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GlobaLinks Learning Abroad - Internships in New Zealand
Meet Jenny Morris, GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Alum
GO: What originally inspired you to intern in New Zealand with GlobaLinks Learning Abroad?
Jenny: I have always had the itch to travel, so naturally I wanted to do something abroad for school. I have had a unique college experience, taking only online classes each winter plus graduating a semester early, so I did not have the opportunity to do a semester abroad. This program was perfect for me because it enabled me to do an internship abroad and still receive school credit. New Zealand was a place that I really wanted to see, so I chose GlobaLinks because they offered custom placement for internships, which enabled me to find an advertising internship.
GO: Describe your day to day activities as an intern in New Zealand.
Jenny: As an intern at Y&R Wellington, I would shadow different employees throughout the internship. When I was working with the creative side of the agency, I was asked to prepare an analysis of social media and its impact on advertising and promotions. I also was able to go to a voiceover recording for a commercial while there. There was a lot more down time than I expected and I sometimes felt as if I wasn't given enough actual work to do.
On my three-day weekends, I traveled- a LOT. I went to Masterton, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, Picton, Blenheim, the Wairarapa region, Mt. Rhuapehu, Queenstown and all around Wellington.
GO: How has this experience impacted your future personally, professionally, and academically?
Jenny: Ironically, this internship made me realize that I did not want to work at an Ad agency. I love to cook, and began blogging while in Wellington. I realized that most of my blogging ended up being about my cooking, recipes and the Wellington farmers market, which led me to decide to attend culinary school after graduation. I also had a lot of time to travel alone and really get to know more about myself and experience sites individually, which was very life changing. In addition to this, I got to learn a lot about the Maori people and traditions. On the lighter side, this internship also got me college credit for my major.
Meet Jessica Mew
What originally inspired you to intern in New Zealand with GlobaLinks Learning Abroad?
Jessica: After studying abroad twice before, in Fiji for a semester and Scotland for a summer, I had the travel bug in me. I had the choice of either graduating early and starting adult life or do another study abroad. This was absolute no brainer for me, I was going abroad! I luckily had the financial aid to do so and I had a really hard time deciding where I wanted to go. I decided that I didn't really want to do more schooling since I didn't need anymore credits, so I decided why not intern or volunteer abroad.
I had done both my past study abroad experiences with GlobaLinks and had been looking at the internship program for over 2 years. I had actually visited New Zealand on my spring break while in Fiji and absolutely loved it. So I decided then there New Zealand was my next stop! GlobaLinks staff worked hard with me to get me an internship that I really wanted.
Describe your day to day activities as an intern in New Zealand.
Jessica: After landing in beautiful New Zealand, GlobaLinks planned a 3 day immersion trip which included a haka lesson, tubing with glow worms, and a visit to Rotorua! The haka lesson was both hilarious and very informative of the Maori culture. Tubing in a cave with glow worms above of us was amazing, and a definite must, if you are on North Island! The 3 day immersion introduced us to New Zealand culture and to help us adjust into Kiwi life easier and faster.
I interned at Child, Youth, and Family in Porirua, right outside of Wellington. CYF is New Zealand's Child Protective Services, and ran very much like our CPS system. I shadowed an experienced social worker and helped as much as I could from the organization.
I woke up bright and early each morning to take a 30 minute train ride to Porirua. A typical day consisted of making home visits to families, school visits to check on children, taking children who were under the agency's care to doctor appointments, supervising court mandated child and parent supervision visits, going to court to present current updates in cases, doing intakes and assessments, and the usual case notes and phone calls. It was a lot more hands on experience that I could not get in the States, which I really enjoyed.
What I thought was so unique about New Zealand was the emphasis on whanau, or family. CYF had whanau interventions, in which they were able to fly family from throughout the country to be in the same place at the same time, to help decide what should be done for the benefit of the child involved. The agency and the courts did not make all the decisions, but they allowed all extended family members to have a say and to make an agreement to all step in to make a difference in the lives of the children. In addition, I talked with many members of the staff about Maori and the Kiwi culture and lifestyle, and they were always insightful and wanted to share their stories.
How has this experience impacted your future personally, professionally, and academically?
Jessica:This internship was the deciding factor for me to continue to go to graduate school to get my master's in social work. I'm currently enrolled at the University of Southern California, and I have used all the information from my New Zealand internship in my current internship.
While other students had no idea that social work was a strengths based practice, I knew because of my wonderful experience. I walked into my master's program knowing and having done social work practice, straight out of college without a social work degree and very limit experience. This program not only helped reassure me that I am in the right profession, but it prepared me.
Want to hear more about Jessica's experiences with GlobaLinks? Check out her study abroad interviews about her experiences with AustraLearn in Suva, Fiji at the University of the South Pacific or with EuroLearn at the University of Stirling!
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, originally titled AustraLearn, was created by Cynthia Banks in direct response to requests from an Australian university to assist U.S. students who wanted to study abroad in Australia. They have been in operation since 1987. Since then, AustraLearn became the largest provider of study abroad programs to more than 25 universities in Australia and added new partner institutions in New Zealand and Fiji.
In 2008, AustraLearn expanded its reach to more regions of the world. EuroLearn and AsiaLearn were created as additional programs of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad to accommodate an increasing demand from students and advisors for structured, well supported, and affordable programs in destinations worldwide.