Study Abroad at Victoria University of Wellington

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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 105 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 31 - 45 of 105
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William
10/10

I’m in love with New Zealand

This study abroad experience has been the best experience of my life. I have always wanted to travel and this allowed for me to to travel out of the United States for the first time ever. I went to all of the places I wanted to go: Roy’s peak, Milford sound, mt cook, Abel Tasman and bay of islands. I even bungee jumped! This has truly been a life changing experience that I will never forget. I wish to come back some day

Yes, I recommend this program
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Eleanor
9/10

Study Abroad

My study abroad experience has been amazing. There has been so much support from the moment I landed in New Zealand. The Kelburn campus is great and i love the unique view you get from the library. My modules have been well co-ordinated and enjoyable. I will be sad to leave the beautiful city of Wellington. This programme has allowed me to develop myself as a person by taking me out of my comfort zone and in tern my confidence has grown and allowed me to meet some wonderful people.

How can this program be improved?
The one improvement would be the lab work for my modules could be a little more hands on and challenging.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Nick
8/10

A True Kiwi Experience

Coming to UVic was a stark contrast to my home university; I went from a small, suburban university to one 10x as big in the heart of one of New Zealand's biggest cities. I came here to study biology, and see the approaches to conservation in a country with so many challenges, and so many unique species at risk. Overall, I would say that the classroom was not where I learned the most during my time here. I was able to interact with so many people, whether local or international, who were all able to give me new perspectives on life around the globe. Although the classes I took greatly influenced my education, and were definitely worth waking up early for, the exposure to an entirely new set of cultures, values, and experiences is what makes coming to this small corner of the world such an incredible time.

Plus, Wellington is such a great city - seaside views, and enough going on to never be bored is a winning combination!

How can this program be improved?
There is a high likelihood that international students will not be able to get into a campus housing building, and not just because the deadline to apply is many months in advance. The university does have a system to help find flats available, but to me it proved to be very unreliable and not worth my time. More resources for where to find available flats would have been very helpful, especially considering that this is the most important part about travelling.
Yes, I recommend this program
Andrea
10/10

GO TO NEW ZEALAND!

New Zealand is the most magical country, and if you love hiking and getting outdoors this is the place for you. Absolutely go to Wanaka and Queenstown. The Tararuas provide some really diverse hiking on the North Island. Wellington itself is a really lovely place to live. Some students who study abroad in places like Mexico or Thailand experience some strong culture shock, but living in New Zealand provided a really easy transition with just the right amount of challenge. It's similar to the U.S. in many ways, but there are also some significant differences. Couldn't be happier I studied abroad here.

How can this program be improved?
None
Yes, I recommend this program
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Camillo
9/10

Unique and Peaceful Experience!

I am from Italy and I had to opportunity to study one semester of my degree abroad. Among my possible choices, I picked Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and after 4 months spent here I can say that I definitely made the right decision! In general the university's environment has been super friendly and very "international": the staff did everything to make us feel at ease. It's very easy to make new international friendships, especially if you decide to live in University Hall accommodations, who provides for you many occasions (parties and events) for meeting students coming from all over the world! The only problem I had consisted in adapting myself to the academic system and to the different examinations and classes methods, since the Italian-European system is much more different. However, VUW provides for a lot of workshops, where international students can learn how to write essays, make references etc. Wellington is very quiet and peaceful, like all the cities in NZ, that is why it is highly recommended to make new friends, otherwise it could become boring. In general, I can say that I will never forget my experience here and I highly recommend it to all students looking for challenging exchange semesters abroad!

How can this program be improved?
I don't think it needs improvement.
Yes, I recommend this program
Michelle
10/10

Semester Abroad in Wellington

My time in New Zealand was probably the best experience of my life, and I'm already dying to go back! Victoria was a great university, and I enjoyed the courses I took there, especially Plant Biology! I was lucky to live in Uni Hall, which was only a 5 minute walk from campus, and it was really nice to live independently in a flat (well, with flatmates of course) for the first time. I didn't quite participate in as many school activities as I would have liked, but I tried to explore as much of the campus as I could, such as trying the different little restaurants and exploring the art gallery. It was also really nice to have an entire two weeks of break, as I took that time to go on an amazing road trip in the South Island. I was also quite prone to injury, and student health and the physiotherapy center on campus were very helpful, as was the general healthcare policies of the country.

Yes, I recommend this program
Denise
9/10

My Review

It was a really interesting and a new experience to study at a university that uses completely different teaching formats and contents. Everybody was very supportive and helped each other out whenever someone needed help. That was probably what I liked the most. I felt welcome here right from the start.
I wished that the Tutors would have had more experience. Most of the times they are just normal Bachelor or Master students that hardly know more about architecture than I do. So, when I had a question other students couldn't answer, the Tutor couldn't either. The projects of the students and their learning process would be improved a lot if working architects would Tutor them. Universities, which do that, are normally higher in ranking as well.

