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
Hobbiton
Hobbiton
White Water Rafting in the Tongariro
White Water Rafting in the Tongariro
View of Wellington
View of Wellington

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 119 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8.1
  • Fun 8.5
  • Housing 7.9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 76 - 90 of 119
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Kristen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I truly had the time of my life.

Victoria is located in NZ's capital city, Wellington. The school has professors that are (in some cases) world renown in their feilds. There isn't really homework, just tests and essays for the most part. The city is compact and bustling, and there's so much to do! The beach, the food, the bars... it's amazing. Wellington also gives you perfect leeway to the South Island and the north island, plus there's an international airport. I got to do it all! I stayed in Unilodge Stafford House which was just like an apartment. I loved having the privacy that is non existent in dorms in the states. There, I met lovely locals and international students from all over the place. NZ is a much safer place than the states, and I felt comfortable using Nakedbus as a solo traveler. Wellington and Victoria really changed my life, and allowed me to see how confident and passionate I am.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe do a bit more with the international students.
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Randi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Victoria Experience

My experience at Victoria University of Wellington was easily the best 5 months of my life. Not only is New Zealand as a whole amazing, Wellington more specifically had such an inviting and fun atmosphere. There were so many things to do throughout the day, and the night life was awesome! The housing at this university was wonderful, and so were the kiwi mates! Overall, I would 10/10 recommend Victoria University of Wellington to all students looking to study abroad!

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Anna
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

VUW Study Abroad

This program was simple and easy to follow/navigate the adjustment abroad in finding classes, information, etc. It's definitely pretty expensive for international students, so budgeting becomes very important here. The classes are laid out pretty well, and if you miss something or don't understand they professors are helpful. They have many clubs and organizations to join which is nice and suggested.

What would you improve about this program?
I think more immersion with the locals would be nice, such as living in a flat or dorm with more locals rather than mostly international students. I feel I mostly only know international students besides a very few locals, so it would be nice to be more engaged in the actual culture.
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Lillian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Semester Abroad at VUW

I can't say enough how amazing my semester at Vic in Wellington has been, and I'm only halfway over. The city is fantastic and very student friendly. The people are kind, curious, and friendly. The food and drink culture is phenomenal. There are so many places to see and things to do. The classes at Vic (that I took) were interesting and fun. I love my house and flatmates. I have no complaints. I love it!

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
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Delaney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

School with all the Adventure I had Planned

Hello! I am an engineering student who came to Vic to fulfill my humanities credits, and I must say, it was a brilliant choice. The school is beautiful, and I adore all the people here. Everyone is so nice and chill, and it was not challenging to meet people. I took 3 classes, each worth 20 papers, but I didn't find them particularly challenging, or at least not anymore challenging than the classes I would take back home. There are fewer assignments per class, however they are graded much harder, but if you put in the work, you will be pleased with the scores you get. I was very lucky to take an "Animals and Monsters of ancient Greece and Rome" class, and I loved that class so much that my required readings became my pleasure readings. The best part of only taking 3 or 4 classes here (which is the norm) is that there is a lot of time for exploring the incredible city of Wellington (seriously, Welly is like the best city in the world) and all of the beautiful parks and eco reserves around. Beyond that, it is not hard to plan a weekend trip to the south island or to head farther north (perhaps you would like to see some Hobbits in Hobbiton, or search for the elves in Kaitoke where they filmed Rivendell?). Whatever your reasons for considering studying in New Zealand, I really recommend Victoria University. It is the perfect fit if you want manageable and quality classes, while also having time to explore, live your life, become a part of the Kiwi culture, and have brilliant adventures.

Elizabeth
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful, chill, and beautiful time

Wellington and the rest of New Zealand is a lovely place to study abroad! Everyone has been so friendly and chill. Wellington is a vibrant city to live in, and New Zealand is an amazing place to explore, especially if you love outdoor adventures. Victoria University of Wellington is an impressive university that offers plenty of opportunities for exchange students. The staff is helpful and provides plenty of support to all students.

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Vera
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Victoria's oppertunities

I would recommend an exchange to everyone. Victoria University was the perfect choice for me because it is such a well-organised place with much freedom for the students. There are countless options for students regarding courses, sports, events and other social activities. You feel like you're never alone because there is always someone to help you, like the health service, study advisors or your kiwimate.

Although I thought the level of study was a bit lower than I am used to, this was mostly compensated by the fact that there are much more assignments and essays during the course, which makes sure you fully engage with the study material. The teachers are also really helpful and interesting, and easy to approach. Only the accent takes some time to get used to ;) Overall a great experience!

