Hello all,

I'm afraid my question is extremely broad. I am due to start a BSc (Hons) in Natural Science, starting October 14. My main reason for choosing this degree is because of the diversity associated. My problem is that Everything!! interests me. I will have an option after my first year to focus my studies to either biology, physics or earth science. So far i have decided its the biology route for me.

I have trawled the Internet looking for institutions that i can get involved in for experience but the problem is most of them need me to have experience to experience them!! I'm looking for inspiration, i live in Hamilton NZ. does anybody have any advice for somebody in my position (maybe the position you were in at one stage). Any feedback would be hugely appreciated.

If anybody has any NZ (Hamilton) specific knowledge and could advice about places/people to speak to would also be of great help.

Thank you very much for your time in advance.


This is a predominantly UK based site. Here it is not uncommon for first year biology/biomedical sciences students to do work experience over the long holiday. Some universities have formal application process and in some it more informal by just contacting the head of department and asking for a placement. What ever the process in NZ I would make contact with the various basic biomedical sciences departments at your local university soon.

Hello Benjamin,

I did my PhD at Waikato University, so I know Hamilton well.

What you should do next depends on the kind of biology you want to do. If fieldwork is your thing, then there are always people looking for volunteers to help with research and conservation projects. Hamilton has the Maungatautari reserve close by, so contacting the trust running it might be a good place to start. Otherwise go to Forest and Bird or DOC, or try the Biology Department.

If lab-based work is what you want, you options are more limited. The best option is to try to get a summer studentship in a research lab. These are hotly contested, so you will need good marks.

Another simple thing is to go to the biology departmental seminars. You will get an idea on what science is going on and get to talk to the people doing it. An excellent networking opportunity. Good luck!