St Andrew's College international students in national dress with flags walking through the campus

International Students

Ngā Ākonga Huriao

We warmly welcome international students, offering a world-class education in a safe and supportive community. With a diverse representation from over 20 countries, the international programme fosters a rich and balanced curriculum.

Studying at StAC

At St Andrew's, international students engage in a mix of sports, cultural events, service, and leadership activities, immersing themselves in New Zealand's unique culture. They also experience the traditions of our Scottish Presbyterian heritage at special events. Encouraged to participate in various activities, international students create lasting memories, forming global friendships with Kiwi peers. As a result, international students leave us as well-rounded young adults, who are prepared for higher education, exciting career opportunities, and life in today’s rapidly-changing world.

Our international programme

The St Andrew’s College International Programme provides an incredible opportunity for young men and women from abroad to live, study, and reach their academic potential in a New Zealand secondary school with a special spirit and a highly dynamic and supportive culture.

Our international students enjoy a world-class private education, modern, comfortable boarding facilities which are a real ‘home away from home’, and the opportunity to participate in a huge range of exciting sporting, cultural and outdoor activities.

We are proud of our rich history, values and traditions at St Andrew’s College, which inspire our passionate, skilled teachers today. Our students consistently attain high academic achievements, with many of our talented young sports people and performers achieving national, and even international recognition.

From our central Christchurch location, just one hour away from the magnificent snow-capped Southern Alps, and only 15 minutes from the city’s beaches and Port Hills, international students can also experience the best New Zealand has to offer.

We value diversity and embrace different cultures and perspectives at St Andrew’s College. A wide network of caring people is dedicated to ensuring our international students’ time with us is as enjoyable, fulfilling and memorable as possible.

Students in class working on their laptops.

Well-being and support

Well-being and Positive Education is a strong focus at St Andrew’s College, with student care and well-being at the College considered among the best in New Zealand. We follow the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students and have the processes in place to ensure that international students feel welcomed, comfortable, safe, and supported throughout their time with us.

On joining the St Andrew’s College community, international students gain the support and friendship of an entire network of people who take an active interest in their welfare. The large, caring support team includes teachers, tutors, Deans, boarding staff, a guiding and counselling team, and College management, including Director of International Students and Exchanges, Palē Tauti. Together, they provide the following help and support:

  • ensure international students feel welcomed, comfortable, safe and cared for;

  • support students to flourish academically and develop critical thinking skills;

  • assist them to grow confidence and resilience, and to build positive relationships;

  • provide confidential guidance and counselling services if required;

  • help students to establish a strong foundation for success in their lives beyond school.

Another key support person for international students is an English-speaking, Christchurch-based contact who acts as their student residential caregiver. Residential Caregivers are a member of the Christchurch community and are often someone who speaks the student’s language. They provide the student with support and guidance, and help with setting up things like bank accounts, doctor’s appointments, and visa and immigration requirements. The Residential Caregiver can also act as a homestay for the student during school holidays.

Pale Tauti with international students outside talking

"The St Andrew’s College International Programme is an opportunity for young men and women to embrace a dynamic secondary school, enriched in culture, tradition and excellence. With modern facilities in which to study and board, students are given every opportunity to learn, perform and achieve success."

Palē Tauti Director of International and Exchange Students
Pale Tauti Director of International Students and Exchanges talking outside with a student

Enrolment requirements

International students, for whom English is a second language, must sit an entrance test administered by AEAS. AEAS test results provide detail regarding the student’s English language proficiency and their general ability. The AEAS Report will be considered alongside other information provided by the family when reviewing the student’s application.

AEAS Testing is available around the world, and students can register online. Alternatively, your agent will be able to assist you with the registration process. A copy of the student’s AEAS Report must be included with enrolment applications.

Strowan House St Andrew's College Christchurch New Zealand

Outstanding facilities

St Andrew’s has modern classrooms, which provide the ideal learning environment. Over the last decade, there has been a major development programme on campus, with new additions including two boarding houses, Gym 2, and the spectacular Centennial Chapel. Other features of the campus include Strowan House (an historic building more than 100 years old), Dance Studio, TV and Media Studio, Theatre, Library, Fine Arts Block, High Performance Fitness Centre, Caféteria, Health Centre, and extensive sports fields and courts.

Off campus, international students enjoy a top quality Outdoor Education programme at the College’s mountain lodge at Castle Hill in the spectacular Canterbury high country.

River Avon in town centre of Christchurch New Zealand

Studying in Christchurch

Christchurch is a fantastic location in the central South Island of New Zealand, which offers so much to international students. It has easy access, with an international airport just a short 15-minute drive from St Andrew’s College. Students can enjoy all the benefits of New Zealand’s second biggest city, which has a safe and relaxed environment, while being at the leading edge of innovation and technology.

Outdoor activities abound, with mountains within an hour of the city, beaches on its doorstep, and a host of walking and cycling tracks close by. Christchurch is the gateway to the rest of New Zealand with its world-famous scenery and incredible tourist attractions. There are many opportunities for students to explore Christchurch and New Zealand, with friends, and on boarding or class trips.

Pathway to a successful future

We recognise that international students come to New Zealand with different goals and priorities in mind. Some come primarily for the unique cultural experience; others look forward to exploring our wonderful natural environment. Underpinning every visit, however, is the search for a high-quality education that will prepare students for successful tertiary study or work in an English-speaking country. An education at St Andrew’s College provides a strong pathway to top universities, both in New Zealand and around the world, and can lead to exciting career opportunities. International students become part of the St Andrew’s family, and usually remain connected with the College, even after their education is complete. The identity international students have with our school is powerful and St Andrew’s continues to monitor and celebrate their achievements.

Two students walking outside boarding house.

