New Zealand High Schools rank among the top nations in terms of education in the western hemisphere. New Zealand High Schools have welcomed international students from Brazil, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam which have immeasurably enriched the cultural life of the NZ High School community.
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Why a High School in New Zealand
New Zealand High Schools offer many advantages for International Students
Free Service for High School Students
Our GotoNewZealand team at AA Education Network has been helping high schoolers for over 15 years apply to study at a High School in New Zealand.
Our registered consultants help to find a suitable high school in New Zealand. Our New Zealand High School Advisors are always in touch with New Zealand High Schools. We offer all types of High School New Zealand programs such as study abroad programs which range from 3 months, 6months and 12 months to the High School New Zealand Program for several school years with a certificate.
There are many free services and advatages we provide including:
- Detailed advice about New Zealand’s school system through AA Education Network
- Recommendation and suggestion to choose a suitable high school and subjects
- Liaison with high schools in New Zealand to discuss possible placements, subjects and questions regarding your application and stay (if necessary)
- Provision of all necessary application forms and support to apply for a high school placement
- Check of all documents and submission of your correct application
- Organisation of stay at a New Zealand family who will act as your guardian (you have your own room including meals while you stay in New Zealand)
- Comprehensive Student visa application support including provision of all necessary documents
- Information helping you to organise convenient flights to and from New Zealand (if required)
- Information and support to help you get set-up in New Zealand (Health Insurance etc.)
- On-Arrival Service (air port pickup an transport to your accommodation) (if required)
- Emergency Phone Number
- Pastoral Care through International Department of school and local contact person
- Continuous contact to parents through AA Education Network while student is studying at high school
- Certificate about your high school year
- Dedicated personal contact during your stay in New Zealand
New Zealand’s High School Abroad Program provides students with an opportunity for a unique, rewarding experience that they will remember for a lifetime!
There are many study abroad programmes in New Zealand. Most study abroad programmes are available to high school students in particular. Becoming increasingly popular due to the growing interest in New Zealand as a country, it is known for its spectacular beauty and interesting indigenous culture.
Students choose to come to New Zealand and study in a High School for a year or less. This gives the student the chance to experience a new country, culture and make the most of different learning experiences.
The only thing students need before enrolling in a study abroad programme is an intermediate knowledge of the English Language. Without this knowledge, it will be extremely difficult for all involved.
Accommodation, food and all amenities are provided to the student. This will usually be in the way of a host family. These families are chosen and approved by the New Zealand Government.
Not only is this an unreal, once in a lifetime experience. The opportunity to study in a new country will open many doors to students. This will help with work placements as well as with enrolment into higher education or tertiary course.
Small class sizes, a safe environment and a commitment to multiculturalism make New Zealand High Schools an ideal choice for international parents wishing to place their children in an international school.
New Zealand High Schools offer many opportunities to fee-paying foreign students. As they pay appr. NZ$13,000 each per year, they constitute a significant part of the school’s income.
Participants spend a semester or academic year living with a host family, attending a local high school, and experiencing day-to-day life in New Zealand with strong academic, sporting and cultural traditions.
Where: all locations in New Zealand
When: all year
Time frame: flexible
Opportunities to study high school in New Zealand come in two different forms. There are the Government-funded, state-run high schools, and the fee-funded, privately-run high schools. The particular school must be accredited by the Government in order to take international high school students.
If you are aged between 13 and 17 years and are attending years 9 – 13 at high school, you can choose to have your parent or legal guardian accompany you by applying for a guardian visa.
If you’re younger than 13 at the time of applying, you are required to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Contact AA Education Network today and one of our counsellors will answer your questions and help you explore your options for High School study in New Zealand.
We will also assist you with planning and organising your study arrangements and making the visa and study applications to help you realise your goals of travel and study in New Zealand.
