Challenge New Zealand - Leadership Development - Summer or January Short Course


GlobaLinks Learning Abroad offers programs in Challenge New Zealand through our partner International Studies Abroad.

Please click here to apply or learn more about Challenge New Zealand and all other New Zealand program options.

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad has designed this short-term program with your individual student goals in mind. It is built around a unique Discovery Model which is delivered by some of the best staff in study abroad, both in the U.S. and overseas, in order to provide you with an individualized experience through discovery in 5 key areas: personal, academic, cultural, social, and professional. Learn more about the Discovery Model

Thousands of students graduate college each year but have little direction of what to do next in life. Surprisingly, few graduates are equipped with the skills and confidence that will empower them to achieve their goals or adapt successfully into a professional career.

Leadership training is an extremely valuable tool for developing such skills across any and all disciplines, and leadership is considered one of the most broadly needed skills among recent graduates and professionals. In today’s world, there is significant demand for a new generation of leaders who can bring about positive change in local, national, and international affairs.

This GlobaLinks Learning Abroad January Term short course emphasizes leadership, personal development, and team building. Students already practicing leadership skills and those who might not otherwise see themselves as leaders or as team players will both realize their ability to develop in these areas. You will also come away with a sense of accomplishment and pride after your experience. The Outdoor Pursuits portion of the program encourages students to bond together, trust one another, and learn how to work as a team.  


Learn more about Challenge New Zealand:



















New Zealand is one of the most unique and awe-inspiring countries in the world. Its majestic beauty and give-it-a-go attitude will serve as an ideal setting for self-exploration and discovery. Its scenery sets it apart from the rest of the planet, while its people have a reputation for friendliness, strength, and independence. New Zealand has a population of only four million and is similar in size to the United Kingdom or California. It is considered a safe and comfortable destination for international students and visitors. 

New Zealanders are inherently interested in the world and other people, as well as the outdoors and environment, providing a strong example for global citizenship and adventure.  The program takes place entirely on the North Island of New Zealand, taking advantage of the rich Maori culture, outdoor beauty, heritage and cultural sites in Rotorua, the major city of Auckland and the tropical north on Great Barrier Island.  The North Island represents rich diversity in scenery, lifestyle, and culture. 




Academic Focus

Course Objectives

The Challenge New Zealand course includes group activities, service learning, cultural integration, discussions with community and business leaders, and a five-day program of outdoor, physical challenges.  As a result of these experiences students will gain the ability to:

  • Develop their own individual Leadership Mission through a critical examination of personal values, interests, goals and role models
  • Identify their personal leadership style and utilize it effectively
  • Recognize and embrace the value of leadership styles different than their own
  • Appreciate the value of service as an integral element of successful leadership
  • Understand some of the common ethical issues faced by collaborative leaders
  • Contribute effectively in group decision-making
  • Gain decision-making abilities and self confidence critical to effective leadership
  • Become empowered to act as a leader within their community or workplace
  • Understand the importance of leadership on a global scale, and the role of the US within that global community


Course Structure

The group will begin to explore New Zealand culture through a Program Introduction upon arrival in Auckland, followed by activities such as luging, exploring the tunnels of Davenport, Maori village dinner show, learning the “Haka,” and through lectures to further build new cultural knowledge of New Zealand and leadership insights.

Guest speakers and lectures focusing on leadership training and cultural leadership elements, along with experiential and teambuilding opportunities highlight the time in Rotorua, New Zealand’s top tourist attraction location.

The program kicks into high gear in one of the world’s most beautiful island environments at the Sir Edmund Hilary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (OPC) located in a beautiful wilderness area of the Central North Island adjacent to the Tongariro National Park. Students will work together in groups, through challenging and fun outdoor adventure programs that may include steep creeking, coasteering, ropes courses, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, kayaking, snorkelling, and an overnight camp-out.

The program concludes in Wellington, with activities that will bring your leadership experience full circle, including: lectures from various local business and government leaders, a volunteer service project, as well some free time to explore this hub of New Zealand art and culture.

 **Please note the itinerary and excursions are subject to change.



Students will participate in online discussions and/or assignments prior to departure. While in New Zealand, students will keep a reflective journal and work towards a final paper due at the end or after the course concludes.



Students will receive an official transcript from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with 4 US Credits in Collaborative Leadership Development; 1 in International Studies upon completion of the course. 



The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre

The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand (OPC) was established in 1973 to provide outdoor pursuits training for young New Zealanders. Its focus is the use of the outdoors as a medium for exploring leadership theory, skills, and issues.


The course objectives are to equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills to deal effectively with others and to be able to recognize and assume leadership styles necessary to assist in their development. The Centre offers secondary school programs, adult industry/corporate training programs, small group adventure weekends, and navigation workshops. Programs interact with the New Zealand environment through activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, and ropes courses.


With qualified staff, the Centre delivers sessions on topics such as leadership style, communication skills, and personality profiles leading the participant to their own personal investigation of leadership with a focus on career planning or lifestyle balance. Each activity has a goal behind it that is either solved as a group or individual. Personal risk assessment, goal setting, and motivation are the cornerstones each day that participants challenge themselves through the activities presented in the program.