Boarding and homestay

Most of our international students choose to live in our boarding houses while enrolled at St Andrew’s College, and find this a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience. International students can also stay with a parent, while short-term international students also have a homestay option, usually with a College family, arranged by our Homestay Co-ordinator.

Students in classroom working on laptop

World-class education

International students receive a world-class education at St Andrew’s, where values of excellence, expert teachers, wonderful facilities and resources, and a safe collaborative learning environment can lead to outstanding academic results. The expectation is that all students will strive for academic excellence in NCEA examinations – Levels 1–3. New Zealand Scholarship examinations are optional for students who wish to challenge themselves. Many students receive regional, national and sometimes international prizes for academic competitions. A number of our students also achieve scholarships to tertiary institutions, including some overseas universities. Many of our passionate, skilled and responsive teachers are recognised nationally and internationally in their areas of expertise, and all create innovative and inspirational learning experiences for our students.

Two female students at Prizegiving kapa haka with poi

Exciting co-curricular options

International students can choose from more than 30 sports at St Andrew’s, where both enthusiastic participation and elite performance are encouraged. St Andrew's students regularly compete at the top level and are the current New Zealand Secondary Schools champions in several team and individual sports. There are also many cultural activities on offer to international students, including music (jazz bands, orchestra, rock bands, choir and songwriting), dance, ballet, drama, and filmmaking. St Andrew’s also has a New Zealand championship winning Pipe Band and a popular Highland Dance programme. An annual highlight on the College’s cultural calendar is the International Assembly, which celebrates our international students and their diverse cultures.

Students gathering in boarding house.

International fees

Tuition fees cover the cost of teaching and supporting your child as a student. International student fees are payable in advance and are inclusive of GST.

International Prospectus

Our International Prospectus provides an insight into life at St Andrew's College, our campus, curriculum, well-being and support, events, activities, culture and sport programmes. It also includes information on boarding at St Andrew's College and studying in Christchurch, New Zealand.

St Andrew's College international prospectus cover

International Flyer – English

Read online

International Flyer - Chinese

Read online

International Flyer – German

Read online

International Flyer – Japanese

Read online

International Flyer – Korean

Read online

International Flyer – Thai

Read online

Life as an international student

International students receive a world-class education at St Andrew’s, where values of excellence, expert teachers, wonderful facilities and resources, and a safe collaborative learning environment can lead to outstanding academic results. Discover what a St Andrew's College education can offer your child by watching this short video.

International student video thumbnail at St Andrew's College

Dunyachut Vatananan (OC 2019) and Narisara Thaniratt (OC 2020) Thai international students

Dunyachut (Rocky) Vatananan (OC 2019) and Narisara (Beem) Thaniratt (OC 2020) are two St Andrew’s College international students who joined us from Thailand. Rocky has been at St Andrew’s College for five years and Beem for two years. In this short video they share their experiences, challenges and what they have enjoyed the most studying at St Andrew’s College and living in New Zealand.

International student video thumbnail at St Andrew's College

Yuji Hattori (OC 2019)
Japanese international student

Yuji Hattori (OC 2019) initially joined St Andrew's College in 2015, for a two-week study trip. Yuji enjoyed what St Andrew's College had to offer and New Zealand's culture, so he decided to extend his stay.

Yuji relished the challenge of learning the New Zealand curriculum and immersed himself in the boarding house and International Club, which has given him confidence and seen his English go from strength to strength. Yuji enjoys playing hockey, badminton, basketball, magic card tricks and the relaxed Christchurch day-to-day life.

International student video thumbnail at St Andrew's College

Friederike Moerke (OC 2017)
German international student

St Andrew's College has been home to many international students who have flourished learning abroad and enjoyed St Andrew's College and the New Zealand culture.

Friederike Moerke (OC 2017) started St Andrew's College as a Year 11 student in 2015. After being integrated and warmly welcomed into the StAC family, Friederike decided to finish her education at St Andrew's College in 2017. This video shares what Friederike enjoyed about St Andrew's College life.

International student video thumbnail at St Andrew's College

JingYang Xu (2017–2021)

After my first arrival in New Zealand in 2017, the daunting challenge I faced was adapting to the new environment. Being a 13 year old boy who used to heavily rely on my parents, I had to push myself to become more independent and thoughtful. With the support from the StAC international department, I gradually discovered my own place in the College and formed friendships with both international and domestic students.

The inclusivity of this school to different cultures was the driving force for me to reveal the true me. Throughout my time at St Andrew’s College, I always believed that this was one of the most crucial elements that provided me a delightful experience.

Academically, I was aware of the different pressures students experienced under the Chinese and the New Zealand schooling system. I was, however, still overwhelmed by NCEA at Year 11, due to being uncertain about my future. But now looking back at it, I am grateful for the wide range of course selections provided by St Andrew’s College, which provides students with opportunities to cultivate and develop their own interests and achieve high academic goals, which in my opinion, are complementary.

For me, my enjoyment of doing mathematics had faded after years of study under the competitive Chinese examination system. However, I found the joy of mathematics after two years of class time with my Math’s teacher, Mr. Adams. I was inspired by the delivery of his lessons, which made a remarkable impact on me and my decisions for my future career path.

Being an international student, I was aware of the difference from other students around the campus; different skin colours, different cultural backgrounds, languages and interests. But I believe this is the uniqueness of St Andrew’s College, where they embrace all differences and provide the opportunities and a platform for us to deepen our insights into personal growth with preparation to take on the challenges ahead in the wider world.

I am pleased my family made the decision to support my journey of joining St Andrew's College.

JingYang Xu

Contact Information


For all international student enquiries, please contact our Director of International Students and Exchanges, Palē Tauti.


+64 3 940 2086

Online Enquiry

Please click here to complete an online enquiry.