What would you improve about this program?
The exams and exam preparation could be better. As a foreigner it was hard to adapt to the way of examination. I also think it is strange to be able to choose which questions you want to answer, it allows a whole different way of studying and no need to know it all.
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Luisa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Time

Going to Wellington for my semester abroad was the best choice I could make! Victoria University is a great school that has a lot to offer and it cares a lot about its international students. I was impressed by the atmosphere in the Uni especially at Kelburn Campus. Everybody is really friendly and helps you out when there are any problems.
Wellington in gernal is a great city. It offers everything you want: culture, a great nightlife, stunning nature and great people. There are a lot of really nice places to go such as the Te Papa museum, the Botanical gardens or the harbour. We also did a lot of great hikes in the area of Wellington. It is really a place where you stay or get fit.
I lived in one of the Uni Hall houses which was a great experience since I was not used to live with so many people in one house. We had a lot of fun, parties and I made some great friends.
All in all I would recommemd everyone to do this experience at Victoria in Wellington- it was really great!

What would you improve about this program?
Actually I really have nothing in my mind to criticise!
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Hester
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exchange at Victoria

Studying at Victoria in Wellington is one of the best decisions I made! The city is great and its inhabitants are very welcoming. UniHall is a good accomodation provider and organizes more than enough social events, especially in the beginning of trimester. In UniHall, the most friends you make are other internationals and it can be quite difficult to make Kiwi friends in class. However, joining a club will bring you in contact with a lot of locals, id especially recommend the Korfball club, a very friendly bunch of people!

What would you improve about this program?
In middle of the trimester, less social events are being organized, it would have been nice if the trend at the beginning had been followed through.
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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful Semester at Vic!

My stay so far at Vic has been the adventure of a lifetime! I love the inter national program at Vic- being able to socialize and live with people from all over the world allows me to get to know so many different cultures.

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Johanne
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Side Effects of Studying at Victoria University of Wellington

In a month or so, my exchange is coming to an end. I have absolutely loved my time spent studying at Vic Uni and living in Wellington, but there are things that I would have liked to have known prior to I embarked on my semester abroad in New Zealand.

Thus, beware that side effects of a semester abroad may include:
1. Getting a piece of your heart stolen by Wellington (and the New Zealand scenery in genereal)
2. Meeting friendly and easy-going kiwis
3. Getting friends from all over the world
4. Improving your English skills
5. Getting out of your comfort zone (whether it be traveling around by yourself, bungy jumping, skydiving, establishing a new life in new surroundings, etc. )
6. Drinking cheap, great tasting coffee and craft beer
7. Seeing cute and adorable lambs everywhere
8. Experiencing the great Wellington night life
9. Being awed on a daily basis by the beautiful Wellington surroundings and the New Zealand nature when going on trips
10. Drinking world renowned wine
11. Working out with an amazing view over Wellington at the Vic Uni Recreation Center
12. Making new friends while getting smarter and strengthening your resume when joining the Victoria International Leadership Programme
13. Enhancing your ability to make an excuse for treating yourself to a night out or a dinner at a restaurant (e.g. remember to celebrate the fact that Wednesday is the middle of the week, or that a restaurant has 2 for 1 meals on Mondays)
14. Being able to make all your friends back home jealous with every picture you post on Facebook or send them via Snapchat
15. Not wanting to leave Wellington because it has become your home away from home

What would you improve about this program?
The Vic Uni accommodation:
When I chose to live in a Hall of Residence, I had the impression that "Priority is given to international students" meant that there would still be a mix of international students and kiwis. There have been in the sense of there being an RA and kiwi mates living in some of the flats, but I thought it was more casual than that.
However, with that said, there have been some students who have been disappointed by the housing due to (what they refer to as) "lack of social life". I find this accusation to be misleading. It is true that there is not an event every day making sure that a student socializes, but you cannot expect to just get a social life in new surroundings without yourself putting some work into getting it. Thus, if you are sitting in your room every day and expecting social life to magically appear on your door step, then, yes, you will be disappointed by the housing.
I have been fortunate enough to get a lot of new friends who live in the same housing as me, but I have also had to put myself out there to get to know them - and I would not have expected it any other way.
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Kathleen
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wellington Is Where It's At

Studying at Victoria has been a worthwhile and growing experience. Typical of most large universities, it is easy to be anonymous and fade out of the classroom. However, Victoria's University Hall accommodation makes a strong effort to help you find your niche, regularly facilitating bonding within the international community. Regarding Wellington, it is by far the best place to study in New Zealand. It has such a cool culture, is so walkable, and never boring. Even though study abroad is often oriented toward travel, at least 75% of your time is spent in your city of residence. Wellington has heaps of attractions nearby and great nightlife.

