New Zealand

Culture, Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

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Quick Information

Academic Date Program Planned to Run Again Winter Break 2024 –
Credit Hours 3
Requirements 2.5 MU GPA at time of application, good academic standing, open to all MU students.
Estimated cost $4,693* (doesn't include airfare)
Contact Shanon Dickerson, Director of Study Abroad

Experience the natural beauty of New Zealand while being introduced to the culture, agriculture and natural resources of the area! The program allows students to explore New Zealand’s north and south islands. Participants will begin the program on the south island, overnighting in Christchurch, Queenstown and Nelson throughout the first two weeks of the experience.

Program activities for the south island include lectures and site visits to understand New Zealand’s emphasis on the environment, arable farming, livestock and dairy production, the wine industry and tourism.  Tours will be arranged to see food production facilities for meat and cheese, deer farms, natural wonders and cultural sites. At the conclusion of the south island itinerary, students will take a transfer to the north island via ferry.

For the second part of the program, students will travel throughout the north island.  The north island itinerary includes visits to Wellington, Napier, Rotorua and Auckland with meetings that include N.Z. government representatives and the U.S. Ambassador and Zespri (the kiwi fruit exporter). There will be additional visits to production facilities plus planned stops at Hobbiton and Rotorua for a Māori performance.  The program wraps up in Auckland with some free time to take in some big-city experiences before returning home.

Excursions include a walk to the Franz Josef Glacier, tour of Doubtful Sound, hiking in Abel Tasman National Park and rafting on the Rangitata River. Students may also visit the Antarctic Center and experience what it is like to be in an Antarctic snow and ice storm.


Since it is in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are shifted from those in the U.S.A. Therefore, since the program takes place during our winter, it is summer in New Zealand. The average high temperature in Christchurch in January is 71 and the average low is 54. In terms of the time difference, in January, when it is 1 p.m. on Wednesday in Missouri, it is 8 a.m. on Thursday in New Zealand.

Accommodation and Meals

Students will be housed in a combination of hostels, hotels and accommodations. Rooms will be shared, and the number of participants in a room will vary from location to location. In some cases, students will have only a single roommate in one location, but four or more in another location. Most bathrooms will be shared, community facilities. Students should plan to bring their own towels. All housing costs are included in the program fee.

A detailed itinerary will be provided that clearly indicates which meals will need to be purchased by students. Students will be responsible for meal costs not included in the fee. Though the individual spending habits of each student will vary, please see the budget information below for an estimate of the average out-of-pocket meal expenses.

Program Travel

New Zealand requires proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for entry into the country.

International round-trip air travel will be arranged for the New Zealand group. This arranged flight generally departs from and returns to Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, MO. Transportation to Lambert International Airport will be the responsibility of the student. The faculty program leaders travel with the group flight to facilitate airport check-in and transfers. Because of the fluctuation in airline prices, the airfare estimate is listed separately below; however, once group reservations are made and the flight is finalized, the ticket cost will be added to the program fee and billed to participants’ MU accounts.

All in-country program travel is organized by CAFNR and is included in the program fee. Some individual local transportation costs may be accrued by students wishing to explore program locations independently during their free time.


Students will be enrolled in three credits of AFNR 2191: International Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (humanities; graded A-F) for the spring semester. Students should work with their advisors to determine how these credits will count toward their individual graduation plans.

While in New Zealand, students are required to keep journals about their experiences and are also given journal topics to turn into the accompanying CAFNR faculty. Students are also required to compile a 10-page portfolio with pictures and comments discussing what they have seen and learned in New Zealand and how it compares to their experiences in the United States.

Please be aware that there will be mandatory orientation sessions prior to departure. The majority of these meetings will occur in the fall; late October and throughout November. Dates and times for the meetings will be available shortly after the confirmed program participant list is finalized, generally around mid-October. Participants will be notified of the meeting details via email.

Estimated Cost

Non-refundable deposit: $350
Missouri Resident Tuition (3 credits): $1,008*
CAFNR supplemental course fees: $183*
*Non-resident students will also be billed non-resident fees.
IT Fees: $48
Intl Center Fees: $245
Program Fees: $2,859
Total cost estimate without airfare: (includes accommodation and some meals) $4,693
Airfare estimate: $2,800
Additional meals estimate: $500
Additional misc. estimate: $250