Study Abroad at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand

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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!

A direct enrollment option is available for students attending a non-affiliated university.

  • Study in NZ's political, cultural and creative capital!
  • Choose from over 120 different subject areas
  • Take part in the Victoria International Leadership Programme (Service & Leadership Programme)
  • Join the hiking/tramping and club and see more of NZ!

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
The only really fun/ interesting lighter load class that I took was MAOR 123. It was super great to learn about the history of the Maori people and New Zealand in general. There are tons of international students in it and I would highly recommend it.
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.


based on 80 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 16 - 30 of 80
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My Time In Wellington

My time in Wellington was truly amazing. I really enjoyed studying at the Uni. It was a big change from my school back home that only has about 3,ooo students to Vic which has about 21,000. The academics were very interesting. I studied Philosophy and Maori culture. I very much enjoyed the social life. The Uni only being up the hill from the downtown area is very nice and there is so much to do. From night markets, to all of the good eateries, to even the salsa dancing scene I got into there-it was all just a great experience. The salsa dancing may have even been one of my favorite hobbies I picked up and learned there! I also travelled a lot while there. This may have been one of my favorite parts of it all. I met so many great people and shared such amazing memories that helped create great bonds. I think one part of my trip that made it unique was the moko I got and the bond I built with Hohua Mohi, my ta moko artist. It really was an awesome experience.

Yes, I recommend
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Victoria University Of Wellington

I loved Victoria University as well as the city of Wellington. With a great location within the city, everywhere was basically walkable.. In respect to classes, they were easy enough to balance travel with studying.
I was able to take advantage of the two week Easter break, this was a very big part of my study abroad experience. Being able to travel to four different countries during this time was something that gave me more knowledge than I could ever have learned in a classroom.
I have only heard positive reviews of Victoria University and the housing that was offered. The best part of studying there was the people that I was able to live with. Being placed with people from all over the world I was able to broaden my knowledge without even realizing it.
Overall location of Wellington within New Zealand was perfect. I was able to travel the whole North and the whole South Island. The ferry took a few hours and flights were cheap so you could plan last minute trips without spending too much money.

How can this program be improved?
This program was very very good, there was nothing that I would really change about it. Moving in was easy, and the current students were excited to meet us and to introduce us to everything New Zealand had to offer.
Yes, I recommend

New Zealand Review

This was the most incredible experience of my life. Being in a country this far away from my own really put the whole world into perspective. I had always dreamed of traveling New Zealand after seeing beautiful pictures, and I felt that Victoria University of Wellington offered the perfect balance of academics and free time for an exchange student granting me the opportunity to explore this beautiful country.

Yes, I recommend
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Semester in Wellington

I chose to study in Wellington because of the country's fascinating culture, and for me Wellington is the perfect combination of opportunities while not being overwhelming in size. I also was attracted to the University of Wellington's strong science department. The opportunity to do a lab for my Earth Science class in the field was especially exciting. Where else do you have a fault line nearby that you can visit?
The InterCity Bus also makes traveling around the north island easy. I spent a weekend in Tauranga, and also got to see Napier. It's also not hard to get cheap flights within New Zealand. But even if you don't want to leave Wellington, there is so much to do. A couple of my recommendations are: take a ferry to Somes Island, spend an afternoon at Te Papa, visit the Underground Market on Saturdays, and go to the Wellington Zoo and/or Zealandia. I have loved this semester, and do not want to leave. I highly recommend traveling abroad to everyone!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly have no suggestions, the program was wonderful
Yes, I recommend
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Amazing Experience

Vic Uni of Wellington does an amazing job accommodating international students. From the first day I was greeted by my kiwi host, and any issues I had during my semester I felt I could go to them for help. Uni Hall (the "dorm" I stayed in) had fun events all year long and I made my best friends from this group. The academics were not as challenging as my home university, but I'm sure more difficult classes were offered.

Yes, I recommend
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Exchange student - review

While being an exchange student at Victoria University of Wellington and living in New Zealand, I learned a lot, both related to my studies, and about myself.
It was a fantastic experience living abroad. I got the experience of living abroad and traveling without giving up on my professional goals related to my studies.
The social aspect of being an exchange student has been an incredible experience as well, where I have met many new friends and been a part of several clubs, where I could meet both local and other international student who have turned out to become new friends for life.

