IEP Work New Zealand



IEP New Zealand is part of a worldwide network of companies and partner organisations focused on helping people have amazing overseas work and volunteer abroad experiences.

IEP is a focused on providing the best possible support whilst keeping program fees as low as possible. IEP has programs in New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, France, Peru, Cambodia & South Africa.



Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

I personally always wanted to go overseas to make this special experience of living on one`s own in a different country after graduating from High School.

In the American Institute for Foreign Study I found an absolutely reliable and professional travel agency which supported me a lot in my intentions of working and travelling abroad.

After a reasonable time of preparation I finally started my journey on July 27 in 2015 when I left Germany to fly to Auckland, New Zealand. (To be honest I actually do not know why I chose New Zealand to go to but in hindsight I definitely do not regret my decision!)

On the first days abroad the IEP Team Auckland welcomed and introduced us to life in New Zealand which was a great launch. Within my first three months I took part in an Internship program organized by AIFS and New Zealand Internships.

While I was working at a hostel and the tourism office Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua I had the possibility to get an insight in such tourism companies and how they work. It also gave me the chance to get used to New Zealand life style pretty quick and therefore made it a very good first time.

Afterwards I was offered a job at a Marketing company in Auckland where I acquired a great deal of speaking and listening skills due to continuous contact to all kind of English speaking costumers.

During the end of summer and autumn I also worked on the unbelievable strawberry farm in a suburb of Auckland. I had such an amazing time working and living there and alongside the tourism office Tamaki it was the best job I have ever done.

However, even the best times have to end and I left the farm to finally start travelling New Zealand for a month. I explored the whole country with Kiwi Experience, met some more amazing people and experienced this country`s pure beauty day by day.

At the end of May I arrived in Christchurch where my journey through New Zealand finished. It had already been 10 months since I left Germany but even though this was kind of a farewell it was not time to say good bye yet. Because straight after I went to Australia where I spent some of the best weeks in my entire life.

Surfing at the Gold Coast, sailing through the Withsunday Islands, driving on the world`s largest sand island, diving at the Great Barrier Reef, camping in the outback and exploring the Great Ocean Road with friends from all over the world. These are memories for life.

To make a few closing remarks I strongly believe that going abroad is a lesson and an experience for life which is definitely worth doing! Furthermore I would also like to thank Peter Pans Adventure Travel. These guys absolutely know how to have an amazing time and give you the chance to experience a different culture really easily; means no worries at all mate ;)

What would you improve about this program?
I think there is only one point which could be improved: If a traveller does not find a job IEP could have some work available so that the programm`s participant can afford his living and does not get desperate. E.g. farms or hostels they work with
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Skydiving in Taupo was a real highlight for me. I met so many cool people on the Kiwi Experience bus, and made a pact with one girls to skydive with her. That was in Paihia. By the time we got to Taupo, our emotions had already felt like a roller coaster ride. It was exhilarating, scary, fun, and a real triumph. I can't believe I did it, and I can't imagine doing it anywhere else for the first time. Being in this unique time of my life, meeting new people, and having new adventures was what I set out to do, but actually skydiving was something else and really encapsulated my time there. I just went for it, and had the time of my life!

Yes, I recommend this program

My name is Darwin, I'm 21 and I live in Germany,

Two of my friends told me lots of stories about the beautiful New Zealand and the peaceful people. I decided to leave my home to find out more about my true self by travelling. Just two weeks after I finished school I began travelling in New Zealand. My adventure began. I made heaps of experiences which trained my mind and soon I realized how easy life can be. The start is usually always not really easy whatever you plan to do. The same applies logically for travelling. But do not see just the problems. When you take the first step you will find out that you are not alone on your way. There will always be helpful people. During my journey I wasn't a big fan of working in the industry like fruit quality control, packing, vineyard work ... blablabla these are important experiences, yes, and especially when you want to and have to earn money it's important too, but I just can say try also WWOOFing. It's up to you what you want, but when you work as a WWOOFer you will get in contact with real kiwis and are able to learn so much from then. On my journey I lived together with artists, engineers and farmers. They taught me heaps about New Zealands history, lifestyle, about nature and life and more. I learned new things like do pottery and how an airplane is constructed.

I had how we call it "good times" and "bad times" and I knew next to my journey I had always a helpful community from IEP which gave me support in difficult situations.

