• New Zealand
    • Wellington
Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Accounting Anthropology Architecture Art History Asian Studies Biology Business Chemistry Classical Studies Communications Computer Science Conservation and Preservation Creative Writing Criminal Justice Design Earth Sciences Ecology Economics Education Environmental Studies Film Finance Health Sciences History International Relations Linguistics Māori Studies Marine Biology Pacific Studies Philosophy Physics Political Science Psychology Religious Studies Tourism +25
General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
High School Diploma Bachelors


Price Details
AIFS Abroad is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Program fees cover tuition and housing. Coordinated AIFS Abroad Flight Packages with major airlines are also available.

What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Meals Some Meals Transportation Travel Insurance
What's Included (Extra)

Round trip flights and airport transfers included for students on the optional AIFS Abroad Flight Package.

Feb 21, 2024
Dec 14, 2019
16 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend a semester or academic year in Wellington with AIFS Abroad. 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

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.

LGBTQIA+ Support

At AIFS Abroad, we want to support all participants in their study/internship abroad journey, inclusive of gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Everyone has a complex identity, and faith, spirituality, and religion are important factors when deciding on a program location.

Accessibility Support

Everyone’s experience is unique. We recognize the location you choose can have an impact on your sense of belonging. We encourage you to use the information below as you review your options to select the program and location that will be the best choice for you. If you do not hold the identities that are amplified here, this information is still a great resource for you as well. It will give you a better understanding of those who have this identity.



In response to the overwhelming global climate crisis, AIFS Abroad is pleased to make Sustainability a key priority when considering organizational, operational, and programming decisions. We understand that the only way to effectively combat this crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change is to drastically reduce our environmental impact. Therefore, AIFS Abroad has committed to reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2025. AIFS Abroad is proud to announce we have signed the CANIE Accord, becoming the first US provider to make this commitment.

Program Highlights

  • Earn up to 16 credits and transcript issued by Victoria University
  • Internship and volunteer opportunities
  • 3-day Rotorua excursion & Lord of the Rings Location Tour
  • Onsite Program Coordinator To help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program
  • Carbon offsetting for all participants’ flights to and from their program location

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.25
  • Support 4.65
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 4.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly an unforgettable experience.

I studied abroad in the Spring semester (Fall trimester in New Zealand) of 2019, at Victoria University Wellington. I was at their business school, Pipitea, which was an amazing school, truly, with state-of-the-art facilities and staff, and the secondary building was the old Parliament building so it was beautiful and full of governmental history as well.

Studying business abroad, in New Zealand in particular, was one of the most difficult semesters academically that I've ever experienced. I was definitely told going in that I should not take business classes outside of the USA, but I didn't really have a choice, so I ended up going against recommendation. However, though it was difficult, I ended up learning so much more about my field of study and how business is done in different parts of the world that was just so interesting that I don't regret my decision at all.

The program I chose, AIFS, was spectacular in that it truly provided everything I could have asked for and many things I didn't. My parents weren't so sure about my going abroad, but AIFS had such a tailored, all-inclusive program laid out that they were able to be more at ease and comforted in my traveling halfway across the world alone. In addition, the program for AIFS New Zealand is fairly small (there were only 7 in my cohort), so really they are able to pay so much more individual attention and we were able to do so many more things that couldn't have been possible if there were more of us.

All in all, my time in New Zealand and with AIFS contain some of my best ever memories, and I highly highly recommend this program to any and everyone who is able.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
There were 2! The academics were definitely the most rigorous I've ever experienced; and going into my finals completely unsure of how I would come out in the end was tough! But I managed to get the hang of the different style of classes towards the end, so I was able to prepare as much as I could for the final exams.

The second most nerve-wracking experience was at the airport coming back, when basically all of our bags and our carry-ons (yes, they weigh your carry-ons too!) were overweight and we had to figure out a way to either consolidate or pay the fees for overweight bags. What I ended up doing was stuffing all the extra weight from my carry-on into my checked bag so that it was the only item that was overweight, and I had to pay less.
117 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
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.

129 people found this review helpful.
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.

125 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
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.
129 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
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!


122 people found this review helpful.
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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.
135 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
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!

137 people found this review helpful.
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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.

121 people found this review helpful.
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Questions & Answers