IFSA: Study Abroad Programs in New Zealand

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About

Top-notch academics meet exquisite natural beauty and Maori culture in New Zealand. Enjoy outdoor adventure by taking advantage of hiking, skiing, fishing, camping and river rafting opportunities throughout the country, or simply take a stroll through the famously beautiful countryside. New Zealand has plenty of urban excitement, too. From the vibrant capital city of Wellington to sophisticated Auckland to college-town Dunedin, New Zealand’s cities feature sports, entertainment, cultural attractions and lots to see and do. It’s no wonder Lonely Planet named New Zealand the top destination in the world two years in a row!

The flexibility of the New Zealand university system gives you a great selection of courses and subjects, as well as the opportunity to truly immerse yourself into the Kiwi culture.

Scholarships

IFSA Scholarships
IFSA Scholarships and Financial Aid

We believe that study abroad should be within reach of every student, so we offer a wide range of scholarships and funding opportunities for all our participants.

Value
$500 - $2,500

Popular Programs

University of Auckland

Located in the geographical and economical heart of New Zealand's largest city, the University of Auckland is surrounded by beautiful parks, galleries, museums, shopping areas and more bars and cafes than you can count. This prestigious university is ranked within the top 100 universities in the world offering a diverse catalogue of courses in a wide range of subjects.

University of Canterbury

Established in 1873 by scholars of Oxford and Cambridge, the University of Canterbury is ranked amongst the top 3% of universities in the world. If you are interested in hiking, snow sports, rock-climbing or pretty much anything outdoors, prepare for Canterbury to steal your heart and fill up your Instagram feed.

University of Otago

Dunedin is a classic university town known as the "Edinburgh of the South". The University of Otago is New Zealand's oldest university, a top-ranked research institution and the second southernmost university in the world. Quality academics shared houses with Kiwi hosts, and amazing outdoor excursions are all yours at Otago.

Victoria University of Wellington

Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's hilly capital city is a vibrant campus with an award-winning International leadership program. Here not only will you be encouraged academically but you will find yourself living in a diverse, artsy, cosmopolitan city home to more cafés and bars per capita than even New York City.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.1 Rating
based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 21
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Kristin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Dancing, Interning, and Having an Incredible Experience in New Zealand!

My experience studying abroad in New Zealand at the University of Auckland through IFSA was truly incredible. As a dancer and dance major, this program was filled with invaluable opportunities. Working with IFSA staff and UoA's internship coordinator, I was able to secure an internship with Dance and Arts Therapy New Zealand. This was one of the highlights of my time abroad and offered hands-on professional experience in a field of great interest to me. In addition, I was able to choreograph and perform on stage with the university's dance studies students. This experience led to tremendous growth as an artist, dancer, and choreographer. But beyond my academic experiences, the on-site IFSA staff were so supportive and strived to have everyone's experience be the best it could be. The IFSA sponsored trips allowed for opportunities to travel, explore, and learn while being immersed in the host culture and surrounded by New Zealand's breathtaking beauty.

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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Community Abroad

For me, studying abroad with IFSA meant having a constant community of support around me. This came from and was fostered by the IFSA staff. When I landed in New Zealand, I was nervous and didn't know a single person in. I learned right off the bat that everyone was nervous and that the IFSA staff was there for us for whatever we needed. They really pushed us all in the program to get to know each other, which ended up being the best thing. I made life-long friends due to IFSA, and I am so grateful to this program.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Just go for it. If an opportunity comes up, take it. What I loved about IFSA was that I felt safe. I knew that if anything went wrong, the IFSA staff and my friends in the program would be there for me. This made me feel comfortable taking risks and pushing myself as a person. So my advice would be to recognize that you have a support system around you, so you don't need to be afraid to just go for it.
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Akanksha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Time at Victoria University of Wellington with IFSA

The IFSA Butler team was so supportive of my time abroad. From organizing events every weekend to hanging out one-on-one with my study abroad advisor, IFSA truly supplemented my incredible experience abroad. VUW is a wonderful and diverse environment that I wish and hope to return to in the future. I had an amazing time with my professors, who were individually and collectively very encouraging, as well as with engaging with their materials in the classroom--which were about Pasifika and Māori culture and creative writing.

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Sara
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible experience, highly recommend

This experience was amazing! New Zealand is the most beautiful country I have ever had the pleasure of exploring. I would recommend this program for anybody that is interested in hiking, kayaking, camping, skiing, anything outdoors. Also, IFSA was a great program to work with because they organized my housing for me. Ideally, I would have liked to stay with more locals rather than other study abroad students. Another benefit of IFSA is that it gave me the contact information of a local who worked with the program that would check in and ensure my safety while introducing me to the culture. I also got to go on day long experiences with my study abroad group which was really fun.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I learned how to go whitewater kayaking! It was a crazy experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Shout out to the University of Canterbury Canoe Club!
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Mia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Neuroscience in New Zealand

