AOTEAROA: LAND, LITERATURE, AND PEOPLE
For Students Entering Grades 10–12
June 27 – July 25, 2012
Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? NMHers who trek to the other side of the planet to New Zealand get a firsthand look at Maori life and culture; hike and explore the spectacular, unspoiled outdoors; and absorb works of literature from local authors.
New Zealand was first settled some 800 years ago by people from eastern Polynesia who regard Hawaiiki as their ancestral and spiritual homeland. These indigenous people have become known as Maori, with the Maori name for New Zealand being Aotearoa—the Land of the Long White Cloud. Meaningful European settlement of New Zealand began less than 200 years ago, but the impact on Maori tribal society as it had developed over 600 years was immediate and devastating. This program investigates how Maori and European cultures have clashed and accommodated over their 200 years of shared history.
The first week of the program is spent in the classroom at NMH in intensive study of history, literature, and culture. Maori and European authors such as Patricia Grace, Witi Ihimaera, and Catherine Mansfield are studied, as are significant films such asWhalerider, Utu, and The Piano.
The four-week travel program in New Zealand features visits to significant historic sites such as the Waitangi Treaty grounds, places of great cultural importance such as Te Papa Tongarewa (the national museum) in the capital city of Wellington, and by special invitation to marae, sacred meeting places of local Maori. Optional eco-adventure activities may include whale watching and swimming with dolphins at Kaikoura, jet boating at Taupo, and black water rafting at Waitomo.
Accommodations are comfortable and communal, using youth hostels, a convent, and the whare nui (big house) on different Maori marae. A brief homestay is included with the families of high school students in either Wellington or Hamilton. Participants are expected to help their hosts with community service projects and to assist with daily cooking and other chores.
This unique program is open to students who are eager to absorb the culture and history of Aotearoa at the grassroots level. Participants need to be in good physical condition, as outdoor activities such as hiking, bicycling, and kayaking complement the experience of New Zealand’s natural world.
Tuition and Fees
The fee of $6,950 in U.S. funds covers:
- housing and meals during on-campus orientation period;
- all group transportation expenses—campus to airport, airfare to/from New Zealand, surface travel while abroad;
- all meals and lodging while in New Zealand;
- entrance fees for group activities.
Expenses not included in the fee are: books, passport, transportation to NMH and transportation home after return to the U.S., personal expenses such as telephone calls and spending money, optional activities as noted above.