Summer Camps at New Zealand High Schools
Many summer camps are held in New Zealand cities which allow students to get an idea about the ethnic culture of the people in the area. Language training is an important curriculum in the camps where students go for out-of-class learning to understand the dialect, communication norms, and specific colloquial terms.
There may also be classes on art and specialized skills. For instance, classes on Maori craft work and cuisine preparations are taught to the high school students. If a summer camp includes adventure sports, don’t be surprised if you are taken for river rafting or hiking trips among the pristine forests, lakes, and rivers in New Zealand.
High School Programs with a Vocational Training
Many school programs impart curriculum which are vocational in nature. For instance, the students may be asked to visit an outdoor education center to get a hands-on training on communication and English language. At Christchurch high school, many training programs are organized during holidays for high school students to get a practical knowledge on catering, hospitality, and touring service. A program in the rural set up would involve how to organize a camp and plan a perfect itinerary for the guests.
High School International Programs
At Auckland each year, a high school program is held for international students. The students stay with the host families for 4-6 months, learn how to communicate with the people around and brush up on their language. Some take part in technical workshops, few others work on photography and studios, while others go for a course on graphics. There are scopes to take part in recreational activities, such as hiking, water sports activities, biking, and outdoor pursuits. There are travel programs organized by various high schools where students travel, learn, and enjoy a few days’ trip to New Zealand. Often, rural accommodations at dairy farms or wineries are hired or home –stays are booked for the international students.
New Zealand regularly organizes high school programs, especially during holidays where students from various parts of the world, such as Canada, the US, China, and Middle East come over to enjoy and learn in the country. Student exchange programs allow students from New Zealand to also visit the foreign countries and reside with a host family during their student exchange high school program.
An experience of this kind is a lucrative proposition for a student’s future as he or she is exposed to different cultural set ups.
Choosing the right High School in New Zealand
Some students prefer small high schools or boarding schools where they will receive a lot of individual attention while others prefer the stimulating and diverse environment of a big high school.
The choice of a high school is very important as the preferences of the student have to be matched with the special character of the high school.
All high schools in New Zealand that offer international student programs are recognized internationally. These specially qualified high schools in New Zealand are subject to special requirements and have a care team exclusively for students from abroad.
Students attend high school in New Zealand when they are 13 or at the end of their eighth year of school. Year nine to eleven students in New Zealand spend at the junior high school division and the last two years they attend senior high school. From year eleven to year 13 students work towards NCEA (National Certificate of Education Achievement). If they pass the NCEA they will gain an internationally recognised university entry qualification. Students can also decide to leave school after the completion of year eleven or twelve. Although they will not be eligible for university they will be granted entry to some vocational education and training institute.
New Zealand High Schools offer many activities and lots of adventure programs
No wonder New Zealand is the ultimate outdoor adventure playground, offering every kind of thrill and degree of blood-pumping adrenalin adventure to pure hedonistic relaxation and pleasure.
- Skiing to surfing to swimming
- Bungee jumping to jet boating
- Raft exhilarating white-water rapids and glow-worm caves
- Kayak in the sea, or in tranquil rivers and lakes
- Yachting, diving and harbour cruises
- Bushwalking and hiking in national parks and reserves
With such an abundance of open space accessible to everyone, and an enviable climate, sport and recreation fit neatly into the New Zealand lifestyle.Rugby football is the national sport epitomised by the world-famous All Black rugby team. Of course, there are many other sports too: schools, universities and colleges offer excellent sport facilities for students who want to play tennis, squash, cricket, basketball, soccer, netball, softball or rugby.
Many of these activities and sports are within walking distance or easy travelling time from student campuses.
Don’t think that learning just takes place in traditional classrooms only. You can go on a mountain biking trip, river rafting competition, or be encouraged to play a game in teams. There may be other situations, such as horse-riding ventures, rugby game, or a camping session.
