Study in the heart and soul of New Zealand at Victoria University of Wellington. The Semester on the North Island, New Zealand program will connect you to one of the world’s most extraordinary cultures. Wellington is the business, commercial, and political capital of the country, yet it’s small enough to walk almost everywhere. The atmosphere is sophisticated, with a down-to-earth and youthful vibe. Grab a tea in the cozy cafes before you bound off to your next adventure in the North Island. You’re certain to have the time of your life!
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
Spring: November 1
Fall: April 15
- Avg Course Load
- 3-4 Courses (12-16 US credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
Key Program Highlights
- Cairns (Great Barrier Reef) Orientation for all New Zealand semester students
- A metropolitan city with more cafés per capita than New York City
- 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
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
Life in Wellington
Welcome and Orientation
Upon arrival you’ll take part in a three-day CISabroad orientation program, then a shorter one hosted by the university. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of living in Wellington, New Zealand like where to go out, how to stay safe and how to get around and where the best places to buy food are. You’ll also learn some helpful Kiwi and Maori sayings and gain some insights into Kiwi culture. As we know students love food, so we will also host you to a yummy welcome meal showcasing some of the modern Asian food that Wellington is known for.
Farewell and Re-entry Program
Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can take some adjustment. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, and strategies for coping with reverse culture shock. Plus, relive some highlights of your time abroad and, in true Kiwi style we will feed you more ‘kai’ as part of our farewell.
During the Semester on the North Island, New Zealand program, you’ll live in one of the University of Victoria’s fully furnished and self-catered residences.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.
- Household appliances and cooking and eating utensils
- You’ll need to obtain your own linens
- You can have access to the internet for a small fee.
- Attend a play: Wellington is also known for its amazing art scene. Sample a play at “Bats Theatre” – a theatre that showcases the work of up and coming actors and directors.
- Weta Workshop: Go behind the scenes and experience Wellywood in action. Even if you don’t like films, you will enjoy seeing the creativity that goes into making them.
- Night market: Wellingtonians love food - almost as much as coffee. Sample some street food at one of the lively night markets.
- Sports events: No trip to NZ would be complete without seeing a rugby match. Put on something yellow and blue and get along to see the local Wellington team, the Hurricanes, play.
- Sailing: Head out onto Wellington Harbour. You’ll be on the tiller before you know it.
More About Wellington
Wellington is a compact, walkable city likened to San Francisco. Situated on the southern tip of the North Island, Wellington is the political, business, and cultural capital of New Zealand. You'll join nearly 500,000 other people who live in Wellington, but the city truly feels like a close-knit community.
Kiwis in Wellington are enthusiastic about living a good life, and they want to celebrate with great music, delicious food, and exciting film, culture, and art festivals. You'll find more restaurants and cafés per capita than New York City! Spend a day at Te Papa national museum of New Zealand or ride the cable car up to the space observatory or botanical gardens. Additionally, you can feel like you've traveled back in time at the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary. "Windy Wellington" has all the sophistication and modernity of a major city, but still has the charm, safety, cleanliness, and friendliness of a small town. It’s no wonder Wellington was recently ranked 12th in the world for best quality of living!
You'll be in awe of Wellington's natural beauty. The city is known for its picturesque harbor views and rolling green mountain sides. The harbor’s three islands offer an abundance of bush walks and reserves so you can get a break from the city. Jump on a tour bus to explore the volcanic, desolate Tongariro National Park. Or travel farther north so you can sunbathe on the sub-tropical beaches of Northland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Auckland. If you feel really adventurous, hop on the ferry and set sail for New Zealand's magnificent South Island. Wellington's airport can quickly connect you to the rest of the country, to Australia, and beyond!
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Experience a city that’s reinventing itself after the 2010-11 earthquakes. Visit the amazing cardboard cathedral made out of giant "toilet rolls," dine at food vendors in the mall housed in shipping containers, and ride the Gondola up to the top of the Port Hills.
This is a chance to take the ferry from Wellington to Picton and spend the weekend in the marvelous Marlborough Sounds.
4 days on the Great Barrier Reef
Spend 4 days learning about the environmental and cultural beauty that Australia has to offer in the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you spend your time snorkeling, or exploring the rain forest, you won't leave Cairns without some unbelievable photos and memories!
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. 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.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
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 descriptions and catalog: Click here to view all courses offered.
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.
Study on the North Island of New Zealand at the globally ranked Victoria University of Wellington. This capital city is centrally located, making it a perfect launching pad to explore the rest of this picturesque island! Wellington is a diverse city brimming with artistic, cultural, and outdoorsy activities. On campus, you can study nearly any subject to suit your major. The University is internationally recognized for its programs in business, political science, art and humanities, and environmental sustainability.
The University has four campuses. The main campus, Kelburn, enjoys an idyllic setting overlooking Wellington's scenic harbor. Its elevated position on a hilltop commands stunning views. And, it means you can find tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Furthermore, you can walk to just about anywhere in the the city in fifteen minutes.
Victoria University of Wellington welcomes thousands of international students each year. It's easy to get involved on campus, as there are over 80 student organizations to join. You'll even have a chance to deepen your connection to the local community through leadership programs and service-learning options. This University will give you a world-class education and a glimpse into the life of the Kiwis!
Accreditation(s): The Committee on University Academic Programmes of Universities New Zealand is responsible for ensuring that New Zealand university academic programmes meet quality standards. VUW is a public research university whose business school has the "triple accreditation" of EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB
Rebecca Garibaldi - Colby Sawyer College
Program SupportMeet Our Staff
Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.
Robust Advising Center
Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.
Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators
Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.
Experienced On-site Staff
From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.
Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.
Your Support Staff
Global Advising Team
Programs Team Coordinator - Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand
Application DeadlineApril 15ArrivalJuly 9OrientationJuly 10Classes StartJuly 17Classes EndOctober 20DepartureNovember 22PRICE$19,990
Application DeadlineNovember 1ArrivalFebruary 16 (Estimated)OrientationFebruary 16 - 19; Victoria University of Wellington Orientation: February 22 - 23 (Estimated)Classes StartMarch 5 (Estimated)Classes EndJuly 4 (Estimated)DepartureJuly 5 (Estimated)PRICE$19,990 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- 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
- Victoria University of Wellington orientation
- On-site support
- Victoria University of Wellington official transcript
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program