Here are some of our former clients experiences:

Laura's Story

Placement: Animal Sanctuary Intern

Coming from Hawaii, Laura is an avid outdoors person and animal lover. While in New Zealand Laura wanted to progress her learning with a view to attending veterinary school. We placed Laura with an animal sanctuary, which cares for a wide range of species including rehabilitation of injured native animals and also small to large domestic mammals.

She has this to say:

“I was placed on an animal sanctuary in New Zealand. I feel as though, because I was placed with such an amazing family, I was able to adapt to my new environment very quickly. With respect towards my hosts’ lifestyles while still managing to perform my own daily routine, a strong relationship was formed. Not only are the sanctuary managers now close friends, but also excellent references whom I will trust forever.

Thanks to Jon, and the Kiwi-Internship program I was able to enjoy New Zealand to the fullest. With the best placement I could have ever asked for, it was this opportunity that has influenced me to go forth with my future in a career involving animals. Whether it is rehabilitating native birds in another country or practicing veterinary medicine in the United States, I will always recall memories from this internship to help inspire all my future stances I take and decisions I make!”

Nora's Story

Placement: Primary School Art/Drama Teacher

Nora wanted to teach schoolchildren in the areas of art, photography and drama, preferably in a small engaging community. We chose a small seaside town primary school who allowed Nora to co-ordinate their annual drama production. Later we helped Nora travel around New Zealand and take on some great NZ hikes.

She has this to say:

“My internship threw me headfirst into the kind of self-directed learning that I have come to believe in more so than any other form of education.  Not only were you able to offer me an opportunity to combine all three of my interests (theater, photograph, and arts education), but you essentially put the responsibility of figuring out the mechanics of that combination right into my own hands

You gave me a town, a host family to share their home and lives with me, a bike to explore all of it on my own, and a phone to call home with, so I could make them all repeatedly jealous.  Best of all, you gave me the community of a school that welcomed my interests with open arms, and offered me the trust to lead their students in my own arts-curriculum. 

The culminating exhibit and performance and the wealth of learning that the students both experienced and offered to others was the ultimate affirmation for me.  It as one of the most formative times in my life. I carry the strength and the peace that I found in that time and place with me everywhere.”

Amber's Story

Placement: Environment Policy Planner

Coming from New York State, Amber completed a 6-week internship. She assisted with work on a major public consultation program - Project Watershed. Project Watershed aims to develop a new funding policy to pay for important soils conservation, river management, and flood protection in the greater catchment of the Waikato River.

Amber contributed to both office and field work, including development of a submission report dealing with the annual plan, participation at the agricultural field days, inspection of local watersheds, and attendance to political agenda meetings.

Amber wrote:
“The most enjoyable experience was the fieldwork and the opportunity to stay at a Marae [Maori traditional village]. I spent one or two days a week in the field. I spoke to local dairy farmers on specific environmental issues, discussed funding for the a major public Walkway, volunteered at large agricultural field days, completed monthly water quality monitoring, and analysed damage caused by flooding.

Working for [this organisation] allowed me to have the "real life" experience. The staff were great and showed me a government/scientific perspective of the New Zealand environment. I am interested in water management and focusing my work on this project gave a huge boost to my education. I attended many meetings, which allowed me to view how the council operates. I learned each of the committee's roles, type of discussion involved, and what actually needed to be completed for a change to occur in the "annual" plan. This was an excellent inside view to the policy making field.
These experiences will definitely help me with future job placements. Also, having the opportunity to get know and travel in New Zealand opens my cultural viewpoint.

I enjoyed everything and New Zealand is wonderful!”

Joey and Todd's Story

Placement: Ecological Sanctuary Helpers

The “Botany Boys” from Seattle were two young guys seeking a break from civilization and some “serious green time”. Joey and Todd worked together for three months, staying at a wilderness sanctuary. They got dirty making adobe bricks, exploring goldmines, planting trees, building bonfires, camping, swimming under waterfalls, and making paths to protect the rainforest.

Joey’s father wrote:
“Joey had the time of his life, and expresses only the greatest fondness for you. We feel blessed for the opportunity Joey had. Joey's experience will help to mould his outlook toward the future --- which he sees as very positive and exciting. He hopes to get back there again.”

And a second communication:
“Just heard from Joe that he's been nominated for the National Honor Society which is an academic accomplishment for high school students in the US. He's doing great in school. His New Zealand experience helped to round him out even more. I’m very grateful for the impact you and your program had on Joey's life.”

Lindsey's Story

Placement: Photographer

A Chicago girl, studying fine arts in San Francisco, Lindsey thought some time in New Zealand would be cool. She wanted ‘green time’ and to gain skills in commercial photography, so we set up an extended programme with a commercial photographer and several conservation projects in different special parts of NZ. As it turned out she didn’t want to leave!

She writes about her many New Zealand adventures:
“I found being a part of this program a great way to travel to New Zealand and made it much more comfortable having contacts as soon as I stepped off the plane! I met friends from all over the world that I am still in contact with and plan to visit eventually. Volunteering was hard work, but fun, and made me feel like I was giving something back to NZ rather than just taking. Working on the islands has offered some of the most beautiful scenery I will ever see.

It was great to live in such a small town and get to know everyone and see what the lifestyle was like there. Briar and fam was the greatest family that I could have been put with. We all became great friends and still keep in contact regularly. Very cool, and real people… my kind of people! And they offered me great support for the remainder of the time that I was in NZ.

Working with the photographer was awesome and offered a great view into commercial photography. I think it definitely made an impact because I have now changed my photography direction and am now doing commercial work as well. He offered a great contact and reference

Nick's Story

Placement: Recording Studio Assistant

Nick came to New Zealand seeking experience in the music industry – passionate about a wide range of tunes and especially keen on mixing. We placed Nick downtown in a city studio, where he got first hand experience recording with several Kiwi bands.

While New Zealand is a small country, we have vibrant homegrown entertainment scene. Our film industry is thriving – Lord of the Rings and Narnia filmed in New Zealand. Russell Crowe, Sam Neil, Lucy Lawless and Anna Paquin are all Kiwi actors, and our music talent includes Crowded House, Flight of the Conchords and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

As well as in the music industry, we’ve also placed interns into theatre, television and radio.

Merry's Story

Placement: Equine Assistant

Merry was a high school student with a love of horses, seeking work experience as a change of scene. She also wanted to see a lot of New Zealand from a local perspective.

So we placed Merry with a National Equine Competitor who also breeds show horses for international sale.  Together they travelled around NZ on the national competition circuit, living out of a large “horse truck”. Merry experienced both the freedom of travel and the companionship of living with locals!  She then ended her programme by volunteering her energy to some live-in conservation projects.

Merry writes:

“I still feel amazing about the time that I spent in New Zealand.  I feel now, more than ever, that I might not feel so happy where I am now if I hadn't had the opportunity to get away beforehand. I loved every moment of it.  And I also loved going skydiving. I had felt that because I grew up in New York, I was seriously lacking in any type of practical knowledge, but I now feel that I understand what it is to actually do something. I would definitely recommend an internship in New Zealand, because it is the most beautiful country I have ever seen, and I wish that I could go back! I have definitely changed the way I view things, and the way I organize my time. And it doubtless made me way more independent.”

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