2014 Winter New Zealand

2014 Winter New Zealand


January 8 – March 12, 2014

15-18 credits

Co-Sponsoring Units

Honors Program; School of Nursing, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems; Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Built Environments

Application Deadline: June 30, 2013

This program will satisfy the following Honors core requirements:

Course Credits Credit Type
Integrating Health Care and Culture 3 NSG 514 or Honors 396
Interdisciplinary Rural Health Care Issues 2 UCONJ 501 or Honors 396
Reading the Landscape for Health 5 LARC 498 or Honors 393
Independent & Group Research 3-5 Honors 398
Application due: June 30

Program Description

water and mountains

The program is conceived as an integrative exploration of community and environmental health in New Zealand, including some comparisons with the USA. We shall be based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and will make field trips to rural communities, agricultural landscapes, and some of the country’s spectacular natural environments. Students will be encouraged and guided to ask analytical questions about the communities and landscapes we study: Who/what am I looking at? How/why is it this way? Is it ‘healthy’? What is the effect on individuals and communities? How does culture contribute? How do the systems differ from the USA and why? What are the relationships between environment, culture, and health? Answers will be sought by integrating the data they gather and synthesizing conclusions about the health, resilience, and sustainability of the land and its communities. Such questions are inherently interdisciplinary and will be approached from perspectives represented by the academic backgrounds of the co-directors from Nursing and Landscape Architecture.


New Zealand is an excellent location for these studies because of its relatively small size and accessibility, settlement and landscape diversity, and its well-documented history of immigration, first by Maori and later by Europeans. The Maori communities have been instrumental in affecting health and environmental policy. New Zealand has universal access to health care, which will be contrasted with health reform in the U.S., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The program is structured to get students out in the field as much as possible, to interact with the ‘host culture’ which we conceive to include community groups and the living landscape. We shall have extensive excursions in the three cities where we will be based in as well as longer field trips to rural areas. In Christchurch, for example, we will study how the city has responded in its health care systems and physical planning to the devastating earthquake of 2011. Field trips will include a visit to Rotorua and surrounding areas in the Geothermal Zone where Maori communities and traditions abound.


Although New Zealand is an ‘easy’ country for American students to visit because it is safe, English speaking, and ‘western’ in its culture and outlook, students will nevertheless be challenged by the program and confronted with cultural differences. They will be required to step outside disciplinary comfort zones and asked to address larger questions from multiple perspectives. Our expectation is that students will learn how to integrate what may be divergent or conflicting perspectives and understandings into coherent and cogent understandings of how human and environmental health are inextricably interlinked, how culture affects these, how we may assess and understand health, culture and landscapes comprehensively, and how these understandings will enrich their major studies whether these lie in the natural and social sciences, the humanities and arts or in health science and professional studies.


Youth hostels and university dorms will be used. Home stays in rural areas are planned to give students a full immersion experience and an opportunity to experience rural New Zealand. Rural issues are part of the curriculum and a pervasive aspect of New Zealand history and contemporary culture.

Program Directors

Janet Lenart, Senior Lecturer, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems (BNHS), School of Nursing


Iain M. Robertson, Assoc. Prof Landscape Architecture, College of Built Environments



Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

We wish to recruit students from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds–the natural and social sciences, the humanities and arts, pre-professional programs, and health sciences. The credits are designed to meet the requirement of UW Honors program students who come from a range of disciplines, freshmen to seniors. More important than their disciplinary fields is the attitude of mind they will bring to this program.


We are looking for students who are eager to share their knowledge and learn from others in addressing complex problems of human and environmental health that will confront every region of the world in the coming decades. We wish to recruit adaptable, eager, positive, and inquisitive students who will be proactive in making the program and studies their own rather than expecting to be passively spoon-fed. We wish to attract students who will rise to and relish the challenges and ambiguities of developing new understandings across disciplines. All interested students at the UW are encouraged to apply. Honors students, College of Built Environments, and students from the School of Nursing are given priority consideration.