This innovative form of high school education Outdoor Education New Zealand (ODENZ) allows students to stay with their host families. The regular academic part of the curriculum takes place in brick-n-mortar classrooms but the outdoor sessions are done outside the premises at various pristine landscapes of New Zealand. So, don’t be surprised if you find students learning the native Maori culture, Kiwi dialect, talking style, and lot more while enjoying kayaking or parachute jumping.
The High School Education System in New Zealand
There are three types of High Schools in New Zealand: state, private and state integrated high schools
The state schools give priority to placing New Zealanders first before taking full fee paying international students, while the private schools have the same priority for the locals and the overseas applicants.
In order to study at high school in New Zealand, you will need a student visa. To get this visa you need to personally meet government requirements for prospective students. The course also needs to meet government requirements.
We can answer all your questions about courses and visas and help you to apply.
State High Schools New Zealand
Most of the high schools in New Zealand are run by the state and controlled by the department of education. We represent high schools in all areas of New Zealand. Contact us and we will help you find and apply to the best state high school that meets your requirements.
Private High Schools New Zealand
Along with state high schools, we also represent private high schools in New Zealand. Our education agents will inform you of every private high school in New Zealand. Contact us today and let us help you find and apply to a private high school that meets your requirements.
Secondary school New Zealand education starts from Year 9 to Year 13 where foreign students can study for 5 years in various schools recognized by tertiary organizations. Schools will assess each student’s English and academic levels on arrival in New Zealand and place the student in the Year level most appropriate to their abilities. Most secondary schools are government established but there are some private or integrated schools. All secondary schools offer national qualifications that are recognised by all New Zealand tertiary organisations.
Many international students enrol at secondary schools for senior studies in Years 11–13, aged 15–18 years in preparation for tertiary studies in New Zealand or in other English-speaking countries. New Zealand secondary schools provide a sound education to students aged 13-18 years. Some schools have classes for students aged 11 and 12 as well.
Most secondary schools are government-established but there are also a number of other schools that have special philosophical or religious traditions. These schools are either private or integrated schools. Integrated schools were privately funded in the past, but are now government funded. The entry requirements, courses and educational standards of all secondary schools are similar and prepare students for the same national qualifications.
As an alternative to completing studies in a college or high school, some international students select one of the foundation programmes that are offered around New Zealand to directly prepare students for university study.
Students are advised to enrol in courses approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for which the issuing of student visas have been approved. These courses meet international standards and are recognised world-wide.
Secondary schooling is compulsory in New Zealand until the age of 16 years. Most secondary schools are government established but there are some private or integrated schools that have special philosophical or religious traditions. They are allowed by law to teach particular religious values, but must also conform to the nationally set curriculum.
All secondary schools offer national qualifications that are recognised by all New Zealand tertiary organisations.
Students attend secondary school for 5 years and can enrol from Year 9 to Year 13. The school year begins early February and finishes early December. Because students take the National University Entrance Bursary examination at the end of Year 13 most schools will not accept new students into Year 13 from after May or June. Even at this time students may not complete sufficient of the course to qualify to take the Bursary examination.
Students can begin at secondary school in Years 9-12 at anytime of the year however if you are planning to arrive from September it is better for you to attend English school until the end of January when the new secondary school year begins. This is also because much of the school time in October and November is spent on examination preparation and then the long summer holiday is in December and January.
It is important for ISSL to have a good idea of your English level as this will assist in recommending a school which best meets your needs. It is not necessary for students to attend an English school before proceeding to secondary school but it can help those students who have very limited English. Schools will assess each student’s English and academic levels on arrival in New Zealand and place the student in the Year level most appropriate to their abilities.
Secondary school students must complete Year 13 and pass the University Entrance Bursary examination to qualify for Entry to University. All secondary schools are Government registered and there are several different types of secondary schools to choose from.
There are many private training establishments in New Zealand providing a wide range of tertiary and vocational courses. Short-term English language courses use modern teaching methods, including laboratory work and conversational classes. Many polytechnics, institutes of technology and universities also offer English language training.
