Program Overview

The South Pacific is a place of warm oceans and distinctive foods.  Both have shaped the diverse human cultures of the regions, which have developed unique ways of preserving and adapting ancient foodways and methods of protecting the ocean environment.  Students in this interdisciplinary program will have the chance to learn first-hand about Oceanians’ relationship with the land and ocean from their first colonization of the South Pacific until the 21st century.  They will also investigate the relationship between food, ocean, and identity in the Pacific, with a particular focus on themes of migration, travel, and home, and insight into historical and current events such as war, decolonization, tourism, and health. 

Classroom instruction will be supplemented with numerous visits to local museums and Cook Islander and Maori cultural performances. Instruction and excursions will be supplemented by experiential learning with contemporary environmental practitioners and food experts.

Academic Details

Students will take two courses for a total of 8 quarter credits:

4 UO credits for Oceans of History: Humans and Environments in the Pacific

4 UO Credits for Food and Identity in the Pacific

Note: the Oceans of History course is approved for 300-level credit in History and Environmental Studies as well as for General Education credit. The Food and Identity in the Pacific course is approved for 200-level credit in History, Environmental Studies, Food Studies, and Anthropology as well as for General Education credit.

Students will visit both Rarotonga, Cook Islands as well as Auckland, New Zealand. In Rarotonga, students will experience the Te Maeva Nui Festival, which celebrates the birthday of the Cook Islands as an independent nation. Students will experience cultural festivities, arts, crafts, music, song, dance, and local food. Other Rarotonga excursions include the Takitumu Conservation Area, Island Night Cultural Show and Feast, many night markets, and a glass-bottom boat lagoon snorkel.

In Auckland students will visit the Auckland Museum, experience the “Eat Auckland Walking Food Tour”, the Otahuhu Market, and a 3-night excursion to the Coromandel where students will have a Maori welcome, and will have the opportunity to experience Maori food and maritime practices and learn about the Maori response to climate change.

Course Equivalencies
Students are eligible to receive credit in History, Food Studies, Environmental Studies, and Anthropology, depending on each student’s academic department and individual requirements. To determine how credits earned on this program will count towards outstanding degree requirements, please consult your academic advisor. Both of the courses offered on this program also fulfill the UO Global Studies General Education Requirement.

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Non-UO students: Both courses offered on this program are recognized and approved for academic credit by various GEO partner institutions. Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.

Faculty and Staff

Ryan Tucker Jones is an historian specializing in human interactions with ocean environments, especially in the Pacific.  He has written on North Pacific fur trade, global whaling, and the ways that the Pacific Ocean has connected distant human societies.  He is particularly interested in the way that the ocean and its creatures have changed historically, the way those changes have impacted human societies, and the way humans have tried to manage these changes.   Professor Jones worked at the University of Auckland for several years, where he taught Pacific history and the environmental history of the Pacific Ocean.  He has traveled extensively through the Pacific Islands as well as New Zealand, and has led study-abroad programs to Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

Hannah Cutting-Jones grew up in the Pacific Northwest. After living everywhere from North Carolina to New Zealand over the past decade, she happily returned to Oregon with her family in 2017. Cutting-Jones is currently a faculty fellow in the history department at the University of Oregon and teaches courses in food history. She completed her doctoral degree in 2018 at the University of Auckland, where her research focused on the eras of cultural contact in the Cook Islands. Cutting-Jones looked particularly at the ways in which food reflects resilience and adaptability in the Pacific Islands. Cutting-Jones's current research focuses on meat production in settler-colonial societies and vegetarian commune movements of the 1960s and 1970s in Oregon.  

Housing Description

Because this program travels between multiple sites, you will live in several different housing arrangements during the course of the program. Accommodations include island resort-style housing, hostels or other group housing accommodations. A tropical buffet breakfast will be provided in Rarotonga as well as some group meals. In Auckland, students will be responsible for most meals (breakfast will not be provided in the accommodation in Auckland), and students will enjoy occasional group meals where specified in the itinerary. In the accommodation in Auckland, students will have access to a refrigerator as well as a kitchen to cook meals. When meals are not provided, students will be able to find lunches and dinners on their own at one of many nearby restaurants/cafes for reasonable prices.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Term
Summer
Year
2020
Priority Deadline
03/15/2020
Deadline
04/15/2020
Arrival Date
08/02/2020
Departure Date
08/23/2020

Travel Advisories

For current health, safety, and travel advisory information, search the US Department of State country webpage.

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.