My internship memories will always live in me and make me smile
September 11, 2019
A journey that changed my life forever
February 5, 2019

Our New Zealand (love) story

Name: Maxime Dewaele
Age: 20
Nationality: Belgian
Degree: Bachelor’s in Social Educational Care Work
Internship period: September 2016 – December 2016

Name: Rens Timmerman
Age: 22
Nationality: Dutch
Degree: Bachelor’s in Social Educational Care Work
Internship period: August 2016 – December 2016

Kia ora!
We are Rens & Maxime. 

Rens got to New Zealand at the end of August, 2016. He moved into a home with five other students who ended up becoming close friends. This is because you share everything you go through with your flatmates, including socio-educational experiments like beerpong 😀.

One of the things he loved the most was that he could explore the beautiful country and the New Zealand way of life during his internship.

Maxime got to New Zealand a month later, and she moved in with Rens and the others. Maxime always wanted to go to New Zealand because of the amazing nature. She was not disappointed when she got there. She fell in love with the glow-worm caves, the spectacular coast lines and the (mostly killing) hikes.

But that’s not the only thing she fell in love with. Soon one thing led to another and Maxime started dating Rens.

If we look back on it now, dating and New Zealand was the best combination we could wish for. It started with sunsets in Auckland and babysitting dates at Mia’s and it ended with an amazing two-week road trip in the South Island.

For our internship, we helped starting up the Spectrum Care after school programme. A service that offers an activity programme after school for school children with a range of disabilities. At the start, we only had one kid and weren’t sure what to expect but throughout the following months the number of kids attending the programme kept on growing. Day by day we tried to focus on new things, like a visual day structure, social skills, communication, fun activities, sensory activities, etc. We were part of a team providing the children a safe and fun environment that met their individual needs.

Now the most important part, the amazing Mia! 😉
From the day you arrive, Mia gives you a warm welcome. Being far away from home, she manages to give you the feeling of belonging there.
During our internship, Mia was always available for us – for a personal or work-related challenges and highlights, or even just for a small chat.

We loved that Mia organised different activities to bring the group together, like a weekend away, a shared lunch, Christmas baking and of course our group supervision session.

Looking back on our time there, it’s an experience we still think and talk about a lot! Exploring the beautiful country, with amazing people, is something you have to do at least once in your life 😀.