A high quality school system, lots of sports options and school uniforms to unite the students and giving them a badge of pride – that is what summarizes high school in New Zealand.
High school the Kiwi way
In most high schools English, math and natural science are compulsory subjects. To create a full schedule, you will choose four to five additional subjects. It is a great chance to join a course you would not find at home. The STS High School Select programme gives you the perfect opportunity to create your ideal schedule.
There are in total 13 grades in the educational system in New Zealand. High school make up the last five of these, and as an exchange student, you are usually placed in one of the highest grades. Most schools require the students to dress in uniform, although some schools will allow the year 13 students to wear ""civilian"" clothes. If you are placed in the final year, you will finish your year by going to the school ball. That is often considered the event of the year, a chance to dress up like a celebrity for a night!
New Zealand schools have houses, just like Harry Potter's Hogwarts. Though you won't be living with your housemates, you will compete with them against the other houses and dress in the house colours on sports day. Many New Zealand schools offer excellent outdoor education classes. These classes teach you skills like river rafting, kayaking, caving, mountain biking and more. There are usually several tramping tours with overnight stays during the year, and this will allow you both the chance to see the unique Kiwi nature and wildlife and spend quality time with your classmates.
Make sure to apply in time
Since New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere and the seasons are the opposite from Europe, the schools close for summer vacation in December. The school year starts again in January. As an exchange student, you have the option to start in either January or July.
You will need at least three years of previous English studies to apply. If you got that, go ahead and send your application. The number of spots for exchange students in public schools is limited, so make sure to secure yours today.