Experience the best of New Zealand, both inside and outside of the classroom!


Here are a few tips about what you’ll need to bring with you and what to expect when you first arrive.

What to bring
  • Passport and current visa to study in NZ
  • Travel/medical insurance policy
  • Return airline ticket
  • Prescription for any medications necessary
  • Laptop
  • Proof of purchase/receipts for any electronics eg mobile phone, laptop
  • Adapter plug for electrical goods
  • Personal items and clothes
  • Spending money
Arrival in NZ
  • Make sure you let us know your flight and arrival details. We need these so that we can meet you at the airport.
  • Pack your own bags. Do not carry anything for another person.
  • When you arrive at Auckland airport you should have completed a Passenger Arrival Card. You must declare all food even if it is packaged. You are not allowed to bring fresh food into NZ.
  • You should not carry a large amount of cash.
  • You will go through Passport Control, Baggage Claim and Customs.
  • After this you will see one of our staff, or your homestay family, waiting for you with a sign with your name on it.
  • You will then be taken to your new home.
  • If you get lost, or cannot see your name on a sign, ring our Emergency No 027 2944925.
First days of school
  • Please arrive a couple of days before school starts. This will help you recover from jetlag and get ready for school.
  • We run an orientation for all new students, to introduce you to our school.
  • We will also introduce you to your “buddy” – another student who will show you around in your first few days.
  • You will be expected to wear a school uniform if you are in Years 9 to 12.
  • Your English level will be assessed so that we know which class is best for you.
Your homestay family
  • Your family has been specially chosen for you. They will act in place of your parents while you are in NZ. Make sure you have completed our questionnaire so that we understand your needs.
  • All families have different habits and customs. It is important to find out what your new family expects of you. You will be given a booklet called Homestay Information and Guidance for International Students. You should read and discuss this booklet with your family. It includes a list of useful questions you might ask, such as what to call them, when to have a shower and what happens with your washing.
  • You will have your own room.
  • You should ask them about use of the computer/internet.
  • You will need to get a NZ SIM card for your phone and will need to open a NZ bank account. Your homestay family or our Homestay Co-ordinator will help you with these.
  • Your family will show you how to get to school. NB You are not allowed to own nor drive a car while you are an international student at Pakuranga College.
  • Most parents work (mother and father).
  • Our Homestay Co-ordinator can be contacted in an emergency 027 29 44 925 if you need her.
  • In NZ It is illegal to smoke or buy cigarettes under the age of 18 years. You cannot smoke in any enclosed public place.
  • In NZ it is illegal to drink alcohol under 18 years.
  • If you need to see a doctor, you must pay. You can claim the cost back on your insurance.

If you have any questions, we are here to help you. Our desire is to keep you safe and for you to get maximum benefit from your time with us.


  • You will choose your subjects and be given a timetable. There are 5 classes a day, one hour for each subject.
  • School begins at 8.40am and finishes at 3.15pm.
  • Your homestay family will provide you with lunch, or you can buy it from our school shop.
  • If you are late, you must sign in. If you are absent for any reason, your homestay must notify the school by phone.
  • If you are sick during the school day, you should see the school nurse.
  • There is a huge range of sports and cultural activities offered at school. We recommend you join a club or a team – it is the best way to get to know other students.

Find out more about the facilities and curriculum at Pakuranga College HERE.


There are a  wide range of trips available to help international students make the most of their free time here in New Zealand. Some of the most popular destinations are:

  • Rotorua
  • Hobbiton
  • South Island
  • Coromandel


Pakuranga College also offers a huge range of sports and cultural activities for you to take part in. It’s a great idea to join a club or team as this will help you to make friends!

See photos of international student trips HERE.


A peak body for schools supporting
international students in the education sector

If you can't find what you are looking for on this website, or if you want to contact us directly for a specific reason, please feel free to use this 'Parent Help Desk' form to contact us. The appropriate person will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.
Parent Help Desk
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