There are no language or academic prerequisites. The program will not require extensive hiking in natural environments, though some students may elect to do this during breaks in the program; however, students should be in good health and capable of sustained travel on foot in urban and rural areas under diverse weather conditions. (It will be late summer/fall in New Zealand.) We look for outgoing and engaged students who are willing to engage with the people they meet during the program. This will include speaking with locals in informal interviews and discussions and professionals in information gathering meetings set up by program directors or students.

Course Details

Integrating Health Care and Culture (NSG 514 or Honors 396), 3 credits

Individuals are a mix of cultural influences, including the culture of birth, family, places and events of childhood, and environments and work as an adult. Language, religion and the history of the family, community and environment play an important role in culture and health. This course will enhance students’ appreciation of the relationship between culture and health.

Interdisciplinary Rural Health Care Issues (UCONJ 501 or Honors 396), 2 credits

This course emphasizes interdisciplinary solutions to rural health challenges. Competencies for leadership and inquiry, community assessment, health delivery models, demographics, health outcomes, disparities, farm economies, food/nutrition, workforce issues and environment will be addressed. The contrasts between New Zealand and the United States will be explored.

topo map

Reading the Landscape for Health (LARC 498 or Honors 393), 5 credits

An examination of selected typical New Zealand landscapes including rural (agricultural, forestry, settlements, rangeland) cultural (urban, waterfront, small town) and natural/ecological (national park/scenic reserve, native forest, recreation) conducted from a landscape perspective. Students will learn how to analyze the component parts and processes of landscapes and synthesize a comprehensive understanding of their ‘health’ from diverse perspectives. Information from NZ government agency publications and other readings will be combined with field studies and observations to develop comprehensive understandings of selected landscapes from natural sciences through social sciences to culture and arts perspectives.

Independent & Group Research (Honors 398), 3-5 credits

The program will allow students to develop independent study/capstone options, individually or in groups, with the approval of program directors or under the direction of a UW faculty member. Independent projects will include a final presentation to the program participants and a presentation product that will be put on the student’s UW portfolio or department web site.

Program Expenses

Estimated Cost

The estimated program fee is $7,400. This does not include the Study Abroad Fee ($300), airfare, food, Study Abroad Insurance ($37/month) and personal spending money. Please note that students enrolled in the Honors New Zealand program will not be required to pay regular University of Washington tuition for winter quarter.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$2000-$2500* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. A $350 non-refundable program deposit and $300 non-refundable Study Abroad Fee will be charged to your MyUW Account once your signed contract has been received by the Study Abroad Office.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable Program Deposit $350 Charged Upon Receipt of Contract
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $300 1/25/2014
Program Fee Balance $7,350 1/25/2014

IP&E will automatically charge student accounts for all program payments and fees.

Financial Aid

Students may use their regular financial aid and scholarship funds for study abroad. The exception is any scholarship in the form of a tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cannot be used to pay study abroad program fees. You may want to check with the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall for more information.

There are funding opportunities through the Global Opportunities Program, and the Office of International Programs and Exchanges also maintains a funding opportunities list.

Refund Policy

The $350 program deposit and $300 Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable. Any student withdrawing from the program within 4 months of the program start date will be responsible for a minimum of 25% of the total program fee. In addition, there may be other unrecoverable fixed program costs. Any student withdrawing from the program within 2 months of the program start date will be responsible for 50% of the total program fee. Any student withdrawing from the program within 1 month of the program start date will be responsible for 75% of the total program fee. Withdrawal after a program begins involves the loss of the entire program fee.

Once accepted to the program in order to formally withdraw, you must do the following, in writing:

  • Contact the program directors
  • Submit a signed IPE Withdrawal Form to the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges
  • Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot

Your withdrawal date is considered the date (business day) your withdrawal paperwork is received by the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges.

Application due: June 30