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Wellington - an exciting place to live and study

Are you thinking of studying in New Zealand? Thousands of international students each year are discovering Wellington, New Zealand’s exciting capital city, and we invite you to join them!

Wellington is situated at the southern end of New Zealand’s North Island and with a population of 420,000, it boasts a vibrant, thriving cultural scene with great food, coffee, art, music and events. With stunning scenery and a numerous world-famous attractions, it’s one of the best places to live and study. Read on to find out more about what ACG students think of Wellington.

Click here to download information about ACG’s Wellington accommodation options.

Success stories

Uditi (India)

“Foundation studies has actually helped me understand how a university in New Zealand works.”

– Uditi, 19

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    Gaining insight into how New Zealand universities work was the motivation for Uditi Nithin Bangera, 19, from India, to enrol in a Foundation certificate at ACG Pathways.

    “The universities back in India have a different approach to studies than the universities in New Zealand,” she explained. “This course has slowly helped me become familiar with university studies and atmosphere here.”

    A talented student, Uditi is now on track to undertake a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. She hopes to major in Human Genetics and Molecular Pathology. Eventually, her aim is to become a pathologist, researching cancer and other diseases.

    Uditi lives in the suburb of Karori, Wellington. From there she can easily explore all that Wellington has to offer – a world away from her busy home city of Mumbai.

    My favorite thing about Wellington is the harbour. It is a beautiful place and is right next to the ACG campus so after school I go there with my friends. The view is incredible and extremely peaceful.”

    Uditi says she finds Wellington a ‘beautiful city’ with lots of greenery and many places for students to visit, including Te Papa museum, parliament, Zeelandia, and the botanic gardens.

    “Students who love photography will love Wellington,” she adds. “There are so many parks and beaches and it’s quite easy to get around by bus or train. It’s also an extremely safe city.”

    For now Uditi is focusing on her certificate at ACG Pathways – successful completion will guarantee her entry to Victoria University. She’s finding the course fast-paced and well structured, and the atmosphere comfortable and welcoming.

    “The teachers are amazing and have helped me a lot,” she says. “There is a lot of student support, especially Wellbeing Week. I even got to volunteer for a few events. The environment at ACG is very supportive and encouraging.”

    Uditi is enrolled in The Victoria University of Wellington Foundation Studies Programme delivered by ACG Pathways.

Sophia (China)

“I love New Zealand so much. And if someone asked me how is Wellington, I would like to say it’s a wonderful place to study and enjoy the life.”

– Sophia, 18

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    ACG Pathways student Jiayi (Sophia) Xu, 18, has been awarded a $5,000 study award from Victoria University of Wellington to put towards her first year of undergraduate study.

    The scholarships are awarded for high academic performance, excellent attendance, leadership, commitment, respect and self-discipline.

    “I felt surprised, appreciated and happy when I found out,” Sophia said.

    With a love of travel and exploring new places, Sophia will now go on to undertake a Commerce degree at Victoria University of Wellington majoring in tourism management and marketing.

    She credits her Pathways course with helping her on her way.

    “It gave me lots of opportunities to do volunteer work and meet different people,” she explains. “I built good relationships with my teachers. Although sometimes we argued about marks and essays, we’re still really happy to have each other!”

    Sophia has loved her life as a student in Wellington, first staying with a homestay family to soak up Kiwi culture, then living in an apartment in Manners Street in the central city.

    “It makes me feel comfortable and I can enjoy myself. People are friendly and enthusiastic. I like to spend a whole morning or afternoon in a coffee shop with friends to have a chat with a flat white. Wellington also has the best steak in the world!”

    She says she loves New Zealand’s beautiful nature, people who are friendly to foreigners and bus drivers who answer questions patiently.

    “I love New Zealand so much. And if someone asked me how is Wellington, I would like to say it’s a wonderful place to study and enjoy the life.”

    Sophia graduated from The Victoria University of Wellington Foundation Studies Programme delivered by ACG Pathways.

Fabio (Switzerland)

“Wellington gives you the opportunity to do numerous great activities to explore nature and live the Kiwi life.”

– Fabio, 19

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    Fabio Frei, 19, from Switzerland, has been studying English through The Campbell Institute’s Demi Au Pair programme in Wellington.

    The Campbell Institute worked with Fabio’s Swiss education provider to facilitate his stay in New Zealand, and Fabio says the programme was a perfect match, allowing him to work and live with a Kiwi family while studying.

    Demi Au Pairs live in with a family, and work for the family for up to 20 hours per week, helping with childcare and housework. In exchange for working, families provide Demi Au Pairs with full board, a stipend, and transport costs to school and back.

    At the same time, students study 15 or 20 hours per week, choosing from several English study options, including General English, IELTS or Cambridge Exam Preparation.

    Fabio’s life with his “lovely“ host family in Lower Hutt – just 20 minutes from Wellington Railway Station where Campbell is based – provided easy access to Wellington’s vivid city life.

