Why did you choose this program?
It has always been my dream to spend some time abroad during my studies. But as I am also a professional athlete, organizing such a big trip a year or more in advance (as is necessary when you want to actually study when abroad) was simply not possible. Intern NZ gave me the opportunity to realize my dream more spontaneously!
Additionally, the service they offered sounded very professional, so I decided to go for it to secure that my trip to the other end of the world would go as smoothly as possible.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
Intern NZ assisted me every step of the way: providing me with application and Skype interview guidelines, checking on the progress of my visa, having a pre-departure chat on Skype on what to expect, organizing an orientation meeting in Auckland a day after I arrived and so on… It can seem intimidating to organise such a big trip but I never felt alone during my preparations.
I had to organize my own housing but only because I opted for it. Intern NZ offers accommodation in shared spaces but the ones they provide are too far from my workplace. But even as it was not their responsibility anymore, they were keen to know if everything went well with my accommodation search.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would say that they do not need to be afraid of anything, they are in good hands! They still have to do some work on their own - like writing a resume and a cover letter for example - obviously, but apart from that, the staff of the programme ensures that you have your things organized in time. So just go for it, enjoy your time abroad and make as many new experiences as possible!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
For me, it is basically the daily routine of any working person. I work 40 hours a week in a small company and learning a lot of new cool stuff. The company is really good, I enjoy working there very much!
What I like about being abroad and interning instead of studying, is that I can use the weekends for traveling as I don't have any assignments or exams here.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Actually I wasn't afraid of coming to New Zealand at all. I already had some friends that live here that I know from my sport, and all contact with my colleagues and my host from my homestay before, as well as with the local Intern NZ staff was very nice, friendly and welcoming, so I already felt at home before I even got here!
If you could do it all over again, would you?
Yes, definitely! The internship and being on my own at the other end of the world made me a different person. I feel more confident now because I got the feeling that I really achieved something for myself. And my experiences were only positive!
The kiwi are a lovely people and no one is ever in a bad mood! I was very conscious about my behaving correctly here beforehand because Intern NZ provided me with a long Code of Conduct, which was helpful, but turned out to be a lot stricter than the people here actually are.
So generally, I would advise anyone to set aside their doubts and just do it. I am sure they will get the feeling that they excel themselves!