Wellington City is the political and cultural heartbeat of New Zealand and the geographical center of the country. Close to 400,000 people live in this picturesque and compact city on the southern tip of the North Island, set between a beautiful harbour and rolling green hills. Wellington is great place to live and study. In 2015, Wellington celebrates it's 150th year as New Zealand's capital and has been named one of 2015's hottest cities. New Zealand has also been found to be one of the world's best countries to move to because of it's pleasant environment and climate.
Victoria University is an integral part of New Zealand's capital city and a leading academic institution. Life on campus is cosmopolitan with the University welcoming over 4000 new students every year. Wellington's wealth of research institutions in such a concentrated area makes the city uniquely attractive for a wide range of students. The close proximity of the country's public records, archives, and national collection libraries - the National Library National Archives and the Parliamentary Library - within a block of each other is unique in Australasia.
Victoria University has four campuses, three of which are within 15 minutes walk of each other in the city centre. The main Kelburn campus enjoys an idyllic setting with its elevated position commanding stunning views over the harbour. The Law School occupies the historic government buildings opposite Parliament and the High Court and is adjacent to the Faculty of Commerce and Administration, on the Pipitea campus. The Schools of Architecture and Design occupy a large, purpose-built awards-winning building, Te Aro campus, in the midst of the cafes, galleries and old bookstores in the central city's heart. The Faculty of Education is located in Karori, a 10-minute drive from the heart of the city. Learn more by visiting Victoria University's YouTube channel or the International Office and Exchange/Study Abroad Office websites.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
Victoria University of Wellington offers a wide range of course offerings. Academic strengths include architecture and design, bioscience, earth sciences, economics, film and theatre, government studies, information technology and computer science, law, linguistics, management studies, materials science, music, politics, and psychology. In 2007, Humanities and Social Sciences were ranked in the Top 100 in the world by the THES world rankings. To learn more about courses offered at Victoria University, visit:
You will take regular courses with local students at Victoria University. Course registration takes place during your on-site orientation period, however you can apply for pre-approval into courses before your arrival in Wellington. You may enroll in 100-, 200- and 300-level courses where space is available and if you meet Victoria University's prerequisites.
You must enroll in what the host institution considers to be a full-time load (generally, the equivalent of 12-15 Penn State credits). Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 48 points in order to be considered a full-time student at VUW. Sixty points per semester is a standard course load where each course is usually worth 15-20 points. Certain courses are restricted to exchange students. Sixty points is the recommended maximum credit load.
New Zealand and United States Academic Terms
When viewing the on-site course catalog, please note that the New Zealand academic terms are different than what is used in the United States.
Academic Terms Used in the United States and New Zealand
New Zealand Term
United States Term
School or College
Subject, Unit or Paper
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Wellington Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.
Housing and Meals
You must submit a housing application by the specified deadline. All accommodation is within walking distance or close to one of the many public transportation routes. Students share a furnished flat or live in a hall of residence. Some residence halls offer apartment-style housing, which students share with New Zealand students and other international students. Some halls have mandatory meal plans, while others have optional meal plans or kitchens for preparing your own meals.
Housing costs in New Zealand can vary significantly between the different housing options. Students are responsible for researching the different housing opportunities in order to choose their best option and also review the cost of living in Wellington. Review the notes section of the Budget Sheet for more details on the varying costs.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the fall budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
Generation Study Abroad Excellence and Travel Awards
Education New Zealand and New Zealand tertiary institutions are supporting Generation Study Abroad students with excellence and travel awards. Two scholarships are available:
Education New Zealand Study Abroad Travel Awards offer $2,000 to help students fund their flight to New Zealand.
Generation Study Abroad New Zealand Universities Excellence Awards offer $500 for study at one of the eight New Zealand Universities.
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
One academic recommendation
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. You may be able to arrive earlier but it depends on your housing selection. Confirm arrival date with Victoria University of Wellington. End date marks departure from program.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. You may be able to arrive earlier but it depends on your housing selection and when your housing becomes available. End date marks departure from program.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed
University Office of Global Programs | The Pennsylvania State University |
410 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802 Phone: 814-865-7681 - Fax: 814-865-3336