Yes, I recommend
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My Dream cam true

When I applied for this program, I already knew that New Zealand is a great country. But since i'm here, it goes way beyond my expectations!
This country is amazing, there so many things to see that I'm afraid no to have enough time to visit all the things I'd like to visit.
People are really friendly, there always a new thing to discover around every corner.
Moreover, the education in New Zealand is great. I come from France, where the education is all about theory. When I started the university, I was very surprised that all the courses works in the way. All about discussions, reflexion.
I'm in New Zealand for one year, and I'm already afraid to come back to France because I love this country.
So, if I had to give you an advice, it would be this one "be curious, ton be afraid to ask and have fun !"

How can this program be improved?
Don't change anything, you're great !
Yes, I recommend
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Someplace to call Home

Victoria University of Wellington itself is it's own little community within it's small campus. I always found some of the buildings homey, and there's a great amount of places to be social. Sometimes it is hard because a lot of the classes will refer to things people who have lived in New Zealand all their life would know, or assume you have knowledge of that is specifically related to New Zealand - especially in classes higher than 100 level.
The library at VUW is excellent, and has so many resources that you'd need. The view can be a bit distracting, but watching the sunset while you're stuck studying makes it all a little easier.
Go outside of the University, and you realize you couldn't have chosen a better place to be. The city of Wellington is a major city, but it's not too large. If you need to escape the city life, you can find bits of nature in every direction. The public transportation makes it easy to get around, and if you don't want want to spend money everything you need is walkable. It's a very livable city, and the fact that the university is there makes it perfect. But it's also a city that doesn't revolve around the university, so you can easily escape the university life if you need.
Wellington is a place to call home, if you make the most of it.

Yes, I recommend


VUW is a very good university to go abroad with. Im an exchange student, and I have got good support and good housing through the university. They are always there to help with anything!
The school is very different from my home country, as there are internal assessments and several tests and assignments through out the year, and not just one final exam. But the lecturers have been very helpful in any confusion or if you have any questions.
Furthermore VUW is located very close to downtown Wellington, which is very nice, so you can literally walk everywhere. Also the housing through the university is located very nearby the school, so it only takes 10 minutes to walk there.

Yes, I recommend

My Study Abroad Experience in Wellington

I picked New Zealand as I have always wanted to go. I wanted to see the world not just as a tourist, but as part of a new society. I considered Europe but felt that experiencing an entirely new part of the world and totally new cultures was the best way to make the most of my experience. That said, being so far from home was daunting which is why I chose an English speaking country – and New Zealand offered the best of both.

The university was very different to Liverpool which was great as it gave me a non Western view of psychology and some ideas for third year. It also had more contact hours which was good as the lectures were shorter, so I didn’t feel like I was losing concentration! Being so far from home definitely made me more independent and helped me understand my learning style, which is basically that I shouldn’t leave everything until the last minute!

I lived in international halls which was great to meet people from all over the world, even my roommate was Japanese! I made heaps of friends and went places and experienced things I never thought I would.

The university was very good and I would 100% recommend studying there. Wellington was a fantastic place and I will definitely be returning. I travelled all over New Zealand which increased my love for the country and culture!

How can this program be improved?
It can't!
Yes, I recommend

As far from home as it gets

I left a cold Sweden and my home university Uppsala in January and got a warm welcoming by the Kiwis. I travelled the south island for a month and I was not disappointed. Those views were exactly what I came to NZ for, with Mt. Cook as a favorite.

The workload during the semester was a bit more than expected, but the lecturers were great and I learned a lot from my marketing and management courses. It was easy to adapt to the study system with all courses running parallel, but the last month was very hectic.

On the weekends I went on hikes with the tramping club and enjoyed Wellington. Would recommend new students to join some of the clubs to get to know more Kiwis and experience fun events! During Easter break I traveled the North island, visiting Hobbiton, Tongariro, Mt. Taranaki etc. Epic adventures all of them.

After the finals, I went to Australia and Tonga to relax before heading home to Sweden. Well deserved and a great way to end a great semester abroad!

