Your Learning Adventure Starts Here!

EcoQuest's New Zealand based education abroad programs offer interdisciplinary, hands-on learning in a vibrant, sustainable learning community.

The EcoQuest Challenge

These are programs for open-minded, conceptual thinkers. During their stay in New Zealand students will be challenged to combine existing knowledge and awareness with new experiences and concepts through involvement in real-world issues and problem solving.

Why Study In New Zealand?

New Zealand is a young dynamic country with a multi-cultural and plural society, diverse ecosystems and agricultural landscapes. We have a pro-active approach to a sustainable future.

Programs provide rigorous academic pursuit and hands-on learning from the mountains to the sea. Full immersion learning across a range of stunning sites in the North and South Islands.

"One of the greatest things I learned at EcoQuest is the idea that meaningful science has human dimensions" 

Natalie Lowell

Who Studies at EcoQuest?

Programs are offered in partnership with, and accredited by the University of New Hampshire. They are open to highly motivated students from institutions across the US and around the world. To date, students from over 90 US Universities and Colleges have attended our programmes. All students are registered for academic credit through UNH and this credit may be transferred directly to the participant’s home institution.

Haere Mai! - Welcome!


Toitū te Marae o Tāne,
Toitū te Marae o Tangaroa,
Toitū te Iwi


Protect and strengthen the
realms of the Land and Sea,
and they will protect and
strengthen the People.

Te taenga ki te Ao hou - Arrival in a New World

Your flight across Te Moananui-aKiwa—the great Pacific, will take you through the night, leaping forward a day into a bright Aotearoa dawn. The shift begins, everything is different: night is day,  right is left, the sun goes backwards. You are seeing with fresh eyes. Capture that feeling and let yourself be immersed in our place, our culture. Our papa kāinga (field centre) by the sea will become your home.

Ngā hīkoi - Journeys

Teammates and staff will become whānau (family), and companions on a series of place-based learning adventures throughout our land, from the mountains to the sea. We combine rigorous academic pursuit with hands on learning, taking you on a quest that extends your horizons and  challenges you.

As we travel, you will learn how two world views—te Ao Māori and te Ao Pākehā—inform our  responses to the issues we face in managing the impacts we have on our land.

Hōnonga - Connections

Te Rarangahau Taiao has layered meanings. It speaks of the questing for the natural world. It also conjures up the idea of weaving relationships to form webs of knowledge for sustainability.

Throughout your time with us, you will experience how EcoQuest works closely with local iwi (tribes) Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Whanaunga, government and non-government entities, research institutes, etc.

Together with our experienced faculty and staff, you will engage in practical field studies and scientific research with real community and conservation outcomes.

When you leave New Zealand, you will have left something of yourself behind—our place and our people will by enriched by your efforts. 

Whatever your pathway, if we can widen your vision, earth your understandings, and encourage an abiding fascination for the natural world, we can feel  assured that you will work towards sustainability wherever you belong.


Every place needs its guardians.

A Message from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment

“The magic of EcoQuest is the personal journey—quite simply, I have never known a student unchanged after their return from New Zealand. The personal and academic growth is self-evident and manifests itself in focused pursuit of academic and professional goals. Students return announcing “I am ready, challenge me!” 

Community in Action

EcoQuest is embedded in community.

Students engage in outreach activities with local schools, NGOs, iwi (tribes) and a variety of stakeholders. These include habitat restoration, community gardens, citizen science and monitoring projects throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

EcoQuest strives for beneficial outcomes for both the community and planet.

EQ Voices

Carol Blum

SAFSA Program 2020

In a semester filled with more than its fair share of the unexpected, the depth of my attachment to a place I had been and people I knew for only five weeks was perhaps the most startling.

I stepped off the plane onto a tarmac in the wrong season, and at first, I did not even remember all the names of the people who met me at the airport, but when I suddenly had to fly back to the US a third of the way into the semester, we hugged, we cried, we promised to stay in touch (we have) and to return soon (we will). How did all that happen?


Nathaniel Maekawa

EcoQuest 2017

"EcoQuest was one of the most profound learning experiences that I’ve had. It united people of different life journeys under a passion for planetary wellness. It inspired me to educate myself so that I can be an agent for positive global change. It was a place for friendship and it was a place for memories. When I think about EcoQuest, I think of what I accomplished and who the program helped me to become. I am deeply grateful for the EcoQuest community.”

Nathaniel Maekawa
University of Michigan 18'

Ana Schlanzky

EcoQuest 2018

I exercise no hyperbole when I say that the four months I spent at EcoQuest Education Foundation were some of the most special, joyous, transformative, fun, and wonderful of my life. I hardly know how or where to begin expressing just how much this program meant to me.

EcoQuest is a unique program in so many ways, for it offers an entirely different perspective on New Zealand’s culture, biodiversity, and ecosystems, among others.

As a student, you are immersed in the country and culture from the moment you arrive. While field studies are the core focus, a multitude of other subjects are covered, contributing to a broad and multidisciplinary curriculum.

News From The Field

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