Program Overview

Amazing academics and laid-back Kiwi culture in a metropolitan, yet walkable, city – nicknamed “Windy Wellington” because of the strong winds coming in from the Cook Strait. Our Semester in New Zealand – Victoria University of Wellington program offers you the best of everything on the North Island: strong academics, life in one of the world’s “most livable” cities, easy access to beaches and mountains, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in Kiwi and Maori culture.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
Spring: October 15
Fall: April 15
Avg Course Load
3-4 Courses (12-16 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
  • Global Leadership program, including activities such as diplomatic dialog seminars with speakers and experiential activities
  • AASCB accredited business school
  • Official Victoria University of Wellington DIGITAL Transcript
  • 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 friendly Global Advisor to ask questions and find the best fit program. Start planning for on campus processes, and apply by the application deadline.
  • Meet your Program Enrollment Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, and payments. Attend one our our LIVE pre-departure orientations.
  • Fly away! You'll be greeted at the airport (comforting after a long flight!) and experience a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.



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

Beginning effective January 1, 2020, all CIS Abroad returning transcripts from institutions in Australia will be completely digital. This will mean no physical copies of transcripts will be mailed for this program.



Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page. 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.


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.


Art & Design
Natural & Applied Sciences
Social Sciences
World Languages

Don't see your major listed here?
There may still be courses available.
Browse our programs by major »

Choose Your Courses

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet in your portal.

Life in Wellington

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival you’ll take part in a comprehensive orientation program. 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, we will also treat 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.

Housing Options

During the Semester in New Zealand – North Island 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.


CISabroad study abroad semester in new zealand

Local Life

  • 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.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in 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.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team

Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Emma Van Loon
Senior Program Enrollment Coordinator

Travel Tip: When I begin planning a trip I love to leave two or three days free. There are always fun activities you’ll learn about while in country so you don’t want to miss out on them due to over scheduling!

Learn more about Emma

Helena Henare-Coolen
Site Director of New Zealand

Travel Tip: Leave the umbrella at home as it is no match for the capital known as ‘Windy Wellington”. Make sure you pack a good raincoat and some warm socks.

Learn more about Helena

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Fall 2020
    Application Deadline
    April 15
    June 29
    CIS Abroad: June 29 - 30; VUW: July 1 - 2
    Classes Start
    July 6
    Classes End
    October 9; Exams: October 16 - November 7
    November 8
  • Spring 2021
    Application Deadline
    October 15
    February 19 (Estimated)
    June 27 (Estimated)
    $18,890 (Estimated)
  • Spring 2020
    Application Deadline
    October 15
    February 21
    CIS Abroad: February 21-23; VUW: February 24-25
    Classes Start
    March 2
    Classes End
    June 5; Exams: June 12-27
    June 28

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


At CIS Abroad we are excited to be celebrating our 20th birthday in 2020. It’s a big year for us and what is a birthday without gifts?! This year we are offering a special set of scholarships celebrating two decades of providing life-changing experiences around the world.

How to apply for one of these special scholarships
Once you’ve applied for an eligible program (which this program is!) for a Fall 2020 start, you’ll find the scholarship application in your student portal.

Don’t delay!
This scholarship application deadline is April 7, 2020.


View a list of all eligible programs

Program Inclusions

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
  • CIS Abroad 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
  • La Vida Local cultural program