The Political Science Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, with the assistance of the University’s Division of International Studies & Programs, is pleased to introduce its Pacific Studies Program - a pioneering collaborative initiative between A&M-Kingsville and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The Pacific Studies Program (PSP) is being co-directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, A&M-Kingsville and Dr. Elaine Webster, Director, Summer School and Continuing Education, University of Otago. The PSP will include graduate and undergraduate students traveling to and staying in New Zealand from July 5th, 2012, through July 22nd, 2012, attending classes at the University of Otago, and visiting multiple sites through field trips in the greater Otago region. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, sustainability and environmental policies, etc., with reference to both the greater Pacific region and New Zealand.

Dr. Christine Reiser-Robbins, Anthropology Program, Texas A&M-Kingsville, is directing a Service Learning Project, a special component of the PSP. The PSP will facilitate interaction between middle and high school students from Bishop School District, Texas, and Logan Park High School, Dunedin, Otago, through the application of Internet-enabled technologies.

You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the uniqueness of New Zealand and the surrounding region. This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Outsiders Looking In

On Sunday, July 15th, some of us traveled on the Taieri Gorge Railway train on a tour around the City of Dunedin. We had all received a small taste of the environment during our arrival into the country, but nothing can compare to what we saw from a slow moving passenger train. Luscious greenery paved the way towards a sun radiating light upon hundreds of animals, rivers, hills, and snow-capped mountains. As most of us are native to Texas, it was surreal to see any vegetation besides cactus and palm trees. As if the view was not enough, we were even able to stop at several locations and exit the train in order to make the experience more personal. New Zealand is a relatively young country that prides itself on ecological conservation and preservation. The benefits of these efforts were definitely apparent throughout our trip. The tour lasted a mere four hours, yet we have all agreed that those few hours included some of the most incredible sights, smells, and sounds that we had ever experienced. 

--Mark D.

1 comment:

  1. We enjoyed reading the blog and glad to hear that you all are having a great experience in New Zealand! The pictures were amazingly beautiful and we have shared them with your fellow TAMUK students through facebook and our website.