Program Details

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. Field studies inclu
Location:
Auckland, New Zealand
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Fall Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
The program examines how social and environmental factors are shaping political and ecological dimensions of identity and culture, and how New Zealanders from many different backgrounds are envisioning and creating a shared future in Aotearoa New Zealand, the "Land of the Long White Cloud." Discussions of history and culture with European, indigenous Maori, and Pacifica leaders will establish the complex bases of New Zealand’s identity and nationhood: its bicultural foundation and diverse multicultural population, the rich ecological setting, national commitments to peace and sustainability, and the challenges posed by globalization. Students will then learn about New Zealand's ecological history, the challenges of its "clean and green" national brand, and the sustainability frameworks that have been developed both by European and Maori New Zealanders. To understand the distinctive features of Maori cultural life and the contributions of Maori knowledge systems to environmental management and to governance, the program explores the history of colonization, the Treaty of Waitangi and Treaty Settlement truth and reconciliation processes, and the Maori renaissance. The program also explores the concept of indigeneity itself, seeking to understand how the Maori experience parallels or stands apart from indigenous experiences and movements elsewhere. Finally, students examine the tensions inherent in New Zealand's evolving national identity and its pursuit of cultural pluralism. Though New Zealand offers an acknowledged model for environmental sustainability, its economic prosperity still largely depends on a biological base, with income from international tourism and the export of resources extracted through large-scale fishing, forestry, and agriculture, industries that place enormous pressure on the natural environment. While the country has achieved some success in weaving together Maori and European aspirations, immigration is bringing an array of new cultures and aspirations into the dialogue, and New Zealanders are now facing anew the challenges of working toward a national goal of cultural diversity — "embracing a world in which many worlds co-exist."?

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. Field studies include 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 Auckland, 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 Auckland, 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.

A distinctive feature of the program is an internship of several weeks during the program's six-week segment in Auckland. Program faculty are now making arrangements with organizations in Auckland active in wildlife and habitat conservation, climate change, food, environmental law, sustainability, transportation advocacy, community-based television, water quality, Permaculture and Transition Towns initiatives, local democracy, youth development, and urban agriculture.
Setting Description:
The program is based in central Auckland, with field study in selected communities outside the city. Auckland class meetings take place in facilities close to the Central Business District.
Cost:
Some schools have a different fee structure. Check with your home institution first. "Nonmember" school students pay $18,300.

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