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Global Perspectives: New Zealand Itinerary

Program Cost: Approximately $5,600 (includes all flights, transportation within New Zealand, meals in New Zealand, accommodations, and activities/program related-expenses!)

New Zealand provides an excellent backdrop to begin understanding about leadership within society. We will partner with leaders in communities focusing on three main subjects: Indigenous culture and tradition in the political sphere, leadership in sustainability through food and environmental conservation, and outdoor leadership and teamwork. The locations that we stay throughout the experience provide the space for continuous reflection and facilitation of UP’s curriculum in addition to the daily activities.

The journey begins at a beautiful eco-lodge overlooking the ocean in Raglan. This is a naturally pristine spot to get oriented and owners Phil and Bernadette live out the values of leadership in sustainability and activism. They are dedicated to creating working models of sustainable living, providing comfortable eco-lodgings whilst being a hub for sharing knowledge that assists in self-development and the protection of our natural world. Students will stay in recycled train cars or teepees while learning about health and safety, group dynamics, cultural information, and more.


Service Learning #1: Maori culture and Activism, 9 days

Maori greeting with meeting of the nose
While living in a “marae”, the local meeting place for the Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) the group will meet with several different stakeholders each day to gain a better understanding of culture and its influence on society and politics. They will be staying at the Kokiri centre, a place of great significance in New Zealand’s history as it was the first land returned to the Iwi (the native people) post colonization. Dame Eva Rikard, a Maori rights activist and visionary is buried on the site and her grandson Kawharu will participate in some activities with the group. The 9 days will be a mix of service learning and cultural and historical learning from local experts including: local weavers, filmmakers, environmental activists, and more. While working and learning with each contact, the group will get a lens into their own philosophy on leadership and what it means in the context of their life and work. The final night will be spent in a traditional Native American sweat lodge where the group will be prompted into deep personal reflection about their journey through the connection of humans and the land.

Outdoor Leadership Development: Tongariro National Park, 6 days

Group of Students exploring New Zealand
Travel from Raglan towards Tongariro National Park, the land where Lord of the Rings was filmed and the iconic Mt. NGauruhoe was coined “Mt. Doom.” Spend a day and a half regrouping, doing laundry, posting blogs, and reflecting before heading out on a 3-day journey of climbing, rafting, hiking and being physically challenged in the outdoors. Here the students will learn about the power of teamwork, effective communication in leadership, and will experience inner transformation through pushing themselves outside of their physical comfort zones at the Blue Mountain Adventure Centre. *Note, activities are subject to change based on seasonality, weather, and environmental conditions.

Service-Learning #2: Mangarara Family Farm, Hawkes Bay, 9 days

Student Group in New Zealand
Transitioning from the mountains to the east coast of New Zealand, stop in Napier for two days and learn about how the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake impacted the future of this coastal city and remains New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster. Take time to learn how local leaders and officials responded to rebuild this beautiful city from scratch and prompted a thorough review of the New Zealand building codes, which were found to be totally inadequate. As most of the region's rebuilding took place in the 1930s, Hawke's Bay architecture is regarded today as being one of the finest collections of Art Deco in the world. From there we will move on to the Mangarara Family Farm, where the group will stay in an educational lodge on the property while learning from leaders in sustainability, Greg and Rachel Hart. Here the group will be volunteering each day with different tasks, including reforesting what was once pasture land, feeding, cleaning, and caring for the animals, tending to the organic garden, and helping out in whatever way is necessary.

Closing Site: Wellington, 3 days

Group of students jumping up and enjoying their time in New Zealand
From the farm, travel south to the cultural capital of New Zealand, Wellington. Home of the Te Papa Tongarewa (The Museum of New Zealand), explore the roots of Maori culture and see first hand how it exists today in the parliament of the country. Take time to explore the city that was ranked the 12th best based on quality of living in the world in 2014 while posting final blogs, reflecting on the experience, and celebrating the end of the trip. In culmination, work with a local expert in Mind Based Leadership practices through hands on SKE mapping (skills, knowledge, and experience) to help with the transference of this experience in leadership to our lives at home. 

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