Fully catered on-site facilities are available to groups such as the Challenge New Zealand: Leadership Development program, and students will be instructed on what to bring with them on the program to make their outdoor adventures exciting and achievable. 24-hour staff are on site as well as a group manager during the entire program including the outdoor pursuit program at the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre of New Zealand.



The Outdoor Pursuits Centre of New Zealand: Team Building & Leadership Development  

Program Highlights

  • Admire the pristine, breathtaking scenery of New Zealand’s North Island 
  • Build upon leadership skills through immersion in one of the world’s most innovative, culturally-diverse and beautiful countries
  • Five-day outdoor recreation program builds leadership insights and expertise through experiential education on the breathtaking Great Barrier Island
  • New Zealand speakers, a volunteer service project and local tours to key attractions you an immersion into the unique Maori culture and Kiwi way of life
  • Experience personal transformation and self-awareness as you work together with a group of like-minded students from throughout North America


Who Should Apply

Open to students of all majors who have completed at least one year of full-time university study. May be of particular interest to those studying business, marketing, management, leadership studies, sociology, history, cultural studies, anthropology, or related areas.



Video Feature 

GlobaLinks Students Performing the Traditional Maori Haka Dance

January 2010 







During the Challenge New Zealand: Leadership Development program students will stay in a variety of accommodations based on the location of the course. Students will spend 5 days at OPC in the heart of the New Zealand tropical north. Students will be housed on the OPC campus in dormitory style housing with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Students will be provided a unique family style dining experience, which will bring the group and leaders together.


During the Auckland and Rotorua portions of the program, students will be housed in shared bedrooms in hotels and hostels with shared bathroom facilities.  


You can feel certain that your housing will be safe, secure, and clean, and that you will be satisfied with your short course program choice.

Tours and Travel Available

Beyond our included excursions, you will be able to pre-book a wide variety of day, weekend, and week-long tours at a discounted price through our travel partner, STA Travel. These trips provide the ultimate flexibility for you to travel where you want to go, when you want to go, and with whom you want to go. Most trips have open dates, so you can pre-book the trip(s) that interest you, yet choose your dates later on once you’re abroad. This flexibility also means friends that you make from other countries/programs or even your friends and family who are visiting you abroad can also participate. Learn more>

Group Flights

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad works together with STA Travel's group ticket office to arrange group flights for all short course students. This ensures that students can travel as a cohesive group to the program destination. Airfare is not included in program fees and payment of airfare is the responsibility of the student, however GlobaLinks Learning Abroad seeks the lowest possible student rate before reserving seats for participants to purchase, while still maintaining the flexibility that allows students to explore the country or surrounding countries at the conclusion of their short term program.  

Flexible Return Date

Additionally, group flights have a flexible return date. Students may choose their own return date to allow for personal travel after the conclusion of their program. Many students choose to extend their time overseas and travel independently after the program's end. We can provide you with useful travel resources and advice, as well as refer you to travel opportunities that can be pre-booked.


Scholarships Available

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Scholarships 

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad offers numberous study abroad scholarship awards exclusive to participants of our study abroad programs.  An additional scholarship application is required and will be made available to all eligible participants uupon acceptance to their programs. 

Other General Study Abroad Scholarships

We encourage students to consider other information sources to locate scholarships such as your library, bookstore, internet, local service organizations such as Rotary or Knights of Columbus, and professional organizations in your area and home country which may offer scholarships.

To get started, visit the Scholarship Resource page.


Photo Slideshow


Watch a slideshow of photos from past sessions of Challenge New Zealand: Leadership Development



Challenge New Zealand - Leadership Development
Program FeesTBD
Housing with MealsIncluded in program fees
Housing without MealsIncluded in program fees
What's includedSee below

Fee Includes

Your Personalized Summer/Short Course Program Includes

Tuition and instruction
Course readings, including textbooks
An official transcript from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Host university activity and insurance fees
Most meals for the duration of the program
Shared accommodations in facilities ranging from backpackers to camping
Cultural tours, excursions, and activities - such as kayaking, mountain biking, zip-lining, and more!
24/7 support for students and parents at home and abroad
Pre-departure materials and travel gear
Comprehensive assistance
Personal program manager
Scholarship and financial aid assistance
Facilitation of course selection / credit transfer
HTH Worldwide health insurance protection
Alumni opportunities, including professional ambassador program
International Student Identity Card
Exclusive Career-Building Alumni Institute (add-on option)

Specific inclusions may vary by term or year. Please contact the program manager for more details.

*All fees are subject to change.


Should you receive an offer, your offer letter will provide you with the most up to date university start dates. GlobaLinks Learning Abroad will attempt to provide you with the most up-to-date information as we receive it. Be sure to confirm dates before finalizing any travel plans. 

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have the required GPA and have completed at least the equivalent of one year of full-time study at the university/college level. Freshmen considered on a case by case basis. The program is open to students of all majors and interests.

Required GPA: 2.50

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Program Team

Program Manager
Program Manager