Study Abroad in Wellington, New Zealand

Living Abroad

Housing and Meals


  • Student residence
  • Fully equipped kitchens


  • Allowance to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals and groceries valued at $1,000

Internet access is included in all AIFS housing in Wellington


In Wellington, you will live in a residence hall which offers a supportive, friendly environment and a chance to meet students from New Zealand and around the world. Students in residence halls typically share the kitchen, living area and bathroom with 3 to 5 other students.


You will be provided with a meal allowance to subsidize the cost of purchasing meals in the University food court, local restaurants or to buy food to cook in the residence. The meal allowance is worth approximately $1,000 and is a great help in managing your costs when you are in Wellington.

Students who do not wish to receive the meal allowance will pay a reduced program fee of $17,995.

Cultural Activities

A cultural calendar of activities and social events is included in your program fee. These activities will include both typical tourist sites and attractions and lesser known visits which take advantage of the expert knowledge of our local AIFS staff and give you a more authentic and insightful view of ‘Kiwi’ life. The University itself has over 100 social, sporting, religious, cultural and ethnic clubs for you to join.

Past events and activities have included:

Lord of the Rings Location Tour

Follow in Frodo’s footsteps through Hobbiton Woods in the heart of the real Middle-Earth, Wellington. Visit Wellington locations used in the filming of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, learn little known facts about the movies and then travel to Miramar, home to Sir Peter Jackson’s and Weta New Zealand’s studios and post-production facilities. Visit Weta Workshop for a guided tour of the physical prop-making and make-up work of the studios followed by behind-the-scenes insight into the digital special effects side of the studio.

Pamper Your Palate

Explore the compact capital on foot, learning about and sampling Wellington’s lively food scene while meeting makers, roasters, brewers and chocolatiers. This guided tour will introduce you to some of the city’s best kept foodie secrets and gourmet go-to hideouts.

Explore a Nature Lover's Paradise

New Zealanders are passionate about the environment and Zealandia is a great example of their dedication to ecological restoration and living with nature. This must-see eco-attraction is home to some of New Zealand’s rarest birds, reptiles and insects living wild in their natural environment. A Zealandia guide will provide an overview of the sanctuary’s conservation efforts and share curious facts about the sanctuary’s inhabitants which include little spotted kiwi, tuatara and hihi.

Island Excursion

Get out on the water, enjoying a ferry ride across Wellington harbor to Matiu/Somes Island, one of the city’s most important conservation sites. A ranger will introduce you to the history of the island including its use as an animal quarantine station and military defense base. You will also learn about the unique and unusual native inhabitants of the island and the initiatives being undertaken to help endangered native creatures. Relax with a picnic lunch before returning to the city.

Wellington Rugby Experience

Immerse yourself in Kiwi culture cheering on either New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, or local legends, the Hurricaines, at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium - affectionately known as the Cake Tin.

You may be asked to pay a small supplementary fee for some of these events.

Transportation Subsidy

AIFS students receive a transportation subsidy when in Wellington for use on the excellent public transportation system.

Sports Facilities

There are gyms located on the Kelburn and Pipetea campuses with weight training and cardio equipment, indoor and outdoor sports areas for volleyball, soccer, basketball and tennis. The Kelburn Recreation Center offers group exercise classes and also runs a variety of sports leagues and outdoor adventure excursions.

Global Leadership and Service Learning

Victoria Plus

Victoria Plus is a free service-learning oriented extra-curricular program which improves leadership, social responsibility and employability skills. Make connections with other students, employers and people in the not-for-profit-sector across Wellington and gain valuable experience, broadening your thinking and learning, and reflecting on your self-development throughout the semester. Victoria Plus is focused on personal and professional development, offering a range of workshops and seminars on leadership and social responsibility, and personal and career development as well as an ePortfolio tool providing insight into your abilities and preparing you for résumé writing and interviews. The one-trimester Certificate version of the Victoria Plus Award is open to study abroad students.

The Victoria International Leadership Program

The award-winning Victoria International Leadership Program (VILP) is a free, self-paced extra-curricular program aimed at exploring the leadership challenges around global issues, building global competency and employability. Students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful ways with staff and students from across the University community, the Wellington diplomatic community, not-for-profit organizations and the commercial sector. The program is oriented around seminars, speaker events and experiential activities which inspire students to think creatively about how to address global leadership challenges. A one-trimester Certificate version of the VILP is open to study abroad students.

Victoria International Buddy Program

Get the insider’s view of life at Victoria with a pre-arranged and matched local student contact. Students are paired up with current students based on a few common interests in order to extend friendship and peer support on a volunteer basis. Buddies have the opportunity to ‘meet’ via email prior to the start of the semester. Victoria International hosts a welcome event and a variety of other events for all buddies throughout the semester. All local buddies receive support training to assist in their role, and on-going support is provided for all students through Victoria International and the Buddy Program Coordinator.

Find out more

On-Site Program Coordinator, Academic Year and Semester Programs

AIFS Resident Director

Alex Glidden

Phone: 011 64 4 463 7482

Kia Ora! I'm thrilled that you are looking to study abroad in New Zealand. Born and raised in Connecticut, I studied abroad at Victoria University of Wellington in 2011 and loved it so much I moved back after graduation to continue my studies and work. My time studying abroad in Wellington was incredibly transformative and I am dedicated to ensuring that all of our AIFS students have a similarly life-changing experience.

I work as part of the Wellington University International (WUI) team here in Wellington. I help all of our international students make the most out of their time here, but in particular I oversee AIFS students, a responsibility I am thrilled to have given my background!

Don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you have, big or small.

The AIFS Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.