// Andreas

Yes, I recommend
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Wonderful Wellington

I decided to study a at Victoria in 2014 and to do a Bachelor degree in Biomedical Science, majoring in Genetics.
For this program, there a compulsory courses and a couple of electives, each course running for one trimester with most of them having internal assessments and one final exam.
The first year courses cover a broad range of subjects without going into too much detail. They are nice introductions to the variety of topics and subjects and might give a good idea of what topics are going to be covered in second or third year.
The second year courses are stepping up a bit in how much detail they're covering which increases even more in third year.
A lot of locals think that the first year at University is very hard and difficult which I can understand from their point of view as high school is not very challenging here and transitioning from easy high school to a more academic approach can be difficult. For me personally, I thought that first year was a good revision of what we would learn in the last years of high school (Germany) and the transition into second year wasn't too difficult either as I found it nicer to concentrate on less diverse topics but to study them in detail which continued even further in third year.
Since I did a Science degree, all those courses have practical applications such as set hours of lab work throughout the trimester. The labs were a nice way to learn practical uses of the theory but could be improved by making them more challenging; all labs are provided with lab manuals and instructions on what to do but I think it would be nice to have a stronger focus on creative thinking and being able to establish lab protocols ourselves.
My favorite course at Uni has been Biol252, a second year course studying cell biology and cell development. While the academic staff in this course was very approachable, helpful and passionate, the labs were also designed very well and allowed us to study the development of sea urchins from the fertilized egg to the larvae state before they're ready for settlement. The course Biol219 - New Zealand Flora and Fauna was a great course too - a two week field trip course to study the native animals and plants of New Zealand. I enjoyed the course a lot as it was a nice approach of learning outside of the class room but also to include New Zealand's history and culture.
Academically I would say that Victoria University is a good university but certainly not as challenging as other Universities around the world. The assessments are good but if I'd compare it to the German standard that I am used to, then it is not competitive at all.
However, now I am doing a postgraduate degree at Victoria and I feel that this is way more challenging and with higher expectations of excellent academic delivery than there was in undergrad.
Over all, I enjoyed my time as an undergrad student, especially in such a great town as Wellington is. The view from the University is amazing, the academic stuff is very nice and approachable and everything is on a first name base. Victoria is offering lots of extracurricular activities such as the Victoria Plus Program or the Victoria International Leadership Program, lots of clubs and societies that make it easy to engage with academic and non-academic life of University. Victoria International is also hosting a lot of events to support international students.

How can this program be improved?
The program is not very competitive as the standard for passing is usually at 40% which could be raised. Also, the entrance criteria for degrees seems very easy which could be improved.
Yes, I recommend
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Love it

I love it here at vic so far as an international student. I think one of the biggest things that made my transition so smooth was how great the uni hall housing is. It makes it easy to meet people and be independent in a new country, which is a really unique thing. I also thought people at vic international reception desk were helpful when I was trying to drop a course. Not to mention plenty of options for things to do on campus, in terms of student life. Additionally events only for international students making it even easier to meet people.

How can this program be improved?
I might make orientation a little less heavy on signing up for courses, parts of it seemed long and sort of repetitive. Maybe talk more about public transit and how to use it here.
Yes, I recommend
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Great time abroad

I had a fantastic experience on my exchange to VUW. I found the course work to be comparable to my home university and there was lots of support options if you needed them. Wellington is a fun, safe and beautiful city to live in and gives you great access to exploring New Zealand. My only issue was that I didn't live in University housing and Wellington has an extreme housing shortage! Students struggle to find an affordable place to live so I would recommend organizing something with the school.
Studying abroad was a great experience and I learned so much about different people, cultures and myself. Definitely would do it all over again if I had the chance.

Yes, I recommend

Victoria University of Wellington

This was an incredible experience that I would highly recommend to everyone. The classes were taught in a format different from my home university, however I was able to adjust and really enjoyed them. The professors were genuinely excited to teach their classes. And the location is amazing. Wellington is an incredible city and really fun, with great nightlife and awesome opportunities. I would do this again in a heartbeat.

Yes, I recommend


Meet the Alumni

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...