THINK Global School

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New Zealand

Hobbits and volcanoes in the Southern Hemisphere

Auckland, New Zealand seamlessly blends ancient Maori traditions with ultramodern innovation. Diverse to its core, the city contains the largest Polynesian community in the world, and our time there gave us a prime opportunity to examine their storied history and subsequent path to equality.

After a studious term at host school AGC Senior College we spent two weeks exploring the North Island’s Bay of Plenty and Bay of Islands. We visited Hobbiton and learned how the famous set was created, then moved deep underground into the stunning underworld of the Ruakuri Cave, where we black water rafted under the watchful eyes of millions of tiny glowworms. At a visit to the No. 8 Farm students learned about the importance of farming to New Zealand’s economy and residents; after shearing sheep and feeding deer we headed off to White Island, New Zealand’s only live marine volcano, to witness science in action.

Students also had the opportunity to venture into the mighty Waipoua Forest and walk under the same stars that guided the Maori’s ancestor Kupe from legendary Hawaiiki to New Zealand. Finally, we were welcomed into the breathtaking Hokiangi Harbour to learn the art of  bone carving, an ancient Maori craft that stirs emotions and sparks controversy to this day.

John Ols

on his favorite New Zealand experience:

I remember one time, it was the first weXplore in New Zealand. I’d only been at the school for two weeks -- it was really early on. It was almost the last day of the Rotorua weXplore excursion, and we hiked an active volcano and then went caving through this underground cave and swimming through different waterfalls and crevices.

There was one point where I was in the middle of this little crevice with another student, Yodsel. We were just sitting there looking up at a waterfall in the ceiling. At that point, I realized I’d never have experiences like this ever again. Here I was with someone I’d met just two or three weeks ago, and it felt like we’d been friends for a very long time.

read student testimonials
As the sun sets, our hāngi dinner is unearthed. (Ōrākei Marae)

Activities

•A Maori feast at Aotearoa
•Kuari Museum
•Jim Taranaki’s bone carving studio
•Twilight tour of the Waipoua Forest
•Dune Ride up the Ninety Mile Beach
•Science lessons at White Island
•Black Water Rafting in the Ruakuri Cave
•A guided tour of Hobbiton
•No. 8 Farm Tour
•Kayaking at Abel Tasman National Park
•Christchurch
•Hiking at Mt. Somers
•Jump rock rafting at Peel Forest
•Mesopotamia Station
•Abseiling on Andrews Stream
•Sailing and indoor rock climbing in Auckland
•Visit to the New Zealand Herald newsroom
•Healthy eating discussion in Chef Jinu Abraham’s kitchen

New Zealand Impressions

Read writing, watch videos, and listen to podcasts created by students and staff during our New Zealand term.  

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Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

Apply Now