Food and Oceans in Aotearoa New Zealand

Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or above
Location: Oceania, New Zealand
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview
(New Zealand is a multicultural South Pacific nation, Aotearoa is its Māori name.)

The South Pacific has 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. 

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.

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.

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Priority Deadline Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Summer 2023 02/15/2023 03/15/2023 Late August Mid September
Academic Details

Students will take two courses for a total of 8 quarter credits. The courses, lectures, discussions, and coursework will begin virtually before the start date and arrival in Auckland.

Oceans of History: Humans and Environments in the Pacific - Four 300-level UO credits approved for credit in History, Environmental Studies, and General Education credit.

Food and Identity in the Pacific - Four 300-level UO Credits approved for credit in History, Environmental Studies, Food Studies, and Anthropology as well as for General Education credit.


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.

Course Equivalencies

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

Non-UO students: 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.

Application process

This program has a rolling admission application processGEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.

Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application.  This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation from a faculty that is not the program's faculty leader. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.

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

In Auckland, students will be responsible for most meals, 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.

Travel Advisories

GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.

To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.