Internships Abroad in Wellington

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Wellington

Wellington, or “Welly,” is the capital of New Zealand. With a goal of being the most prosperous city in all of Oceania, Wellington is an obvious choice for internships in New Zealand. Located on the North Island’s Cook Strait, one side of the city features a sparkling harbour and the other a range of infamous rolling, green hills; Wellington is truly made for interns with a desire to explore and learn.

Internships in Wellington

Internships in Wellington span over 80 different fields, and can last for as little as eight weeks to as long as a full year, meaning interns will surely find an internship placement that can perfectly meet their needs. Interns can expect the average work day to last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; but when it comes to required experience and wages, there is a vast degree of difference among internships in Wellington, so specifics will be determined by the company you intern for.

Business related internships in Wellington include those in marketing, accounting, and economics. Additionally, tourism and hospitality are huge markets for internships in Wellington, as it is a major tourist destination in Australia. Business internships will often take place at small boutique companies, ensuring interns a high involvement in company support and an important role in nurturing the growth process.

Social science, humanities, and education are also major placement areas for internships in Wellington. Interns can get hands on experience as an education intern in primary or secondary inner-city schools in Wellington and assist in the instruction of many different subjects. Education internships in Wellington will further professional growth beyond the basics interns may have learned during their degree programs. Social science interns are commonly placed at youth centers or in drug education programs, to assist with day to day operations and activity planning. 

New Zealand wouldn’t have such lush natural habitats without the active environmental protection and conservation industry in New Zealand. A high percentage of the indigenous species are endemic, meaning they must be protected and surveyed, and you can be the one to help!

Life in Wellington

While interning abroad in Wellington, your focus may be at the office, but there is plenty of learning to do around the city too. There are more cafes, bars, and restaurants per capita in Wellington than there are in New York City. From morning to night, interns will never be without a place to go. Craft brewing has taken the city by storm, and Wellington has kept a prominent coffee culture as well.

On top of the food sector, Wellington is the heart of the arts and culture scene for the region (and possibly the country) with many museums, galleries, and theatres lining almost any street. Adventure and adrenaline are as much of Wellington’s culture as the cafes and art. The city is even home to the original bungee jump!

To get around the city or to the suburbs, there is a great train and bus system with a number of routes. In the city, walking is very common and interns should expect it to be their main mode of transportation during their internship in Wellington. Don’t worry, there will be many opportunities to taste the local culture within walking distance of your placement or accommodation. When you have the urge to get out, you will find that getting transportation out of downtown Wellington is also a breeze; renting a car is most definitely a possibility for weekend getaways.

During their time in Wellington, interns will be subject to the ”Kiwi integrity,” meaning they will encounter locals that are both welcoming and adventurous. Interns won’t be able to avoid making friends with locals both in and out of the office, and they will truly enjoy the exceptional quality of life in Wellington. 

Salary & Costs

For paid internships in Wellington, wages are typically high enough for interns to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Not every internship in Wellington will be paid however, so it is important for interns to determine their financial capabilities before deciding on an internship placement.

Housing is often included in up-front internship program costs, but meals are typically excluded. The cost of food and transportation in Wellington is slightly higher than in Auckland, but as mentioned above, Wellington is a very walkable city and has a farmers market down by the harbor that is considerably cheaper than local grocery stores.

For those that do need to utilize public transportation, the train and bus are both the cheapest options. The train has five lines that cost from $5 to $18 or $14 for a day pass. On the other hand, the bus runs across the city center for only $2 or all the way from one side of the city to the other for about $18.

For interns that decide to find accommodation independently, the good news is rent tends to be cheaper in Wellington than in Auckland. Overall, Wellington is very affordable if you budget and spend your money wisely.

Accommodation & Visas

Most accommodations provided by internship placement providers in Wellington will come in the form of an apartment in the heart of the city with other interns. Interns can also find housing easily independently, both in and outside of the downtown area.

For U.S. interns, a visa is not needed prior to arrival, instead interns will need to apply for a visitor’s permit upon arrival, which will allow them to stay in New Zealand for up to three months. To get this, interns will need a valid passport and proof of their departure, which can be demonstrated by an actual plane ticket or the funds to buy one down the road. There is no need to stress too much about the visa process to intern in Wellington, as it is quite quick and easy.

Those who decide to obtain a longer term internship in Wellington will be able to apply for a work or holiday visa; however, it is a little harder to obtain. Interns in this situation will need to apply for the visa before departure, after an official job or internship proposal has been made. There are many subcategories for work visas, so interns should check with their employer to be sure they follow the correct procedures.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Sports Fans Delight. Sports is the name of the game in Wellington. Kiwis are obsessed with sports, both playing and watching. The classics are rugby and football (soccer), but “sports” includes just about anything active. Running, hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, zip-lining, climbing, and sky-diving are all popular activities that interns will have ample opportunities to participate in.

Hold On To Your Hat. Windy Welly is a common nickname for the city, due to its extreme wind. To compare, Chicago, the United States’ “windy city,” has winds up to 11 miles per hour annually, while Wellington’s winds reach 19 miles per hour. A wind jacket will come in handy and leave the umbrellas at home, as they will likely blow away or break quite easily. If the wind gets to be too much, hop on a sailboat or go windsurfing, as they are both common in the bays.

Beach Life. The beaches and bays provide pristine environments for marine life and of course, leisure. While sitting and relaxing along the bays stingrays and dolphins may just happen to swim right by you. The best part of Wellington’s location, when interns have a rough work day, a walk along the beach will most definitely cure it.

Read our comprehensive guide on interning abroad in New Zealand.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Wellington


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