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Disaster Risk and Emergency Management FAQs

Mount Eden selfie.jpg Arrival

National Expedition

Police discussion.jpg Internship

Fire NZ Internship.jpg Arrival

What are the dates of the program?

The six-week Disaster Risk and Emergency Management track takes place 15 June – 24 July, 2020.

Is there anything specific I should pack?

Pack light.  We’ll be moving from place to place and you’ll be carrying your luggage a lot as we see a huge amount of New Zealand in a short time. We will be staying in backpacker hostels, such as the YHA, so pack your sleeping bag, pillow, towels, washcloth, toiletries, and small backpack/bag for day trips.

Keep in mind that you're leaving summer.  It will be winter here in New Zealand.  Warm layers and rain gear will keep you happy in our changeable weather.  

Runners should bring reflective clothing if they plan on running in the mornings or evenings. Bring clothes and shoes you'll be comfortable in as we explore everything from mountains, rain forests, and the coast. Laundry facilities will be available.

Do I need to bring a laptop?

Yes.  The academic portion of this summer program will involve preparing presentations, writing papers, and accessing online resources.  You will need a laptop. Be sure to check your laptop’s power supply to ensure it can handle multiple voltages.  New Zealand’s electrical system runs at 230/240 volts (50 hertz.)  You will also need an adapter that will allow you to plug into our angled outlets.

Will I have a chance to buy a cell phone at the start of the trip?

Time has been set aside on Day 1 for you to purchase a phone or SIM card in Christchurch.

Do I fly into Auckland or do I need to book a flight to another airport?

Please do not book your flights until you have received final confirmation from us that your application has been approved. Your international flight will likely arrive in Auckland, but this is not your final destination. You should book your flights to arrive in Christchurch (CHC) the morning of 15 June, 2020.

Is there a specific flight you'd recommend I take?

You are welcome to book any flight you'd like to New Zealand after you have received final confirmation that your application has been approved.

The program begins in Christchurch the morning of Monday, 15 June.  If you are coming straight from Auckland that morning, we suggest you take Air New Zealand flight 531 or flight 535 from Auckland to Christchurch (CHC).  These are direct flights which will arrive in time for the start of the National Expedition.

Will I be picked up at the airport?

A coach will be waiting at the Christchurch airport (CHC) domestic arrivals area at 1:00 pm on 15 June.  All of the students arriving on this flight, and others who are at the airport at this time, will be transported to their hostel.  This transfer is included in the program fee.

Do I fly home from the same airport I flew into?

You may find it more convenient to book your return flight home from a different airport since you will not return to the city you flew into for the start of your program. Your program will end in Wellington and will not return to Christchurch.  You can book your return flight home from Wellington (WLG) or your host city after 6:00 pm on 24 July, 2020.  The last night of accommodation is 24 July.

Your visitor visa will allow you to stay in New Zealand for a fixed period after the program ends, so you are welcome to travel if you're madly in love with the place and don't want to go home just yet.  Information about how long you can stay in New Zealand is available on the visitor visa page.

Do I have to purchase a textbook?

All of the materials you need for the program will be available through Stream, our online learning platform.  We will provide access to our online library, including the textbook for the course, so you do not need to buy a textbook and lug it all around the country.

How much do things cost in New Zealand?

Whether New Zealand seems more or less expensive depends on where you are from and the current exchange rate.  Tax is already figured into the prices you pay and you don't tip over here, so while some prices may look higher compared to your home country, you do not have to add any amount of top of the price you see.  This cost of living guide will help you get a sense of prices over here.

National Expedition

Is there any work I have to do before I arrive?

Yes.  You will be responsible for some assignments in the months leading up to your arrival, but the vast majority of your academic learning will occur while you’re here in New Zealand. We have also prepared an online orientation to prime you for considering issues of the culture and environment within the New Zealand context.

What is the itinerary for the National Expedition?

You can find a general overview and a PDF with more information on the Disaster Risk and Emergency Management National Expedition page.  Please keep in mind that the final itinerary is subject to change.

What will we do on a typical day?

The National Expedition will be an intensive experience with students working together every day. You will complete individual and group assignments and reflection before, between, and after daily activities. You will receive a full schedule prior to the program start, and course leaders will facilitate time for everything to be completed. A typical day will look like this:

8:30 am

Group meeting to prepare for the day

9:30 am

Travel to site for the day's case study

10:30 am

Site tour and discussion with local expert

12:30 am


1:30 pm

Onsite group discussion and practical exercise

Homework will be due by 8:00 am the following morning

3:00 pm

Free time to explore the site

5:00 pm

Travel to accommodation

6:00 pm

Dinner, homework and free time

Will we have internet access on the National Expedition?

We will be visiting some remote areas as we explore the North and South Islands, but you will have internet access three to four days each week. This will provide you with opportunities to complete your assignments and engage with Massey’s online learning management platform, Stream, which is based on Moodle.

Which meals are included?

