Arts and culture dominate in the city that is home to New Zealand's central government and the production studios of powerhouse films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar, and King Kong.

Wellington, which is also sometimes known as The Windy City or Wellywood, was ranked 4th in the Lonely Planet's top 10 cities for 2011 where it was described as "Cool-with-a-capital-C." In this diverse city, internships in film, government, and education can be found alongside of those in engineering, medical writing, and the environment.

With more bars, cafes, and restaurants per capita than New York, this quaint city is the perfect place to gain experience, make contacts, and get ahead in the field of your choice.

Photo credit: Lenny K Photography

As New Zealand's capital city and center of arts and culture, internships in government, diplomacy, film, and art are popular industries in Wellington. Internships in wildlife management, sustainable development and other related fields are also popular in Wellington, due to the city's close proximity to nature.


Looking for a future in visual arts or museum exhibition management? Wellington can be the perfect location to give you the skills and experience you need to make it in what is sometimes considered one of the most competitive industries.


From sustainable tourism to conservation and zoology, internships in this field are exceedingly popular. Depending on your specified interest, your internship placement may include developing hostels into Sustainable Living Centers, or educating visitors about the challenges facing New Zealand's native species.


Nicknamed "Wellywood" because of its central role in the production of some of the most famous films of all time, Wellington seems a natural choice for interns seeking international experience in the film industry. Expectations and length of internships will vary based on the size of the production company and the project you are working on, but generally, interns will include assisting in production and post-production duties. Interns may be expected to have some knowledge of production software.


Home to New Zealand's parliament, Wellington is an ideal location for aspiring politicians and bureaucrats. Depending on their placement, interns may learn how to manage a campaign and be active contributors to regional, national, or international governing bodies.

When and Where to Look for an Internship

It is wise to begin planning your internship as early as possible in order to get the position you want. Typically, you should begin your search at least six months prior to when you plan on leaving to allow time to get your visa and passport in order, arrange accommodations in your host city, and any other preparations you may need to take care of.

The following sites may be helpful in beginning your internship search. This list is only a starting point, as there are also many other resources for finding internships abroad:

As in many other countries, internships in New Zealand tend to be unpaid, but this depends on the industry and company with whom you are working. Check with your internship company before leaving for Wellington and confirm logistics about whether or not you will be paid, possibilities for receiving course credit (if applicable), and resources for finding side work to finance your trip abroad.

Cost of Living in Wellington

Prices in restaurants and transportation might be a bit higher in Wellington depending on what you are used to in your home city. Living close to work can help cut the costs of living abroad since you will not need to rent a car or take public transportation if you live close enough to walk. You can calculate your cost of living from city to city by visiting Numbeo.


Kiwis are known for being friendly and casual. Although many people refer to bosses and supervisors by their first names, it is considered good manners to start out slightly more formal. When you walk into work, a handshake and good morning ("hi" comes later) are perfectly acceptable work etiquette.


New Zealand has three official languages, but English is the predominant language used, especially in the major cities. Maori (from New Zealand's indigenous community) and New Zealand Sign Language are also official languages of New Zealand in addition to English.


Making connections in your field is arguably the most valuable part of doing an internship. Be respectful of your bosses and others in your field and keep in contact with them after returning home in order to establish good networking skills.

Contributed by Jessica Scarfuto


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