Auckland is New Zealand's largest city with a population of 1.8 million, is the country’s main economic and commercial center. Sometimes called the “City of Sails”, Auckland is the home port of more boats per capita than any other city in the world. Spread out across an isthmus outlined by the Pacific Ocean, Waitemata and Manukua Harbours, Auckland is very much defined by its neighborhoods, each with a distinctive character and tempo.
With large Polynesian and Asian populations, Auckland is also a multicultural showpiece. Kiwis (New Zealanders) are blessed with a land rich in natural beauty, and even though Auckland is the largest city in the archipelago, it still offers easy access to nature, be it the forests that circle the city or the many islands in the surrounding waters.
Auckland, New Zealand
About the Program
Hobart and William Smith Colleges offer a program in Auckland, New Zealand in cooperation with the University of Auckland. While the program will typically alternate between a focus on Education in even-numbered years and a "special topics" focus (depending on the expertise and interests of the faculty director) in odd-numbered years, in Spring 2022 ONLY we will offer both versions of the program. The Spring 2022 "special topics" program includes courses that will appeal to students in a variety of academic areas, including Environmental Studies, Media and Society, American Studies, Entrepreneurial Studies, Geoscience, and Anthropology/Sociology, among others.
Students participating in this program will take one course offered by the HWS Faculty Director, two courses taught by University of Auckland faculty, and will complete a credit-bearing internship.
Spring 2022 Director's Seminar: Making Green and Going Green: Sustaining Human Societies in the US and Aotearoa (1 credit)
Aotearoa (New Zealand) has a "clean and green" image and is often viewed as a nation at the forefront of sustainability initiatives. Despite this image, Aotearoa is dependent on trade and globalization and on extractive and resource-intensive industries, such as viticulture, beer production, and pastoral farming. It is a strategic site for examining how sustainability frameworks and initiatives are shaped by the interplay among cultures, patterns of social organization, technology, globalization, and characteristics of the natural and built environments. In this course, we will discuss the environmental and social impacts of increased economic reliance on human interactions with vulnerable natural environments. We will compare and contrast sustainability practices in the US to those in Aotearoa with particular attention to indigenous and colonial influences on conservation and resource management and environmental policy. Students will come away from the experience with new knowledge of Aotearoa and a new sensitivity to the dynamics of peoples and environments in other countries and cultures - and may view with fresh eyes the challenges we face in the US.
Maori Life and Culture (1 credit)
The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Students in this course receive a broad overview of contemporary Maori society, an introduction to history that informs current issues, basic Maori language skills, and first-hand experience with the marae as a special place. This course partially fulfills the goals "A Critical Understanding of Social Inequalities" and "A Critical Understanding of Cultural Difference".
Internship (1 credit)
Students will complete an internship related to their area(s) of academic interest arranged in collaboration with the University of Auckland. In addition to weekly meetings in which students will share insights and reflections on their internship experiences and work, students will produce a research paper to contextualize their experience within their field.
Elective Course (1 credit)
Students will choose from among a range of courses offered during the J-term Session at the University of Auckland. Course options vary from year to year, but course titles in recent years have included "Cinema of Aotearoa New Zealand", "Environment and Society", "Advanced Field Geological Skills and Methods", "Te Ao Maori: The Maori World", "Understanding Organizations", "Understanding Aotearoa New Zealand", and others.
This program will be of particular interest to students in Environmental Studies, Media and Society, American Studies, Entrepreneurial Studies, Anthropology/Sociology, and those interested in issues of multiculturalism and ethnic minorities. In addition, the program includes an internship placement designed to provide students the opportunity to engage with the local community.
This program is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students will be placed in homestays while in Auckland, arranged through the University of Auckland, and will stay in a variety of accommodation types while on excursions, including student hostels, hotels, or cabins.
The program includes a variety of excursions integrated with the academic coursework. In addition to sites in and around Auckland, excursion destinations may include Rotorua and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Wellington, and various locations on the South Island.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, a 2/3 board fee, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing with partial board, and program-related activities and excursions. Students should bring the remaining 1/3 board fee (about $1100) to cover meals not included.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books and other course materials, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1800 from the East Coast and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
The Auckland program is offered every Spring semester. Typically, in odd years the academic focus will vary depending upon the expertise of the faculty director while in even years the program focus will be Education. However, in Spring 2022 ONLY both versions of the program will be offered.
All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in late September/early October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
Resources for Smart Travelers
Rick Steve's Packing Tips!