International students

We can help international students, and anyone whose first language isn't English, with improving your spoken and written English language skills.

Adapting to study abroad

When you move from one part of the world to another for study, you sometimes need to make changes to the way you study. If you are an international student, or your first language isn't English, Student Learning can help you improve your spoken and written English language skills. We have developed Taking on the Challenge, an online resource packed with tips about adapting to life at Victoria University of Wellington.

Hear the advice from some international students who have been studying at Victoria University of Wellington for a while.

PALS—Preparation for Academic Life and Study

To find out how to read effectively, write good assignments, reference appropriately, and develop more study skills, you might like to come to PALS—Preparation for Academic Life and Study. This programme is for undergraduates and postgraduates and it runs once a week at the start of trimesters one and two. Each week has a different theme. Check out the workshop calendar below for details.

Cross Cultural Communication

Knowing how to seek help from lecturers, participate in group work, and negotiate with supervisors are all important skills for university. However, how we do these might differ across cultures and in different contexts. In this Cross Cultural Communication course, we discuss different cultural values in the New Zealand university context, reflect on cross cultural interactions, and have some fun.

Improving your written English

The way we write varies depending on the country we’re in. If you’d like to know more about how to write well for the university environment, you might like to come to our workshops and use our writing resources.

PALS—Preparation for Academic Life and Study workshops can help you write good assignments.

Other workshops are for all students—international students as well as local students. You’ll enjoy these too because you’ll be able to meet local students and chat with them about common challenges for everyone.

If you’re a non-native speaker, you might be interested in brushing up on some of the more difficult grammar rules. With the 'polish your grammar' workshops (core and advanced) you will develop a better understanding of how the English language works. These grammar workshops run on Thursdays. Check out the workshop calendar below for details.

If you’re a postgraduate student, you might enjoy our seminars and workshops that are specifically about postgraduate writing.

Improving your speaking

We have several ways for you to improve your speaking.

The first is the Conversation programme. Here you can practise talking with native speakers and find out about what to do in Wellington in your spare time.

If you’re interested in knowing how to communicate well with other students and university staff, you might like to come to the Cross Cultural Communication course.

If you’d like to improve your public speaking so that you can speak well in front of a group, you might like to come to our academic speaking programme.

Check out the workshop calendar below for details for these programmes.