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 with a job abroad. This process started during the second year when 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.

During my internship, did I start thinking about my graduation internship and decided to go back to New Zealand since it is a beautiful country and the local persons are nice. This time I used the services of Intern NZ OZ direct, instead of the bureau back home, since direct contact with Intern NZ OZ is preferred. In the end was their service in both cases really good and I would recommend using their services.

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

Intern NZ OZ arranged by job interview and provided me with the tips and tricks for the job interview. Another service they provide is arranging housing, but due to locations and financial reasons did I decide to arrange that myself. When information was required by my university was Intern NZ OZ fast in providing me with the required information. In the end, I arranged my visa, housing, and the flight myself. This was easier so I could use the dates and places I preferred myself.

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

Prepare yourself before going regarding travel times to your internship and costs of living in New Zealand. The 1,000 NZD a month, as stated by the government, is not enough when staying in New Zealand, especially if your employer does not pay for the internship or pays for housing. This does not cover the travel around costs, so I would recommend have at least 1,500 NZD per month. And keep in mind that when communicating with a country in a different timezone that it sometimes takes longer than you might be used to.

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, am I free to start and leave whenever I want. Usually, I wake up at 6.00 AM and leave for my internship at 7.20 AM. I arrive at my internship at 9.00 AM and stay there till 4.30 PM. Then I travel back and have dinner at home. I do this from Monday till Friday, but when required for traveling will 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?

Well, I did not have my fears, since it was my second time, but housing is always a fear since you never know where you end up. I arranged that I pay per two weeks so when the housing is not up to my standards, I was able to leave that place. The other fear is that the company does not understand what a research-based internship is, so explain that to them during the interview.

How to plan the travels during the weekend?

Since the weather in New Zealand can change fast, we decided to make a planning, in which the activities which require good weather would be done first. Keep in mind to stay flexible in terms of where you go during which weekend since the weather could change every week.