CDES News: Global Internships

University of Auckland students return to New Zealand after completing exciting overseas internships.

International internships are the ideal way for students to gain valuable workplace experience and apply their skills in a foreign environment, gain sector-specific knowledge, form global connections, and above all increase their employability upon their return to New Zealand. In March 2019, 42 students returned to New Zealand after an 8 to 12-week adventure of a lifetime. Of these, 8 students headed out to embark on Global Internships in Shenzhen, China, 21 in Medellín, Colombia, 5 in Mumbai, India and 8 went to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Facilitated through Career Development and Employability Services (CDES), overseas internships were available in a variety of sectors, ranging from business, engineering and science, to development, communications and architecture. Nola, who was working at Transform Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, explains how valuable her work experience was:

The [main focus] I had was master planning – creating site plans for proposed developments. I had done this to a much smaller (and simpler) scale at uni so it was cool to be able to put this foundation level knowledge into the real world and see the factors at play.


Read Nola's blog post: The day to day – work in HCMC

Anushka Sequiera, who spent 12 weeks in Medellín, Colombia, didn’t want to judge the Latin American country on its existing reputation for drugs and violence before she’d spent any time there. Her experience with the warm, vibrant and hospitable Colombian culture crushed all stereotypes:

This internship has given me the opportunity to improve my language skills…[and] put me one step closer to my dream of one day living and working in a Spanish speaking country.

Anushka Sequiera

Read Anushka's blog post: Medellin – crushing stereotypes

What did our students get out of their experiences?

We will let them speak for themselves:

During my two-month finance internship, I have acquired skills of cultural agility and adaptability coming into a new country with new cultures and expectations. These skills I believe cannot be learned from staying in New Zealand all my life, so to be given the opportunity to work in Vietnam is something special.

Nathan Yee

This internship so far has provided me with a gentle acclimatisation from safe, forgiving University to the intimidating real world of professional employment.

Scott Wardenaar

Read Scott's blog post: A little bit about my internship so far

To read more about our students’ adventures overseas, head to the Global Internships with CDES blog!

And if this sounds like an experience you would love to try, check out our Global Internships page.