Working Overseas

Gaining work experience overseas offers real benefits for you as a student. Through the experience you will gain valuable insights into how international affairs are seen elsewhere and you will get to experience a new culture with all the experiences and pleasures that brings.

From your degree's point of view, our unfamiliarity with your overseas location, increases risk around; your Health and Safety and evidencing the work.

Note that our expectations of the work experience remains the same. Paid work, applying your degree while co-located with a team of IT professionals that can act as mentors. Expect that we will use the NZ labour market framework to assess your employment. If there are differences in pay expectations, contract expectations and health and safety standards at work, these need to be discussed, agreed to and documented before you leave. You can expect we will take a common sense view, but we must have the discussion before you leave.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Trade (MFAT) maintains a travel advisory site that may be useful.

Your Health & Safety

We are fortunate that NZ is one of the safest, most politically stable locations on the planet. In order to assess the risk of agreeing to an overseas work experience, we need to know.

  1. How well do you know the country, region, suburb you will be working in
  2. Have you got an existing support network in place, for example, family
  3. In the event of a serious problem (for example; natural disaster or social uprising), what is your plan for returning to NZ
  4. We will need a phone number and email of a family (or similar) contact, both in NZ and in the country you propose to work in

In some cases, we as a university will not be prepared to accept the risk and we will recommend that you do not take up the offer.

We cannot stop you going anyway, however this should be cause for reflection on whether that is wise.

Evidencing the work

In essence we need evidence appropriate for the country and culture, that can be verified by us in NZ. The evidence does not need to be in English, however expect that we will request a translation (which can be done by a VUW academic). Alternatively, the country's embassy may offer a service.

Feel free to use the standard form as a guide and recreate it for your employer.