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Academic Support and Pathways

He Taupua Ako me ngā Ara Ako

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.

In this respect, St Andrew’s College is perfectly placed to meet the needs of international students. Our curriculum is comprehensive, with our students supported by world-class facilities and resources. Study assistance is available from Tutors, classroom teachers, student peers, and on occasions, from visiting specialists. Staff in our International Department also provides assistance and advice if required. All aspects of life at St Andrew’s are geared towards helping students to reach their full academic potential.

In addition to the extensive range of classroom subjects and out of school activities offered to all students, St Andrew's College offers the following additional support to international students:

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Tuition
    ESOL help is available for all international students, on a one-to-one or small group basis. Students usually have two or more hours of English help a week, depending on individual needs.
  • Guidance and Support Services
    St Andrew's has a strong guidance network and help is available from Tutors, year level Deans, Boarding House managers, Guidance Counsellors, and the Director of International and Exchange Students, Mr Palē Tauti. The Dean of International Students is employed solely to work with international students and maintains close links with students, families, caregivers, guardians, Deans, Tutors and Boarding House staff.

A number of our students also achieve scholarships to tertiary institutions, including some overseas universities.  Staff are able to assist students with their applications to universities overseas as a lot of information is often required.

Due to the size of the Secondary School there is a wide range of subjects on offer. Alongside core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Commerce and Social Sciences specialist subjects include:

  • Ballet;
  • Media Studies and Performing Arts;
  • Photography, Painting and Design;
  • Business Studies;
  • Digital Technology;
  • Food and Nutrition;
  • Travel and Tourism.

See the Middle School Curriculum section and Senior College Curriculum section of this website for further information.

New Zealand’s education system is first class and its NCEA qualifications are recognised by universities around the world. St Andrew's College students are actively sought after by top universities in New Zealand and other countries.

The New Zealand school year is divided into four terms, beginning at the end of January and finishing early/mid December. Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 who wish to gain a national NCEA qualification in that year will need to begin at St Andrew's College in Term 1 of that year or earlier. Beginning study in New Zealand in Year 9 or Year 10 is highly recommended if students want to achieve well in senior examinations.

New Zealand Year Level

USA and Australian
Grade Level equivalent

Native Speaker Ages*

National Examinations 
and Qualifications

Primary School (Years 1–6)


5–10 years


Intermediate School Year 7


11 years


Intermediate School Year 8


12 years


Secondary School Year 9


13 years


Secondary School Year 10


14 years


Secondary School Year 11


15 years

Level 1 NCEA

Secondary School Year 12


16 years

Level 2 NCEA

Secondary School Year 13


17 years

Level 3 NCEA

* International Students who do not have English as their first language can expect to be one to two years older than New Zealand students.

St Andrew's College follows the New Zealand Curriculum but, because it is an independent school, it is able to adapt programmes to suit student needs.

For further information on the New Zealand curriculum, go to the New Zealand Curriculum website.
For further information on the New Zealand Education system visit the Ministry of Education site at