Spend four weeks in Hamilton—also known as Kirikiriroa—exploring environmental challenges and solutions from an indigenous Pacific perspective. Live in a homestay with a local family, learn the basics of Te Reo Māori, and experience an overnight noho marae.

The environmental issues facing the world today are complex. In confronting these problems, it is crucial to consider varying approaches and perspectives. Head to Hamilton, New Zealand and examine how indigenous communities—particularly those of the Pacific—have built sustainability into their ways of life for many generations.


This program is hosted at the University of Waikato. Seated on the banks of the mighty Waikato River, Hamilton—and the Waikato region—is at the heart of Māori culture. With a rich history and vibrant culture, this lively city on the North Island balances a college town vibe with deep-seated indigenous culture. The University has close connections to the Māori community, has a well known center for Māori studies, and offers majors in Indigenous Studies.



Sustainability in Māori, Pacific, and Indigenous Contexts

This course covers: indigenous environmental ethics; Māori theories of indigenous formations of sustainability; local, regional, and international approaches to sustainability; and the impact of climate change on local communities.

Conversational Te Reo Māori

Gain basic vocabulary and conversational skills to help support your core course.


Day Trips and Overnight Excursions

Go for a bushwalk at Maungatautari Ecological Reserve to see native flora and fauna. Spend the day at Raglan, a laid back beach town known for surfing. Visit Hobbiton in Matamata to see the movie set from The Lord of the Rings. See a 200-year-old carved waka (canoe) at the Waikato Museum of Art and History. On a separate excursion, explore Auckland City with classmates, home to the largest population of Polynesians in the world. Climb an inactive volcano, shop at local stores, then have ice cream on the beach.

Head out of town for an overnight noho marae—a stay at a traditional meeting house for Māori families and the community. Learn about Māori customs and traditions. Enjoy a traditionally prepared hangi meal. Sing a few waiata (songs) and understand their relevance to Māori concepts of place and environment. Attend workshops that dive deeper into the preservation of Māori language and culture.


Housing & Meals

Live in a homestay with a local family and share a room with one other CET student. Your home is in a residential neighborhood of Hamilton, just walking distance from the University of Waikato, where your classes are held. Grab breakfast at home, share dinners with your host family, and eat lunches with classmates at the College Hall of the University of Waikato, the on-campus dining hall. Your host family provides you with instant community—help your host parents prepare Saturday morning breakfast, watch a movie with your host sister or brother. At the end of your four weeks, you’ll find that New Zealand isn’t simply somewhere you visited, it’s a place you called home. 

Cost and Session Information

Summer 2021 program details coming soon.

Program fee includes: Tuition, housing, all meals, excursions & activities, textbooks, transcript, medical & evacuation insurance


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