Name: Naomi Janssen
Degree: Bachelor in Social Educational Care
Internship Period: August 2019 – October 2020
In August 2019 I got on the airplane to start the biggest adventure I have ever had: my 10-month internship in New Zealand. Full of excitement, I went to the other side of the world. Before this trip, I had never been outside of Europe, so this was a huge step for me.
An older student from my University had completed an internship with White Cloud Internships before me. I contacted him to ask how he experienced his time in New Zealand. He gave me the contact details of White Cloud Internships and so my adventure began!
One of my teachers told me that organisations in New Zealand were interested in having international interns. At first, I was really nervous, because I wasn’t sure my English would be good enough to go there. Once in New Zealand, I had a warm welcome from Cecilie, one of the supervisors from White Cloud Internships. My teacher was definitely right! I loved everything in New Zealand, everybody was so welcoming and friendly.
I completed my internship with Spectrum Care at Aspiration Centre Kumeu, which is an activity centre for adults with intellectual disabilities in Auckland. In total, there were 10 adults who attended the centre. Most of them were non-verbal and could at times exhibit behaviours that challenged me. Particularly at the beginning I found it challenging – but interesting. I didn’t have any experience supporting this target group so everything was very new to me. As time passed and as I got to know the people and my colleagues my confidence grew. I felt I was part of the team and able to equally contribute to the overall support offered to the people. Looking back, I am very grateful for the experience and I feel that I developed a lot both personally and professionally.
During my internship, I worked 4 days a week, which gave me plenty of time to explore this beautiful country during the weekends. It was easy to plan a trip, because I was surrounded by other White Cloud interns, who were keen to go on trips as well. I lived in a house with 5 other international interns from the Netherlands and Denmark, which was great, but most of all fun!
I finished my internship at the beginning of July, but I didn’t feel like going home at all! I arrived on a Working Holiday Visa, so I had the opportunity to work beside my internship. After I completed my internship, I worked until my Working Holiday Visa expired, and then I applied for a Visitor’s Visa, which gave me the opportunity to travel to the South Island for 5,5 weeks in a van. This was truly amazing! Then it got even more confirmed how amazing Aotearoa (New Zealand), the land of the long white cloud really is.