International Fee-Paying Students

Whakarongo School has had an International Programme since 2018, and provides a welcoming environment for students from different cultures.

We welcome students from many different countries. We cater for pupils in their first 8 years of schooling.

We deliver the 7 Curriculum areas of the New Zealand Curriculum, especially focusing upon Literacy and Numeracy.

We offer a wide range of learning experiences, including ICT (Apple) and STEM (Science and Technology).

We accept students who wish to immerse themselves in an English speaking environment.

All students will be assessed upon arrival as to the most suitable type of programme that will best suit their needs.

English language assistance is available to all International Students depending on their level of competence.

Whakarongo School provides intensive English language tuition. Students are withdrawn from their regular class as needed, for specialist English language instruction.

We believe that our International Students will make very good progress in learning to communicate in English.

Prior to acceptance students must indicate their level of spoken English. A letter of recommendation from their current school would be very useful.

Our International Student Team

At Whakarongo School we have an extensive team of leaders, teachers and support staff that all help to keep our school humming! Our teaching staff is well trained and very professional. They each bring a unique set of skills to our school e.g. music, sport, ICT, art.

We have a fantastic team in place to specifically support our international students and their families while at Whakarongo School.

Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is an important part of our International student programme. We have a dedicated staff member who ensures that students and families are well supported during their stay. Students and families meet with the pastoral care staff member when they first arrive at the school and then regularly throughout their stay. Our pastoral care staff member has regular contact and meetings with the families, meets the students weekly and ensures that the stay is a successful one.

Homestay Accommodation

Our International Students may be placed in homestay accommodation in the local community. Homestays offer a great opportunity for the student to speak English everyday, learn about the New Zealand culture and share the New Zealand lifestyle with a caring supportive family. Homes are carefully chosen and monitored by our Homestay/Pastoral Manager, Sheila Monaghan, throughout the year. All Homestays have been vetted by the Police and have regular visits by the Homestay Manager. This ensures the students receive pastoral/homestay support while at Whakarongo School.

Students may contact the co-ordinator at any time if they need help and advice. Each student can be met at the airport and introduced to their homestay family and the school by the homestay/ pastoral care staff member. The hosts will support the students while in their care, attending parent evenings, international functions and any other events arranged by the school.

While in a homestay, the students are provided with:

    • A room (individual or shared with the host student). A bed, desk or table, lamp, chair heater, wardrobe and drawers.

    • Bed linen, pillows, blankets and towels.

    • Three meals a day. Monday to Friday will be a packed lunch which may be prepared by the student or host.

Whakarongo School places a high value on the welfare and pastoral care of all our International Students.

Come and experience life with a Kiwi Family. Enjoy living in a friendly warm and welcoming family environment in beautiful homes close to school.

ESOL: English for speakers of other languages

We have a wide range of cultures at our school. International Students receive ESOL support, following an assessment of their English ability, with a trained ESOL teacher.

Students are supported either in their classroom or in a separate space to help them develop their English language skills.

The programme supports the classroom programme and students are encouraged to practice skills that are being taught in the ESOL programme.

Examples of International Student Learning

After School Activities

We have a range of after school activities that students can choose to do at an extra cost. Our Pastoral Care Manager, Sheila Monaghan, can work with families to help organise these.

General Activities

At School

    • After-School Programme (run by APlus)

    • Extra English Language tuition

    • Art/Drawing

    • Guitar lessons

    • Adult English tuition

In the Community

    • Horse riding

    • Dance

    • Piano/Music

    • Performing Arts/Drama

    • Swimming lessons

    • Tennis lessons

    • Martial Arts

    • Adult English tuition

Sports Activities

Please note the availability of sports depends on the season and competition dates.

School Teams

  • Hockey

  • Netball

  • Basketball

  • Badminton

  • Touch Rugby

  • Flippaball

  • Tee-ball and Softball


  • Soccer

  • Rugby

  • Athletics

  • Gymnastics

  • Swimming

Facilities and Opportunities

Palmerston North

    • Airport (8-10 flights daily to Auckland and Christchurch)

    • Wildlife Recovery Centre

    • Esplanade Gardens/Park

    • Theatres

    • Art Galleries

    • Vibrant café and restaurant scene

    • Shopping

    • Sports venues (Rugby, Netball, Basketball)

    • Indoor pools

    • Manawatu River Walk

    • Te Manawa Museum

    • NZ Rugby Museum

    • Massey University, International Pacific University and UCOL

    • Daytona Indoor Raceway/Indoor Bowling

    • Movie Cinemas

Close by

    • Beach (30 minutes)

    • Bush walks and mountain walking tracks

    • Camping areas in reserves

    • Wellington (2 hours) – capital city

    • Skiing (3 hours) – Whakapapa & Turoa ski fields (Mount Ruapehu)

    • Wine region (2 hours) Martinborough

    • Fruit and wine region (3) – Hawkes Bay

    • Motor racing track

    • Owlcatraz Bird Sanctuary (30 minutes)

    • Staglands Animal Park (2 hours)

    • Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre (Mount Bruce)(1.5 hours)

Parent and Student Feedback...

"The classmates are very friendly and the kids felt very well settled."

"The teachers helped me a lot."

"The school were well organised and well prepared for our enrolment. Lots of support was provided for us when we first arrived. The Pastoral care staff member was very helpful," (International Parent from China).

"The Pastoral care staff member made contact with me lots of times and helped me out when I needed questions answered about school and outside of school things,"

(International Parent from Korea).

It is important that students have a genuine desire to learn. They must have a good level of conduct, attitude and attendance at their current school.

Whakarongo School also welcomes groups of students for short stay visits. Please contact us for more information.

More information regarding the school and the fees are in the documents at the bottom of this page. Please feel free to download them.

For enquiries, please contact:

Jaco Broodryk, Principal