Study Abroad at Victoria University of Wellington

Video and Photos

Friends at Uni Hall final dinner
Friends at Uni Hall final dinner
The sights were pretty amazing and the people were better.
The sights were pretty amazing and the people were better.
Lake Matheson & Mt. Cook
Lake Matheson & Mt. Cook
Roy's Peak, Wanaka
Roy's Peak, Wanaka
Mt. Taranaki
Mt. Taranaki
White Water Rafting in the Tongariro
White Water Rafting in the Tongariro
View of Wellington
View of Wellington
Hobbiton
Hobbiton

About

Wellington prides itself on welcoming people from around the world and providing an experience of a lifetime. New Zealand has an endless list of adventures awaiting any who dare to be bold.

As well as AACSB approved Business courses, Sciences, Architecture and Design, Education, Engineering, Health and Music, Victoria provides a wide variety of courses in NZ's largest Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Subjects popular with our Study Abroad students Maori/Pacific/NZ/Antarctic studies, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Design and International Relations.

Located in the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, between a beautiful harbor and rolling green hills, the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Wellington is the political, cultural and creative capital of New Zealand. Sign up with VUW today to make your trip to New Zealand one of a lifetime!

Highlights
  • Study in NZ's political, cultural and creative capital city!
  • Choose from over 120 different subject areas.
  • Take part in the Victoria International Leadership Programme (Only programme of its kind in NZ!).
  • Join the hiking/tramping and club and see more of NZ! There are over 140 clubs & societies!
  • Complete a Specialised Study Abroad Programme in one of 12 study areas & get transcript recognition.

Questions & Answers

Depending, courses are 15/20 points. The normal thing is to choose 3 or 4 depending on the number of points it has. So around 50/60 points would be the normal thing
How was the workload in maor 123? I'm currently taking it, hoping it won't be too difficult. I have a chem lecture that sadly has a final exam... which sucks but hopefully I should be able to do alright.
The hall is around 4.000 NZ $ and you have to pay it all together at once before coming and obviously the flight is also a bit expensive but once here you won't spend much. Traveling is cheap, food is at european price more or less... But there is always a cheap option. It depends on you. I live in a catered hall so food is included so i don't spend more than 50$ per month.

Reviews

90%
based on 118 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8.1
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 7.9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 118
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Jasmine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

You can't beat Wellington on a good day

Going to Victoria University for my student exchange was truly one of the great things that could have happened to me. I learnt so much - how there are so many things out in the world beyond the shores of my small country; the challenges and efforts of people in bridging Maori and Pakeha relations; the reality that learning does not have to be stressful and only about grades. Staying at Helen Lowry Hall, I've made some awesome friends who showed me how living in a community is about caring, sharing and making connections. Wellington is a really accessible city with plenty of nature trails and walks. All you need is your two feet to get to see some plenty awesome views that'll blow you away. Something that I miss a lot about New Zealand are the natural landscapes and the kind people I've met during my journeys around Aotearoa.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the price of food in general is something that I needed to get comfortable with. It'll be great if the food in school could be more affordable with more selections but the staying in a catered hall has helped. Being able to pack seconds at dinners for the next day's lunch was a good solution in reducing expenditure on food.
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Katelyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best time of my life

I adored everything about my study abroad. I made most of my friends at my hall. The RAs are incredibly interactive and sweet. The food wasn't amazing but it was still better than most of the food back home. Because of the friends I made, I always had a place to stay when I traveled during the tri breaks. I never had to pay for a hotel, just a bus ride. I was able to see Hobbiton, Rainbow Springs, and the Redwood Treewalk. I was down in Christchurch for a week, where I visited their adventure park, Hanmer Springs and a beach in Sumner. I attempted surfing. The classes themselves were amazing too. If you're sick, they understand you can't come to class. My professors all excelled in the fields they taught and brought in constant real-world expertise and advice. One of my professors was working at Weta, which in general just provides a really cool opportunity to learn from someone active in a field I'm interested in. I took some intense courses so sometimes I was overwhelmed but overall it was a great experience. I love what I learned, the people I met and the stunning views I was able to witness.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I've always been somewhat shy, and really I did this program to push myself. I've always wanted to go, but learning I was going by myself was startling, as previous people from my major just happened to be able to go in groups of threes. The first week I was there is my biggest regret. I was terrified of everyone and everything. I missed opportunities to meet people intentionally and hid in my room as much as possible. I hung around my roommate in a desperate attempt to wedge myself into her group. It wasn't until someone in my hall directly invited me out that I started talking with people. It was so scary to even just start a conversation but I shoved some words out. By the end of the tri, I was really close with dozens of people between several groups, and we cried together when I left. Sometimes you just need to dive in and go from there. I still keep in contact with most of them.
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Laurance
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study Exchange in Wellington

