Experience Reports Daniel Hassel at Sport North Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand

How did I find the place for the internship?

I did an seven months internship at Sport North Harbour in Auckland/New Zealand from February till September 2002. After getting a scholarship from InWent GmbH (former Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft e.V). I was quite lucky to get a workplace by sending one email. I heard about Sport North Harbour from a guy who was working with us at a sports meeting in Trier. After sending an email to the General manager they promised me that I can work for them. The biggest advantage was that I had the scholarship and that I was not in need for much money.

How did I hear about the InWent scholarships?

Someday I found a handout about the different programmes of the InWent GmbH and asked Dr. Borgmann for his opinion. Without his help I wouldn`t have been able to get one of the scholarship. He has got a lot of experiences concerning the different scholarship programmes. So if you are interested in going abroad don`t hesitate to ask Dr. Borgmann for the different scholarship programmes. You can`t start too early as for many programmes you have to apply from 18 months in advance.

The internship at Sport North Harbour

About 12 people work at Sport North Harbour. Sport North Harbour is a so called Regional Sport Trust, in some way comparable to the German “Landessportbünde”. In comparison to the German system Sport North Harbour is more involved in practical tasks such as coaching teachers, organising and managing Events etc. They offer a wide range of tasks as for example sport development, active living, event management, junior sports or sports tourism. I had the chance to have a look in every single one of these “businesses” and by this way learned a lot of the organisation of sports in New Zealand. My main subjects however were event management, junior sports and active living.

Finding a room

It was easy for me to find a room as one of my colleagues at Sport North Harbour had one single room for rent. I paid 70 NZ-Dollars a week, what is very cheap. Nevertheless it is still quite easy to find a room especially in Auckland, New Zealand`s biggest city. In newspapers such as “Trade and Exchange” you can find a huge variety of different rooms for rent. I had a small single room with a bed, desk and a cupboard. I lived in a small and cosy house together with two girls from New Zealand.

Social Environment and integration

From the first day of my internship I had a very good relationship to my colleagues, which even improved by the time. There is only one big office at Sport North Harbour so that you are in contact with the colleagues all the time. It also helped a lot that I lived together with one of my colleagues. Futhermore I had contact to some Germans who were living in New Zealand. You can find them on websites as “neuseeland.de” or “neuseelandhaus.de”. Even though it is not recommended to have too much contact to Germans in a foreign country due to language skills, I think it is very good to keep contact to at least a few. It helps you to discuss some problems native people won`t understand…

Auckland and New Zealand

The city of Auckland is a beautifuel harbour city with white strands located on small islands just in 10 minutes distance. Auckland is the biggest city of New Zealand with more than one million inhabitants. Furthermore it is one of the biggest cities of the world concerning to its geographic expansion. This is what makes transport very important. I bought a car and can only recommend to do so as the public transport is not very comfortable. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen. I guess everyone has already heard a lot about New Zealand and I promise everything is true. People in New Zealand are very open minded and they love their country and the sea. Travelling is quite easy with a wide range of different types of accomodation. Especially many cheap and good backpackers and hostels.

Language skills

First of all it took me about two weeks to get used to the speed people are talking with. Afterwards it was quite easy to understand nearly everything as the New Zealand slang is not that bad. I didn`t do a language course to improve my language skills before I left. By reading English newspapers, watching English movies and tv and going out with New Zealanders you will improve your language skills considerably!!!

Result

I can only recommend to do an internship in a foreign country. Especially in New Zealand. I would say it was the best decision I ever made in my life and I learned a lot and now have some good friends abroad.

If you don`t expect to get paid and only want to gain some experiences I can recommend an internship at Sport North Harbour. You can find their website at http://www.harboursport.co.nz/.