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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

South Pacific Blue

On a free afternoon in beautiful Dunedin, several of us went to St. Claire beach. After arriving, we were immediately awestruck by the beauty of this location. The differences between this beach and the shoreline back home stood out the most. Perhaps the biggest difference was the beautiful, clear blue water washing up on the fine sand. The vista said it: we were on a South Pacific Island! It was completely different from our green-water bay shores. Another difference was the species of seaweed. The kelp at this area was thick, black, and smelt terribly! Thankfully, it only accumulated on one side of the beach. The tide was also washing up far onto the beach. While we dodged the cold water, surfers and paddle boarders pursued thrills, seemingly unfazed. After taking pictures and enjoying the breathtaking views, we walked around the surrounding stores before returning to campus in time for dinner. We all really enjoyed the beauty of the South Pacific! 
 -Daniela D.

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