Online internships FAQs

Check here for a list of frequently asked questions about the Foundation's online business internships.

What does Asia New Zealand Foundation do?

The Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono is New Zealand’s leading authority on Asia. We provide experiences and resources to help New Zealanders build their knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in Asia.

We work in partnership with influential individuals and organizations in New Zealand and Asia to provide forums, cultural events, international collaborations, school programmes and professional development opportunities.

When does the next internship round open?

Information on the 2023 round will be made available in mid-2023.

What is the internship programme all about?

The Foundation’s business programme facilitates internships in Asia for tertiary students and recent graduates to contribute to developing the next generation of Asia-savvy business leaders.

The programme helps New Zealand students to develop a better understanding of the people, place, culture and business protocols of their Asian host country.

Since early 2020, due to restrictions on international travel, the Foundation has offered virtual internships working remotely with Asian companies, and domestic internships with New Zealand organisations focused on Asia, as a temporary measure pending a return to offshore placements.

In what industries can I undertake an internship?

Opportunities cover a wide range of business sectors, from digital marketing, law and finance to food production, agritech, and creative industries.

What's the difference between a virtual and domestic internship?

A virtual internship is an eight-week work experience programme. The intern gains professional and cultural experience working remotely with a company or organisation based in Asia.

Interns will work in an area and project with the specific intention of providing them with opportunities to increase their Asia knowledge, understanding and confidence. Working hours are flexible, given time zone differences between New Zealand and Asia.

A domestic internship is also an eight-week work experience programe. Interns work in a New Zealand-based organization, working on a project with a strong focus on an Asian country or market.

How will I work with a virtual team in practice?

To participate in the internship, interns must be able to commit 20 hours per week for eight weeks during November – February. Start dates will vary based on the host.

Virtual interns will be expected to work from home or another quiet location with a remote team.

They will have regular online contact, mentoring and support from both the host and the Foundation.



What organisations are being offered this year?

Information on the 2022-2023 internships will be made available in mid-2022.

Are the internships paid? How much will I get paid?

Interns will be “employed” as contractors of the Asia New Zealand Foundation in New Zealand and get paid the living wage.

What are the internship hours?

Interns must be able to commit 20 hours per week for eight weeks to participate in the internship during November – February.

Can I take time off during my internship?

Interns are entitled to take New Zealand public holidays and might not work on public holidays of the host’s country – each host will advise on this. Any other vacation plan should be discussed with the host and the Foundation prior to the placement.

Can I apply for more than one internship?

If applicants wish to apply for placements with more than one host, they should submit a separate application for each internship.

However, as all internship placements will take place during the same period, it will not be possible to do more than one internship.

Do I need to speak the language of the host’s country?

While knowledge of the host’s language would be advantageous, it is not a prerequisite for the internships as English is widely spoken in hosts’ workplaces.

Do I get a certificate at the end of my internship?

The Foundation does not issue certificates of participation at the end of the internship. But interns are able to take up cultural competency training through the Foundation with an external provider to gain a Global Cultural Competency Certificate as part of the internship experience.

How should interns prepare for the internship?

Once selected, the Foundation will arrange a group induction day in Auckland in November for all interns.  There will also be an opportunity to complete cultural competency training, as noted above, where you can get to know fellow interns participating in the programme.

How will I learn about Asia during the internship?

The Foundation will provide interns with opportunities to strengthen their Asia knowledge, networks and confidence.  This could include opportunities to connect with local mentors with Asia business experience or engage with local Asian communities in New Zealand. Regular contact with Asia-based colleagues will also contribute to greater understanding.

What happens after the internship?

We ask all interns to submit a one-page website article (600 words) during their internship, describing their experience; and a final report (3 pages long) within a month after they finish the internship, which is also shared with hosts.

We also welcome interns to remain in contact with the Foundation – there are many programmes and events that may be of interest during further career development.

Interns are also encouraged to participate in Foundation professional development activities and networking events after they complete their internship.

What is the Foundation looking for in candidates?

We will first check that applicants have studied a relevant course of study to the level requested in the advertisement, and comply with any other specific requirements of the host, which will also be clearly outlined in the internship promotion. High grades are always an advantage, as many Asian cultures prize educational excellence.

Our selection process will then focus on ensuring we identify the right fit for each internship opportunity. We will be looking for applicants who are open-minded and eager to learn about Asia and the Asian business environment.

Successful candidates will understand that working across cultures can sometimes bring challenges as well as plenty of opportunities. They will be resilient, self-starting individuals who can work well with a remote team of colleagues to maximise the value of the internship experience.

The knowledge and ability to represent New Zealand to the world, through engagement with your hosts and their stakeholders, is also important.

Experience of Asia and an ability to speak the local language of the host company may be an advantage, but is definitely not required.  Colleagues in your remote team will be able to communicate with you in English. Interest to learn more about Asia and Asian culture is more important! 

Who can apply?

Interns must be students or recent graduates (within the last two years) who are interested in pursuing a career involving the Asian region and are willing to engage with the Foundation’s professional development programme.

Only New Zealand citizens or permanent resident status with be considered for the programme.

How does the selection process work?

The Asia New Zealand Foundation will assess all applications, and short-list a small number of applicants (typically four to five) to undertake an interview assessment with a three-person panel.   

After the interviews, the panel will aim to recommend an applicant to the internship hosts. In some cases, a second short discussion for the recommended intern with a representative of the host company/organisation could be required, especially if the hosts were not involved at the selection panel stage. 

The Foundation will then check the recommended applicant’s references, as the final stage in the selection process.   

Who sits on the interview panel?

The panel members will vary for each internship, but could comprise Foundation staff members, a representative of the host company, and/or other external representatives with relevant experience. Interviews may take place in person or online, depending on the location of the applicant and panel members.