Study Abroad / Affiliated Programs / HECUA

Auckland, New Zealand


Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future

Fall and Spring Semester

HECUA’s New Zealand Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future 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. You will trace the traditions, innovations, and issues behind the beautiful landscapes. Hear from those at the forefront of solutions to the environmental and cultural challenges of today.

The program is based in Wellington, with field study in areas around the North Island, including the Waikato and the Taupo regions, a Māori community on the flanks of Mt Ruapehu, Wellington, and the greater Auckland area.


Total: 4 course credits / 16 credit hours

The courses are taken as an integrated whole and provide the equivalent of a semester’s worth of credit, i.e. 4 course credits, 16 semester hours. This program is full-time, five days a week, with classes scheduled three days a week and 6-15 hours weekly in an internship, from week 8 onward.


  • Maori Perspectives, Pluralism, and National Identity
  • Sustainability, Ecology, and New Zealand Environmental Policy
  • Internships, Field Work, and Integration
  • Independent Study Project

Program Structure:
The semester begins with four weeks of travel in the North Island, grounding students in the social, political, and environmental context of the course. The remainder of the term is based in Wellington, with two days of class and 20-25 hours per week at individual internship sites.


While in Wellington, students are lodged in homestays. 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 which students and staff prepare together. In some cases students shop and prepare meals together.


This HECUA semester abroad is an Saint Mary’s Affiliated Program. As such, all Federal and State aid (except work study) and up to $2,000 in Saint Mary’s institutional aid may be applied to the program’s costs. Contact the Director of Study Abroad to discuss program fees and financial aid.

HECUA distributes three distinctive scholarships to students applying or enrolled in HECUA programs. To learn more visit HECUA’s Scholarship Resource Page.

Program Dates/Application Deadline

Program Dates:

Spring 2019: January 28 – May 10
Fall 2019: September 2 – December 13

Application Deadlines:

March 15th (Fall Programs)
November 1st (Spring Programs)


Application Process

To be eligible: Students must have completed their first year in college, be in good academic standing overall with a 2.0 GPA or higher (any GPA lower than 2.5 will receive extra evaluation)

Apply and Pay Application Fee of $50 online, submit a copy to the Study Abroad Office along with Saint Mary’s required paperwork. Application may be picked up in the Study Abroad Office, International Center, the Heights.

Next Steps

After acceptance, complete the following required items.

  1. Pay $500 non-refundable program deposit payable to Saint Mary’s.
  2. Attend all orientation sessions.
  3. Obtain a passport. Submit a copy of the first page to the Study Abroad Office.
  4. Obtain a student visa.
  5. Arrange travel plans. Submit a copy of your flight itinerary to the Study Abroad Office.
Country/City Information

New Zealand, population of 4.36 million is a stable parliamentary democracy, which recognizes the British monarch as head of state. It has a modern economy with many tourist conveniences and efficient local services. The terrain is highly varied, from snow-capped mountains to lowland plains, it about the size of Colorado.

New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine. While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures. The average temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year.

New Zealand has two time zones. The main islands use New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), 12 hours in advance of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), while the outlying Chatham Islands use Chatham Standard Time (CHAST), 12 hours 45 minutes in advance of UTC.

In Summer, New Zealand uses ‘Daylight Saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to GMT +13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12. New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

When Daylight Savings time (MN) is in effect, local time in Auckland is 18 hours ahead of Minneapolis, MN

New Zealand’s unit of currency is the dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 & 50 cents, $1 & $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres. All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand.

More Information
New Zealand Travel
US Department of State – New Zealand
The U.S. Consulate General in Auckland
The Embassy of New Zealand
Time Zone Map

Find Us

The Heights International Center, Room 103
Winona Campus
Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fax: 507-457-6917