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.

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. 

CISabroad Adventure Orientation - You'll start your program with a New Zealand focused orientation in Wellington, then join other CISabroad students on a 4 day/3 night orientation exploring the Great Barrier Reef! This orientation will provide you with a unique look into Australian culture and its iconic wildlife. You will have the opportunity to explore the rain forest, indigenous communities, and the largest tropical coral reef system in the world! You'll also be able to cross holding koalas, snorkeling, and feeding kangaroos off your bucket list!


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.

Our Semester on the North Island program is located at Victoria University of Wellington. Founded in 1897, the public research university's business school owns the "triple accreditation" of EQUIS, AMBA, and AACSB. The Committee on University Academic Programmes of Universities New Zealand is responsible for ensuring that New Zealand university academic programmes meet quality standards. Victoria is ranked 229th globally, 45th in Law and Legal Studies, and 59th in Arts and Humanities.

The univeristy 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?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms.

The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We do also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. Application deadlines can be found here.

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.

CISabroad’s Site Director in New Zealand:

Alexandra Hill (Alex) was born in Perth, Western Australia and spent the first two years of her life in Lae, Papua New Guinea before returning to Australia. Although born in Australia, she considers herself more a Kiwi, as she has lived in New Zealand for most of her life and now calls Wellington home. 

Alex has worked in international education for twelve years, nine working directly with US study abroad students and more recently with scholarship students. She feels privileged to have also supported students from Africa, South East Asia, Central and South America and the Pacific. At the start of 2014, Alex commenced a Masters in International Development at Victoria University of Wellington and is particularly interested in scholarship programmes and the role international education plays in development.

In 2011, Alex and her family moved to Singapore where they lived for two years. Living and working cross-culturally furthered her understanding of the challenges that international students face when studying overseas. Although demanding at times, living and travelling in Asia, sampling amazing food and making friends with people from all over the globe was a fantastic experience, which like studying abroad, has had a marked impact on Alex, her husband and children’s lives.

Travel is one of Alex’s favourite activities, but even when she is not travelling she furthers her knowledge of other cultures through reading, listening to current affairs, meeting international students, volunteering and through cooking international dishes. Having two boys keeps her active and as a family they enjoy wharf jumping, swimming, day walks and exploring the outdoors. 

Alex looks forward to welcoming the CISabroad students intending to study in New Zealand and will be on hand to provide support during the semester, as well as hosting a range of excursions that will give students a real taste of New Zealand’s unique culture and landscape.

Term: Fall 2016
Arrival July 1
CISabroad Orientation July 1 - 4
Victoria University of Wellington Orientation
July 7 - 8
Classes Start July 11
Classes End October 14
Departure November 12
Application Deadline Mid April
Term: Spring 2017
Arrival February 23
CISabroad Orientation February 23-26
Classes Start March 6
Classes End July 5
Departure July 6
Application Deadline November 1
Term: Fall 2016 Price: $17,690
Term: Spring 2017 Price: $19,990

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing (residence halls)
  • Medical and accident insurance 
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program 
  • Academic advising 
  • Financial aid counseling 
  • Assistance with travel arrangements 
  • Predeparture orientation 
  • Airport pickup 
  • CISabroad Orientation in Wellington and a 4 day/3 night Orientation on the Great Barrier Reef 
  • On-site support 
  • Victoria University of Wellington official transcript 
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

CISabroad  reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.