What would you improve about this program?
We do a lot of orientation gatherings at the beginning of the semester to help up get to know each other. It would be cool if we had some sort of checkpoint in the middle of the semester when the international students are feeling a bit homesick.
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Conny
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying at Vic – a great experience!

I really enjoy my time at Victoria University. Both students and teachers are very friendly, helpful and supportive, creating a welcoming atmosphere. The courses I’m taking (Spanish and English studies and New Zealand flora and fauna) are very interesting. They come with an average workload, not too easy and not too demanding – I’m having the perfect mixture of studies and leisure time to enjoy the life in Wellington or to go on weekend trips. The midterm break was perfect for a trip down to the South Island. The library is a great place to study in the quiet zones or to work with friends in the many comfy working areas. The view over Wellington is amazing!

The Victoria International office offers a free airport pick up service including a welcome packet with useful information and a sim card. There were two days of international orientation with introductory courses, final enrolment and course adding/dropping. The latter took a little too much waiting time. The third day was an optional trip which was lots of fun and perfect to get to know better the other internationals. The Vic International team is always friendly and will help you with problems and sorrows, just go there and talk to them. They also organize fun events now and then.

Other people’s reviews here mention problems to get to know kiwis – for me that was no problem. I chose one of the cheaper catered halls which means that it is not directly next to campus but also that there are less international students but more kiwis living there. The distance to uni is no problem at all, there is a free shuttle service which takes about 8-10 minutes to Kelburn campus. The hall offers a great community and many activities, events and trips. So just pick a hall that is not likely to be every international student’s first choice and you will probably live with both - internationals and kiwis.

What would you improve about this program?
A minor drawback is the library inventory. Although the collection might have been sufficient for my studies here, there is often just one copy of a book. If a book is taken out there is no copy to always remain in the library, which means I had to wait until it was brought back and by then it was too late for my essay, I had to switch to other sources.

The only thing I really don’t approve of are the high costs of everything. Since my university didn’t offer a real exchange program with Vic but only a study abroad program I had to pay the international tuition fees with a little discount, which was still a very high amount. But the tuition fees don’t even cover the required course material – for every course I had to buy books and/or readers and some of them were really expensive. Also the food and drinks (coffee!) offered at uni are much more expensive compared to what I am used to from back home.
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Christian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly a great place to study abroad and go on exchange!

Wellington is a great city and Victoria University is a great university!

Victoria University of Wellington offers a welcoming, friendly and inspiring educational experience as an international student. My campus (Kelburn) has great facilities to improve your learning and social time around lectures - The library, The Hub, A Recreation Centre - many of them with a beautiful overview of the Wellington city centre.

The unique Wellington experience is made up by the beautiful waterfront, scenic surroundings with parks and nature reserves, lots of cafés, restaurants, bars, shops and the like, cultural attractions, festivals and events and an always friendly atmosphere and people - all packed into a city that you can cover by foot in just one day. But do not be fooled, Wellington and its surrounding hills holds enough activities, views and attractions to always go somewhere new - not to mention the rest of New Zealand, which offers limitless possibilities, fantastic nature and is easy to travel around by car or bus.

So if you're looking for a great and unique studying abroad experience, with a focus and academic gains as well as free time activities beyond compare, Victoria University of Wellington is the place to go!

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Mathew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Why you should study abroad

Studying abroad was something I knew I wanted to do before I even applied for college, let alone knew where I wanted to study and what degree I wanted to pursue. I chose to come abroad all the way to New Zealand because coming from the U.S. I really couldn’t come much further and that was the goal. I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture, experience new things, and most of all I wanted to find myself. New Zealand is amazing if you love trying new things and seeing new places constantly. I’ve done more and seen places I never could have imagined before coming to New Zealand and because of that this has been the greatest experience of my life.
Yeah, you are taking a huge leap. You may have never left your hometown before and you’re looking at coming to a whole new part of the world- but take the leap. You won’t regret it and I can promise that. The culture shock may hit you, and it may be hard, but you’ll come out stronger and knowing yourself better. If you want to experience life from a new perspective and create a memory that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life….then come to New Zealand.

What would you improve about this program?
I was really hoping for more flexibility with moving final exam dates forward. At my home university as long as you take the exam before the scheduled time there is no issue. I found that's not the case here. Also even if you do have a 'legitimate excuse' to move your exam forward, you have to pay $123NZ to do so....I was kind of surprised by that one.