Basic Information about
High Schools in New Zealand

The high school study abroad program in New Zealand is very similar to that in Australia. The academic requirements and the considerations regarding the choice of school are largely the same. And in fact, the application process is identical.

Some relevant country-specific and organisational differences are discussed below.

High Schools

We offer over 30 high schools on both the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand. We represent a range of both public and private schools offering a range of subjects and activities in a variety of exciting locations to suit your needs. We know the Principals of all our schools as well as the schools‘ key contacts, allowing us to find the right school for you.

Apart from the compulsory subjects (English and Mathematics), you can choose an additional four or five subjects from 30 to 40 different courses available. This allows you to explore – or perhaps even discover – your talent for varied fields such as journalism, IT, photography, design, theatre, carpentry, economics, food technology and many more.

Team sports are part of everyday school life in New Zealand as teamwork is a strong focus. “Outdoor Education” is a popular option in many high schools, comprising both theoretical and practical components. Excursions, which can take several days, allow students to practise a variety of sports and activities. The number and type of excursion varies from school to school, and involve activities as diverse as climbing, mountain biking and cycling, to water skiing or even building snow caves.

Classroom equipment and facilities are first class in New Zealand and reflect the variety of subjects on offer. In New Zealand high schools you will find modern equipment, in-house theatres, video technology, and musical instruments. As in Australia, students in New Zealand wear school uniforms.

Private Schools

The advantage of private schools is that they offer many activities (such as sports training) programmed during the week before or after regular classes. These activities may be chosen as extracurricular subjects. Thus, the range of subjects is more extensive than in state schools – particularly regarding music, the arts, theatre and sports. It is typical for inter-school matches to be held on weekends, and they are exciting sporting and social events.

Upon request, we will gladly advise you about interesting private schools – some only accept a few international students per year. Furthermore, we have relevant options for students who prefer to stay in a boarding school rather than live with a host family.

Maori Girl greets High School Exchange Girl

Accommodation and Leisure Time

A home-stay experience lets students relax and experience the New Zealand way of life. Host families are carefully selected by our schools, and must meet high quality standards. Host families are prepared and trained for their role, and continuously reviewed. In general, such families receive an allowance towards costs, and this is included in our program price.

All our schools have a dedicated International Student Coordinator to assist students with all aspects of their school stay. Many also have a Homestay Coordinator to ensure that you find the right homestay for you.

New Zealand is a natural wonderland offering a huge variety of outdoor leisure activities. The ocean, lakes, rivers and mountains are easily accessible, placing many attractive options within easy reach: bushwalking, golf, horseback riding, mountain biking, sailing, skiing, surfing, soccer, tennis, cricket, rugby, kayaking, rafting, and glacier hikes.


For a high school placement in New Zealand you will need a student visa. You can apply at the New Zealand embassy in your country. For more details on applying for a New Zealand Student Visa, please see the website of Immigration New Zealand.

No special student visa is necessary for short stays of three months or less. We will let you know which visa you will need at the appropriate time.

Education Loans

Some countries have student loan schemes to help their students achieve the dream of studying overseas in places like New Zealand and we highly recommend that you look into this.