Home is where your heart is
August 5, 2021

I could talk forever about all the great experiences

Name: Tobias
Age: 24
Nationality: Danish
Internship Period: December 2019 – April 2020

I could talk forever about all the great experiences I’ve had with all the other interns and seeing all the beautiful nature. The pictures say some of it.

The story I would like to share about my stay in NZ is about how much my horizon expanded personally and how my professional approach changed. There’s more than one factor at play.

First: White Cloud did some excellent pre-work to ensure that my stay was the best it could be. This was done with a personal interview with Mia and Cecilie and it was an opportunity for me to tell them about me, what I love to do and a way to discuss expectations. The result of this was a perfect match of internship placement and roomies – which was a very good foundation for a great internship.

Second: Mia and Cecilie managed to create a sense of community that felt like a big familie. The reason why we call Mia, Mamma Mia. This is one of the most important things in my opinion. I never felt alone on the other side of the world away from my family and friends. There were always someone to talk to and experience stuff with. It was also good when wanting to share a difficult day at work with someone.

Third: Mia and Cecilie hosted group supervision session, where I got the opportunity to share my experiences and reflections, and be amazed and inspired by the other interns’ stories. They created a place that was cozy and nice. It was alway interesting due to the changing themes, it was something I looked forward to every time.

Fourth: The individual supervision sessions were a great way to improve my perception of what is best practice and what way to approach my profession. Before the internship I had the idea that the way I did things and the way things were done in Denmark was the only right way. But through these supervision sessions Mia pointed out the important part culture plays, which made me look at it all in many different ways. Mia also introduced me to the workplace which otherwise would have been a bit scary as a foreigner. She made visits throughout the internship to ensure the best guidance. This was a great way to show what I had learnt and gave Mia an idea of what I could choose to work on. Best of all, it didn’t feel like I was being watched and judged.

All this combined made me realise how many different ways there are to approach a profession, the input from the other interns and the objective guidance from Mia and Cecilie made it an unforgettable experience. I have become more reflective and more professionnel in my work. Furthermore I have grown on a personal and social level and made friendships for life.

My time as an intern at Waikowhai Intermediate was a great experience. It was an eye opener when it comes to new and different ways of doing things and how different cultures change the perspective of my professional experience. Because my Danish profession as a Pædagog is not part of the New Zealand education system it was an opportunity for me to explain and demonstrate my profession. Teachers and other staff at Waikowhai were interested in lerning about my role, and they were happy to take on the challenge of finding a way for me to be involved in meaningful ways.

I was given the opportunity to take responsibilty of a group of children attending LEGO therapy and I felt the school accommodated me and welcomed my ideas. I was mainly involved with children in two specific year 8 classes, and I made activities for them with a focus on class dynamic and team building. This I did by combining some of the different core topics taught be teachers into an active and fun game.

I can only say great things about White Cloud and Waikowhai Intermediate. The only thing I would have wished different, was the fact that I was forced home 3 weeks early due to covid-19.