Arcadia Abroad: Victoria University of Wellington

Video and Photos

Me at the beach at Wellington Harbor.
Me walking on the rocks at Red Rocks Nature Reserve.
Kepler Track just after Luxmore Hut
Tramping Club Freshers Trip
South Island Road Trip
Mt. Kaukau

About

Victoria University of Wellington, split between three different campuses minutes apart in Wellington, draw on all that the city offers, from world-class libraries to peerless museum collections. The student body of 17,000 are particularly drawn to political science and public policy classes that rarely fail to reference New Zealand’s parliament just five minutes from campus. Other strengths include theater, film, creative writing, and business.

Travel to fascinating places of interest that enhance your cultural immersion and give a meaningful context to your academic courses. Excursions may include: Queen Charlotte Sound, Abel Tasman National Park, and Waikato District.

Arcadia University opens the doors to new experiences, different academic learning, people, cultures and perspectives so you can build your own lifelong learning and memories. With Arcadia, you can: Enjoy academic success, explore a new world, get to know yourself, rely on us for support, and boost your resume.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 9 reviews
  • Academics 6.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar
Michaela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

10/10 Would Recommend

I'd wanted to go to New Zealand my entire life and I was able to through Arcadia and the Vic. The Arcadia program managers were amazing and fun to be with--very interesting and amazing people! I had decided to take easier classes while abroad because my credits with my home school gave me some wiggle room in what I had to achieve while I was there, which gave me more room to explore and experience all that Wellington had to offer.

Speaking of Wellington, it is an incredible city; I'd definitely consider living there for a period of time. It's extremely walkable and just fun to learn the ins and outs of. There are two farmer's markets every Sunday, one on the water front, which also has a bunch of food trucks, and another, slightly smaller but less busy one only a few blocks away! There is also a night market every Saturday night on Cuba Street off of Manners (at one of the food trucks we got 2 massive, delicious samosas for $6NZD, which is like $4USD--quite the bargain).

A few other Wellington highlights were the Botanical Gardens (the Botans) and Koha. The Botans are beautiful and free and just a great place to go hang out! Plus some glow worms live there so if you want to scout some out for free it's the place to do it, 100%. Koha (which means gift in Te Reo Maori) is a cafe super close to campus, on the way from the Hub to Kelburn park/field, which is within range of the campus wifi and has the sweetest staff. It is a Christian organization but you don't have to be Christian to go hang out there (I'm not lol). There you can get coffee, tea, hot cocoa, sometimes they have sweets, and you only pay what you can! You leave a 'koha' when you leave, so it's a very nice very affordable place for students to come and get some work done. Highly recommend it.

My last note would be that the trips that Arcadia takes you on are unbelievable. For one, orientation was a blast and a good way to get to know the people you'll be spending time with. Two, the weekend trip to Abel Tasman was a once in a lifetime experience and I appreciate that Arcadia added this to the group activities because I wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise. The scenery was beautiful and the hiking was amazing! Most of the students also got to go kayaking the last day there, which looked like a blast. I (unfortunately) had just gotten a wrist cast off and so could not participate in that.

10/10 experience! I already miss it and the people, though I know I made some life-long friends while I was there (sounds cheesy to say, I know, but it's 100% true... so... sorry for the cheese but it is one of the best foods.)

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Study abroad is truly what you make it. One of my friends from the program was the chilliest and most positive people I know and took every situation and saw the funny side to it and I honestly think he had the time of his life. I got stressed out at times but the chill Kiwi way of life is very comforting and really helped me take everything for what it was and not blow it out of proportion. I would say hang out outside when you can (can't beat a good day in Welly!) and participate in things that make you happy. Make the most of your time there.
Read my full story
Sammy
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in New Zealand

I've had an amazing time here in NZ the last couple months. I've had the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful places on earth, take part in activities like skydiving and bungee jumping, met people from all over the world, and had an all new set of perspectives to see the world. The classes in general are much less challenging than at my school in the U.S. and are much larger. I do like the difference though because I go to a smaller school. I like being able to shop for my own foods and cooking them, keeping up with electricity bill payments, and other more independent/adult things. Overall, I'm loving it here and I'd recommend this to anyone!

What would you improve about this program?
From what I can see, it's great as it is and I haven't seen anything than needs any drastic improvement.
Default avatar
Amy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Go to NZ!

Going to New Zealand was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The Arcadia program was a wonderful choice for me. The program director, Jane, and all of her staff are amazing. Everything I could need, I could depend on Jane to help with. If she couldn't help, she found someone who could.

The classes at Vic are good. I was disappointed that I couldn't get into a class that I really, really wanted to take (New Zealand Sign Language- I was a Deaf Cultural Studies Minor). However, the classes that I took were good. Students should know that grading in NZ is not the same as in the US and you shouldn't expect to get an A without going above and beyond the level of work that is expected.

The social life in Wellington is pretty good. I found that people that go Vic, or even just people that live in Wellington, like doing things. Everything you do can be a social experience because people are so nice and willing to socialize.

