Internships in Auckland

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Personal experience is increasingly necessary in today's competitive job market. Employers want to know that you can do the job before you even start your first day, but how can you get experience if no one is willing to hire you? And what if you wanted to do some traveling before settling down in a "real" job?

Internships are a fantastic way to gain experience in every field imaginable and can be a great way to travel as well. Auckland is the largest and most populous city in New Zealand and is also the capital city. In addition to the extensive job opportunities offered by any major city, Auckland is famous for its stunning natural beauty. Known as the "City of Sails," Auckland's Hauraki Gulf is filled with sailboats on nice days in the summer. The entire city lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and enchanting islands, and is also famous for its outstanding food and unique Polynesian culture. Ready to jump on a plane yet?

  • Main Industries: Business, Economics, Environment, Film, Information Technology, International Relations
  • Cost of Living: Rent prices in Auckland are generally cheaper than in the United States ($850 - $1,150 for a one bedroom apartment depending on your location). That being said, restaurant and grocery prices depend on where you live but may be a little higher in Auckland. Apartments can start as low as EU250 per month and food expenses can start around EU150-200, if you cook for yourself.
  • Visa: Unless you are an Australian citizen or meet certain diplomatic requirements, you will need a visa to enter into New Zealand and intern there.
  • Fun Fact: New Zealand has two official national Anthems of equal standing - God Defend New Zealand and God Save the Queen.

As New Zealand's capital city and business center, Auckland is a popular destination for internships in business and international studies. If it is nature and the environment that you love, Hauraki Gulf, which Auckland overlooks, is one of the richest environments in the world for marine mammals. As a result, Auckland is an exceedingly a popular destination for individuals seeking an internship in marine biology, environmental studies or a related field. Internships in health sciences, information technology and many more are also available in Auckland.

New Zealand Countryside
Explore the beautiful New Zealand countryside when you intern in Auckland!
  • Business: Internship experiences will vary in this field based on your specific interest (sales, finance, accounting, etc). As New Zealand's central business hub, Auckland has a large and diverse variety of business internships available, making it the perfect place for any aspiring executive.
  • International Relations: These internships are typically aimed at training individuals to be active contributors in the government, diplomacy, and public policy on a global level. Although this is the general path taken by interns, international studies is incredibly diverse and interdisciplinary. Interns may find their niche working in urban development programs, public health, and environmental law.
  • Environment: If saving the whales is your thing, then New Zealand is the perfect place for you! The waters of the southern Pacific Ocean are teeming with whales, dolphins, penguins, and an abundance of other marine life. Environmental internships may include anything from surveying endangered whale species to working at one of New Zealand's many national parks.
  • Health Sciences: Internships in the health sciences may have you working in clinics or working with researchers in your chosen field interest. Certain internships may require varying degrees of education and training so it is a good idea to check if you need any of these before applying.

Internships in New Zealand are generally unpaid, but as in the United States, this depends on the company with whom you are doing your internship. Before leaving for the Land of the Long White Cloud (as New Zealand is sometimes referred to from its Maori name, Aotearoa), confirm any financial arrangements with the company you will be working for. If your internship is unpaid, it might be a good idea to talk to the company and ask about recommendations where you can find extra work to finance your travel abroad. You can also look on websites like to find part-time work in Auckland.

Bungee jumping in New Zealand
Tap into your adventurous side and go bungee jumping!
When and Where to Look for an Internship:

As with all jobs and internships, it is wise to start looking early. It is recommended that you begin searching for internships in Auckland at least six months before you plan to leave for New Zealand. Below are some resources that may be helpful in searching for internships in New Zealand.

Work Culture:

Kiwis, as people from New Zealand are called, tend to be more laid back than what you might be used to in American culture. Although calling a boss or supervisor "sir" or "madam" in America might be seen as respectful, in New Zealand it is far more likely to be taken as sarcasm. If you are unsure of what to call your boss it will probably be a lot easier to simply ask them, "What should I call you?" rather than guessing, and especially guessing wrong.

Although New Zealanders are very polite and friendly, they can also be somewhat reserved about maintaining professional relationships in the work place. It is probably not a good idea to immediately friend all of your colleagues on Facebook, but this is fairly universal unless it is a very tight-knit group of people. Depending on the field you want to intern in, you may be expected to partake in professional team building such as attending company lunches, dinners, etc. Don't be intimidated by cultural differences though; an internship in New Zealand can help you build experience, make contacts, and get ahead in the field of your choice.

Ice Hiking in New Zealand
Jessica ice hiking in New Zealand with some friends
Why Intern in Auckland?

Traveling abroad can be scary to think about but if you are thirsting for adventure and need to build up some on-the-job experience, it can be the experience of a lifetime. We know it's a long flight, but if you're getting on a plane anyway, it might as well be all the way across the Pacific! So go ahead and take the plunge! It will likely be one of the most memorable times of your life.

Contributed by Jessica Scarfuto

Jessica Scarfuto is a graduate student studying Science and Technology Journalism at Texas A&M University. She enjoys travel writing as well as science writing. You can follow Jessica on Twitter at @jscarfuto17.

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