Semester on the North Island, New Zealand

Live in this sea-side, metropolitan city with more cafés per capita than New York City. Take a broad range of courses from environmental science to Maori culture, and enjoy the boundless adventure opportunities nearby.

CISabroad’s Site Director in New Zealand:

A Northern California native who traveled to 47 of the U.S. states before the age of 10, Christina grew up with a passion for travel and languages. What started as a fascination with regional American accents grew into a BA in Spanish and a college Study Abroad experience in Madrid where Christina interned as an interpreter. Christina returned to work in California as a study abroad advisor, and to earn her MA in Applied Linguistics at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She has taught undergraduate courses in Intercultural Communication and countless courses in ESL/EFL, and also works as a curriculum designer and teacher trainer for English language programs. After two years in the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan as a university lecturer, Christina moved to Nepal to manage a program for international students in Kathmandu. While living in Nepal, she traveled with her husband to New Zealand and they both fell in love with the country and the people. The rest is history!

Though not a native Kiwi, Christina loves everything about New Zealand and is able to relate with students as they explore the country and its vibrant culture. She lives in Wellington with her husband and two beautiful cats, and on her free time she enjoys cycling, hiking, Frisbee, kayaking, and putting together the perfect picnic to enjoy in the great outdoors. While her fluency in Spanish and Russian does not come in handy quite as often as she would like, she is slowly working to add NZ’s native language of Maori to her repertoire. She sends a big “Haere mai!” (welcome!) to CISabroad students planning to study in New Zealand.

If you've ever wanted to study abroad in New Zealand, then check out our Semester on the North Island, New Zealand program! Here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Ocean, beaches, and mountains all within a few hours
  • A metropolitan city with more cafés per capita than New York City
  • Life in a cosmopolitan city with a robust cultural scene
  • Extensive adventure opportunities
  • Classes at an internationally acclaimed university
  • A large, diverse student body with over 3,000 international students
  • An innovative curriculum with more than 80 academic degree areas
  • Fully furnished on-campus apartments shared with other international students
  • When you travel to New Zealand, there are  abundant travel options with short, inexpensive flights to Asia, Oceania and Australia

Semester on the North Island, New Zealand, takes place at Victoria University of Wellington, which offers more than 80 academic degree areas. The traditional yet innovative curriculum is excellent in both teaching and research. For 3 consecutive years, the University has been awarded for innovation in international programs. 

GPA Required: GPA Required: 2.70. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

**Required GPA is 2.70, not 2.75

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses. During your semester abroad you can choose subjects from within the following faculties: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Architecture and Design, and Faculty of Science. 

Course load:  3–4 classes (12–16 US credits). You can take up to 4 classes per semester.

Course approval:  It is best to get 7–8 classes approved before you go abroad. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog: Click here to view all courses offered.

Helpful information
The University has some restrictions and additional requirements for courses in certain disciplines. Before you select your courses, please read this document detailing those restrictions and requirements.

Individual classes may be referred to as “papers” or “prescriptions.” You will find courses offered at the 100, 200, and 300 levels. The 200- and 300-level courses at Victoria are often equivalent to junior- and senior-year courses in the US. They will likely have prerequisites.

Trimester 1 refers to the spring semester, and Trimester 2 refers to the fall semester.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Situated on the southern tip of the North Island, Wellington is the political, business, and cultural capital of New Zealand. It is also the southernmost capital city in the world. Although Wellington boasts a population of nearly 500,000, it is a compact, walkable place. The city has a variety of architectural styles from throughout the last 150 years. It also is quite a happening city, with more restaurants and cafés per capita than New York City. You can experience a wide variety or art, music, film, drama, and more with something to offer everyone’s interests. It has all the sophistication and modernity of a major city, but still has the charm, safety, cleanliness, and friendliness of a town.

In addition to a great city life, Wellington possesses natural beauty. It has the perfect combinations of landscapes, known for its picturesque harbor view and rolling green mountain sides. The harbor’s 3 islands offer an abundance of bush walks and reserves which will give you the chance to experience more than the city life in this beautiful location. The larger region has 190 square miles of parks and forests. It’s no wonder Wellington was recently ranked 12th in the world for best quality of living.

Established in 1899, Victoria University of Wellington is one of the oldest universities in New Zealand. It has a strong domestic base yet has received significant international recognition. Annual enrollment is about 21,000 students, nearly 3,000 of them international students like you from over 80 countries.  There is a wide variety of courses offered at Vic, and you won’t have any trouble finding courses to fit your academic interests and needs. They are focused and dedicated to global awareness and diversifying their campus in order to keep up with the ongoing globalization of higher education.

