Internship Guide

In the last 50 years thousands of people have responded to the Gospel message, and many more have had powerful encounters with God here at El Rancho. Many people speak of entering our gates and feeling an incredible peace. You won't have to walk far here to find a quiet place where you can .... "be still and know He is God". There are lots of quiet scenic places to get alone with God. He will honour your commitment to time spent seeking after Him. During the internship you’ll build habits that will deepen your intimacy with the Lord and build your faith as you see God answering your prayers and changing lives around you.
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El Rancho interns will experience hands-on training along with academic understanding. This creates a "teach and do" culture where all of the interns are expected to take risks to stretch their faith and grow in their understanding of God. We believe that each verse of the Bible is an invitation into an experience with the Lord and interns are challenged to live the New Testament. This produces an environment where interns practice the things they are being taught while our staff mentor you through the process, and all this takes place in a setting of Christian hospitality and service.


We will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and impact the world around you for Jesus.

  • Learn to study and love Scripture
  • Discover your identity in Christ
  • Develop a deeper intimacy with God and other believers
  • Learn and live out the values of the Kingdom of Heaven, with a solid biblical understanding
  • Develop your gifts and learn how to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit to take the transformational culture of the Kingdom to the world
  • Serve with love, truth and power on our ministry team in our kids, youth and leadership camps and the local Church

El Rancho interns discover the beauty of growing together with like minded participants as well as being invited to attend worship and teaching sessions with some of the most influential national and regional ministries that hold their camps and conferences onsite at El Rancho. You will enjoy the intimacy of small group times and the unity created when you journey together as well as the encounters in fellowship with hundreds of on fire believers.

Bonfire-66 River side bible-991 Beach Sunset from rear-11


 "The greatest among you will be the servant of all"

Servanthood is a great foundation for effective leadership in the kingdom

Interns will be trained to be capable and effective in each of the following areas. Serving in these areas also allows us to significantly reduce the internship programme fees, keeping them well below what would be expected for any full-board course of study.

Cooking and food service
Whether you like to cook or have never tried it, you’ll be very capable in the kitchen by the end of the internship, which is a valuable life skill for your future. Interns will be trained to prepare and serve meals, and will occasionally share the cooking responsibility for some intern team meals when no camps are in. After camp meals are served, a small team will be responsible to operate the dishwasher, wash pots and clean the kitchen.

Interns are trained in general cleaning to a commercial standard, safe use of chemicals and safe handling of waste materials. Interns work in small teams to clean the cabins, bathrooms and common areas after each camp. 

You will also be trained to lead outdoor activities for groups like kayaking, zip line, rifles, archery, team initiatives and rockwall. We will also train you in outdoor leadership and safety.
Who, When, How, for How Long etc.
Applications are open to anyone age 18 to 28 from any country world wide. Good health and reasonable physical fitness is a necessity as the internships are physically demanding.

When do the semesters start and end?

3 July 2017 to 8 December 2017 (23 weeks)

18 December 2017 to 11 May 2018 (21 weeks)

Where do we live?
Interns all live on site in comfortable staff housing, typically you will have your own room. Separate accommodation is provided for male and female interns.

What's available to do in our spare time?
Living at El Rancho is like living on a busy ranch with horses. There are hiking and cycling tracks that run adjacent to the river bordering our site from the sea to the hills. It's a short 15 minute walk to Waikanae Beach. The camp also has lots of recreational facilities which our interns are welcome to use. We have a swimming pool, archery, sports courts for tennis, basketball, volleyball and football, kayaks and surf boards.

We have a Kingdom kitchen at El Rancho and all our food is prepared with your health and well being in mind. Most of our food is prepared fresh from scratch with generous portions and lots of healthy choices.  When no camps are in our interns are supplied with food items to prepare their own meals. When camps are in, the staff and interns and volunteers all eat together in our staff room.

We raise funds through our camping ministry and the interns hard work throughout the year to subsidise the intern cost. Our strategic intent is to keep fees as affordable as possible without sacrificing the high quality and impact the programme continues to have.

