Welcome to study
This page will give you an idea of what tertiary study is like at Otago Polytechnic, the expectations on you as a learner and the opportunities you will encounter.
Your new environment
Entering a new environment can be difficult. Go easy on yourself and give yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings, new city, and new people.
You may be away from home for the first time, living in Te Pa Tauira or in a new flat and this is a huge adjustment. A good settle-in time is a must! This is different for everyone, so take your time and don't force it.
Have a look over the OP interactive map, make sure you know where you are going, and most importantly where you can go to ask questions.
Your own journey
Remember that your time at OP is your own journey. Keep your goals in sight and adjust them as you travel along the study path.
Sometimes you will need to make some choices about which papers or which speciality to take, or where to apply for work experience. You may also experience doubts about whether you are taking the right programme.
Talk to your teachers and with the Careers Services team for advice and help with decision making. Often you can change direction in the first few weeks. Our Career Services team at Student Success can help you navigate your way to your goal and give advice and options for courses.
Useful information to guide your journey
Your study expectations
At tertiary level you are expected to treat your study like a job, more often than not you will be spending 40 hours per week on your learning. A good guide is to keep your study routine at 9-5pm then you will notice a better work and life balance.
Sometimes during exams or assessment weeks you may need to work in the weekend as well. Make your study your top priority and you will succed.
At tertiary level you are expected to take control of your studies, interact in groups, be self-motivated and committed to giving it your best. Be proactive in your study and don't be afraid to ask for, or accept, help and support.
If you are finding things overwhelming, come and see the Student Success team.
"Be proactive in your study and ask for support."
Managing your study
Getting used to your new workload will mean you may have to take some time in planning out your weeks. Planning your study will decrease stress and make things feel more manageable. You should try to set up a good study routine in the first three weeks of your programme.
It is important to speak up early when you are feeling overwhelmed with your study or life in general. That way strategies can be put in place to smooth the road. Know who your support team are and where to access them. Student Success can help with learning how to learn, study techniques, study planning and how to manage stressful situations.
Take up new opportunities and experiences, get involved and build your network!
Your personal growth
During your time at OP you will have many opportunities to develop not only your academic skills - but your personal goals, worldview, beliefs and your values.
Make the most of this amazing time, you may be in a programme where you share these thoughts and learn from others at the same time. There are opportunities to explore the world, for instance through study abroad programmes.
Being part of OP
You are now part of an amazing place where people are passionate about the OP values:
We value people, communities and the environment
We are bold in shaping a better future
We are responsible and act with integrity
We inspire and enable others to succeed
To find out more about the OP Values visit the the page Our vision and values
You have chosen what to do for yourself.
First year is your most exciting year, the second year you get yourself and the third year is like reading your own story, or watching your own movie. You look back and think, OMG I have achieved so much!
Looking back, you really have a sense of achievement and you know what you want. You have chosen what to do for yourself. The support is there, it really is. You don’t need to find it – just grab it.