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.
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 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.
Health and Safety
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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 2.5 GPA. 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. Visit our website to learn more.
If you're ready to apply or just want more information, we suggest that you connect with your HECUA Campus Representative. Click here to view the HECUA staff page
and contact the Campus Representative who works with your institution.
Click here to apply now.
Application Process for non-Bethel Approved Programs - 2 steps
- Connect with a HECUA Campus Representative
- Submit an application to your home institution
- Submit an application to HECUA.
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.