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 on New Zealand’s North Island, hearing from local leaders, observing, learning, and discussing as a group. The depth and relevance of the Maori worldview is a core focus. 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 a significant internship. Internship placements in past years have ranged from the city council’s acclaimed ‘straw-free waterfront’ campaign to Zealandia Urban Ecosanctuary. Links between environment, culture, policy, and community are at the heart of all field study and internship opportunities. Read more about the New Zealand program here.
- 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)
Total: Students take all courses for a total of 16 credits.
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 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.
Application Process for non-Bethel Approved Programs - 2 steps
- 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. 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.
Undergraduate students enrolled in any U.S. college or university who have completed their first year.
- Group living in rustic dorm-like camping facilities during the touring portion of the program.
HECUA provides Community Engagement scholarships, Scholarships for Social Justice, and 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
In order to participate, you must apply and be approved by both Bethel and the program itself.
1. Bethel approval - Click "Apply Now" on this page to complete the Bethel approval process, which requires a minimum grade point average of 2.5 (individual programs may have a higher minimum requirement) and approval from the Student Life office in regard to disciplinary records
2. Program application - You will apply directly through the program provider's website. This typically requires an application fee, essay/personal statement, approval from our study abroad office and an official Bethel transcript, plus other various application pieces
Billing policy for third party programs
Bethel students are billed a combination of Bethel's tuition rate PLUS the room/board rate of the chosen program. We will contact the program to determine what portion of their comprehensive fee is their room/board rate. If your program's tuition rate is higher than Bethel's tuition rate, you will be charged the program's tuition rate and room/board costs plus an additional $750 administrative fee.
Billing is based on Bethel's tuition rate instead of the program's tuition rate so that you can remain enrolled at Bethel and utilize your Bethel gift aid and state/federal aid during the semester you are gone. Bethel institutional gift aid can be used toward one semester of off-campus study.
Financial Aid awards (institutional grants, loans and scholarships) will typically travel with you for one semester. Students receiving the Minnesota State Grant will want to make sure they are enrolled in the equivalent of 15 credits while they are gone to receive the full grant.
Please check your program's website for additional scholarship opportunities.
A list of general scholarship opportunities is located here: https://www.bethel.edu/international-studies/financial-aid
This program is run through an approved third party provider which has its own office and staff to organize cultural activities, academics, and housing and provide onsite student support.
Visit the program provider's page for program information, including: academics, course dates, housing options and excursions.