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Discover Somewhere New ... Discover New Zealand & Australia!

MIS / MGMT / PTRM / NRSM 345X, or Graduate Independent Study:

Sustainability: Humans, Business, and the Environment – 6 credits December 28, 2013 - January 21, 2014.

DescriptionJoin us this January as we explore the outstanding landscapes and generous peoples of New Zealand and visit the thriving commercial center of Sydney, Australia. Itís summer down there and one of the best times to visit the mountains, hike on the glaciers, paddle in the sparkling waters, interact with business and governmental leaders, and swim with the dolphins. This 6 credit course offers the chance to visit some extraordinary natural environments, study the sustainable use of local resources, and consider the different cultures that make up modern New Zealand and Australia.

DescriptionFor its size, New Zealand is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world with temperate rainforests, glaciers, golden sand beaches, deep fiords, alpine herb fields, and rugged coastlines. New Zealand provides a perfect location to study the intersections of business, people, and the environment.

Sydney Opera House

Sydney, Australia is a global city, highly rated for livability. As the capital of New South Wales (NSW), Sydney is ideally positioned as the gateway to Australia and the Asia Pacific. NSW's economy is larger than that of Hong Kong, Malaysia, or Singapore and accounts for about one-third of Australia’s gross domestic product. More than 600 multinational companies have chosen Sydney as their regional headquarters, benefitting from the city’s well-educated, multi-lingual workforce.

We use an experiential education approach where students spend about 30% of time in the classroom and 70% in the field. We start with three days in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, by getting an introduction to New Zealand’s business, political, and economic environment and by visiting organizations involved in alternative energy projects, carbon emissions trading, and the international film/music industry. We then cross the Cook Strait to Picton, on the northern part of the South Island of New Zealand, where we visit a mussel farm in the Marlborough Sounds to learn about sustainable aquaculture.

Swimming with DolphinsWe learn about the New Zealand’s tourism industry, get a behind the scenes look at a tourism operation, and take a guided kayak tour in Abel Tasman National Park. From there we spend time in the beautiful town of Kaikoura, where we learn about sustainable communities and businesses, including sustainable practices in the wine industry and Maori-owned tourism operations. Our Kaikoura visit culminates with a swim with dolphins (weather permitting).

We then visit the garden city of Christchurch, taking in lectures from faculty of the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University, visiting several high-tech firms, and spending time learning about sustainable agricultural practices. From Christchurch we fly down to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand (where bungee jumping was invented), to learn more about managing sustainable tourism enterprises. From Queenstown, we fly to Sydney, Australia to learn about the economy of Australia and explore the themes of international business, marketing, event management, and sustainability.

DescriptionThis program uses the theme of sustainable development to explore the relationship between people, businesses and their natural environment. The course is suitable for all majors, led by University of Montana busines school faculty, and counts towards Davidson Honors College requirements.

A sample itinerary is available here.

Registration Information

The program cost for 2013-2014 is $4999.00, which includes:

  • tuition for 6 upper-division credits (with out-of-state students paying the same as in-state students), and
  • a program fee (which covers accommodation at hostels and motels, group activities and excursions, emergency and international health insurance, in-country transportation, and some meals).

Airfare is not included, but an optional group airfare will be available from Los Angeles. The deadline for applications is October 25, although we recommend people apply as early as possible. Application forms can be found on this website.

About the Instructor

Dr. Jerry Furniss is Professor in Management Information Systems at The University of Montana. His background is in business and law, and his research and consulting activities focus on business management, sustainable enterprises, entrepreneurial ventures, entertainment management, legal issues faced by small- to medium-sized businesses, risk management and insurance, environmental law, employment law, and ecommerce and the law.

More information?

Interested students with specific questions can contact our office: or Professor Furniss at


For questions about any of the Study Abroad programs in the College of Forestry and Conservation, please contact us at:

Phone: 406-243-5521 | Fax: 406-243-4845