A Welcome Dinner on the first day and breakfasts will be included during the National Expedition.  You will be cooking many of your meals together in the hostels.  Hokey Pokey ice cream, Pavlova, and Pineapple Lumps are Kiwi classics worth trying.

Where will we be housed?

Most of your nights will be spent in YHA Hostels.  New Zealand has an excellent system of backpacker hostels.  Staying in hostels gives you an excellent opportunity to meet students and travellers from all over the world.  They have areas to socialise and serve as a great base from which to explore the local area.

Will I be able to do laundry?

Most of the backpacker hostels will have coin operated laundry facilities available and you will have some time to wash your clothes during the National Expedition.

How does the assessment work during the National Expedition?

You will be assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the National Expedition through group discussions and activities. You will also submit several brief online written assignments during the Expedition and take an exam before you return home.


Am I guaranteed to get placed in an internship?

All students accepted into the Internship program are guaranteed a placement.

Which organisations will be hosting interns?

Multiple organisations in Wellington will be hosting interns.  Please see the Disaster Risk and Emergency Management Internship page for a list of the types of sectors in which our partners work.

Do I get to pick my internship or do I get assigned to one?

Our Internship Coordinator will read your resume and Disaster Risk and Emergency Management Internship Placement Form to find out about your academic experience, skills, and the opportunities you would like to have in your internship.  The Coordinator will place you in the internship that is the best match given your background, interests, and the placements that are available. An internship provides developmental opportunities even if the placement you receive is not an exact match for your major.

Are these internships focused on developing technical skills?

Providing you with a full range of technical skills is not the purpose of a short-term internship.  The true value in an international internship is the exposure it provides to an entirely new social, employment, and environmental context.  It gives you the opportunity to expand your personal and academic knowledge in a way that a domestic internship cannot.  
This internship stresses exposure to a work environment and the related challenges that are broadly connected to your interests.  The most beneficial aspects of the experience are the interactions you have with the local people and the opportunity to learn about their culture and norms.
Being a foreigner in an overseas organisation and working outside of your typical comfort zone, is a unique opportunity that will benefit you personally, enhance your resume, and make you a more desirable applicant for graduate school or future jobs.

Will I be the only intern at my organisation or will other students be placed there as well?

Some sites will have multiple interns and others will only be hosting one intern.

When will I find out where I’ve been placed?

You will find out about your placement as soon as our Internship Coordinator matches you up with your organisation. Placement typically occurs one to two months prior to the start of the National Expedition.  This will give you ample time to learn about your internship host before the program begins.

Where will we be living?

Everyone will stay at a backpacker-style hostel located in Wellington. This setup allows all of you to stay together over the four weeks, even though you will be out at separate sites during the day.  The National Expedition and Internship Programme Coordinators are based at Massey's Wellington campus and will be available to assist you throughout your placement.

Does the site have laundry facilities?

Yes.  You will be able to wash your clothes in the on-site coin operated machines.

How will meals work?

A Farewell Dinner at the end of the program is included in your fee.  You are responsible for all other meals.  Cooking facilities will be available at your accommodation. You will have time to plan meals together and shop for food.  Grocery stores are within easy walking distance.

Will I be able to get online?

The cost of internet access during your internship is included in the program fee.

How do I get to my internship site each day?

You should be able to walk or take public transportation to your internship site.  The pre-departure orientation will include further details on transport.

Who will be the main point of contact during the Internship?

Each internship site will have a staff member who will serve as the main contact for the organisation.  The Massey staff member responsible for the academic content of the internship will make regular trips to the accommodation site to connect with students in person and address academic issues and questions. The National Expedition and Internship Programme Coordinators are based at Massey's Wellington campus and will be available to assist you throughout your placement.

How do we submit assignments and do I have to take any exams?

You will submit most of your work online through Stream, our online learning platform based on Moodle. This is why you need to bring a laptop. Be sure to check your laptop’s power supply to ensure it can handle multiple voltages. New Zealand’s electrical system runs at 230/240 volts (50 hertz.) You will also need an adapter that will allow you to plug into our angled outlets.

Great news about exams! None of your assessment will be based on a final test.

How does the assessment work during the Internship?

You are assessed on an ongoing basis during the Internship through blogs, projects and reflection on Stream and Adobe Connect.  Internet access is provided at the accommodation site.

All interns will meet together in the mornings and evenings, and go to your respective sites during the day.  You will have access to a full range of services and resources through Massey's Wellington campus.

Will we have free time during the internship?

Your evenings and weekends will be free.  As with any university-level study, it’s always a good idea to complete the requirements for your courses before enjoying your free time.

All students will be housed in the same facility, so you’ll be able to hang out and make plans to explore on your own or as a group during these times. You will also have opportunities to join in events and excursions during your time in Wellington.

What happens after my placement ends?

The program ends on 24 July, 2020. You are welcome to book your flights home or start your own travels around New Zealand after 6:00 pm on 24 July, 2020.  The last night of accommodation is 24 July.

When is the final report for the Internship due?

The deadline for submitting all course work is two weeks after the end of the program.

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