Study at KVC

Making the decision to study at Kaikorai Valley College will be one that you will definitely 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 30 years experience in working with international students.

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


Arrival in New Zealand

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 coordinator 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

 Choosing Subjects

When students first arrive the International Dean, Mrs Skelton, interviews them as part of our orientation programme. Part of this interview 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.  In NZ students have a good deal of freedom in the subjects they are able to choose.

English Language Lessons and Support in Class

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 student's 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.


Year Levels and Ages

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

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

Academic Awards and NCEA

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.

In this photo we see Gia Hy Vo a student from Vietnam, being awarded a Silver Award for NCEA Level 1, endorsed with Merit, in the school’s Philip Craigie Awards held annually.To find out more about the national Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) please click on the links below.

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

View a simple powerpoint on NCEA in English.




The New Zealand Education System

To research more about the New Zealand education system, 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.


FeesGST exclusiveGST inclusive
Secondary Education Fees from 1 February 2020  
International student entry to NCEA standards $334.78 per year $385.00 per year
International student entry to Scholarship subjects $88.87 per subject $102.20 per subject
Click on the links below for further information:

Extra Curricula Activities

As we all know, attending school is not just about academic studies. Many of our international students become involved in extracurricular 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.



Facilities at KVC

Kaikorai Valley College has the largest physical campus in the city with 8 hectares of grounds.  It is blessed with many wonderful facilities.

School buildings include:

  • 2 gymnasiums

  • modern classrooms

  • 3 dedicated computer suites

  • a newly refurbished library

  • a separate music suite

  • 4 science labs

  • tennis courts

  • sports fields

  • a climbing wall

  • biking tracks, and

  • its very own Urban Farm -



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.

As you can see in the photo, senior students from Years 11 - 13 wear a blazer and tie, while younger students from Years 7 - 10 wear a jersey.

Uniform Information