Business and Culture in New Zealand


Estimated dates: December 27, 2017 - January 13, 2018

BIT 3934 or BIT 5934

Three credit hours

  • Lance Matheson
  • 2072 Pamplin Hall
  • 540-231-5804


This study abroad program is intended to give students experience and exposure to the culture and business environment in New Zealand. The program will visit three areas of New Zealand; the cities of Auckland and Rotorua, on the North Island, and Queenstown on the South Island. The program will be a mixture of visits to businesses, outdoor adventure activities, and excursions to cultural sites on the islands. We will do a zip line and Kiwi Haka experience in Queenstown. The itinerary includes time for optional canyoning, bungee jumping, hang gliding, sky diving, and other less extreme activities. An overnight boat trip includes swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking. We will fly into Queenstown on the South island and make our way north, flying to Auckland on the North Island. We will spend a few days in Rotorua, enjoying the hot springs and wildlife. We also have an overnight trip on a boat in the Bay of Islands. The program ends in Auckland on the North Island. It will be summer in New Zealand, but it could be cool in the mountains. Throughout the trip, the group will be visiting businesses to see how they operate in New Zealand and their leadership style. We will also visit important cultural and ecological sites on the journey.

The island nation of New Zealand is known for adventure and eco-tourism, and has gained more fame recently as the location for filming of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies. With lots of seacoast and mountains, the natural beauty of the two islands is amazing in this English-speaking country with a heritage similar to the US.

The program has the following components:

  • Business visits to learn about business functions, and leadership philosophies and styles in New Zealand
  • Cultural visits to areas of interest in New Zealand, including the indigenous Maori people
  • US business opportunities in New Zealand, with a visit to the Commercial Service Office at the US Consulate
  • New Zealand history, geography, and economics


Skyline Luge link

Zip line link

Auckland Tower Jump link

Undergraduates will receive credit for BIT 3954 and graduate students for BIT 5954 Study Abroad. This course can also be substituted for the Area 7 requirement. These credits count as elective credits and help to complete the requirements of Pamplin’s International Business Minor.

Students must keep a journal and record their observations on cultural differences between New Zealand and the US. Students must write a 5-page reflection paper on their experiences after the trip. Participation in all activities of the program is required.

Program fees are $6,900. Virginia Tech tuition, fees, and other costs are noted below. A non-refundable deposit of $500, payable online, is due after acceptance into program, with the balance of program fees due October 10th. Application deadline is October 1st.

Cost In-state Out-of-state
Program Fee $6,900 $6,900
Tuition & Fees (est) $1375 $3385
Meals not provided $500 $500
Lodging Included Included
Required Group Travel & airfare Included Included
Passport $135 $135
Personal Expenses* $500 $500
Personal Travel N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total $9,410 $11,420

* Does not include adventure sports activities

Note: Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.

Extreme sports estimated prices
Bungee Jump $150-200
Jet Boat Ride $160
ATV Tour $180
Canyoning $150
Riverboarding $170
White-water rafting $170
4-wheeling $50
Zorbing (huge inflatable ball ride) $25
Freefall Xtreme $50
Skydive $250
Sky jump (from 1,000' tower) $120
Bungy Jump $120

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis once all paperwork is completed. Go to the VT Global Education site for the program and complete the application process. Click the “Apply Now” button and follow the instructions.


  • All VT students, undergraduate and graduate, are eligible.
  • Minimum GPA: 2.3

The program has a high adventure aspect. Students who apply should be able to hike for half a day over rough and mountainous terrain. Non-business students and graduate business students are also welcome to participate, and will receive 3 credits.


  • Freshmen through Seniors, and Graduate Students are eligible, with initial preference going to freshmen and seniors students.
  • Minimum GPA: 2.3

The program has a high adventure aspect. Students who apply should be able to hike for half a day over rough and mountainous terrain. Non-business students and graduate business students are also welcome to participate, and will receive 3 credits. Preference will be given to Pamplin students who register prior to Sept. 1.


Students will stay in hotels and hostels in 3 different cities on both the North and South islands. Rooms will be double to quadruple occupancy, with breakfast provided by the hotel. We will fly together on a group flight, but arrangements can be made independently for the possibility of using frequent flyer miles.

Skyline Luge


Auckland Tower Jump

Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport in Squires Student Center.

You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through the University’s recommended travel clinic (Intravene), a county health department, or your family physician. Your family physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:

You will be living in a hotel room for 15 days. Do not try to take your entire wardrobe with you. You may bring a 22” (carry-on size) suitcase or medium-size backpack. This is the standard size bag for short study abroad programs. You will check the bag for the flight. The airlines limit the weight of your luggage so pack light. The suggested packing list will help you choose what to take.

The brochure is available below.

The New Zealand business leadership study abroad program was an incredible and unforgettable experience. Being immersed in their culture gave me and the other students unparalleled and invaluable exposure to a different business culture and lifestyle in general. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have gone and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Nathan Wright, Business

Video Testimonial New Zealand promo video

Brian Berger, Finance

Going to New Zealand was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only did I get to see some of the world’s most beautiful places, try crazy adventure sports like sky diving, get to watch shooting stars while kayaking in a bio-luminescent bay, but I also met some of my best friends. The lessons I learned and the memories we made were priceless and I can’t recommend this enough.

Katie Surana, Finance