Living in New Zealand was hands down one of the best times of my life, and I have the IFSA program to thank for that. Through the IFSA program, I was able to find an internship as a research assistant for Brain Research New Zealand in their Alzheimer's and Dementia Research Clinic. Not only did this experience give me much needed lab experience to build my resume, but it also gave me the opportunity to work in an international setting with professionals in my field of study. I was able to make lifelong connections with the people I worked with, and I still keep in contact with my internship mentor!
Another aspect of the IFSA program that I loved was the balance between academics and adventure. We went on several IFSA sponsored trips throughout the semester, where we were able to bond as a group and experience all of New Zealand's natural beauty while learning at the same time! For one of our trips, we went to an island off the coast of Auckland to plant trees with a conservation group. They explained to us how the island used to be a cattle farm, and now it is being completely replanted to bring back some of the indigenous plants and animals. It was such a cool experience to learn about New Zealand conservation efforts and also contribute to what makes New Zealand such a beautiful place. This semester abroad really changed my view on living outside of the US, and IFSA has helped me to make amazing memories that I will cherish forever.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
A group of friends and I took a trip to Hot Water Beach, which is about a two hour drive outside of Auckland. The cool thing about this beach is that it sits on top of geothermal activity. At the beach you can rent shovels, and if you dig a hole in the sand it will fill up with hot water! Basically you can make your own little hot tub in the sand and sit by the water looking at the view. It was such a cool experience and it is definitely something you can't find anywhere else!
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Caroline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IFSA Dunedin, New Zealand

I had a wonderful experience studying in New Zealand with IFSA. From the time I opened an application, IFSA staff was so welcoming and answered all my questions. I felt comfortable every step of the way as there was always someone there to help me. The orientation was a great way to meet other students and get used to a new country before moving into flats. It was also a great way to adjust to the new time zone. My favorite part of the program was all the different trips we got to go on. Whether it was a volunteering trip to a nature reserve or an overnight cruise through doubtful sound, each trip allowed me to see so many beautiful parts of the country with a group of really supportive and excited students! IFSA really did everything to make my abroad experience as special as it could be and also worked to make my transition back to the US much easier. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I had the experience to do this again, I would definitely travel more. I got to see a lot of the country but there are so many places to go in New Zealand that I feel like I didn't even make a dent! I really hope I get the chance to go back one day and see all the places that I couldn't make it to!
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Danielle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad in NZ was Sweet As!

I spent my junior fall studying at the University of Otago in Dunedin through IFSA and loved every minute of it! I decided to go abroad at the last minute and knew no one else who was going to study in NZ, so I was a little nervous when I arrived in New Zealand to say the least. However, IFSA was so great in helping to handle housing and pickup from the airport, providing an orientation and monthly group excursions, and having support staff on campus and close by. Orientation was a really nice way to meet other abroad students before arriving to campus and helped me make some of my closest friends from abroad. In general, New Zealand is an incredible place that has such a rich environmental and cultural history where you can learn a lot both inside and outside the classroom. There are so many opportunities to go explore the country, whether it be through clubs, IFSA trips, or just a roadtrip with friends. Studying abroad in New Zealand was one of the best decisions of my life, so if you are debating whether or not to study abroad, please take a chance and DO IT!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take classes that you wouldn't normally take and take classes that will help you learn more about New Zealand and the Pacific Islands!
Also, be adventurous, be spontaneous, and go see NZ! The South Island is amazing and has so much to offer for every type of person, so get off out of the city every once in a while and go see the rest of the country!
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Favorite Semester

I spent my sophomore spring semester abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. It was a phenomenal experience that I think about at least once a day. The country itself is so green, clean, and open once you got outside of the major cities. The cities, though, still were incredibly eco friendly with green spaces and were safe so that you could walk around and feel safe. The nightlife was fun as well, and I often spent my afternoons after class walking throughout Auckland streets and discovering hidden gems. Of course, I could not have enjoyed my time in New Zealand nearly as much without the support of IFSA. I never felt isolated or alone with the help and support of my onsite coordinator. We had weekly catch up meetings with snacks and coffee to debrief any troubles we had during the week, whether it be midterms or homesickness. My IFSA group was incredibly close knit, so we often spent nights out or days studying together too; but our relationships were definitely enhanced due to our united IFSA experience. After all, when we first arrived, we all arrived nervous and vulnerable. However, after our 3 day orientation in the middle of nowhere, we had grown quite close through shared meals, games, and group activities.
The University of Auckland is a top notch institute to study at. I took my professional electives there, and was lucky to be able to take classes in a wide range of subjects (public health, history, business, and environmental science). I highly condone taking a pacific studies course to fully understand the origins of New Zealand.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment in studying abroad is getting on the plane. After saying goodbye to your family, suddenly, you realize just how alone you are. Even with prepping ahead of time with help from the IFSA staff, nothing can quite prepare you for when you are on a 12 hour flight with no clue how your next 5 months will go. However, stepping off the plane, and being welcomed with open arms by the IFSA crew made all of my worries go away.