Opportunity for growth
Jamalia Henderson's graduate internship in China pushed her firmly out of her comfort zone - but she says the experience was invaluable.
There were a lot of culture shocks and challenges involved but that’s where I got most of my learning and I wouldn’t take it back for anything.
Bachelor of Social Services student, Jamalia Henderson, wanted to get some experience behind her before entering the workforce so she undertook a four-month graduate internship to China.
“Travelling was always something I wanted to do and this seemed like a great opportunity to get some career experience, life experience and travel at the same time,” she says.
Jamalia’s internship was at Linyi University in the province of Shandong, where she taught oral English language to freshman students.
“I certainly had a lot of support, contact and advice about teaching from Otago Polytechnic while I was over there, especially in the first few weeks - which was really good.”
She notes the internship had some testing moments - however she found these provided an opportunity for growth.
"There were culture shocks and challenges involved, but that’s where I got most of my learning and I wouldn’t take it back for anything," she says.
Jamalia's internship included paid airfares to and from New Zealand, free accommodation, a living-away allowance and a living wage. She was required to work four days per week, allowing plenty of travel and leisure time.
“I got to go to the Great Wall, spend time in the countryside and just be a tourist every week, so it was really fantastic," she says.
"I’d absolutely recommend this internship to others -- it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
Want to become a counsellor, career practitioner or work in the social services, disability or mental health services? This degree programme will give you the necessary skills to be a capable and confident social services professional working in New Zealand.