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 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

9.08 Rating
based on 24 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 87.5%
  • 7-8 rating 4.17%
  • 5-6 rating 4.17%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 4.17%
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 8 of 24
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Elizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IFSA - University of Auckland, New Zealand

I was initially drawn to New Zealand for their outdoor adventures and picturesque landscapes. In addition, the University of Auckland stood out to me as it is a prestigious research-driven university. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of my time studying in the field - an opportunity you cannot find in many places. As a criminology major, I got to work with a professor who analyzed justice systems across several surrounding countries and volunteer at an organization that worked to assist and mentor young children whose parents were incarcerated. The professors I had recognized that the students are genuinely interested in the subject, not solely for completion of a degree. New Zealand is the most beautiful place I have seen and in it I found a place that I could collaborate in and one that I loved to research.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate was marmite toast. Marmite is a standard item in most Kiwi's homes and we were warned to only try a little at first, as it is an acquired taste. Other must-have/unique foods to try in New Zealand include steamed pudding, duck pizza, and Rewena bread - a traditional Maori recipe!
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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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Elon
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in NZ with IFSA

I spent last semester at the University of Auckland through IFSA-Butler. Reflecting back on my study abroad experience it was four and a half months I would not trade. I was able to go because my school already had a partnership with IFSA-Butler. It meant that I would receive a transcript from Butler University and not the University of Auckland. This partnership insured all of my classes were accepted by my home university. When first arriving in New Zealand, I received an on-site orientation at a Regional Park, which allowed me to have three days to become accustomed to the time zone, climate, nature, some of my future friends, hiking, food, and so much more. We spent time broken up into our specific schools where we learned about the cities we were going to, the universities, hiking, food, etc. Then at the end of the time we were all escorted to our specific living arrangements in each city by our Student Services Coordinator. They then helped us find the local grocery store and buy groceries for the week. The Student Services Coordinator led us through the University of Auckland's orientation a few days later. As well as, having onsite meet-ups with the group, where they would bring snacks and create a space of familiarity. There were also IFSA-Butler sponsored events throughout the program, which were covered in the program fees. My favorite was the weekend trip to Lake Taupo where we went whitewater rafting and sailing.

What would you improve about this program?
I would think more about money. Although I spent four and a half months in New Zealand, I also traveled during that time and after for a month and a half. In the long run I was able to make it all work and with the help of my parents it all came together. Now looking back, I wish I would have thought more about budgeting and what cost of living in another country would look like. It is one thing to be in college, have a food plan, and work a job on campus. It is completely different to live alone abroad, not having a source of income or meal plan.
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Francesca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best semester of my life

My experience abroad at the University of Auckland through IFSA-Butler was absolutely incredible. It was unique because I didn't feel pressured to travel to many other countries (as many students express in Europe abroad programs), but instead really got to know and understand New Zealand. I loved my New Zealand specific classes, like my Maori culture class and my New Zealand music class. The various classes available to me made it easy to complete the requirements I had for my home university, while also exploring some fun classes that were unique to New Zealand. I loved the Kiwi lifestyle, which is very laid back and I learned to adapt to that. This gave me more confidence in myself and allowed me to grow in many different ways, but especially becoming more easy-going and less worried. I got out of my comfort zone with certain activities I was able to experience and I saw some of the most amazing sights. I met people who understood me on a deep level and I formed true friendships with many people through this program. Auckland as a city was amazing because it really is a city, so there is plenty to do on a weekend in the city, but it's also so easy to get out of the city and into nature that a day trip or weekend trip away was totally doable as well.

What was your funniest moment?
I went horseback riding in Punakaiki (South Island) during spring break and my horse got scared of the waves in the ocean and threw me off! I fell right into the ocean, which was freezing at that point, and my shoe went flying off. I was covered in water and sand, and we were miles from the starting point, so I had to carry out the rest of the ride in soaking wet clothes. At the moment, it wasn't so funny, but looking back on it, it is one of the funniest things that's ever happened to me.
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