How can this program be improved?
Construction and technical knowledge should be taught right from the start. The students here have no idea of how to build a proper functioning house. The have a great knowledge in all the rendering programs, which of course sells good, but they should rather concentrate on how to build a proper house. This would improve future housing condition in my opinion.
Yes, I recommend this program
Hannah
10/10

Semester at Victoria

Studying abroad has been the best decision have made for both my academic and personal success. The reason that this experience has been so successful is because of the opportunities and experiences that I have had here in Wellington and at Victoria University. This city's atmosphere has allowed me to experience many new things and has helped me to become a more independent person. Also, at Victoria, I have been able to manage course while being able to travel and see New Zealand. I have had the fortune of meeting many wonderful people from all over the world and making life long friends!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Carlotta
9/10

Great Experience!

I had a lot of fun during this trimester at Victoria University. The people are very kind and ready to offer help. I've never had any big problem, and in every case, the staff from the University has always been very nice. I loved my courses, and the teachers made everything interesting, I enjoyed them a lot. We did a lot of projects, but it was nice. Also, the University organizes a lot of activities throughout the trimester, which is very nice especially for exchange students. It is a great way to meet new friends and have fun. I've lived at the University Hall, and it was a great place. I was only 5 minutes away from Kelburn campus, and the University provided for everything, even for extra expenses when the dishwashing machine broke. I've enjoyed a lot my time here I'm going to miss it a lot, I suggest everyone come here for an exchange!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Rachel
7/10

Lancaster to Wellington

I am currently an exchange student from Lancaster University (England) studying at Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) for 1 year.

Firstly - New Zealand is an amazing and beautiful county and I really love living in Wellington, the city is small so it is easy to find your way around as well as plenty of things going on each week!

Course/University experience: sadly the University is the one part I am really not enjoying about my year abroad. It may be due to my course choices (I am taking mostly 300-level biology and chemistry courses) but I find it very difficult and stressful. The chemistry courses here are very broad and cover a whole range of topics, for example one module is devoted to physical chemistry whereas at my home uni the content would be split into different modules eg. thermodynamics and computational chemistry. This has meant that the course content does not overlap very well and I have been left with gaps in my knowledge when trying to complete assignments here. Furthermore I find the University very assuming - you are not told about things and are expected to magically know. For example - all lectures after 1pm start at 10 past the hour despite appearing as on the hour in the timetable. The timetable is also incomplete and only contains lecture times - it does not update for tutorials or labs. There was also no introductory talk on how to check items out of the library.

Societies: There aren't all that many societies at Victoria and the one I did try to join (canoeing) -the other members weren't actually students at all!

Accommodation: I am currently living in Uni Hall, accommodation provided by the University. I chose this option as I thought it would be easier than having to sort out private accommodation from overseas. Considering this accommodation is aimed at International student's I'm not sure the location is very good. It is a short 10 minute walk to the university (which is great!) but very far from the supermarket/food shops - a 40 minute trek up and down 90m
with heavy shopping (the only supermarket you don't have to drive too is very small!). The public transport does not bring you close enough to the accommodation. Furthermore the accommodation is very expensive for what it is and the rooms are very disproportionate, I am paying $240 a week for a small, dingy room whilst my flatmate pays the same for a room half the size with loads of sun - not very fair! Maintenance response is also poor - I reported my heater 2 weeks ago and it still hasn't been fixed, and the fire-alarms which ran out of the battery the second week of being here have only just been fixed 10 weeks later. The houses here are also very cold/bad at retaining heat as they are not insulated and only have single glazed windows. The provided kitchen equipment is also pretty poor - most of it was bought by previous residents! The events hosted by Uni Hall are excellent however and are technically free (if you forget about the $150 non-optional activity fee paid at the start of the year). It is also very difficult to meet actual New Zealanders! Uni Hall creates a community of International students with little chance to meet or socialise with actual Kiwis. The wifi - you only get 2GB per person per day! So my house of 5 gets 10GB in total each day. The fact that the WiFi is limited is a bit ridiculous - especially in a house designed for internationals where most want to call home each day! We run out of WiFi most days meaning trying to work in the evenings is both pointless and frustrating.

Food: Food is very expensive here, especially fruit, veg and dairy products. Markets are available on Sundays to purchase cheaper fruit and veg but it is very season dependent!

Public Transport: Poor depending on where you live - no bus links from town to my accommodation.

City: There is so much going on in Wellington! Loads of great places to eat (if you can afford it!) and many cute and unique shops to explore. There is a craft market on Saturday on the water-front that I love and night-markets selling food Fridays and Saturdays.

Despite the negatives I have enjoyed my time here so far overall and I am definitely glad I came. It really depends on how focused you are on grades and doing well. My home university will reduce all the grades I receive here by 10% so I need to work extra hard to ensure my average doesn't slip - this has ruined my experience somewhat.

Hope this has helped and hasn't put you off!

How can this program be improved?
More support for international students. More events to meet New Zealand students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Marcus
10/10

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 this program
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Ann
10/10

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 this program
Anuj
10/10

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 this program
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Rebecca
10/10

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 this program
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Abigail
10/10

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 this program

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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...