    “I live in the countryside at home, so I definitely enjoy the vivid city and the many pubs where you can meet with friends,“ he says. “Never miss pub night – it’s a great opportunity to get in touch with new people!“

    He also made the most of Wellington’s “lush nature, rolling hills and breathtaking views.“

    “Together with friends we did many hikes around the city. Apart from its sometimes unpredictable weather (always carry a raincoat) Wellington gives you the opportunity to do numerous great activities to explore nature and live the Kiwi life, and it’s even better with friends so don’t be shy, connect with your mates in school – it’s worth it!“

    At Campbell, Fabio made leaps and bounds in his English skills, thanks to the programme‘s “relaxed but efficient atmosphere.“

    Next up, he will head back to Switzerland to study mechanical engineering and hopes one day to be involved in management in a global tech-orientated company.

    While he’ll be sad to leave to New Zealand, he’s made the most of his time here – travelling in weekends and holidays.

    “I was able to do some awesome weekend trips with friends from Campbell and also used the summer holidays to travel around the south island,“ he said.

    “I will leave NZ with memories for a lifetime.“

Kelvin (Fiji)

“It is a great choice of school if you want to pursue a creative career, and also a great place to meet people with a similar goal.”

– Kelvin, 24

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    Kelvin has always been interested in pursuing an artistic field of work – he just wasn’t sure what that might be. By coincidence, a Yoobee Colleges spokesperson happened to come to his high school a few years ago, and inspired him to find out more.

    Before he knew it, he was flying to Wellington about to embark on a new pathway of study in the Kiwi capital at Yoobee, for a generalist course iCreate. He says, “I felt nervous at first, but over time this has felt like home. I feel really happy and comfortable here, and I’m learning so much.”

    But it’s not just about learning. Yoobee Colleges expect students to pursue a full life in and around campus as well. Along with learning about different areas of design, and preparing himself for more specialised study, Kelvin has also really enjoyed campus life, and has met many friends at the Wellington Campus. “I’ve made life-long friends here, and being in a great environment helps you to create your best work. The tutors are all really passionate about their work, and don’t hesitate to help any of the students. You feel really supported.”

    Over the last three years, Kelvin has continued his creative study pursuits at Yoobee, with his aim now to be a Professional 3D Character / Creature artist for movies and games. He is perfecting his techniques and tends to spend a lot of time working on his craft. He said, “I’m really immersed in my work, I have found my niche, and I can’t wait to continue creating.”

    Outside of college, Kelvin enjoys being with his friends, going to the movies and malls. He also likes renting lime scooters and exploring Wellington waterfront and suburbs. “It’s a great place to study, and just be you. It’s easy, and relaxed.”

Dominic (South Africa)

“I was excited to start, as it was my first entry to tertiary study and an exciting chapter of my life was about to begin!”

– Dominic, 21

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    Dominic Cranna from South Africa wasn’t always interested in the tourism industry, but after attending an Open Day at NZST, where he learnt about the industry and life on campus, he was convinced this was the career for him.

    It was also seeing the knowledge of the NZST staff, and how other students had bonded which made his decision to study in Wellington easy. “I could see how the other students had become great friends, and that made me feel really comfortable about studying at NZST.”

    Orientation days are an important starting point for students, and although Dominic was nervous on the first day, after meeting all his classmates briefly he knew he would enjoy the programme in the kiwi capital. “Classrooms and learning environments have always been a little daunting for me. But, after the first month, everyone was feeling comfortable including myself, and we were connecting really well.”

    Not only has Dominic made a lot of new friends, but his knowledge of New Zealand as a country has increased too. “We learn so much in class, the diversity and scope is great, and the teachers all have industry experience, so they give you the tips and hints which can make all the difference.”

    Dominic has really enjoyed the cross cultural experience of living in Wellington, having lived in South Africa and Australia previously. Coastal and city life is something he can relate to, as these are features in each of these countries. “Living five minutes away from a stunning white sand beach in South Africa, and going whenever I wanted to, was pure bliss.”

    Outside of college, Dominic enjoys life in Wellington. “I would describe Wellington as a relaxed, people friendly city with something for everyone and it’s also so easy to make your way around. I love how there is so much to do, even though it’s a small city. There’s a big food and cultural influence here and each section of the CBD has something different to showcase. I especially like the different types of buzz you get at different times of the day. During the day you’ve got shopping, and the business vibe, and then as the evening closes in the party people start heading to Courtenay place for drinks and a boogie. It’s great!”

    Dominic is continuing his studies and is now considering his career options, which could include working with a large travel company. It’s an exciting time for students in tourism, as the industry keeps growing with new services and destinations.


Find out more!

Scholarships are available for some programmes starting in 2019 at ACG Education’s Wellington campuses. Contact your local education agent about ACG Education in Wellington, or fill out this form and we will contact you with answers to your further questions.


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