Quick Info

  • New Zealand
  • Spring
  • : Panther Program
  • : Anthropology, Cultural Studies, History
  • : Early January, 2018 - End March, 2018
  • : In-State: $16,799; Out-of-State: $22,105
  • : TBD
  • : 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers)


Courses will be taught at New Zealand’s oldest University, the University of Otago.  The campus architecture elegantly encapsulates the ideals of learning and progressive thinking.  In the Cook Islands courses will be taught while living daily among the Islanders.  Courses may count towards UCIS Asian Studies certificate. 

(University of Otago Faculty) 3 credits
This course surveys the enormous richness and variety of cultures and political systems of societies in different ecological conditions within the Pacific, giving students the background to situate more detailed regional variations in life ways throughout the Pacific arena.

(Dr. Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
Peace, Conflict and Ordinance studies are major topics of interest in both political anthropology and international studies today.  This course will be enhanced by visits to Maori settlement places, and the Centre for Pacific Island studies at the University of Otago, and through collaboration with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies there also.

(Andrew W. Mellon Professor Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
This course will focus on landscapes and the environment in the Pacific region.  It also examines the histories and meanings given to the environment and the landscapes that are the product both of nature and the cultural agency of humans and will be enhanced by local excursions.

(Andrew W. Mellon Professor Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
This will be a directed studies course examining medicine, ritual and coping with environmental change.  Pacific Islanders today face a number of challenges, resulting from historical forces in their lives.  Such challenges entail medical problems, with conditions such as obesity, and continuing exposure to infectious disease.  Island populations use communal rituals to adapt to changes.  Climatic changes also mean increased risk to natural disasters at certain seasons of the year and rising sea levels that threaten islands with flooding and a need for transplacements.

(Andrew W. Mellon Professor Andrew Strathern) 3 credits
Course description and details coming soon.

On-Site Faculty And Staff

Pitt in the Pacific FacultyProgram leaders Dr. Andrew Strathern and Dr. Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern) have more than 40 years of combined professional experience in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands generally. Pitt in the Pacific brings together a lifetime of their intellectual interests and heritage with traditions of Scottish historical settlement and contemporary engagement with Pacific Islands. Strathern and Stewart have lived, worked, and research in both the Pacific and Scotland for decades, and have published extensively on their findings in scholarly venues.  They lead the program with foci on Culture, History, Environmental Sustainability and Responses to Climatic Change, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Ritual and Religious Practices, and Language usages within the Pacific, while allowing students to explore their creativity in comparative studies important to the global world that we live in. The Program Leaders are experts on all of the topics to be studied as well as experienced travelers through the Pacific.  Strathern and Stewart have lead this program before and have a wealth of experience.


See their webpage at: http://www.stewartstrathern.pitt.edu/. Their work has also recently been covered by the University Times.

They have authored books and many essays on all of the course sections, including the following books:

---Strathern, A. and Pamela J. Stewart.  Second edition, "Curing and Healing: Medical Anthropology in Global Perspective".

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern. Ritual: Key Concepts in Religion.

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern. Working in the Field: Anthropological Experiences across the World.

---Strathern, A. and Pamela J. Stewart.  Peace-making and the Imagination: Papua New Guinea Perspectives.

---Strathern, Andrew, Pamela J. Stewart, Laurence M. Carucci, Lin Poyer, Richard Feinberg, and Cluny Macpherson. Oceania: An Introduction to the Cultures and Identities of Pacific Islanders.

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern (eds. ) (2010).  Landscape, Heritage, and Conservation.

---Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern (eds.) (2003) Landscape, Memory, and History: Anthropological Perspectives."


Dunedin Accommodation:

Students will be housed in the University College on the campus of the University of Otago. UniCol is a fully catered, quality tertiary accommodation provider. The majority of the individual bedrooms are located in two residential towers with spectacular views across the campus, city and modern Annexe block. University College boasts well-maintained facilities including a multitude of large and small common rooms, dining hall, computer rooms, seminar and study rooms and a gymnasium. Three meals per day will be included during while staying on campus at the University of Otago.

Three senior managers live on-site and are available around-the-clock to provide support and assistance. A regular programme of social and recreational events allows students the opportunity to make strong friendships and enjoy the wider aspects of living at the University in Dunedin.

Rarotonga Accommodation:

Students will be housed in a central location dependent on further discussions with the academic team. As individual research will be a major component of the time spent in the Cook Islands, accommodaition should provide access to the main areas of interest. Accommodation will be clean, safe and comfortable with internet access and good access to public transportation. Breakfast is included in the program cost along with a few other meals.


Pricing And Dates

Pricing and Dates:

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$16,799 $22,105
Arrive in New Zealand Depart New Zealand
Early January End March

*Keep in mind that dates change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

Inclusions & Exclusions


  • Tuition for 12-15 credits 
  • Housing in Dunedin, Rarotonga, 
  • On-Site Orientation
  • Three meals included per day while staying at the University of Otago
  • Breakfast included during the Rarotonga portion and some other meals
  • Health Insurance
  • New Zealand cell phone 
  • Cultural activities throughout the program/Faculty led field trip experience each week
    • New Zealand: Take classes at the University of Otago Summer school plus Pitt classes. Students will have access to all on-campus facilities and technology accesravel to Christchurch, Earthquake site visits
    • Cook Islands (Rarotonga): Visit University of the South Pacific Branch Campus, visit local cultural centres, explore local markets and talk to artists


While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee ($400)
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Flights are not included. There will be a required itinerary though.
  • Some meals and personal expenses 

    Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.


Special Information

Please note that Wi-Fi connectivity will likely be unavailable in the islands

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.

Walk-In Advising Hours:
MWF 2-4 PM