Earlham College has several study abroad programs available to its students. This semester the college offered a trip to New Zealand, Jordan, London, Northern Ireland and a boarder program to study immigration on the U.S./Mexican border.
“The great thing about these programs is that to go on them costs the same as it would to be on campus. The only added expenses are the plane tickets and any spending money for recreational activities,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick and the other students are carrying a full course load of four classes. Environmental Issues of New Zealand is where the students learn about native flora and fauna of New Zealand as well as the evolutionary history of other natural elements of the country.
“We are dissecting the conservation issues that New Zealand is now facing and how to mitigate these issues while considering the country’s economy as well as social issues that have arisen between Europeans and native Maori culture,” Hedrick said. “We also keep a natural history journal documenting any species of plant or animal that we find.”
Geology of New Zealand is a course that examines the unique tectonics of the country and the relationship to the geological hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
Cultures of New Zealand is a lecture based course where different speakers present different topics at each session.
“We have learned a lot about the culture of the Maori. Included in this class was the Whanganui River trip where we spend five days canoeing down the Awe (Whanganui River) with native river guides,” Hedrick said.
“Every night, we stopped at a different location and had to do a welcoming ceremony that involved speaking and singing Maori, but after we were officially welcomed into their homes, the fed us very well,” Hedrick added. “The trip really taught me more about their culture and lifestyle than any book ever could and I also made some lifelong friends with many of the guides.”