High School Subjects Selection in New Zealand
High Schools in New Zealand have a range of subjects to choose from.
The large selection of different subjects will certainly impress you. In addition to your school activities, you can take part in many cultural, sports or school-accompanying events. In addition to the “normal” classrooms, most high schools have a variety of additional (leisure) facilities. These include libraries, computer labs, art, music and theatre halls, laboratories and sports centres. You can also have lunch at the school canteen. In some high schools, there are even photo labs, fitness centres and TV channels.
You can choose your own high school in New Zealand. To help you choose, you should use the profiles provided by us and select the high school that best suits you and your needs. In many schools in New Zealand, outdoor education is offered, if you are particularly interested, inform yourself at the ODENZ network.
In New Zealand, high schools offer a wide variety of different subjects. Depending on your grade, you can freely choose a certain number of school subjects and therefore decide for yourself what you would like to learn and what subjects you are required to learn by your school in your home country. For example, if you are in grade 13, you can already select all subjects yourself. It is not just a wide variety of subjects that will impress you. Around the school activities, a variety of cultural, sports and school-related program focuses are constantly taking place.
Completeing your High School Studies in New Zealand
High School in New Zealand is compulsory for students under 16 years of age. For those wishing to complete High School by sitting the senior years, these include Year 11, 12 and 13 which count towards your NCEA score. NCEA is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, high grades in a students NCEA years will help them gain entry into University.
There are three levels of NCEA, one for each senior year. A student will complete level 1 in Year 11, Level 2 in Year 12 and Level 3 in Year 13. Marks are determined by a students work throughout each year, including grades in assignments, class work and participation. Each semester there are subject exams, the marks a student achieves in their exams will make the greatest influence on their final NCEA mark.
A student is given an amount of credits in each subject successfully completed. There are minimum credit requirements for students to gain University entry. There are required subjects also, each NCEA level has different requirements. In level 1 a student must achieve 14 credits in a Maths subject. In level 2 a student must achieve 4 credits in both an approved Writing and Reading course. Level 3 being the final year requires a student to have a total of 42 credits. This must consist of 3 approved subjects of the students choice and will require 14 credits from each subject.
There are also English Language courses available for International High School students prior to commencing further higher education. Many institutions and colleges offer language courses, leading to IELTS testing. A IELTS score of 5.0 or higher will help the student gain entrance into many courses in the future.
New Zealand offers world class education, a National Certificate of Educational Achievement proves the student has successfully completed high school. Having a NCEA Award will help a student obtain a place in a University, College or further education Institution. It will also help with any further job prospects
National Certificate of Educational Achievement
Strict High School Assessment Ensures Popularity of NCEA in Global Market
Education in New Zealand is at par with international standard. However, a quality regulatory body, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) had been formed to ensure that education is imparted uniformly at a particular level to all students. All schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand are assessed regularly to provide similar standard of education at their respective levels. For any information on the assessment, standards, or regulations, students can get back to the NZQA website for clarification and reference.
Role of NZQA in NCEA
Secondary students or students studying in high schools in New Zealand need to qualify for the National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) certification. The certification is awarded to successful students in three levels – level 1, level 2, and level 3for the Year 11 at 15 years of age, Year 12 at 16 years of age, and Year 13 at 17 years of age respectively.
There are about 40 subjects which are assessed by various authorities to impart secondary education to the students. A part of the assessment is done internally by the institute where the student had been studying. Another part of the assessment is done externally — by NZQA. It is the vital responsibility of NZQA to ensure that schools provide similar standard of secondary education and that the students are assessed by a common standard. The results of NCEA certification is judiciously key-in databases and published in the NZQA website.
The NZQA would:
Manage the qualifications framework of New Zealand
Manage and monitor the NCEA assessment system
Monitor and review the quality and standard of teaching of non-university education providers
Review and set education standards from time-to-time
…And, NZQA is not alone in implementing its tasks. It reports to the Minister of Education as well as the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. It acts according to the Education Act (1989) and the Industry Training Act (1992).
