Study Abroad in Wellington, New Zealand

Study Abroad in Wellington: Courses

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University of the South Pacific


Choose this optional program before your semester in Wellington begins and learn about the indigenous Fijian culture while exploring all that this paradise island has to offer. The Pacific Studies program is geared towards giving students a basic understanding of the cultures, art and way of life of the Pacific Island countries and the challenges they face over the influences of technology and globalization.

Students choosing the Fiji option will begin their academic program with a course in Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji for 1 credit. This course is taught both in the classroom and the field with a wide variety of included field trips.

Upon completion of this course, students receive a Certificate of Completion.

The University of the South Pacific’s main campus is located among pleasant surroundings in Suva, Fiji. The site of a former New Zealand sea-plane base, the campus includes a small botanical garden and the USP Oceania Center for the arts. AIFS provides a Social and Cultural Coordinator and an Academic Coordinator from the University to supervise the program.

February-June Courses

Students can choose from the full curriculum at Victoria University of Wellington. These courses are a sample of those offered and reflect some of the most popular courses with previous students. Some courses may require prerequisites. For current course listings contact the AIFS Admissions Officer or visit Victoria University’s online course catalogue: This website also includes course descriptions and prerequisites for all courses.

Victoria University course numbers are listed first with the American equivalent–one level higher–after. Recommended U.S. semester credits are in parentheses.

February-June Courses

ARTH 213/Art History 313 (5) | Art in Aotearoa New Zealand

A chronological survey of the art of Aotearoa New Zealand from the 1760s to the present.

MAOR 123/Maori Studies 223 (5) | Maori Society and Culture

This course introduces students to a broad range of Maori beliefs, concepts and structures that are important to the foundations and development of Maori society and culture. The course will cover aspects of pre-European Maori society, cultural change, present-day developments as well as visions for the future.

PASI 101/Pacific Studies 201 (4) | The Pacific Heritage

This is a survey course on a range of Pacific nations, covering sociocultural, geographical, economic, and historical issues including indigenous perspectives.

PHIL 262/Philosophy 362 (5) | Contemporary Political Philosophy

This course examines some of the leading schools of contemporary political and moral philosophy, including liberalism, libertarianism, socialism, communitarianism, and feminism. Some of the philosophers we read include John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Michael Sandel, Robert Paul Wolff and Iris Marion Young.

POLS 203/Political Science 303 (5) | East Asian Politics

This course introduces students to politics and government in East Asia. It focuses on China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and examines the political history and culture, major institutions and policy processes, economic and social development, and foreign policies of these countries.

POLS 208/Political Science 308 (5) | Political Change in Southeast Asia

This course will examine constitutional issues and broader political change in a number of Southeast Asian states. Students have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of political institutions and wider political trends in countries with very diverse systems of government, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

POLS 218/Political Science 318 (5) | Politics and the Media in New Zealand

This course focuses on the political roles, functions and effects of the media in New Zealand. Topics studied will include: media and elections (including voting behavior); news management and production; the role of public relations in political lobbying and electioneering; the political uses of opinion polls and experts; the regulatory environment within which the media operates; ownership and control of the media, public service broadcasting; Maori politics and the media; and the media and political leadership.

PSYC 231/Psychology 331 (5) | Cognitive Psychology

This course draws upon human research primarily to provide an overview of cognitive phenomena as well as theoretical underpinning of those phenomena. Topics may include: sensation, perception, attention, learning, memory, language, reasoning, problem solving and decision making.

SOSC 111/Sociology 211 (5) | Sociology: Foundations and Concepts

This course provides an introduction to the foundations of sociological thought and their application and relevance to contemporary society. It explores key sociological concepts and debates, such as globalization, inequality, risk, social movements, medicalization, and technology.

THEA 205/Theater 305 (5) | Theatrical Revolution: Drama from Realism to the Postmodern

This course explores the development, theory, and practice of Western dramaturgy from Romanticism to the present. Dramaturgy is the study of how meaning is generated in drama and performance. Students will learn and practice a suite of analytic and synthetic skills associated with Western and text-based dramaturgy, and conduct performance-based research on selected plays. The course aims to a) develop familiarity with the canons of modern and post-modern drama; b) equip students with knowledge and skills of dramaturgy; and c) provide students with a critical understanding of and practical experience in dramaturgical work.

Other courses that students have taken include:

  • ACCY225 / Accountancy 325 (4) Introduction to Accounting Systems
  • ANTH209 / Anthropology 309 (4) Conflict and Reconciliation
  • CLAS311 / Classics 411 (4) Myth and Storytelling
  • FILM101 / Film 201 (4) Introduction to Film Analysis
  • GEOG316 / Geography 416 (4) Geographies of Globalization
  • HIST316 / History 416 (4) New Zealand Social History
  • IBUS212 / International Business 312 (4) International Management
  • LAWS352 / Law 452 (4) Banking and Finance Law
  • MDIA207 / Media Studies 307 (4) News Analysis
  • MGMT313 / Management 413 (4) Strategic Operations Management
  • POLS208 / Political Science 308 (4) Political Change in Southeast Asia
  • PSYC231/ Psychology 331 (4) Cognitive Psychology
  • RELI221 / Religious Studies 321 (4) Religion, Politics and Disenchantment
  • SPOL314 / Sociology 414 (4) Sociology of Health and Illness

Special courses: Maori Studies

Maori Studies courses examine the Maori people - their language and culture, past and present, and their place in relation to the other cultures of New Zealand, Polynesia and the world. Maori culture is a living and dynamic reality in New Zealand today and provides the nation with many of its unique qualities. Historically, interaction between Maori and non-Maori has shaped the economic, social and political development of New Zealand. The Maori Studies courses focus on developing awareness, appreciation and understanding about the associated issues and complexities.

Special courses: Pacific Studies

Through Pacific Studies students are exposed to the ideas and work of the region’s foremost thinkers, political leaders, activists, and artists. Pacific Studies offers critical perspectives on the region’s imperial and colonial legacies. The Pacific Islands are an important part of New Zealand’s economic and political sphere of influence. While facing significant social challenges, Pacific communities in New Zealand are also generating a cultural vibrancy in the nation.