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Volunteers' Stories




Occupational Therapy Work Experience Internship in Auckland, New Zealand


The day starts with a rather early and long bus ride from the hostel into college, which is a good opportunity for a catch up on sleep. Walking into the center involves a lot of hellos with the students and staff. At 8.30am its time for stretches with the students for 15 minutes before school starts, they might need a lot of encouragement but they have a laugh as well.

Then the school day starts and each day is different. You might have to work one to one with students to help them achieve their goals, such as scissor control, pencil skills and sequencing events; teach life skills such as road crossing, cleaning, self care (such as nail painting!!) and cooking; help students with school work and act as a teacher aide in main stream classes; help run brunch group with the students so planning what to buy, going shopping and finally making toasted sandwiches (those are good days!).

You also go out to visits to the library and work experience placements; take children to appointments such as orthotic clinics and to try new mobility solutions; go out on visits to primary schools to help certain children with problems such as fine motor control and you may get the chance to be involved in physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech and language therapy and music therapy sessions.

It helps to be flexible and willing to help whenever and wherever, each day and each week is different, and sometimes the students you are meant to work with are unavailable or are poorly or have appointments. There is lots to do but be willing to offer and suggest things, don’t always wait to be told what to do. The school day finishes at 3.05pm and then there is another bus ride home.

In the evenings there are opportunities so go to the cinema, go out to dinner (Mt Fuji on Queen Street is very nice!), go for a wander around the harbour or up to the sky tower (very impressive at sunset!) or just hang around at the hostel catching up with friends and watching TV or films.

There is plenty to do at the weekends too so expect to be busy then as well! There always seems to be lots of events going on in Auckland during the week and at the weekends so you shouldn't be short of things to do!!

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