Semester in New Zealand
Victoria University of Wellington

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Embark on an adventure in New Zealand's seaside capital.

Amazing academics and laid-back Kiwi culture in a metropolitan, yet walkable, city – but maybe bring a coat for the 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, easy access to beaches and breathtaking mountains, and the opportunity to learn from the Kiwi and indigenous Maori cultures.

What to Expect:

  • Language: English
  • Average Courseload: 3-4 courses (12-16 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.75


  • Global Leadership program, including activities, like diplomatic dialog seminars 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
  • Lots of student sports teams, including Rugby, Cricket, Netball, Soccer, Surfing, and more

Program Details

Victoria University of Wellington

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.


Areas of study with 8 or more classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • World Languages

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

All CIS Abroad returning transcripts from institutions in New Zealand will be completely digital. This will mean no physical copies of transcripts will be mailed for this program.

How to choose your courses

Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CIS Abroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CIS Abroad 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.

Choose your courses:

View all courses
Explore by subject area

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.

Why Life in 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!

Live La Vida Local

  • 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.

Housing in Wellington


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. The residences have internet available for a small fee.

NOTE: This housing does NOT come with bed linens, so you’ll need to bring your own or purchase some in New Zealand.



The residences are self-catered, meaning you’ll provide your own meals, and come equipped with household appliances and cooking and eating utensils.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomShared
  • Kitchen Equipment

What's Included


Program fees are in U.S. 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
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Victoria University of Wellington orientation
  • On-site support
  • Victoria University of Wellington official transcript
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

Upon arrival, take part in a comprehensive orientation program. 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. Enjoy a yummy welcome meal showcasing some of the modern Asian food that Wellington is known for.

Farewell & 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, eat more ‘kai’ as part of your farewell meal with friends.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad 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

CIS Abroad Advising & Support
Travel Tip:

You’ll be supported every step of the way!

Global Advising

Our advising team will help match you with a program that fits your academic and personal needs. Once you have selected your program our advisor will help you complete your Online Application.

Program Enrollment

Once you’ve started your application and submitted the $90 deposit, you’ll be assigned a program enrollment coordinator who will guide you through the enrollment process to get you abroad!

Alexandra Woolner
Travel Tip:

Expect the unexpected! Sometimes culture shock is stronger in countries where you expect things to be more similar to your home country and environment. Traveling abroad is an excellent way to learn more about your own culture, habits, style, and adaptability.

COVID-19 Plan

We believe that study abroad is still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain policies and procedures will need to be in place to ensure every student can be safe and healthy during their semester abroad.

Learn more about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team’s three step process for operating  our programs around the world and important program refund policies.

Read more below for information related to this program:

Program Suspended

This program is currently not available for the Academic Year 2021/22. Please consider other options by exploring our Open Semester Programs in 2022, Open January Programs in 2022, or consider a Virtual Internship.

We monitor international indicators and health standards in the country where we operate and our risk management team makes decisions based on those factors and our own policy. We will reopen programs as we are able.

Dates & Prices

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

  • Application Deadline: Oct 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: February 21 (Estimated)
  • Departure: June 28 (Estimated)
  • Price: $18,890 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Apr 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: June 29 (Estimated)
  • Departure: November 8 (Estimated)
  • Price: $18,890 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Oct 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: February 21 (Estimated)
  • Departure: June 28 (Estimated)
  • Price: $18,890 (Estimated)
  • Application Deadline: Apr 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: June 29 (Estimated)
  • Departure: November 8 (Estimated)
  • Price: $18,890 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

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