New Zealand’s “City of Sails” is the perfect place to sail into a career-defining internship. An internship on its own will show you have experience in your field; an internship in Auckland will show you have the skills and self-confidence needed to survive in a foreign workplace. The best part is, on top of getting real life experience, you will find yourself in the middle of an adventure to rival Frodo’s. New Zealand knows how to spike your adrenaline, and if you opt to intern in Auckland, you won’t be bored for a second.
Internships in Auckland
It’s not the capital (that would be Wellington), but Auckland is New Zealand’s most dynamic and cosmopolitan city. It is also the biggest, so naturally it has a comprehensive array of internships available, to suit all backgrounds, interests, and personalities.
Agriculture is of huge importance in New Zealand, which is hardly surprising considering there’s ten times as many sheep as people. Pastoral agriculture is at the heart of New Zealand’s economy, so in an internship in Auckland’s most prominent industry, you will be ideally positioned to gain insights into the land, culture, and history of the country.
As a nation, New Zealand has a keen interest in the environment, and maintaining a “clean, green” image. The country faces many pressing environmental issues, so internships in Auckland related to environmental management are highly relevant and fast-paced. The scope for development in this area is unlimited, which means go-getter interns will have plenty of chances to shine.
In keeping with New Zealand’s outdoorsy theme, there are of course many opportunities to intern in Auckland in parks and recreation. If you abhor the idea of working in an office, parks could be the best place for you to be (just be prepared to get a little dirty).
Auckland is an important business center. The Central Business District is at the core of New Zealand’s economic and business development, and is one of the few places in the country where you will find skyscraper buildings. To land a business internship in Auckland, you will need to have or be in the process of completing a relevant degree.
Tourism is a booming industry in New Zealand, with people flocking to the Land of the Long White Cloud from all corners of the globe. There are many varied roles within this industry, and plenty of opportunities to get practical experience working in hospitality or hotel and restaurant management.
Life in Auckland
Life as an intern in Auckland is sweet as, bro. New Zealand is notoriously laid-back, and the easy-going culture spills over into the workplace, meaning your internship will be cruisy (that’s Kiwi-speak for stress-free). Outside of work, there are endless things to keep you occupied in Auckland.
Auckland’s main attractions, like in the rest of New Zealand, lie in the great outdoors. There are a string of beaches in the city itself; check out Takapuna and kitesurfers’ favorite, Point Chevalier. Just a little further out of town is Piha, a legendary black-sand surf beach, where board riding first started in New Zealand. If surf lessons seem a little ambitious to you, stand-up paddle boarding is another way to ride the waves.
As well as the many parks and green spaces in the city, there are dozens of hiking trails all within an hours drive from the city center. Waterfalls, humid forests, and thermal springs are all scattered around the outskirts of the city. The Hauraki Gulf laps at the shores of dozens of islands. One of the most accessible is Waiheke, which is famous for its blissful combination of pristine beaches and lush vineyards. Thanks to its volcanic legacy, Auckland is scattered with small humps (don’t worry, their volcano days are long gone) that provide great look-out and star-gazing opportunities. Hike up Mount Eden, watch the sunset from Mount Victoria, or just take a stroll with the sheep on One Tree Hill.
Auckland is a hodge-podge of cultures and nationalities. There are people from all over the world living and working in Auckland, so you don’t need to worry about sticking out as a foreigner. The other major upside of so much diversity? The food. Auckland is a foodies dream, with cuisines from places you have probably never even heard of. Head to Dominion Road to gorge on dumplings, K-Road for vegan cafés and teahouses, and the CBD for fine dining and cocktails. Eating out can set you back a fair bit in fancy restaurants, but there are dozens of cheap lunch places in the city center. Think Korean pancakes and Japanese curries from hole-in-the-wall joints. Just follow the flow of office workers on their lunch breaks to find out where the best cheap eats are.
Accommodation & Visas
Many internships in Auckland include housing in program fees, or at the very least short-term accommodation while you look for something more permanent. Provided housing is usually in the form of apartments or flats, often shared with other interns or international students. If you do find yourself needing to look for your own accommodation in Auckland, no worries; she’ll be right. Most kiwis leave home and go flatting at the age of 18, so it’s very straightforward to find a house or apartment to share with locals. There are countless listings online looking for flatmates (the correct Kiwi term) to fill spare rooms. Finding a great flat is the best way to make kiwi friends, get inducted into barbeque culture, and ensure you always have people to share a Friday night beer with. Just don’t expect heating; Kiwi houses are notoriously cold in winter.
A Student and Trainee Work Visa is available for anyone pursuing practical work as part of their studies. Foreign interns from any country are eligible, and the visa will last up to 12 months. Depending on your course of study or selected training, you may need to have an internship offer or a reserved spot on a program before you apply for the visa. You must also be able to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself in New Zealand for the duration of your stay, and you will only be able to work for the employer of program provider that was the basis of your original application. For more detailed information, your best resource is GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Don’t think interning abroad in Auckland will be easy? There are thick kiwi accents to contend with, countless bucket-list items you have to try and cram into your weekends, and rain, lots of rain. Luckily, the benefits of internships in Auckland are also plentiful.
Adventure Travel Opportunities. Although New Zealand’s isolated location means you probably won’t leave the island once you’re there, there are limitless activities to keep you busy outside of the office. Hiking, skydiving, bungy-jumping, white-water rafting, if it’s scary, you can do it in New Zealand. Adventure travel in New Zealand is like nowhere else in the world, so do as the locals do and “get amongst it.”
Kiwi Culture. Kiwis are known for being a friendly bunch. They will happily introduce you to the best of Kiwiana, from hokey pokey ice cream to the infamous stubbies, singlet, and jandals combo that is basically the national uniform (and don’t worry, if you have no idea what any of those words mean, you’ll soon learn). You won’t be able to leave without learning at least a few Maori words, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to experience a hangi (traditional food cooked in an Earth oven). It might not look so different on the surface, but New Zealand has its own distinct culture that you will love getting involved in during your internship in Auckland.
Cost of Living. In all seriousness, it is worth noting that the cost of living in New Zealand can be a challenge for interns. Living costs are high throughout New Zealand in general, and Auckland in particular is known to be pricey. With work limitations on intern visas, it is recommended to search for either a paid internship or one with a stipend that will cover your basic living costs.
What do you get when you combine adventure, cultural immersion, and invaluable work experience? An internship in Auckland! Give it heaps, and head down under for the internship (and experience) of a lifetime.