I liked where I was living. I had five flatmates, but we all got our own rooms. We shared a kitchen and two bathrooms. Two of my flatmates were Kiwis and the other three were study abroad students from the US. It's nice that Arcadia gives students lots of choices of living situations, so there is something for everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
I didn't really know what I was doing when I decided to go to Vic. It worked out for me, but making the choice between Auckland, Wellington, Otago, and Canterbury is a big one. I think there could be a little more emphasis made on that decision.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Ian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Most Fun I've Ever Had

My trip to New Zealand was the most entertaining and eye-opening experience I've ever had in my entire life. I have no complaints about it as the people, food, sights, locations, and trips were just too perfect. All I've thought about since coming back to the US is how I'm going to be able to get back to the land of the Kiwis. The Arcadia staff made the entire process absolutely seamless as well from start to finish. Also Jane Gunn Lewis is the best.

What would you improve about this program?
The registration process could be improved a little bit more as it would be nice if Arcadia was able to assist with it.
Default avatar
Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience In Wellington.

I lived on campus, in Te Kotahinga. The housing was close to campus, safe, and the people I lived with soon became my best friends. Wellington is a city unlike any other, that quickly becomes home. Its location makes it a great place to travel around the north island or take the ferry to the south island. The school is filled with friendly teachers, with class sizes ranging from small (20ish) to very large (500ish). One class I took, Earth Sciences, taught me all about the land of New Zealand and what makes it unique. Through this class I traveled around the greater Wellington area and was taught, hands on, how to identify various geological phenomenon.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have gone for longer. Additionally, I would have taken more trips to the north island, instead of focusing on where I lived and the south island.
Default avatar
Thomas
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Victoria University of Wellington Review

My time in New Zealand was truly amazing. The Arcadia staff did an excellent job of keeping us informed on events and making sure we were enjoying ourselves. The landscape of NZ is incomparable to any other place in the world. Each day we were met with a world class view, great people, and exploration opportunities everywhere. I would recommend to anyone a trip to New Zealand for their study abroad semester.

What would you improve about this program?
I would help students integrate themselves with the kiwi student population more. It seemed as though we were on our own in trying to find kiwi friends and school activities that interested us.
Default avatar
Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Decision I Have Ever Made

Wellington stole my heart. With mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, it's impossible not to fall in love with this city. The Kiwis were so kind and accepting, the classes were interesting and engaging, and the landscape was breathtaking. For anyone who likes to adventure, New Zealand is unmatched. With Great Walks and Victoria University's Tramping Club, every weekend was full of more beautiful views. Arcadia's New Zealand staff is incredible. From orientation to the farewell dinner they were there to support me, answer any and all questions, and help to resolve any problems, no matter how big or small. I truly believe that there is no better program I could have chosen to go abroad with. There are no better people and there is no better place.

10/10 for Arcadia NZ

What would you improve about this program?
My housing situation was less than ideal. If you chose to live in Te Kotahinga, its a gamble. You either get an insanely nice house or a super crappy one. Everton is like a dorm building, with guest restrictions and RAs. I would probably recommend Wai-te-ata for the best living situation, unless you want to try your luck for the nicer Te Kotahinga houses.
Default avatar
Vitalia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

the best 5 months of my life

I am a cultured, intelligent, well-rounded person that always loved nature and conversing with beautiful people in beautiful places. Yet I realized I knew close to nothing about anything until I came to New Zealand.

I was a thorough traveler throughout many parts of the world, but none of them came close. The amazing community that is Wellington is fantastic. The program coordinators are WONDERFUL. I made connections with people I know will always exist. The natural beauty of the country make the people so hospitable, curious, and considerate.

I seriously learned so much about myself, and about everything else.

GO TO NEW ZEALAND!!!!

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change 1 thing, I would have gone early.
Default avatar
Sharyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely Amazing!

Prior to coming to New Zealand I studied abroad with a different program in a different country, Arcadia was far more organized and in touch with us while giving us maximum amount of freedom. Weekly emails kept everyone in the loop and gave us the option to meet up if we wanted while not being over bearing. Jane Gunn Lewis was a FANTASTIC on site director with lots of stories to tell!
Housing accommodations were great, everybody got their own room with shared kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. It was very spacious and great views (Waiteata Flats).
I never felt threatened in the city at all, but with any city necessary precautions should be taken. There is plenty of night life, a definite college town vibe is present in Wellington. Its beautiful and right on the water, I would go back in a heartbeat!
Disclaimer: be prepared to be climbing steps from the city up to Vic.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly cannot think of anything off the top of my head. I would say be aware that this program seems to cater more to people who want to explore and do outdoorsy things. I personally loved that aspect but it might not be for everyone.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

About Arcadia Abroad

Students from colleges and universities throughout the U.S. study abroad with Arcadia University through The College of Global Studies, the first college of its kind in the U.S. With over 130 programs in 11 countries, we offer a wide range of...