Is this program right for you?
The Victoria University of Wellington
offers students a compact, cosmopolitan and vibrant academic setting. This program is right for students who wish to experience the New Zealand education system first hand by taking classes directly enrolled at a New Zealand university alongside local students. Students who choose to study at Victoria University of Wellington want an immersive New Zealand experience, the relaxed, safe environment of the capital Wellington, and the independent nature of a direct enrollment program. Students interested in international relations and political science will especially benefit from comparing capital city lifestyle of Wellington to that of Washington, DC.
Victoria University teaches 21,000 students every year, including over 2,800 international students from 80 countries. It is known for its academic strengths in the following areas: Law, Government, Business, IT, Geography, History, Literature, Linguistics, and International Relations.
The program is open to a range of majors but is especially well suited for students interested in the international relations and government. For a listof course offerings please visit Victoria University of Wellington's course catalog. After searching, narrow your search by clicking courses, the course year and trimester. Note that courses from February – June will be marked as “Trimester 1” and from July – November will be marked as "Trimester 2" in the course listings.
View the Course Equivalency Database
to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed. Read more about the course equivalency process and how AU counts study abroad credits on our Courses and Credits page
Students should be prepared to directly enroll in the New Zealand education system which is quite different from the U.S. model. The student's academic schedule fluctuates between lectures, tutorials (small group sessions), laboratory work, seminars, and library study. For the class grade students may be expected to concentrate their academic efforts in library research and writing, and it is not uncommon to have a large percentage of the grade based upon only 1 to 2 exams. The tutorials may require students to prepare materials, present a paper, read articles, or participate in group discussion. Students from New Zealand generally concentrate on their major in the first year since there is not a "general education" requirement like most US four year institutions, and therefore introductory subjects may be more difficult than at AU.
New Zealand is famous for its beautiful coastlines, jagged mountain ranges, friendly people, and unique heritage influenced by the native Maori culture. It is located in the South Pacific about 1,400 miles east of Australia and consists of a few main islands plus several smaller surrounding islands. The population is just about 4 million people and contains a vibrant mix of European, Maori, Polynesian and Asian cultures.
Students attending Victoria University will study in Wellington, New Zealand's political, commercial, financial, intellectual, and cultural capital. It's located at the southern tip of New Zealand's North Island and is home to all of New Zealand's national institutions. Wellington has all the sophistication and opportunities of a major city, but the charm, safety and cleanliness of a small town.
The population is about 400,000 people, but do not let the size fool you: there is always something going on in Wellington. In addition to hosting one of the top six arts festivals in the world, the International Festival of the Arts, Wellington hosts about 40 other arts and cultural festivals every year.
In addition to all the things that Wellington has to offer, Victoria University offers study abroad and exchange students an opportunity to participate in the Victoria International Leadership Program (VILP), an academically-oriented extracurricular program. For more information about the program and how it applies to visiting students, visit the VILP website. Victoria also has a program to Get to know local students through their International Buddy Programme where visiting students are paired with local students.
Housing & Meals
Accommodation is within walking distance to the University or close to one of the many public transport routes. Most study abroad students are sophomores or juniors, so the preferred option is often apartment style accommodation.
The Accommodation Service has a policy of placing students with a mixture of Kiwi students and other international students. This is seen as the best way for students to adjust to life in Wellington and to make new friends. It is important to apply for accommodation in advance of the appropriate deadline to have the best chance of securing your favored option.
More information on accommodation is available on Victoria University of Wellington's Accommodation website.
ATTENTION SPRING STUDENTS: The housing application for Victoria University of Wellington is due BEFORE the general study abroad application is due. Make sure you apply for Vic U housing BEFORE October 1 to increase your chances that you will have university arranged housing in Wellington! Please visit their housing website to apply.
AU students are responsible for researching what they need to do to legally study in New Zealand. Please visit the New Zealand Embassy website and read the information provided to you by VUW International Office in order to figure out what you need to do to legally be a student in New Zealand.