrive in New Zealand.

Attend our International student orientation at your chosen campus, enrol in your programme and learn more about being a student here. And enjoy your life as a student in New Zealand!

What we will do

We will welcome you to your campus and make sure that you are ready to start your studies. We will continue to support you during your time at Otago Polytechnic and help you to reach your goals.