Land of the long white Cloud
Undertaking study abroad in New Zealand is an amazing experience, as a year at a high school in New Zealand offers you so much. Immersed in nature’s wonderland – from lush meadows and vineyards, rainforests and sub-tropical beaches, to the magnificent fjords, glaciers and snow-capped mountains – New Zealand has it all. When the Maori people arrived many thousands of years ago, they called this place the “land of the long white cloud”.
What is less well known is the warmth and hospitality of New Zealand’s people. Maybe it is due to living in a small country with a proud multicultural history that makes “Kiwis” some of the friendliest people in the world. As a study abroad student, you will be very welcome in New Zealand and be made to feel at home.
A student exchange gives you access to the modern, well equipped, New Zealand education system. Almost every high school in New Zealand has a distinct family feel with low student to teacher ratios, a broad choice of subjects, high academic standards and a focus on sports and outdoor activities.
The New Zealand School System
The school system in New Zealand is very similar to that in Australia. New Zealand has 13 school years, each starting in early February and finishing in mid-December. The four terms usually start early February, early May, late July and mid-October (see also: New Zealand School Calendar). Please note that the regular classes of the last term finish early/mid-November due to examinations being held.
School days are from Monday to Friday, usually from 9 am until 3 pm. These times may vary somewhat at private schools.
In New Zealand, admission of international students is regulated by the “Code of Practice”. This is a binding legal statute for all high schools that take students from abroad. All schools, even small ones, offer the predefined national curriculum. Many New Zealand schools have also developed a wide range of subjects in non-academic areas – an interesting contrast to school systems back home.
The New Zealand National Certificate of Achievement (NCEA) prepares students for entry into tertiary study. (It is equivalent to the Australian HSC or a German “Abitur” for example). International students who want the NCEA option must attend senior high school in New Zealand for all six terms, starting in July. To obtain the NCEA, students firstly need to select a specific combination of subjects, and then complete them to an acceptable standard. Students must make sure their results (marks) are good enough for them to enter university in their own country when they return home.
- Next page: details about our high schools and our study abroad program in New Zealand
- Prices and other costs associated with a student exchange in New Zealand can be found here
- The school calendar of all high schools in New Zealand is on this page
- Our high schools in New Zealand and their locations can be found on this page