Alumni Spotlight: Martin Kuiper


Why did you choose this program?

As a part of my university degree, is it a must to complete three research-based internships. An internship abroad is not a must, but was something I wanted to do, since the experience itself is really nice and is good for my future work.

For an internship during my second year, one of my lecturers mentioned New Zealand as a really nice place to go to. I contacted, together with two other students, an internship company in the Netherlands which used the services of Intern NZ OZ.

For my graduation internship, I decided to go back to New Zealand since it is a beautiful country, and the local persons are nice. This time, I directly contacted Intern NZ OZ instead of having the bureau contact them.

I am satisfied with the services they provided in both cases, and I highly recommend that you contact them too!

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Intern NZ OZ arranged my job interview and even helped me prepare for it. They also initially arranged for the housing, but due to locations and financial reasons, I eventually decided to arrange that myself. Aside from this, I also arranged for my visa and flight which was easier because I get to choose based on my preference.

Intern NZ OZ was quick to provide information needed by my university.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Prepare yourself and your finances before leaving for your internship. The 1,000 NZD is not enough when staying in New Zealand, especially if your employer does not pay for the internship or the housing. This does not cover the travel around costs, so I would recommend that you have at least 1,500 NZD per month.

Also keep in mind the difference in time zones so your communication back home might take a little longer.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Since the week itself is an arrangement between the company and me, I am free to start and leave whenever I want. Usually I wake up at 6AM and leave for my internship at 7:20 AM. I arrive at 9 AM and stay there till 4:30 PM. I then travel back and have dinner at home. I do this from Monday to Friday, but when required for traveling, I work fewer days. During the weekend, I travel around or participate in one of the activities of Intern NZ OZ.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Since it was my second time in New Zealand, I didn’t really have big fears. The housing can be tricky though because you never know where you’ll be placed. So what I do is arrange to pay every two weeks so that when the housing is not up to my standards, I would be able to leave that place easily. Also, I was a little fearful about the company not understanding what a research-based internship is, so I had to explain that to them during the interview.

How do you plan your travels during the weekend?

Since the weather in New Zealand can change fast, we planned to do the trips requiring good weather first. Keep in mind to stay flexible in terms of where you go during which weekend since the weather could change every week.