At last I just want to give you a profound advice which I got on my journey. Try not to get in rush like you have to see all the "famous attractions" and have to do all the "exciting activities". That's not important. You will get enough exciting moments. You don't have to see everything. That's not the point of travelling. The point is that you be open enough for that what your journey is going to give you. Realize that you are not alone on your path. You will get new friendships, new skills, new perspectives and more. Just try to enjoy it and follow your feelings.
I wish you a great journey!
Your Darwin

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Going through IEP to New Zealand was a great decision. I made good friends and once we had all settled in different parts of the country it was so nice to have people you knew dotted around the island.
Once finishing my job in Hawkes Bay, I had decided to move onto Christchurch area and start to explore the South Island.
I lived with the family I worked for and just decided to spent my last night packing and relaxing as the family were out and about.
I heard the door go and went into the kitchen to my surprise it was filled with food and wine. They had cancelled their evenings to have a going away party for me.
The fire was lit out on the deck and I was given such thoughtful and lovely presents to say farewell. It was a top evening, laughing and talking and just enjoying ourselves.
I had only lived with them 2 months and I was so touched. The reason I decided to share this story, although it is short is that New Zealand people are some of the kindest people I have ever met. I thought I had a lucky experience but most other backpackers had similar ones to me.
They really got me involved in their lives and I felt like a member of the family.
They came to visit me in Christchurch when I was there and we keep in touch through Facebook.
I cant wait for them to come and visit me in the UK, living with them really made my trip!

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Lots of stuff happened in New Zealand with me. I made wonderful experiences, met new friends, had adventures experiences, moment in which I cried and laughed. I never ever wonna have missed the time.
I visited the Waitomo caves, flew around with a plane, drove boat, went fishing and so much more. I will keep all that in my memory, but one memory is burned especially into my mind.
This one moment when I climbed up the mountain, so tired and exhausted and turned around. I turned around to see this wonderful scenery, to have this wonderful view and it was breath taking. I just set down and enjoyed the moment. I listened to my own body, I listened to the nature and tried to absorb all the surroundings. I calmed totally down and just felt peaceful. At one with my body, soul and the nature, as if everything finally fit together. I can't really describe it better, you just have to climb up there by yourself and live the experience...


Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Chris Williams


Chris Williams, 28, is from Rugby, England. Currently working within the family business, he enjoys editing videos, taking unique photos, and experiencing different cultures. Feel free to follow his Instagram - chrissjw

What inspired you to head to New Zealand with IEP?

After deciding that I wanted to head to New Zealand for a gap year, I quickly realized that learning a whole new culture/way of doing things was quite overwhelming – bank stuff, tax numbers, travel, currency, etc.

Personally, when traveling solo to a brand new country where I know absolutely NOTHING and NO ONE, I prefer to have a “safety net” of sorts. After reading about IEP’s services I quickly decided that it was the right kind of assistance that I was after.

They sort out a few days accommodation for when you arrive and they have their office/lounge in Auckland – both of which you are very thankful for after long flights and heading straight into the “unknown.”

The fact that they can help with the important stuff – like finding work, accommodation, etc, as well as the fun stuff – activities, pub meets, etc – is fantastic, as they realize that us backpackers need both!

The mini network/community that they have created is also a huge plus – not only in the office/lounge but also online through private Facebook groups as well as their own website. In short, IEP ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for in a support organization.

Ten years from now, what will you remember most?

One thing that I will definitely remember is getting to witness the All Blacks (New Zealand national Rugby Team – and reigning world champions!) perform the “Haka” live and in person. A Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Maori people of New Zealand.

The All Blacks performance of the Haka before each of their competitive games is undoubtedly the most famous version worldwide. My friend and I were sat on the VERY front row for the game between New Zealand and Ireland at Eden Park in Auckland.

The All Blacks lined up facing towards us, with the Irish team (their backs to us) stood arm in arm ready to watch the Haka. Aside from being a Rugby player, cameraman, referee or pitch security staff, this would be the closest that anyone else could get to being face-to-face with the All Blacks Haka right before a game.

To see the All Blacks Haka on TV is one thing, but to be in the stadium, being so close, and feeling the intensity and atmosphere is definitely something to experience. I was able to record the Haka and have uploaded it here.

If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be?

If I could go back then I would definitely head down to the South island to see what’s happening there.

Lots of people have told me (both before and since) that “you haven’t really seen New Zealand until you have been to the South Island.”