NZQA Review Analyses and Assessments
Many international students often require checking the performance reports or better known as Managing National Assessment (or MNA) Reports, of the high school they wish to study. The assessment reports of schools, performance statistics, and customized reports can be retrieved from the NZQA website. The reports are generated every 3 years. Detailed reviews are done to ensure that the high schools provide fair, consistent, and accurate secondary education to the pupils at all times.
The NZQA decides the following factors for assessment tests:
Standards to assess what a student requires to know
Ways to assess a student, such as by assignment or verification. This would show whether the student has achieved the competence on the subject.
Topics to be covered during a course
…The NZQA has materials and resources which help to assess a student as well as determine the efficacy of a course. The Industry Training Organizations (ITOs) and education providers are given the required permission to assess standards by NZQA. Once permission is granted, the assessing bodies carry out the assessments. The assessments could be “moderate assessment”, “design assessment”, and “verify evidence for assessment”.
Assessment through QAAM
The NZQA has also formulated a quality assured assessment materials (QAAM) trademark through which secondary schools and students are assessed. The materials with QAAM-certified trademark would have:
An assessment activity where students need to follow instructions and perform certain tasks.
Assessment schedules where students need to understand the evidence, judge the evidence, and provide a sufficiency statement.
…And, by using QAAM certified materials, the teachers would be able to know the right standard to assess a student
New Zealand High School Fees
Every school in New Zealand has different fees. The fees at a state high school are generally between NZ$13,500 & NZ$15,500 per year + Homestay fees, school uniform, school excursions, visa, flights and so forth.
Private high schools and those with boarding options can be more costly.
Contact us so that we can help you find the best high school that meets your budget and requirements.
New Zealand High School Terms
The school year in New Zealand is divided into 4 Terms:
Term 1 runs from early February to early April
Term 2 runs from mid-April till the start of July
Term 3 runs from mid-July to the end of Septemeber
Term 4 begins in mid-October and ends mid-December.
Exact dates may slightly vary between some high schools.
Language may not be a problem for international students coming from English-speaking countries, such as Western European nations.
The students from non english speaking nations usually just need to provide a certificate of excellence from their respective English teacher. The teacher has to specify the student’s proficiency in the language and fluency in expression while communicating with others.
Students with little knowledge in English can have problems in getting through high school admissions if they don’t take some steps to learn up the language. The non-English speaking students need to go through a training course to learn the language as per the requirements of the Kiwis. The secondary education is generally a 4-Year Term course, where many international students come over to New Zealand to study at various high schools. Successful high school students are then eligible for tertiary education.
Fluent English is a must for getting admission to any prestigious high schools in New Zealand. To help internationals students gain mastery in the language, various programs have been organized by various institutes from time to time. Regular attendance to such a program is a must to get an enrollment in the high school.
Ways to Develop English Language
English is an important subject and a mode of communication in high school. Many international students take up English language courses that focus on communication skills, business speaking and writing, and diction. The courses can be taken before the start of the high school curriculum or during secondary education. The duration can range from 1 week to 48 weeks or so. Some courses are from 6 months to 1 year and enroll students on a full-time basis. Care is taken in such courses to ensure the students use the language as a means to express their thoughts in English in subjects like business studies, economics, and geography.
English Language Training
There are many high schools too allow international students to learn English as a foreign language. These training education providers are registered under New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Top schools which look for internationals students with a greater ability to communicate in English are Takapuna Grammar School, KeriKeri High School, and Mountainview High School.
Programs on Learning
Many programs have been coined by various English language centers for high school learners. These courses are accredited to NZQA and based on curriculum of the NCEA. Remember, NCEA is based on credits accrued while studying a particular curriculum. A good credence is given to how a particular topic has been expressed in English. The mode of teaching is interactive and caters with practical workshops. Here are some useful courses to help such students.
