Name: Charlotte Goosemans
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Social Educational Care
Internship period: September 2017 – January 2018
Hello dear future interns,
I left Belgium for an adventure on the other side of the world. After a 12-hour flight, a 13-hour layover in Bangkok and another 12-hour flight, I arrived in Auckland. My first memory of Auckland? A big welcome hug from Mia! After that much traveling, not sleeping and a bit of stress, that hug felt like heaven on earth. That ‘heaven on earth feeling’ stayed with me throughout my entire internship.
Together with Mia, I identified for the perfect internship workplace. She presented the options and we talked about what would be the perfect fit for me. I started working in Spectrum Care’s after-school program and the school holiday program. I worked with children and teenagers with autism and additional difficulties. It was a whole new line of work for me but an amazing experience. I learned so much about autism in general and how to work with people, who all need a different approach.
I also learned a lot about myself. During my internship I had lovely co-workers, who allowed me to try new things. Sometimes those things didn’t work out as planned and then they were there to support me, help me and suggest other options. At other times, new things worked out and then my colleagues where there to celebrate with me.
Besides my co-workers, we also had Mia and Cecilie. You can see them as Mamma Mia and sister Cecilie. They are looking after you, telling you to have fun, supporting you educationally, and when there is a problem, they are happy to help. Not only problems at your workplace or your house but if your car starts to smoke at 11.30PM during your first week and you are in something like a forest, you can always call Mia!
During my internship I lived in a student home together with people from Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands and Belgium, all with different cultures and backgrounds together in one house. Oh man, we had fun! We went on road trips together, we jumped out of planes together, we swam with dolphins together, we went exploring together but most of all, we did epic and unforgettable things together… All those shared memories made us kind of a small family. We still talk to each other basically every week, sometimes even every day! My small family, Mia, Cecilie and my co-workers made the internship an experience I will never forget. New-Zealand and its breathtaking nature, rich culture and extremely friendly people made this internship heaven on earth.