New Zealand Study Tour

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

Option 1: 2023 NZ Study Tour Date – November 12 to November 18 

Option 2: 2024 NZ Study Tour Date – April 14 to April 20.

Early Childhood Education professionals learn a great deal as they visit another context. The New Zealand context offers us many interesting ideas about biculturalism, formative assessments, engaging indoor and outdoor environments, family connections and risk taking. We visit schools, meet teachers, and participate in thought provoking conversations with New Zealand professionals, who inspire us and challenge our assumptions. We also have ample time to learn from one another informally, and through facilitated Communities of Practice. These conversations encourage us to reflect on our own contexts and propel us to think of ways to transform our own communities.

Who Attends?
The small Study Tour group (30 people) represents a cross section of Early Childhood Education professionals: teachers, directors, supervisors, professional development specialists, coaches, and students.

Accommodation will be in Auckland at Vaughan Park Retreat – a beautiful setting at Long Bay on the North Shore of Auckland. The beach nearby provides a serene atmosphere and the pleasant accommodation facilities are very comfortable. Each room has its own hand basin and there are private bathrooms down the hall. The food is homemade and of a high quality. The helpful staff is happy to cater for individual dietary needs.

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
You might consider taking time to see the beautiful country of New Zealand before or after the study tour. We recommend visiting the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Queenstown, Nelson or Christchurch.

Application Deadlines and Forms
Application and Deposit Due – March 31, 2023

Accepted Participants Notified – April 15, 2023

Final Payment Due – July 31, 2023

Congrats! You’re one step closer to joining the New Zealand Study Tour. Deadline passed? Email us at to inquire about an extension. 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 due by March 31, 2023 and remaining balance due by July 31, 2023 – 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 2023_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 and Ijumaa Jordan at ANZSTUDYTOUR@GMAIL.COM

Registration Fees:
The 2020 NZ Study Tour Price were as follows:

$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 is thrilled to co-facilitate the 2023 tour with Ijumaa Jordan and guide a new group of educators in exploring the New Zealand context while, at the same time, reflecting on our contexts here in the US.

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.

 Ijumaa Jordan is an early childhood education consultant presenting keynotes and professional development sessions across the US and internationally. Her work focuses on play, social justice in early education, reflective teaching, and pedagogical leadership. Some of her current work projects include consulting for a directors group in creating professional development systems that support reflective practice, providing anti-bias education workshop series in person and online, and facilitating communities of practice on play based learning for educators and coaches.

As a past participant of the Study Tour (2013) Ijumaa explored how the implementation of the Te Whāriki curriculum framework contributes to undoing of social, cultural and political inequities in early childhood education and policy. She hopes to gain new insights and strategies on how to create and support early childhood curriculum that meet the cultural needs of all children and families. As a co-leader of the Study Tour with Eliana since 2017, her intention is to be able to support transformative learning for herself and the other participants as they have this cross cultural experience together.

Visit her website: and Facebook @ijordanececonsulting

For any questions regarding the tour, please contact us at