My time spent at Victoria University of Wellington was way beyond my expectations. Regarding the academics, the classes were relatively easy and that is even though English is not my first language. The teachers were easy to understand and always open to answer any questions. Also, the workload is not too much which allows you to go travelling and exploring the surrounding nature! The university's staff was always very nice and followed us through the first steps to the last day of exhange. Regarding the accommodation, I was with Stafford House, a university's residence. They organized a lot of activities, mainly in the beginning, allowing international students like me to meet other students and make friends easily. On the social scene, the people in New Zealand and Wellington are very nice, open, welcoming and ready to help. Wellington is the perfect little seaside city; everything is close and there is always something exciting to do. 10/10 for the study abroad program at Victoria University of Wellington, I'll always be grateful for this experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would recommend attending all the activities that you can, mainly in the beginning; there are so many of them and that is where you'll meet most of your friends for the remaining of your stay. Also, remember that you are not alone, there are a lot of other international/study abroad students that, just like you, are looking to make friends.
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Matthew
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beautiful

Overall, my abroad experience was amazing. I liked my home university more than my host, but for me, school was not the main focus of going abroad. I tried to travel New Zealand with my girlfriend as much as possible, and those trips were the best part of my abroad experience. The New Zealand landscape is incredibly varied, and all of it is beautiful. It also has some awesome wildlife such as dolphins, stick bugs, weka birds, star fish, Kia birds, (not-so-awesome) possums, jellyfish hedgehogs, (extinct) Moa birds, and so many birds in general. The Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club was my favorite part about VUW. I would recommend it for exchange students wanting to meet new people and get out of the city to hike or rock climb.

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Cole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wellington and VUW are Fantastic

From the ocean to the hills to the city skyline, it would be hard to imagine an environment more desirable to study in. Wellington truly has it all. From an American perspective, it boasts a San Francisco look and an Austin feel. Whether it be a beautiful walk down from Victoria's Kelburn campus, a unique concert on Cuba Street, or hanging out at Oriental Bay between classes, my abroad experience felt authentic and surreal. VUW also has a vibrant international student community; one which allowed me to meet many great friends from over seven different countries. This made for awesome travel possibilities, as we could jointly and affordably explore both islands during our stay. The local kiwis are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and feeling at home in New Zealand is no problem at all. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Explore all of New Zealand, but really enjoy Wellington and spend time getting to know the ins and outs of the city; it really is a special place.
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Lauren
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Amazing Academic Experience, but Don't Live in Stafford House

VicU has amazing faculty and studies! I have learned so much about Maori culture and psychology research there. I genuinely loved the learning experience.
I highly recommend any class with Dr. Peter Adds and Dr. Gina Grimshaw.
They are absolutely amazing lecturers and help you become engaged with the material.
However, it is also very isolating experience, and I had a rough time living at Stafford house.
They were very non-responsive towards our broken laundry and lost my important documents.
I would not have lived there if I had known how terrible it is.
I was struggling a lot with making friends and joining the community.
Even though I signed up with the buddy program, my buddy often flaked on our plans.
For the friends I have made, I got a chance to learn more about New Zealand life style and culture. I am very blessed to have met such amazing people in such a short time.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would live in a different hall with a better support and room facilities.
Response from Victoria University of Wellington

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for submitting a constructive review about your time at Victoria. We are glad to hear you had a great academic experience with us, however, we are very sorry to hear that your accommodation fell short and that this affected your overall experience. Student support is of the utmost importance to us, and we will pass on your feedback to the Hall for future improvements.
Thank you and all the best.
Victoria International

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Esther
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing time in NZ

My exchange was amazing. I saw much of beautiful New-Zealand, the nature is stunning! The atmosphere in Wellington is very social. There are people chilling at the waterfront and there is always some street artist at Cuba street. The university, VUW, is also very supporting and has a nice library with a pretty view. The teachers are easy-going and my courses were interesting.
You can arrange accommodation via the university. This was expensive and basic, but it was easy to make friends in the flat. Housing is gonna be expensive anyway.
I joined the tramping club to experience the true kiwi life. It was super to walk through the nature and camp in the wild. Later, during the winter, we stayed in huts. If I would have had more time, I would do more great walks.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I did the Abel Tasman track in the last week before I left and I would have loved to do more great walks.
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Juan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time in Victoria!

