New Zealand: Humans and the Environment
This 3.5-week study abroad program will examine the natural (and related social) history and resource conservation of New Zealand’s South Island. The goal of this course is using the New Zealand case to integrate the different perspectives of diverse natural, biological, and social science disciplines to improve understanding of relationships between human societies and the natural environment. Assessment will be delivered through educational travel, field trips, active participation, presentations and seminars, and coursework exercises.
Our experiential education focuses on learning through guided action. Students spend about 70% of their time traveling the stunning national parks, forests, wildlife reserves and coastlines of New Zealand under the guidance of knowledgeable field professionals.We begin our program in Canterbury, taking classes with leading experts from New Zealand universities (e.g. Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury), government departments (e.g. Department of Conservation), iwi (Maori tribes), and scientific research bodies (e.g. Landcare Research). This is followed by a field study which encompasses the South Island. A typical itinerary includes Mount Cook, the wild West Coast, swimming with dolphins at Kaikoura, a guided kayak of Abel Tasman National Park, a guided hike on Fox Glacier, a sheep farm visit, a visit to a Maori marae, and a boat cruise on Milford Sound.
Interactive Map and Program Itinerary
Check out our interactive program map
and view a sample itinerary
for this program.
Check out our Flickr page to view pictures of the New Zealand program!
By the end of the program students will:
- Understand the natural history, biogeography,
ecological diversity, and related social and cultural contexts of New
the impacts of human actions on the natural systems, and human
responses to those changes;
- Develop an understanding of ecological
education practices, integrated natural resource management, and
conservation actions throughout New Zealand's South Island;
able to address relationships between human societies and their natural
environments from multiple disciplinary perspectives and to develop a
complex, multi-faceted and holistic view of human - environment
connections that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.
- Work as an effective member of an interdisciplinary research team.
Read the program syllabus
for this program.
We encourage students from all majors to apply, as we take an
interdisciplinary perspective to examine global issues in the
conservation of unique wildlife, natural systems, and cultural places.
Students should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and be in good standing with
their home university or college.
The program fee includes:
- Accommodation at hostels and motels
- Some meals
- Group activities
- In-country transportation
Additional costs that students are responsible for include:
Top Reasons to Choose this Program
- New Zealand is one of the most geographically diverse
countries in the world with temperate rainforests, glaciers, golden
sand beaches, deep fiords, alpine herb fields, and rugged coastlines.
will spend much of your time (~70%) out in the field, visiting and
observing New Zealand first-hand. We believe that students learn from
study abroad experiences both in and outside of the classroom.
have the chance to swim with dolphins, kayak to
golden beaches, hike Fox Glacier, crusie Milford Sound, and experience Maori culture.
will learn from leading Kiwi (New Zealand) academics and professionals with expertise
in subjects related to sustainability.