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FA Students

The FA Experience: NZ at its best!

Frontiers Abroad’s goal is to provide a study abroad experience that is academically challenging, engaging, culturally rich, and leaves students with a love of New Zealand! Living and studying in New Zealand is an experience in and of itself, with unique experiences occurring almost daily. New Zealand is a small country with major sites and adventures only a short drive or plane ride away. For more information on the country and things to do, visit here.




 A Land of Many Cultures

New Zealand is a land of many cultures, many of which you will be exposed to during your stay. New Zealand society is based around its Anglo-Saxon “origins”, but is heavily influenced by Maori culture, the original inhabitants of Aotearoa / New Zealand. Nestled in the South Pacific, New Zealand is also influenced by the neighboring Pacific Islands. In fact, Auckland boasts the largest population of Pacific Islanders in the world!

Challenging Your Concepts of Learning

Through field based activities, ‘text book’ examples of natural phenomena can be found in some of the most extreme and beautiful landscapes. With complete immersion into an environment, FA students gain the ability to think critically and creatively while actively observing processes in action. Frontiers Abroad is also one of the few programs in the world using the concept of ‘longitudinal learning’, linking a pre-semester field program with directed semester courses.

Individual Research

Central to our program model is inquiry-driven, research-based learning. During the program, students engage in research and mapping projects that begin during field camp and carry on through the semester. Research from these projects is commonly presented at AGU meetings (Geology students), and of quality appropriate for publication. Some past students have even gone on to publish research they began with FA! For a complete list of past research projects, visit our Student Research page.


Field Camp

During field camp, students live in a variety of field stations, lodges, and marae (traditional Maori meeting houses). These facilities are generally bunk style accommodation with two to four students sharing a room. Large living quarters, great rooms, and study halls are the norm. Internet access is limited. Meals are prepared by our camp cooks! While evenings are generally filled with office work, there is ample time to relax in these amazing locales.

Geology: While in the South Island, the Geology program bases out of the University of Canterbury’s field stations. The Cass, Westport, and Kaikoura Field stations are well-equipped and situated in beautiful locations. For more information, visit the University of Canterbury’s field station website.

In the North Island, we spend one week living at the base of Mt. Ruapehu at a Ski Lodge in Whakapapa Village. We then travel to Rotorua and stay at a hostel styled camp, where we are joined by the Earth Systems group to study geothermal energy.

Earth Systems: Rarotonga is an incredible Pacific Island! For the first week of field camp, we spend 7 days living in a island paradise!

In New Zealand, while learning about kaitiakitanga and completing their research projects, students stay the Umutahi Marae, the traditional Maori meeting house. The Earth Systems program also takes advantage of the University of Canterbury’s field stations. Check them out here!

During the Semester

Frontiers Abroad students typically stay in self-contained apartments either the University of Canterbury or the University of Auckland with other university students. Canterbury students also have the option of living off-campus in the “FA house,” typically occupied by 5-10 FA students. For more information about campus housing, visit the links below:

Got questions? Want to hear from a previous FA student??

Several past students have volunteered to be student ambassadors for the program. If you would like to contact a past student, please email FA alumna Jamie Shannon (jamie at frontiersabroad dot edu) who will answer your questions directly, or provide you with another alumni contact!

Thank you for your interest in Frontiers Abroad and we look forward to seeing you in New Zealand soon!