I am a Mexican student who was in an exchange program in Victoria last semester. Without a doubt I can say that this was the best idea I had throughout my whole career since the atmosphere of the city, the different nationalities and the classes where absolutely amazing. I really enjoyed the library, I spent lots of hours there just reading and learning as much as I could. Teachers are really comprehensive and the university actually care about the students well-being.

As a student, I have always been taught about a different way of viewing economics (liberalism and neo-liberalism) but the social ideals imprinted in the government gave me wings to get to know way more hat I was expecting. One of my favourite hobbies was fishing and the city is really keen and helpful in order to do so. I totally recommend it!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Tha Kauri tree and Maori culture are just astonishing. You can go on a hike anywhere in NZ thanks to the Department of Conservation.
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Kendall
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My New Zealand Experience Was...

One of my main goals I wanted to accomplish while in New Zealand was to engage in the art community and focus on learning about this country’s art history both inside and outside of the classroom. My other main goal was to live more in the moment and work on building meaningful relationships with the people around me. I’m happy with how my experiences here have contributed to learning in both of these areas, but the lessons and new knowledge I now have weren’t necessarily acquired in the ways I expected.
I expected my learning in the classroom about art history and my engagement in the art/cultural scene in New Zealand to be two different experiences but they overlapped quite a bit. For example, I would learn about artists and movements in New Zealand history, then in my travels to a new city or region, I would be able to actively see this art, see the land depicted, and truly be engulfed in a way which was much more wholesome and surprising than I would have imagined. This goal overlapped with two of my career objectives to learn technical skills for a future job and to improve my communication skills because this engagement led me to talk with the people in these environments-- gallery directors, other museum patrons, artists, volunteers, and art students like myself. I could use the knowledge from the classroom to have a sophisticated, insightful conversation with those I met, and many of these conversations were extremely valuable to me looking back.
My goal to live in the moment manifested in a number of different ways which were extremely rewarding. Journaling my experiences (which I’ve never done before) has helped me to process many of my thoughts and feelings. I’ve done things and experienced things out of spontaneity which have resulted in unlikely friendships and some of the memories which I cherish most from my time here. Spending time and energy on my relationships with my housemates has been the most rewarding. I had no idea who my roommates would be before coming to New Zealand, and they’ve turned out to be two of my favorite people in the world! I’ve become closer with them than I would have thought possible in such a small amount of time, and they have become such an important part of my study abroad experience that I don’t know what it would have looked like without them.
Feeling connected to my community and life here in New Zealand has required me to make some adjustments to how I’ve communicated with my community back home. About halfway through the trimester, I began feeling torn between two lives while I tried actively maintaining relationships with people back in the US through social media and messaging apps. It was taking up so much of my mental energy and despite spending time trying to connect, I felt those interactions weren’t meaningful and most of the time they felt odd. I made a decision to delete several of my social media apps and I think doing this was the best action I could have taken for the situation. I spend less time on my phone thinking about home and more time thinking about my life in Wellington. Being less connected has allowed for these few interactions with people back home to be meaningful. I’ve been able to fully apply myself here in Wellington and that has proven to be so worth it! Although things might change when I go home, and there may be relationships I have to work to build back up, having a distraction-free experience in New Zealand has allowed me to go home with zero regrets about the say I spent my time.
Like I said, my time in New Zealand had some ups and downs as far as my comfort level with my new, temporary life. I sometimes questioned what I “should” be doing, if I should be doing more to find opportunities to try new things or if I was missing out on making a connection with someone new. I struggled with this feeling of responsibility, a responsibility to live like a study abroad student who never turns down a chance to get a new taste of life. In the end, I came to the conclusion that being a student living abroad doesn’t mean I have to prove that my experience was “worth it” every step of the way. The things that count are those that no one ever sees. A new bond created with an exciting and different place is fostered solely by the person and the place, and any other objective opinion from another about how that relationship should play out is irrelevant. The take aways may be big and life changing or they may be small, lighthearted keepsakes to remember and smile about years later, but your unique experience is yours only. It will be different from others, even those who spend time with you on your journey.

What would you improve about this program?
At some points during my study abroad, I wish I had the courage to do a better job of reaching out the the community which I already felt like I was a part of. I felt supported and acknowledged kindly and politely by my peers and professors who I would interact with on a daily basis. But sometimes I felt more alone than I would like to admit. The connection wasn't as deep as I thought it was, and I wish there would have been a student group or a service I could have used to help me navigate this odd relationship.
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Rebecca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An absolute blast!

