Study Abroad in Wellington, New Zealand: Semester or Academic Year

Video and Photos

Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach
Traveling during break with friends
Traveling during break with friends
AIFS kids at Te Papa in Wellington
AIFS kids at Te Papa in Wellington
Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom, LOTR), Tongariro National Park.
AIFS Wellington, New Zealand
AIFS Wellington, New Zealand
AIFS Wellington, New Zealand
AIFS Wellington, New Zealand

About

Spend a semester or academic year in Wellington with AIFS. Earn up to 16 credits studying at Victoria University. Participate in the Full Curriculum Program or the Specialized Study Abroad Program. The optional Pacific Studies Program in Suva, Fiji focuses on the history and culture of the Pacific Region.

Global Leadership and Service Learning opportunities include:
• Victoria PLUS, an extracurricular certificate program that includes volunteerism, workshops and seminars.
• The Victoria International Leadership Program, a self-paced extra-curricular certificate program about global issues, competency and employability.
• Victoria International Buddy Program, a friendship and peer support program.

Live in a university residence hall with meal allowance included.

You’ll enjoy cultural and social activities such as:
• Guided city walks
• Cable car ride over the city
• Sporting events like rugby or cricket
• Lord of the Rings Tour
• 3-day excursion to Rotorua

Highlights
  • 3-day Rotorua excursion
  • Lord of the Rings Location Tour
  • Earn up to 16 credits and transcript issued by Victoria University
  • Optional 1-Week Pacific Studies Program in Fiji
  • Internship and volunteer opportunities

Scholarships

AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships
AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants & Financial Support

We believe a study abroad experience is an essential component of well-rounded university education and we are committed to providing financial assistance to as many students as possible in support of their goal to study abroad.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 7 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 7 of 7
Default avatar
Alissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kiwi Life

10/10 experience

The phrase 'coolest little capital in the world' really holds true for this city. It gives off such a modern and hip vibes with the feeling of culture and history as well. Some of the friendliest, easy going people ever encountered, with the perk of being one of the safest countries in the world! Indeed, windy welly is a true phrase as well so don't forget your rain jacket and some layers (and just leave your umbrella at home). Even on a rainy day, Wellington does not lack any views or things to do - Cuba street for some shopping or coffee date, botanical gardens, museums, Westpac stadium for a rugby game, and much more (guess you'll just have to go to see for yourself!).

Being located in the bottom of the north island, there was easy access take a ferry to the south island or get cheap plane tickets into Christchurch then rent a car to tour the entire island. Renting a car to travel across and up the north island was also very doable.

Other traveling opportunities open such as using Easter break from classes to travel to such as Fiji, Australia, SE Asia.

Alissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Kiwi Life

10/10 experience

Wellington being the 'coolest little capital in the world' really holds true. Living in a flat that has a view of a rugby field on one side, ocean and mountains on another, the city on another, and looking up to see the botanicals gardens pretty much sums up my experience. New Zealand is a place for those who can enjoy natural beauty and adventure. The south island is a must see place- which I was fortunate enough to visit three times with various friends I met through AIFS. Some of my personal favorite memories that may give you a taste of what life abroad here looks like includes sky diving over Lake Wanaka with my mom while she visited on Easter break and renting a van to live out of for the week while traveling across the south island with two others.

Default avatar
Alexa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I never wanted to leave!

My experience at VUW was incredible. The students and staff were so helpful and welcoming. Whenever I had a question I did not hesitate to reach out to anyone. Before going abroad I was terrified of graduating college and entering "the real world" but in New Zealand, I learned that the world has so much to offer and I am ready to see what it has for me. I am encouraged to continue my post grad schooling in New Zealand after my time abroad. I learned so much in my courses at VUW, a couple of projects I completed while there are listed on my resume because I felt like my education had been so thoroughly enriched by them. I am a more mature and worldly individual today because of my time in NZ. I was a part of the tramping club which was always so much fun. AIFS always was there every step of the way and the program gave me a group of friends that I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I have done so much at my home University to advertise AIFS, they are the way to go! We did so much together and really made a life in NZ. I am so ready to return as soon as possible. My favorite memories were road tripping around the entire country, hiking everything we could and going to the street markets and walking around Wellington, taking in every bit of the culture and character of the city that I could.

What would you improve about this program?
Keep the program small, it makes it much easier to build relationships with all the students as one big group rather than small groups.
Default avatar
Anna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Everyone! Go to New Zealand!

