10 North Island Schools for International Students to Consider in NZ

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Some of New Zealand’s best schools are in the North Island. Here’s a list of schools that international students can attend, in order of location from the Northernmost schools to the Southernmost schools, from primary to college level.

PLEASE NOTE: This blog highlights some of the many great schools in the North Island and is not intended as a “top ten list”. NZ has over 2,500 schools across the country. For a full list of NZ schools please click here.”

1. Macleans College (Auckland)
Located on the East Coast of Auckland, over 300 International Students from 20 different countries attend Macleans. With plenty of quality facilities on offer for sports, learning and other activities, Macleans also provides Cambridge International Examinations, the global standard for University entry, as well as NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) levels 1-3.

2. Auckland Grammar School (Auckland)
Known as one of the oldest and most prestigious boys’ schools in the country, Auckland Grammar has been around since 1869, when it was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. Like Macleans, AGS offers a dual qualifications pathway, with both NCEA and Cambridge offered as study options for students in Forms 5-7 (Years 11-13).

3. ACG Colleges - ACG Parnell, ACG Strathallan, ACG Sunderland (Auckland)
With three independent schools across Auckland, and another college completed in 2019 in Tauranga, ACG (formerly Academic Colleges Group) are a private education company that deliver education to over 17,000 students in the four countries of NZ, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam. All the ACG college campuses offer both Cambridge and NCEA as study options.

Photo credit: NZ History

4. Kings College (Auckland)
The great rival to Grammar, Kings was founded in 1896, originally as a boy’s only school, but now as a college that caters for boys from Year’s 9-13 and girls from Year’s 11-13. King’s also offers the dual qualifications pathway.

5. Rangitoto College (Auckland)
New Zealand’s largest high school, Rangitoto College has 8% of the student population made up of international Students. The school aslo has an international department that supports students to make the best of their NZ journey. Rangitoto offers NCEA and/or international Baccalaureate (IB Diploma programme) pathways.

6. St Peters Cambridge (Hamilton)

With 37 hectares of schoolground to explore in the Hamilton countryside, St Peters Cambridge is home to 1,150 students, 7% of which are International Students. With over 40% of the school roll (480 students) boarding students that live on schoolgrounds, this could be the ideal place to live and work if you are from overseas. As part of the independent schools of NZ group, St Peters is a private school that offers top-level education to its students. Surprisingly, despite its name, St Peters Cambridge does not offer Cambridge International Examinations, but instead their academic focuses are NCEA and International Baccalaureate (IB Diploma programme) pathways.

7. Hillcrest High School (Hamilton)
With 50 International students attending, Hamilton’s Hillcrest High School is a popular place for students looking to skip the city and live the town lifestyle. NCEA levels 1-3 are available to students studying at Hillcrest. The school recommends students homestay (find an in-zone host family for the school year while you study) and provide information and an application on their website.

8. Onslow International High School (Wellington)

With around 60 international students studying at the college each year, Onslow is a school that welcomes international students and the chance to educate them, while also learning about each students own culture. Located in the North-Western suburbs of Wellington, there is no prescribed uniform for students and the college caters for 1,250 students aged 13-17 (Years 9-13). NCEA levels 1-3 are available to students studying at Onslow. The college also run a homestay program for international students.

9. Wellington College 

Located in central Wellington, Wellington College was founded in 1867. 5% of the school roll is always open to international students and is attended by 1,700 boys in years 9-13. Wellington College offers NCEA and NZ Scholarship assessments. The NZ Scholarship system is a further national qualification recognising top performers for each subject. Scholarship award winners receive monetary awards, certificate and credits towards University Entrance (UE).

10. Samuel Marsden Collegiate School (Wellington)
With college campuses in Karori and Whitby, the collegiate comprises four schools for each age range (preschool, primary, and secondary – age 4-17). This private school offers education to girls (and boys, if you attend the Whitby campus) and promises to deliver a high-quality education. This school is also a member of the independent schools of NZ group. The collegiate offers NCEA, Cambridge and Scholarship for senior students at their Karori campus, while the Whitby co-ed campus is strictly NCEA. Pre-school and Primary school students receive tailored education around the basic subjects such as Science, Technology, Arts and Social Sciences. Specialists teach Physical Education, Music and Languages. Across all campuses there is a focus on ‘Visible Wellbeing™’, which was launched at Samuel Marsden at the start of the year.


Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand.
As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.


*Please note: All images used in this blog were either sourced from wikimedia commons or (in the case of school logos) from each of the schools websites. Links have been provided to visit each of these sites in the corresponding school sections above.