On the whole I am fairly unhelpful, mostly for selfish reasons. One of my jobs is to organize placements for students here in New Zealand and I find it a challenge at the best of times. We only have a small population of midwives here and it can be very difficult to find quality placements with midwives who provide excellent support and teaching, as well as the numbers of births that the students require. So having foreign students here contesting these placements only adds to the pressure I face.
But my selfish motivations aside, here is the advice I normally give students from overseas.
- Contact the New Zealand College of Midwives and ask for their advice about how to organize a placement.
- Plan to come in December/January when midwifery and medical students are generally on holiday. Having said that, the academic year for student midwives is about to become longer so that will reduce the window of opportunity for overseas students.
- Contact the big general hospitals in places like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch who may be more likely to be able to place students in hospital wards. But be mindful that that will not give you an all-round feel for midwifery practice in New Zealand compared to hospital practice in countries like the UK.
Image: 'New Zealand / Beach near Dunedin'