This was a great program to use for my first time leaving the USA. Applying was very straightforward and AIFS sorted out my housing, flights, and provided me with a debit card for food. It was too easy! I got a good insight into Fijian culture because we got to stay with a family which I really enjoyed. In New Zealand, I was able to explore on my own, and attend trips that AIFS planned in advance. There was always something to look forward to. The only downside was the cost. If you can set up an exchange with your University and Victoria it would be much cheaper in the long run. It might take more time and more planning, but it will encourage you to be responsible and independent. Overall, AIFS was a great program and I would recommend it. I loved New Zealand so much, I actually moved back after finishing my degree in the states.

GO TO NEW ZEALAND!! It's the best!

Cheers,
Anna

Read my full story
Default avatar
Meredith
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New Zealand

New Zealand is an amazing country. The people are probably the nicest in the world. It would have been nice if we had the opportunity to have housing with people from New Zealand instead of just international students. Had an amazing time though. The country is amazing and I traveled every chance I got which was very easy because of the large number of clubs and the cheapness of renting cars.

The biggest problem I had was deciding what to see and where to travel. Make a list of priorities before you go because I wasted part of the summer figuring out where I wanted to go when if I had come prepared I would have been able to visit more places and see everything I wanted.

What would you improve about this program?
The excursions our program offered were not that great, they were organized decently but the locations we went were just ok. They had a stupid trip to Rotorua which is a cool place but it would have been better if we had gone elsewhere.
Default avatar
Pookie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Windy Welly

I chose to live in a flat with four other people and learned to love each one of my roommates for their uniqueness and willingness to adventure! My house was located in the hills that looked out around Wellington Harbour. From my back porch I could look down into the city, which was about a 5 minute walk away. The view was absolutely breath taking and I still dream about it to this day! I lived with another student who was from New Zealand, and I found that to be particularly helpful as well. He showed us around the town, and introduced us to other people from New Zealand.

My house was about a 5 minute walk from Victoria University. I attended an international orientation at the beginning of my stay, which was really helpful. We toured the campus and got a feel for where our classes would be. The support that was provided not only through AIFS, but Victoria University was outstanding. I felt comfortable asking for help and being in a different environment.

The course load I found was challenging because the style was not what I am use to. I felt that I completed a lot of essays and research for the majority of my classes. The professors did not really assign busy work at all. I had no problem confronting any of my professors if I needed help. I took a Political course and found it particularly challenging. Being aware of the upper level courses could have benefited me in the long run, however, like I said, the professors were willing to work with me on a regular basis. They found it quite humorous that I ended up in this class without any prior knowledge or understanding of their governing system.

Some issues I encountered were being left in New Zealand and having no means of transportation to the airport when it was time to leave for Sydney. When I arrived in Sydney, no one was there to pick us and no hostel was booked anywhere. We walked around Sydney with our luggage from 5 months. I found this to be quite frustrating and unbecoming of a company whose job is to accommodate and safely guide students in their study abroad experience. In the end, it was all a part of the journey and it is important to know and understand what needs to be done when things like this occur. Students need to be prepared and have the means to provide themselves with food and shelter in situations like this.

I spent some time in Fiji as well. Two of the representatives for AIFS Maina and Lili were absolutely wonderful. They took us and offered advice when we needed it. Being in a country like Fiji can be a little intimidating at times. They did their best to assure us that we would be safe. I still keep in touch with both of these ladies today and consider them to be my really good friends. I stayed with a host family and it was a really interesting and beautiful experience. I was not sure what to expect. My host mother was a professor at the University of South Pacific where I took some crash courses. I felt right at home and Laijipa was so sweet! She provided us with meals and made sure we enjoyed our stay. Some of the other students did not get the luxury of hot water in some of the families that they stayed with.

I had the time of my life and have grown in more ways then I have ever expected. Not in a million years did I think that I would be able to say that I lived and studied in New Zealand. Learning about the Maori culture and way of life was unbelievable.
I would recommend anyone to this program! I would even love to do it again!

Default avatar
Kelley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience

I highly recommend going to Victoria University of Wellington. The classes are interesting and while I learned a lot, I would not say it was harder than my home university. The city always has something going on to the beach, shopping, mountains. I made some of the best friends in my life through the study abroad experience. New Zealand truly is one of the most beautiful countries in the world especially Wellington. Wellington is easy enough to get around through the transportation and was always very safe. The housing that Victoria University offers is very different depending on if you want a house, apartment or dorm. There are various housing locations throughout the whole city. Victoria also has student activities and many clubs that students are able to join to make their experience the best imaginable.