Internship cost is just $2950 per semester. 

Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include all meals, accommodation, your place on our Great Kiwi Experience trip, transport including transfers from and to Wellington International airport, utilities, tuition and course materials. 

Plus you need to budget for:

* Airfare to/from Wellington Airport (if you live elsewhere in New Zealand or overseas)

* $990 contribution to your place on the Taste of Australia Tour (includes airfares).

* money to live on for a week or more during mid-semester break (unless you have family or friends in New Zealand to stay with or you have a place on Taste of Australia). Economical options are available for those with limited finances - for example interns sometimes road trip together, stay at other Christian camps.

* some spending money for personal items, souvenirs, etc

International interns please see the section below for a few other items you should budget for...

Pay as you go option

The internship fees above are assuming payment in full prior to the start of your semester although we are open to discussing a pay as you go option.


Some limited sponsorship funds may be available to assist those families with severe financial difficulties, after fundraising is done through their local church and family members.

Candidates who believe they really need to be here as an Intern may apply as a faith step, regardless of their financial situation or the affordability of fees. In that case, please indicate on the application form that you are yet to raise funds and may not be able to immediately accept a position if one is offered.


Additional costs

International interns also need to budget $400 to $500 for:

* New Zealand visa application fees (typically $165 for the working holiday scheme visa).

* travel and emergency medical insurance (typically under $300 to cover your trip and stay in New Zealand).

Currency conversion

The Internship Fees per semester (paid up front) are $2950 New Zealand Dollars. As a guide only, the equivalent amounts in other currencies (as of Dec 2016) are listed below:

$2051 US Dollars, $2770 Canadian Dollars, $2838 Australian Dollars, €1947 Euros, £1672 British Pounds

New Zealand Working Holiday Visas

Since the Internship is around 21 - 23 weeks long, international applicants here for only one semester may come to New Zealand for the internship on a Working Holiday Scheme Visa  if they are from Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Vietnam.

This visa allows interns to remain in New Zealand for up to 12 months from the date of first entry so it is possible to travel throughout New Zealand and to work as needed after the internship.

For residents of Australia, a suitable visa is readily available.

The Great Kiwi Experience

As an intern you'll also be part of the The Great Kiwi Experience tour in your semester, so you'll get to see and experience some of the best tourist spots and breathtaking scenery in this part of New Zealand. We also fly you to meet the Attunga team so you can experience a taste of Australia as well. 

Total Cost Example in NZ dollars

As an example, here are the various costs totalled in NZ dollars:

* $2,950 internship fees 

* $990 Taste of Australia (Airfares to and from Australia included)

* $165 New Zealand Visa (could be another $100 or so depending on specifics) 

* $300 Travel and Emergency medical insurance (could be up to $200 more or less depending on your insurer and what coverage you choose)

The total amount in New Zealand dollars would be NZD $4450 plus spending money for personal items, souvenirs, etc 

Never the same

If you're considering applying for an El Rancho internship please start by praying seriously and consistently about it (and invite your parents and a church leader to pray along with you).

" Pray, pray and pray some more "

In many ways it will be one of the hardest things you'll do in your life but if you give it everything, it will be that time you look back on as the most formative and significant in shaping who you are (not just what you end up doing) in the years ahead.

It's always easy to put on a mask and a smile but often not so easy to open up and deal with things that are needed. When you're ready our mentors will journey with you and the sensitive stuff will be handled with dignity and respect.

It's taking a step to say "God, everything for you....teach me...mould me...break me a little if you need to, but don't leave me the same as when I started"

For some of you that's mostly about your past, dealing once and for all with brokenness that's a result of your decisions or someone else's that have affected you, often in ways you may not fully understand but you know something's not right.

For others it's about going deeper with God, getting past any lukewarmness and apathy and holding nothing back.

For others it's about practical skills, training and an amazing adventure making deep, new friendships with others from all over the world who will stay in your life (and you in theirs) no matter what.

Ready to apply?





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+ 64 4 902 6287

icon address 58 Weggery Drive, 
Waikanae Beach, 
Kapiti Coast
New Zealand