Study at KVC

Making the decision to study at Kaikorai Valley College will be one that you do not regret. Our students tell us it was the best decision they made. We will make you time with us one of the most enjoyable times of your life and you will go home with many precious memories, as well as a great education.

Our teachers are committed to helping students gain academic qualifications for university and other tertiary pathways. We have over 20 years experience in working with international students.

Students can join our online community to keep in touch with what is happening and share experiences.

We recommend arriving in New Zealand about three days before school starts, so there’s time to unpack, get over jet lag and get to know the local area.

When students first arrive in New Zealand, our Homestay co-ordinator arranges for you to be met at the airport and taken to your homestay.

Most students start school at the beginning of Term 1 (beginning of February) or Term 3 (July), but as we have said, at Kaikorai Valley College you are able to start at any time of the year. Regardless of when you start, you will have an orientation day on your first day of school.

Orientation includes:

  • Introduction of staff who work with international students
  • English test to determine placement
  • Tour of the school
  • Information about the school – (sport, music, uniforms, bell times, general school rules …
  • Information about living in NZ
  • Advice on how to make the most of your time at school and in your homestay
  • Choose your subjects
  • Sightseeing tour of Dunedin

When students first arrive the International Dean interviews them as part of our orientation programme. Part of this interviews is about choosing the most suitable subjects. Most international students will study ESL 1 (English Language), ESL 2, Mathematics and three other subjects they are interested in.

Throughout your time at KVC English language tutors support international students in mainstream classes. Two well-qualified and experienced English Language teachers provide 8 – 12 hours of language tuition per week, depending on how good a students English is when they arrive. There are four levels from Beginner to University Entrance level. These classes range in size from 3 to 10 students. For students with low levels of English we have a specially designed course to help them work towards full integration in the mainstream.

The chart on the right shows the ages students usually start at each year level.

 11  7
 12  8
 13  9
 14  10
 15  11
 16  12
 17  13

While at schools in NZ students study towards a qualification called a NZ Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA). Students, including International students, have the chance to gain high academic awards with Merit or Excellence endorsements in NCEA. This demonstrates a higher level of achievement.


To research more about the New Zealand education go to

To research more about National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), go to

Information is in English but also translated into Spanish, German, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean.

View a simple power point on NCEA in English.

As we all know, attending school is not just about academic studies. Many of our international students become involved in extra curricular activities such as: Badminton, Softball, Tennis, Touch Rugby, Table tennis, Volleyball, Cricket, Basketball, Soccer, Rugby, Judo, and Outdoor Education – e.g. hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, and many more.

Other activities might include: Orchestra, Choir, Guitar tutoring, Piano tutoring, Stage Challenge, School Production, Movie making, Theatre sports, Debating and many more.

Kaikorai Valley College is blessed with many wonderful facilities including the largest physical site.
School buildings include:

  • 2 gymnasiums
  • modern classrooms
  • 3 dedicated computer suites
  • a library
  • a separate music suite
  • 3 science labs
  • Tennis courts
  • Sports fields
  • a climbing wall
  • biking tracks

Visit our gallery here

All students who are studying at Kaikorai Valley College for longer than six months must wear a uniform.  However, new students do not have to wear a uniform on their first day of school. Your homestay will help you to get your uniform from a department store in town.