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

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Spend a semester or academic year in Wellington, New Zealand with AIFS! Earn up to 16 credits per semester at Victoria University. Courses are taught in English.
Victoria University's Victoria Plus Program is available for students seeking service-learning experience. This combines leadership workshops and seminars with work in Wellington's not-for-profit sector.
Live in a university residence hall. A meal allowance is built into your program fee to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals in Wellington.
Cultural and social activities include museum visits, food tours, kayaking, hiking, sporting events, and more. A Lord of the Rings Location Tour, a trip to Zealandia, and a 3-day excursion to Rotorua are included as well.
A 1-credit Pacific Studies Program in Suva, Fiji, is available for AIFS students prior to the start of the program.

  • 3-day Rotoura excursion
  • Lord of the Rings Location Tour
  • Transcripts issued by Victoria University of Wellington

Related Programs

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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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.

How can this program be improved?
Keep the program small, it makes it much easier to build relationships with all the students as one big group rather than small groups.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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!


Yes, I recommend this program
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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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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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.

Yes, I recommend this program


Meet the Alumni

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....