The University comprises 4 campuses, 3 of which are within a 10-minute walk of each other. The main campus, Kelburn, enjoys an idyllic setting in the middle of New Zealand’s scenic harbor capital, just a few minutes walk from the city center. Its elevated position not only commands stunning views, but also removes you from the hustle and bustle of the inner city. It is also where you will find the Humanities and Social Sciences departments, the main library and student support services. Karori campus houses the School of Education, Te Aro campus is the School of Architecture and Design, and lastly Pipitea Campus is the Law School. There is a lot to explore at the University of Wellington!

As a CISabroad study abroad student, you’ll get outstanding support. We’re with you every step of the way, providing academic advising, personal help, and cultural counseling. We want to ensure that when you arrive in New Zealand, you hit the ground running.  Upon your arrival, you will be greeted at the airport by a University representative. A 2-day orientation for all new international students will introduce you to the University's facilities, staff, and other students and help you get acquainted with the wonderful city of Wellington.

You will have access to all campus facilities, including computer labs, a Learning Support Center, personal counselors, and a campus clinic. The Students’ Association will help get you active on campus. It directs nearly 100 social, sports, cultural, and ethnic clubs that will make you feel at home in your new environment. There is literally something for everyone in Wellington. The Recreation Center, open 16 hours a day, hosts a variety of health and fitness activities. All of this combined with the great location and city life that Wellington provides proves to be an amazing destination for a semester abroad.

As a Semester on the North Island, New Zealand student, you will be living in one of the University of Victoria’s fully furnished and self-catered residences.  You will be provided with household appliances and cooking and eating utensils, but will need to obtain your own linens, and can have access to the internet for a small fee.  The Accommodation Service at the University has a policy of placing students in apartments with a mix of both local and international students.  This is a great way for students to adjust to living in Wellington and an even better way for students to make new friends.  Wherever your residence hall may be, you will have a supportive, enjoyable experience full of opportunities to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds that can only enhance your study abroad experience!

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Semester on the North Island can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for Semester on the North Island are due on December 31st for Spring programs and June 1st for Fall programs. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

There are four easy steps in the Application process.

1. Fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. 

2. Pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost.

3. Submit: Academic Reference Form, Course Selection Worksheet, Personal Statement, Applicant Profile, and Scholarship Application (Optional).

4. Mail in your official Transcript to our office.

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application for Semester on the North Island Spring 2013 is due on December 1st for Spring 2013 and April 15th for Fall 2013.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

For Semester on the North Island, you WILL need a passport. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For Semester on the North Island, you WILL need a visa. You will receive specific visa instructions once you have been accepted to the program.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For Semester on the North Island, the GPA requirement is 2.7.

6. What are my housing options?

For Semester on the North Island, you will be living in one of the University of Victoria’s fully-furnished and self-catered residences.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For Semester on the North Island, you will enroll in 3–4 classes (12–16 U.S. credits). You can take up to 4 classes per semester. To see the courses available, go to the course catalog.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

On Semester on the North Island, New Zealand, we want to help you get there. We offer one of the most affordable semester study abroad in New Zealand programs.  Savings for you means additional travel in New Zealand!

With over 80 academic degree areas, you are guaranteed to find courses that match your major and academic focus. But it’s not just what you learn that makes CISabroad Semester on the North Island, New Zealand, special. It’s how you learn, where you learn, and from whom you learn.  

At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. Maori culture, sea kayaking in the Bay of Islands, wine tasting in Marlborough. Our staff love all that New Zealand has to offer. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the Southern Hemisphere when you travel to New Zealand. 

Semester on the North Island, New Zealand, will connect you to one of the world’s most extraordinary cultures. Wellington is unique because it is the business, commercial, and political capital of the country, yet it is small enough to walk almost everywhere. And the atmosphere is sophisticated, yet down-to-earth and youthful. When you study abroad in New Zealand,  start getting excited about:
Living in one of the adventure capitals of the world – Adventure and adrenaline-pumping sports were practically invented in New Zealand. You can bungee jump with the world’s original bungee company, tandem skydive over the ocean, and learn to surf, ski, and white-water kayak. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts to hike, bike, and climb in stunning terrain. 

Visiting sites from Lord of the Rings – A 3-hour drive in any direction will take you from pristine white-sand beaches to deciduous rain forests and mountain glaciers. There’s a reason why New Zealand’s spectacular landscapes and unique settings are featured in movies such as Lord of the Rings.

World-class academics – Victoria University of Wellington is widely regarded as one of the strongest universities in the Southern Hemisphere. It is internationally recognized for its broad range of courses, diverse student body, and elite faculty members. It's the perfect place to study abroad in New Zealand!

Clubs and student organizations – Ever thought to try your hand at fencing? How about canoeing or kayaking? With clubs and organizations as diverse as the student body, you’ll find something that suits your interests and make new international friends in the process.

Sports – New Zealanders, aka Kiwis, eat, sleep, and breathe sports. Rugby and soccer are national pastimes, and you will have plenty of opportunities to watch, learn, and play.