Sven Peper - 2013 Program Participant

Hiking in North Island, New Zealand

Awesome hike in North Island

Why did you decide to apply for an international program?

I really wanted to do an internship abroad, and not just in a European country, but somewhere far away, where English is the first language. I was always dreaming about visiting New Zealand once in my life, and then I found NZI and they helped me to find an Internship in New Zealand! It was a country that I was dreaming about and now it is the country where I have lived for six months!

Why did you choose New Zealand Internships?

Most of the companies that are organizing internships are just partners with other companies in other countries. If you have a problem everyone would be pointing at each other and there will be one big mess. NZI is located in New Zealand and that was really important to me. They would always be there to help me. I was only 19 years old and it was my first time leaving my parent’s house.

Besides that, the owners of the company were really friendly and trustworthy. When I had my Skype interview with them, they made me feel really comfortable and even eager to visit New Zealand. They really gave me the feeling that they would help me with everything and that they will make sure that I have a great time. That was another part that I really liked. They organized amazing trips, for example rafting, surfing, and hiking. If you book trips from NZ Internships than you are guaranteed to have amazing time with all the other interns!

What was your favorite part about New Zealand?

I was located in Auckland. It is a nice city with amazing people. Most of us were located in one big apartment building so it was really easy to meet other interns who did an internship as well. It felt like one big family with all the interns. We were cooking, eating, and traveling together. We had the most amazing time during those road trips or even just going out in Auckland. The good thing about Auckland is that it is really nicely located on the North Island. You can make beautiful road trips all around the North Island.

Snow covered mountains in New Zealand

Pure beauty of New Zealand

What made your internship in New Zealand unique? What was one of your favorite things about your internship?

The unique parts in my eyes are the owners of NZI. These two still “young” guys who are willing to help you and they are full of energy. They are really fun, but really professional as well, which is a perfect combination. They do what nobody else does. They are based in Auckland, so there is always contact them directly and they are always there for you if you need anything. They can’t, and they will not, point at other parties because they are directly there. Besides that, they organise amazing trips. They want you to not just work the whole week; they want you to also enjoy, to meet new people, and to share the beauty that New Zealand has to offer for you!

In what ways did local staff support you throughout your internship?

I never really had problems with NZI, but sometimes if I had a question they would always respond to me directly. You can call or email them, so it’s always good. During my stay, they had their own intern, called Dennie. He was a really great guy as well, and he was always there to answer all my questions.

They help you as soon as you arrive in New Zealand. There was a driver waiting for me at the airport to bring me to my apartment, and the same week NZI invited me to their office for an orientation, gave me a local SIM card, and explained what the best plan was to use. They helped me to feel at home in New Zealand from that moment.

What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?

To be honest, everything was perfectly fine. I had a great time and I am still thankful every day for their services.

Skydiving in New Zealand

Skydive in South Island

Describe a day in the life of your internship in New Zealand.

Every day in New Zealand is different, which is what makes it even more awesome. During the week I was working from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. But when we planned a road trip for the weekend, I basically woke up early to go to work on Friday. As soon as I finished work, I packed my bags, and then me and my friends hit the road to go on a new adventure!

We had so much fun, even the way to our destination was fun. We were listening to music, singing, and enjoying the beautiful landscape of New Zealand. We were talking about our week and we were planning the next day, such as what activities we could do or where to drive next. Even writing about this at this very moment makes me want to go back to experience this amazing feeling again. You just can’t describe it!

You have to come to New Zealand and experience what I have experienced, and I promise you, it can change your life!

What did you like doing outside of your internship placement?

My favorite activities were either the road trips I did with friends or the trips organized by NZI. Besides the trips, I really enjoyed going to a nice pub with my friends, catching up, and making new plans for new trips!

What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?

I lived the first 10 weeks in the apartment building that was organized by NZI. After 10 weeks, I moved to the house of one of my colleagues, because she offered for me to stay with her family for the last 10 weeks. The best thing about the apartment building is that a lot of interns live there, so you are all together. Besides that, it is really awesome and located in central Auckland.

Bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand

Bungee jump in Queenstown

Now that you're home, how has interning abroad impacted your life?

My period in New Zealand was and still is the most impactful experience of my life. It’s the place where it all started. I would love, and I wish, to go back one day or even to live there. I learned so much from my time there. I learned to be independent, to speak fluently in English, and to communicate with people all around the world. I have met so many amazing people!

My time in New Zealand made me the person I am today. I am international minded, and I love to travel and to meet international friends. New Zealand was the best experience of my life!