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 environmental reforms as well as truth and reconciliation processes between the government and indigenous Maori peoples. Although challenges abound, students learn—across disciplines— about positive responses.
Students spend three to four weeks on an extended ?eld visit to several regional areas of ecological and cultural importance on New Zealand’s North Island. In this study phase students hear from local leaders, observe, learn, and discuss as a group. The depth and relevance of the Maori worldview is a core focus. Some assignments are completed during this phase.
The following two months in Wellington are devoted to independent study, class meetings, coursework, and internships. Students live with homestay hosts, work on an independent study project, attend classes, and complete an internship. Internship placements in past years have ranged from the aquatic ecology projects to Zealandia Urban Ecosanctuary’s education team. Links among environment, culture, policy, and community are at the heart of all ?eld study and internship opportunities. Read more about the New Zealand program here.
Total: Students take all courses for a total of 16 credits.
- Maori Perspectives, Pluralism, and National Identity (4 credits)
- Sustainability, Ecology, and New Zealand Environmental Policy (4 credits)
- Internship, Fieldwork, and Integration Seminar (4 credits)
- Independent Study Project (4 credits)
HECUA programs are highly experiential, interdisciplinary and integrated. We go beyond the classroom. By combining theory and praxis, you will apply classroom knowledge to real-world work in an internship with a local organization that is working to advance movements for justice and equity. Students and faculty are seen as co-teachers and co-learners. Through HECUA, you will gain hands-on experience, develop new skills, make connections, build your resume, and develop your own capacity to make change.
I would encourage any student who is looking for an immersive study abroad experience that is rooted in social justice to consider this program. My professors abroad weren’t afraid to tackle deep subjects like colonialism and systematic racism and handled them with care and consideration. - Reanne, University of San Francisco. To read more student stories, click here.
Students will complete a 7-8 week internship while staying in Wellington. The internship component aims to enable students to observe, and be directly involved in, processes of social change or environmental issues they have studied in classroom and other settings. Field work is designed to illustrate, amplify, or contest material explored in the classroom. Integration fosters students’ abilities to connect learning across the various courses and components of the program, helping tie together or put into new tension insights around New Zealand history, sustainability frameworks, Maori thought and practices, environmental management strategies, citizens’ and local initiatives, and observations from internship placements. HECUA staff and faculty facilitate the process of matching a student with an internship site.
Highlights/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 local 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.
Fees vary by institution. Click here to view the full fees listing on our website. The program fee covers group transportation to field sites, planned group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, medical insurance, and administrative costs. Students are placed in individual homestays and meals are provided by the host family. 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.
This program is open to any undergraduate students currently enrolled in a US college or university who have completed their first year of college and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, although any applicant with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 will receive additional review. Prospective students are encouraged to contact email@example.com with any other eligibility questions.
- Group living in rustic dorm-like camping facilities during the touring portion of the program.
HECUA offers multiple scholarships to students each term. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) students, first-generation students, and students from low-income backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Students are encouraged to discuss options with their home institution's financial aid office. Visit our website to learn more.
- Submit an online application to HECUA
- Submit an application to study off-campus through your home institution
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Click here to apply now.
More information at the HECUA New Zealand webpage >>>
- November 1st - spring programs abroad, early bird scholarship deadline
- March 1st - early bird scholarship deadline for summer and fall programs
- March 15th - fall programs abroad deadline
Gustavus belongs to the HECUA Consortium, so we are a part of the organization that offers this program. Any eligible Gustavus student is welcome to participate in this program.
Gustavus students will first apply for Gustavus approval through this website. Once approved by Gustavus to participate, you will then complete an online HECUA application as well. Note that Gustavus has a nonrefundable application fee of $70 (required for all Gustavus study away applicants), and that HECUA has a separate nonrefundable application fee of $50.
Advising at Gustavus.
If you would like to speak with a Gustavus program advisor, please see our Advising page
for more information.