First of all, New Zealand is quite possibly the most country ever, which provides excellent outdoor experiences. Joining the Tramping Club further cultivated my love of the outdoors and connected me with other exchange students as well as kiwis. I especially loved rock climbing about 45 mins away from the uni-- it was one of my favorite experiences in NZ! Academic life at Vic wasn't too intense so I had plenty of time for adventures and hanging with friends from class. I thought the professors and tutors were really good in their field and provided me with a lot of support as an exchange student. They were encouraging, thoughtful and interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed my classes. It was also nice that lecture + tutorial time was overall shorter than my home university. Life in Wellington was a blast, I loved meeting people through Victoria International, VUWTC and my hall!

What would you improve about this program?
I only regret not traveling the country more-- I wish there were more breaks in the trimester or more flexibility with hand-ins.
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Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My semester abroad in Welly

I honestly could not fit my whole experience in this tiny space so I'll try my best. Living in Welly was one of the best experiences of my life. Victoria was very helpful with all the international students, providing tips and goodies with everything we might need. Along the trimester they wanted to make sure that we were having a good time and having fun, too. I would recommend this experience 100% and if I could go back I would definitely do it. One thing, though, is that if you come from a warm country like me, try to come during the first tri since it's the last part of summer and then you can leave before winter starts lol. I loved Welly during the summer because you can do lots of walking and hiking and go to the beach and everything's so COOL! Although, during winter you can also go snowboarding and it gets so pretty in the South Island I wish I could've stayed longer to travel during that time. Anyways, if you have the opportunity to travel to NZ, do NOT hesitate because you will fall in love, trust me. Cheers mates!!!

What would you improve about this program?
I think I would do more activities for international students, but like, not only for programs because I didn't go with any of them, I think more like an all international students activities through the trimester :) So we could get to know each other better.
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Emily
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I love kiwis

This was the absolute perfect place for someone who loves being outside. There were countless opportunities to see the earth in its most beautiful forms. Not to mention, the Kiwis of New Zealand are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered.
University of Victoria in Wellington is a great school that is well respected throughout the country. My courses were thought provoking and my professors were supportive. The University also offers a number of valuable resources to international students to connect them with the campus community. I particularly loved being a part of the Tramping club which led hiking and camping trips as well as weekly meeting at a local rock climbing club.
I loved my time in Wellington and I cannot wait to get back!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
My only regret is that I didn’t take the opportunity to learn a new language by choosing to go to New Zealand.
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Aidan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience in a Beautiful Country

New Zealand as a whole is such a welcoming country. I found Victoria University to be the exact same way- all staff, students and professors were inviting and extremely friendly. The campus itself is situated in a beautiful part of the city, and the views from the library are the most stunning vistas I have seen from a University campus. Classes are interesting, and the balance between large lectures followed by smaller tutorials is the perfect balance. Professors (although they prefer to be called by their first names) are always open for questions or private discussions. Classwork is challenging yet intriguing, and most courses were evaluated on research essays and fewer in-class tests, which was perfect. Breaks in the academic year offer the perfect opportunity to travel around the North and South Island, too. Overall, Victoria University offered an unforgettable time.

What would you improve about this program?
Some courses required certain texts to be used for essays, which would only have 1 copy in the library and would not be available online. So I would recommend that more resources be digitized.
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Johanna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Friendly and helpful

The most important experience for me was that everyone at Uni and in New Zealand in General was so friendly and helpful. I was very surprised that lercturers and students were on first Terms with each other, but that actually really improved the atmosphere, communication and learning Progress.
Future participants can be sure that they are in a well-supervised Programme where you can get help whenever you Need it and you are never let alone with any academic challenge. This is especially beneficial when you are not familiar with the study System. For me, it further ensured a good understanding and Achievement of important academic skills that I would not want to miss.

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Sophie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Experience

My experience, overall, was wonderful. There was a major housing situation at the end but before that, I had such a great time. Wellington is the coolest city and I hope to come back. The location of Victoria is great as well as the housing locations. The people at the university are quite nice as well as the staff. New Zealand has been absolutely stunning, I am so happy with the choice I made to study here.

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About Victoria University of Wellington

Located in the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, between a beautiful harbor and rolling green hills, the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Wellington is the political, cultural and creative capital of New Zealand. Victoria offers a...