- High School Preparatory Course – This could a 1-week to 6 month course to help international students successfully enter a high school
- English Learning in Holidays with Hands-On Workshop Program — This could entail essay writing, debates, elocution to encourage students to express themselves.
- Structured Program for English – This would include application of English language to answer theories in science, technology, and mathematics. Students would be asked to recount a historical fact as well.
- Study on Communication — This would include formal writing, note taking technique, listening to Kiwi speeches, reading, and assignment writing.
And, care is taken to ensure that the students also learn the culture of New Zealand, teaching methods, types of examinations, and expectations from the students. They are also addressed how to make a perfect take-off in secondary education.
Top schools, such as Burnside High School, Awatapu College, and Cashmere High School regularly hire such students who are well versed with the Kiwis culture and their way of communication in English.
The cost of taking such a preparatory course for learning English language would vary according to the duration of the course. Some offer at a rate of 3500 to 450 Dollars per week. Though expensive for some, you get a good bargain — with English at your finger tips, you can soon etch out your career graph.
Christchurch is one of the more popular locations for international students because of its great student support system and ESOL program.
In order to help students adjust to their high school environment, many education providers offer specialist ESOL courses and there is also an ESOL student referral program for international students as and when desired. These courses are extremely popular with international students and vacancies are quickly filled in advance.
International students are also offered quality assurance in the form of pastoral care as embedded in the Code of Practice that is supported by the New Zealand government. Students under the age of 19 have access to a designated pastoral care provider.
International students have so much choice as far as their choice of school is concerned.
Each High School in New Zealand has its own special philosophy and makeup. Some may emphasise religious education while others may be co-educational. A lot depends on the preference of each individual student as each High School may vary in size.
Code of Practice and Pastoral Care for International Students
The Code of Practice for overseas students was issued to ensure that international students are treated in a safe and ethical manner while studying in New Zealand. It is a requirement for educational institutes to meet these standards if they are to take in students from abroad.
The Code of Practice makes sure that:
- Recruitment, finance and contract dealings with overseas students are done in an ethical and responsible manner
- There is a high professional standard kept
- Students receive information that is up-to-date, accurate and complete
- Students are properly informed before making commitments
- The special needs of overseas students are recognised, especially for those who are vulnerable for reasons such as age or inexperience
- Cultural issues are dealt with in a sensitive manner by the support services
- Suitable accommodation is provided with safety measures for minors (students under 18)
- Any problems that may occur are resolved fairly
If an international student has any complaints about their treatment by an institute, they can go through a certain steps.
I came here in July to begin my schooling at Tauranga Boy’s College.
My high school year here in New Zealand is generally pleasing. I have been here for 6 months and am looking forward to the second half with two more terms in front of me and lots of good weather.
The high schools International Department helped me a lot with getting used to their school.
It is a pure boys’ school with the exception of a few teachers. The school has about 1600 pupils aged 10-18 years. Anyone who wants to do sport ambitiously should consider this school.
Since yesterday Marco time in New Zealand has come to an end.
Marco loved everything about New Zealand so much; the people, his school and especially his host family that he did not really want to come back home to Germany anymore.
He often wrote to us in his emails that he would have liked to extend his stay in NZ. He really suffered from saying goodbye and I felt sorry he had to go back to school in Germany, otherwise, he would have had to repeat the same class due to the different school grading systems.
In retrospect, I have to say it was the best decision that he went to New Zealand for his high school studies and that he attended the Cashmere High School (by the way his credentials were very good). The host family really took care of Marco in a very loving way and I think he did not feel homesick at all. He had the incredible luck to come to this family.
Thank you again for all your efforts! As already written, I would like to share my experiences and especially my recommendations with other interested parents who are considering to organise their child’s high school studies in New Zealand through GotoNewZealand/AA Education Network.