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Programs : Brochure

Detailed information about this program is shown below.
  • Locations: Whakatiwai, New Zealand
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring and/or Summer, Winter
  • Restrictions: UM applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:
University of Michigan Center for Global and Intercultural Study

EcoQuest Field Studies
in Whakatiwai, New Zealand


students in New Zealand

The EcoQuest program provides an opportunity to spend 15 weeks in the Fall or Winter terms, or 5 weeks in the Spring/Summer term, living and working closely with a dynamic team of students, faculty and staff, and an extensive network of scientists, policy makers, planners, resource managers, and community members throughout New Zealand.

EcoQuest students come from a diversity of disciplines and are immersed in a rigorous field-based program with a focus on practical skills, conceptual thinking, and an opportunity to contribute to local conservation and resource management initiatives. Each semester, the EcoQuest team will explore terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems at many locations in New Zealand and examine the unique natural history and environmental impacts firsthand.  

Please note: this program will begin accepting applications approximately three months in advance of the deadline.


  • Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing by program start date
  • Successful completion of at least 48 semester credit hours (or equivalent) of college or university studies
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Good academic standing
  • One semester course in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics)
  • One semester course in the social sciences (anthropology, economics, geography, political science, sociology)
  • A moderately high degree of physical fitness, including the ability to swim competently, participate in the occasional overnight hike, and work outside for extended periods in all weather
  • Agreement with the fundamental principles of intensive study, group cooperation, conservation ethic, and personal responsibility that are central to the EcoQuest living and learning environment
  • Open to University of Michigan-Ann Arbor students only


Program delivery sites vary with each semester, but course content and core curriculum are fixed. Find detailed course information here. During the Fall and Winter semester programs, students enroll in four classes and earn 16 credits:

  • Ecology and Biogeography of New Zealand (5 credits)
  • Restoration Ecology and Ecosystem Management in New Zealand (4 credits)
  • Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand (3 credits)
  • Applied Directed Research in New Zealand (4 credits)

EcoQuest also offers a program during U-M's Spring term called EcoQuest Summer program. The half-term program is shorter, lasting approximately 5 weeks, and students earn 8 credits. The courses offered for Spring term are:

  • Ecology and Biogeography of New Zealand  (5 credits)
  • Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand (3 credits)

The program coursework is tied together through lectures and field exercises. Students are expected to plan and carry out field investigations, analyze data, and present their findings. The Applied Directed Research Project allows students to work in small teams to study different aspects of larger ecological and resource management issues. Students in the U-M Program in the Environment (PitE) may satisfy the field experience requirement through participation in the EcoQuest program and should contact the PitE program directly for more information.

Classes are taught in English.

LSA Students: All grades earned abroad will factor into the cumulative GPA.

Non-LSA Students should check with their home school or college to determine whether the grades will be calculated into their cumulative GPA, and what type of credit they will receive for the program (in-residence credit or transfer credit).


Budget Estimate for Spring 2019
Budget Estimate for Winter 2019
Budget Estimate for Fall 2018

Scholarships and Funding

LSA Study Abroad Scholarship: Students should apply for the LSA Study Abroad Scholarship at the same time they apply for the program. Scholarships are granted based on financial need and may only be applied to one program per spring/summer period.

Sources for Funding Global Study

Students paying for their university experience via a Michigan Educational Trust (MET) plan may use this plan towards a CGIS study abroad program.

Program costs vary greatly among all CGIS programs and the CGIS staff recommends that you carefully review the most recent budget sheet for any program you may be interested in to see what fees/costs are involved. Please note that the itemized budget sheets are per term estimates accurate at the time of publication and are subject to change. Please check back regularly to see the most recent term costs available. If you have any questions about the costs involved for a program or how to read the budget sheet or interpret the notes, please contact the appropriate CGIS Intercultural Programs Advisor for more details and information.

The Center for Global and Intercultural Study encourages all students to share this information with people in your life who help you make decisions (such as parents, guardians, family members, etc.).

Passport and Visa

Prior to departure, it is each student's responsibility to research and obtain entry/exit requirements. The consulate or embassy of your country of destination determines the visa requirements and application process for each type of visa. You can locate consular information and read about entry/exit requirements on the U.S. Department of State website.

When determining your exit/entry requirements, be sure to check each country in your travel itinerary, even if you will only be visiting for a short period. Requirements, visa types, and application fees can vary greatly based on your citizenship and individual travel plans. Please note that most consulates will require a passport to be submitted as part of the visa application. The amount of time required can also vary greatly. We recommend beginning your research early and being aware that independent travel plans may be affected by the process.

For more information on travel documents and pre-departure preparation, visit Students Abroad, a website created by the Department of State just for students, or contact your CGIS Intercultural Programs Advisor.

Application Procedures

Detailed application instructions for your program will be provided when you begin an application.

Application Requirements include:

  • Attendance at a session of First Step
  • 2 Academic Recommendation Forms (short questionnaire is sent via the online application to recommender's e-mail, recommender submits online)
  • U-M Transcript
  • Passport Photocopy
  • Application Questionnaire (short essay questions)
  • Records Release
  • Disciplinary Disclosure 
  • Official Non-U-M Transcripts (if you have attended courses at another institution)
  • Partner Institution Application
  • Partner Application Fee 
  • Statement of Purpose   
Throughout the remainder of the semester and when you return, you will be required to submit additional documents and attend CGIS program events.


Shared cabins and bunk rooms. The large wharekai (literally the eating house) is the main communal building which doubles as a classroom and dining room. For more information on housing and the Field Center, please see the EcoQuest website.

Need to Know

Program Website: EcoQuest
EcoQuest Course Descriptions: EcoQuest Semester Courses
EcoQuest Course Descriptions: EcoQuest Summer Courses
EcoQuest 2017 CGIS Handbook Supplement

CGIS provides resources and information on its website to help students understand policies, procedures, and how to navigate the experience from start to finish. Refer to the Students for information related to the topics listed below, and more:

  • Preparing to Travel (passports, visas, air travel, culture shock, financial planning)
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships (program affordability, university financial aid packages, scholarships)
  • Health and Safety (travel health insurance, vaccinations/medications, self-disclosure of health information, mental health, social identities, emergencies abroad)
  • Policies (grades and credit, registration, billing, withdrawals)
  • Diversity and Access Abroad (helpful resources, LGBTQ identities abroad, racial and ethnic identities abroad, disabilities and accommodations)
  • Information for families of students participating in CGIS programs

Contact Information

Center for Global and Intercultural Study
Suite 200
Weiser Hall
500 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Note: The decision date listed is not necessarily reflective of when you will hear back about admission. After acceptance, students will have one week to commit to a program. Upon commitment, your participation will be considered financially and legally binding. Deadlines will not be extended for students waiting on decisions for multiple applications.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2019 09/15/2018
09/27/2019 01/28/2019 05/03/2019
Fall 2019 02/01/2019 03/15/2019 TBA TBA
Spring and/or Summer 2019 02/01/2019 03/15/2019 TBA TBA

Indicates that deadline has passed