New Zealand has long been at the forefront of innovative social, cultural, and environmental practices. In this program students get to know the people, places, and ideas that have driven developments such as truth and reconciliation processes between government and the indigenous Maori peoples, and sustainable environmental and governance reforms. Although challenges still abound, students learn–across disciplines–about positive responses. The program offers two distinct phases: an initial month of travel throughout New Zealand's North Island, followed by several weeks in Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.
Students spend their first month traveling by van to key biodiversity and cultural sites, learning, cooking, and discussing together. The next two months in Wellington are devoted to study and internships. Students live with local families, work on a self-directed independent study project, attend classes, and complete a significant internship. Student internship placements in past years have ranged from Sustainable Coastlines to Kennett Brothers Mountain Bikes, from the New Zealand Green Party to Zealandia Urban Eco-Reserve. Links between environment, culture, policy, and community are at the heart of these field study and internship opportunities.
Good to Know
The program is offered in partnership with the EcoQuest Education Foundation/Te Rarangahau Taiao, which sponsors students' New Zealand visa applications, hosts the program for a field experience, and provides evaluation and oversight.
The program is based in Wellington, with field study in areas around the North Island, including the Waikato and the Taupo regions, a Maori community on the flanks of Mt. Ruapehu, Wellington, and the greater Auckland area. Field seminars focus on environmental management, biodiversity protection, Maori culture, national public policy, and urban planning.
While in Wellington, students are lodged in homestays with accredited families. Each student has his or her own room, and meals are provided. During field visits, students are housed in various types of community facilities and provided with group meals. In some cases students shop and prepare meals together.
- Area/Ethnic Studies
- Conflict Studies
- Human Rights Advocacy
- International Relations
- Legal Studies
- Peace Studies
- Political Science/Politics
- Public Admin, Public Policy, Govt
- Social Policy
- Social Sciences
- Social Work
Please contact HECUA for current pricing, here.
The program fee covers group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs.
The fee does not cover round-trip airfare from the U.S. to New Zealand, incidental expenses (souvenirs, extra food, cell phone service, etc), course readings, or visa costs.
- Students must have completed their first year in college
- Students must be in good academic standing overall with a 2.0 GPA or higher (any GPA lower than 2.5 will receive extra evaluation)
- Students must also complete all home campus requirements for off-campus study
Students enrolled in any U.S. college or university.
- Group living in rustic dorm-like camping facilities during the touring portion of the program.
HECUA provides $750 Community Engagement scholarships, $1,500 scholarships for Social Justice, and four $4,000 Scholarship for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process and eligibility for these scholarships is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.
- Letters of Reference
- Online Application plus Application Assessment
To view course information please click here