Study Abroad at Victoria University of Wellington

Video and Photos


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!

  • 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.


based on 105 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 46 - 60 of 105
Default avatar

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 this program
Default avatar

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 this program
Default avatar

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 this program


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 this program

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 this program

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 this program
Default avatar

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 this program
Default avatar

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 this program
Default avatar

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 this program

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 this program

Studying at Victoria

I loved studying abroad at Victoria University - the overall experience made me want to move to Wellington! Such a quirky, cool city with so much going on - also just very beautiful. I enjoyed my classes and the chance to learn about prospectives different than what I was used to. My professors were all really nice and accommodating. I loved having more spread out finals than we have in the U.S. I wish I could have extended and studied there longer.

How can this program be improved?
Keep the Uni Hall setup!
Yes, I recommend this program

Exchange from France

I've spent 5 months in New Zealand and more particularly in Wellington. The life in this city was awesome. There's a lot of activities to do, a lot of landscape to discover. Moreover, even if the weather wasn't that good, people are super nice, that makes the adaptation to the new city way more easier.
Victoria University was amazing too. The buildings are really nice and clean. The organization is on point and I never had problem to contact staff, lecturer. Everything was made to facilitate our integration with local people.
Moreover, there were a lot of services that were provided. University helped me finding a accommodation in a student hall. That was super easy and convenient.
Finally, life in New Zealand is so much different from the life in France. I really enjoyed my time in "the middle earth". I highly recommend people to come in this fabulous country. And for sure, one day I'll come back there.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe let foreign students have access to more classes.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

A great trip

When my friend and I arrived at our University Hall accommodation on our first day in Wellington, we couldn't believe our luck; it was just SO perfect. Very unlike the grotty or average places that we had in the UK, we were living in a very nice and spacious house, with a great living and kitchen area. We shared a room, and it was perfect for us to be living with 10 international students and one 'kiwi mate' (a New Zealand guy who helped us organise socials and was generally there to help). The only thing bad about living with 11 people was the mess that accumulated - especially after pre drinks before a night out - but most of us shared the responsibility of cleaning up, and also what else do you expect with 11 people sharing one kitchen?! However, it was so good living with internationals, as they in exactly the same boat as you. As an international student from England, I found the culture pretty similar, so if you want to ease into living in another country then this should definitely be a strong consideration.
In terms of the University itself, I actually found the workload very manageable, and to be honest easier than at my home uni. The modules that I did were New Zealand specific, and that was really interesting because I have never studied anything from a NZ/Pacific Island perspective before. I found it a really eye-opening experience, as I hadn't realised how American/Eurocentric our curriculum in England was, from primary school up to University. One thing that I would stress is that they do take note of your attendance, and I have been told by friends that you may be penalised if you do not meet the required amount.

Outside of University, there is so much going on in Wellington. You're really close to open countryside for such a great city, which is ideal for me because city life is sometimes too much for me. I liked the waterfront too, where you could purchase fresh fruit and veg every Sunday morning. The country is really great, too, there's lots of culturally significant places to visit, and beautiful scenery, especially in the South. It was definitely worth the semester.

Yes, I recommend this program

Victoria Review

So far, I have really enjoyed my experience at Victoria! Wellington is a small, relaxed, and cool city. New Zealand is great for the outdoorsman, not so much the urbanite. The winter weather is not so great either, beware of strong winds and rain. Also learn to deal with extremely steep hills. Nonetheless, there are many things to do and see in the country and city. The people are super nice and the city has a great vibe. The university is very supportive and offers several opportunities to engage with Wellington and the local people.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Studying abroad in NZ has been the best experience!

I have absolutely loved studying in Wellington for the trimester. I have been able to explore parts of New Zealand outside of Wellington and have seen the most beautiful landscapes. Wellington is a wonderful little city with a lot to offer. Vic has been a great academic environment, challenging, but not too stressful! Overall, this term has brought a lot of happiness to my life and helped me grow as a person.

Yes, I recommend this program


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...