Search for the best international schools in New Zealand; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
Remote, high-income, English-speaking and blessed with a beautiful natural environment, New Zealand is actively developing a market for international education within its school, college and university sectors.
A total of 23,575 international students were enrolled at schools in New Zealand in 2019, including 18,375 at secondary level and 5,230 at primary and intermediate level, according to Ministry of Education statistics.
However, the number fell dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic, when New Zealand maintained very strict border controls. By 2021, there were just 6,385 international students receiving schooling in New Zealand, with 960 at primary and intermediate schools and 5,435 in secondary education. The majority attended schools in the Auckland region, with others studying in or around Wellington and Christchurch.
New Zealand has publicly-funded state schools and state-integrated schools, with the latter being mainly Catholic and charging low “attendance dues”, as well as fee-charging private schools that receive some government subsidies. While international students – mainly drawn from China, South Korea and Japan - attend all types of school, the term international school is rarely used.
New Zealand’s 25 IB World Schools, which include 13 authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, are spread across the private and state sectors. The IB Diploma is typically offered alongside New Zealand’s National Certificate of Educational Achievement in both types of school.
More than half of the country’s IB World Schools are members of the Association of Australasian International Baccalaureate Schools, which provides institutional support and promotes understanding of IB education across the region.
Most leading private schools are members of the Independent Schools of New Zealand group. They include boarding establishments, single-sex schools, religious foundations, primary and secondary institutions and “composite schools” that serve all age groups. Coeducational day schools predominate.
Several private, senior secondary colleges that target international students have been set up over recent years.
The New Zealand school year runs from late January to mid-December. Education is compulsory from age six to 16 and schooling is free to citizens and permanent residents from age five to 19. Gross enrolment exceeded 100 per cent of the primary and secondary age group and was more than 80 per cent for tertiary education in 2020.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in New Zealand, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.