I was fortunate enough to get a good job up in Auckland that I was very thankful for and I also managed to see quite a fair bit of the North Island.

But unfortunately both time and money got away from me before I had the chance to venture South. In saying that, I am very happy with the time I spent in Auckland and around the North Island – and have lots of great memories to go along with it.

I guess it is the same problem that even the most seasoned of traveller’s face – no matter how many places you go, how much money you have, how much time is on your side – there will always be more places to see.

Tell us about one person you met there.

I met quite a few friends and interesting characters during my time in New Zealand, however the one person that I will mention here is one that actually worked for IEP – her name was Maryke.

IEP Work New Zealand has around 4 or 5 staff members, all of them very friendly and helpful, but it was Maryke that I actually built a friendship with.

Yes it is part of their job to answer questions and make us travelers feel at ease, however if Maryke had a spare moment then we would often have a chat about all sorts of other things – shared interests, sport, family, etc.

Obviously I have since left New Zealand, and Markye has also unfortunately (for those hoping to meet her) left IEP - she is currently working and traveling in the UK.

However we still maintain a close friendship on Facebook and are hoping to catch up sometime while she is over here in the UK.

Any tips for someone considering working in New Zealand?

Yes there will be hard times, yes there will be some cultural differences and yes you will feel like you want to go home early on in your trip – but DON’T! Keep going, get out there and start enjoying yourself…it is a working HOLIDAY after all.

Work-wise I would suggest being open – chances of landing that managers job or high-paying model contract are on the slim side. Lots of travelers I know work in jobs such as fruit picking, cleaning, au-pair, bar staff, etc.

Not the most glamorous jobs, but they are great for meeting people, creating unique memories and of course good for your wallet! Better than an empty wallet, right!? Be sensible with your budget – don’t blow all your savings in the first weeks on drinking, partying and traveling and then end up either having to call home for financial help…or worse having to cut your trip short.

Chances are that you are overseas for quite a few months, so spread out the big spending and keep an eye on your bank balance – if it’s getting low then head to IEP for some job help…not head to the bar!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Hannah Dillon


What is your role at IEP? What led you to join them?

My role at IEP is Work New Zealand Coordinator. I look after travel so my main role is making sure as much information is available for those want to book a tour around New Zealand or one of the number of great activities that are on offer.

I joined the IEP as I was previously worked in a Backpackers in Auckland. I loved working with people but wanted to give more info than just my knowledge of Auckland, IEP has allowed me to share my person Travel experience in New Zealand with a number of great participant’s and help make the year what it should be , a fun and enjoyable life changing experience.

What do you enjoy most as far as your role?

I think the best part about working for IEP is the amount of people from all around the world you meet. It’s great to see participants when they first arrive, a little nervous not really sure what they should do with their year and then they return before they depart and they are completely different people.

It’s great to hear about the experience they have had and what tips they have for new arrivals. I love helping people organize their year, providing them with as much information as possible, so there is experience is an amazing.

This is something I didn’t have when I travelled and I really think it’s great to have someone there who is able to support you and provide you with the info you need.

What is your favorite story of a participant's experience with IEP?

One of our Germany Participants Jana arrived with a set plan of how she wanted her year to be in New Zealand. Generally plans don’t always work when you travel and she really struggled at the start. I talked to her a few times and provided her with other options on what sort of jobs she could do and how to find them.

It wasn’t her plan but after a little while she ended up falling into to a really great job with Uniceif where she was able to travel around New Zealand with a great team and meet a range of people. When she returned before leaving NZ I have never seen such a change in a person.

What tips/insights do you have for first-time working holiday program participants?

I've got a number of tips.

- If Plan A doesn’t work out, don’t let it get you down there is always Plan B, C and D.
- Keep your options open, there are so many opportunities you will have with travel and jobs.
- Pack light. You really don’t need that much stuff, and if you forget something you can always buy it in New Zealand. Remember what you pack is what you have to carry for a YEAR! A good tip to follow is pack you bag, half it and that what you actually need.
- Bring a torch, it’s a very handy thing to have.
- Ear plugs are great for flights and dorm rooms.
- Having the right attitude, if you go into everything with a great attitude you will have a great time. If you’re not having a great time change your plan find something that will make your year amazing.
- Even if you are doing a not so fun job, remember all the fun things you can do with the money you earn, maybe a bungy jump?