New Zealand Study Tour

‘Inspire’ Professional Learning for Teachers – in partnership with Eliana Elias and Hilltop Children’s Center, is pleased to present the Early Childhood Study Tour to Auckland, New Zealand!

2024 NZ Study Tour Date – April 14 to April 20.

Early Childhood Education professionals find valuable insights when visiting the New Zealand education system, exploring innovative concepts like biculturalism, formative assessments, dynamic indoor and outdoor environments, family connections, and risk-taking. Engaging in school visits and thought-provoking conversations with New Zealand professionals broadens our perspectives, inspiring and challenging our assumptions. The experience fosters informal learning and collaborative Communities of Practice, creating a space where we reflect on our own contexts and brainstorm ways to positively transform our communities.

Who Attends?
The intimate Study Tour group, comprising a max of 30 individuals, mirrors a diverse cross-section of Early Childhood Education professionals. From teachers and directors to supervisors, professional development specialists, coaches, and students, this dynamic blend brings together varied perspectives and expertise, fostering a rich and collaborative learning environment.

Experience a tranquil stay in Auckland at Vaughan Park Retreat, nestled in the picturesque Long Bay on the North Shore. Surrounded by the serene atmosphere of the nearby beach, the comfortable accommodation facilities offer a peaceful retreat. Each room features its own hand basin, with private bathrooms conveniently located down the hall. Enjoy homemade, high-quality cuisine, and rest assured that the attentive staff is delighted to accommodate individual dietary preferences, ensuring a delightful and personalized experience.

Visit the Vaughan Park Retreat website

Learning from Aotearoa New Zealand, Exchange Article by Margie Carter

Study Tours Reveal a New World of Ideas, Interview with Eliana Elias

Things to See and Do in NZ
Extend your New Zealand adventure by exploring the breathtaking landscapes before or after the study tour. We highly recommend discovering the beauty of the Bay of Islands, the cultural richness of Rotorua, the scenic wonders of Queenstown, the charm of Nelson, or the vibrant atmosphere of Christchurch. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the diverse and captivating experiences that New Zealand has to offer, creating lasting memories beyond the study tour.

Limited Space Available:

We still have openings for the 2024 ANZ Tour this April 14-20! Please submit your application ASAP and you will hear back from a member of our team when your application is accepted and how to submit your payment.

In order to be considered for the tour, please fill out the following forms:

Paying by check or money order

Please send all payment – $1,000 deposit to the following address:

Hilltop Children’s Center
Attn: New Zealand Tour
4 Nickerson St #100
Seattle, WA 98109

Paying by credit card

Please Note that there is a 3.5% processing fee for credit cards. We will send you an invoice for payment. If paying by card, please email us with the following information:

Subject Title: Last Name_First Name_NZ Study Tour 2024_Deposit
Email Address: AND

Please include the following:

  1. Full name printed on the card
  2. Your email address
  3. Your phone number
  4. Your mailing address

Paying by Venmo

  1. Download the Venmo mobile application to your smart phone.
  2. Venmo account through the in-app instructions.
  3. For Venmo, add @HilltopCC to your list of Venmo friends.
  4. 5.) Make your payment.

For any questions regarding the tour, please contact Eliana Elias at

Registration Fees:
The 2024 NZ Study Tour Prices are:

$2,475 USD for shared Twin Room
$2,695 USD for Single Room

Registration costs include:  Seven nights’ accommodation; Sunday – Sunday. Group pick-up on Sunday and group drop off at a central Auckland location the following Sunday. All meals, transport to venues, centre visits, and presentations are included.

Registration does not include: Airfare, insurance, personal items, phone calls, social costs etc.

We’re pleased to announce the creation of the THE MARGIE CARTER SCHOLARSHIP FUND. A limited amount of scholarships are available. Contact us and we’ll work with you to get you to New Zealand!

New Zealand Study Tour Guides

 Eliana has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for more than 28 years. She has been a preschool teacher, a college instructor, a professional development specialist and coach. She has presented in conferences throughout California and the US, and has led professional development activities in Reflective Practices, Learning Stories, Dual Language Acquisition, etc. Her professional interests also include social and emotional development, social justice and teacher development. Her first trip to New Zealand as a participant in the study tour was in 2013. She has learned a great deal from this experience and she has been back several times since. For several years, she has co-facilitated the tour with Margie Carter. Since 2017, she has facilitated the tour with Ijumaa Jordan. The lessons she has learned from her experiences in New Zealand are outlined in an article she co-wrote (also with Margie Carter) published in Exchange Magazine.

Eliana currently works and lives in the San Francisco Bay area, serving a diverse community of teachers, families and children. She loves to travel, spend time with family, hike and read.

For several years, Eliana co-facilitated the study tour with Margie Carter and Ijumaa Jordan, and will now be joined by the Inspire Team of New Zealand as her co-facilitators.

For any questions regarding the tour, please contact us at