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.
Students spend their first month traveling by bus to key biodiversity and cultural sites, learning, cooking, and discussing together. The next two months are spent in Wellington (which Lonely Planet rated as "the coolest little capital in the world.") 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.
In Wellington students intern for seven weeks in a local organization, becoming directly involved in efforts and debates around wildlife conservation, environmental advocacy, sustainability, transportation, water quality, youth development, cultural pluralism, and human rights.
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 Other Approved Programs
- Degree Level
- 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
This program is offered through one of our approved program partners. In order to participate you must apply through, and be approved, by both St. Thomas and the program.
University of St. Thomas application deadlines:
- Attend a first-step session. Dates posted online at stthomas.edu/studyabroad.
- Schedule an advising meeting. This meeting will review:
- any questions you have about studying abroad, including program selection if you are considering multiple programs.
- the course approval process
- how to apply to Other Approved Programs
- Notify your study abroad advisor of final program selection.
- Complete all St. Thomas application materials by the St. Thomas application deadline.
- Complete program application via the program’s website by their deadline.
October 1 for January Term and spring semester programs
March 15 for summer, fall semester and year-long programs.
Please note that some programs have deadlines earlier than St. Thomas.
St Thomas Criteria for Participation
- Minimum grade point average of 2.5.
- Students may not apply for, maintain an approved application, nor participate in a Study Abroad program while on academic or conduct probation. Any disciplinary records may be a consideration for approval to participate in an off-campus programs.
- View all eligibility requirements for study abroad through St. Thomas: stthomas.edu/studyabroad > Explore & Plan > Student Policies.
- Some programs have additional criteria.
Financial Aid Awards (grants, loans and scholarships) typically apply to semester study abroad. Visit stthomas.edu/financialaid for instructions.
The Office of Study Abroad, and other approved program partners, offers scholarships. Visit stthomas.edu/studyabroad, and the program’s website, for details.
For additional program information, contact the program partner.
For application procedures contact Study Abroad
Office of Study Abroad
University of St. Thomas
MHC 212 (Mail 5026)
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096 USA