STS High School 14–18 years of age
Adventures in exceptional nature!

High School in New Zealand

Age 15-18

The trip is long, but it’s worth the effort. New Zealand, approximately 2 000 kilometers east of Australia, consists of two main islands and lots of smaller islands of sensational beauty. If you have seen the native son Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films, Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, you will recognize some of the mountains, rivers and meadows from the big screen. But this country is not only something from the movies, it’s for real and it can be your new home! 

High School Classic

High School Classic is the traditional high school exchange programme, chosen by most of our students. It is the perfect programme for those who long for a genuine high school experience abroad and who are willing to embrace all the surprises it can bring. Here’s how it works: based on your profile, we match you with a host family and school, and the best part is, it can be anywhere in New Zealand, from the vast sandy beaches of the north to the unique fjords in the south! If you’re open to adventure and are willing to let yourself be surprised by your exchange experience, this is the programme for you.

High School Select

With our High School Select program you can get a tailor made high school exchange that perfectly fits your profile. You will list your top priorities and we will help you find the right school. Our carefully selected schools can be located in cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin, or in many other locations, all offering wonderful activities and opportunities. 

In New Zealand there are both municipal and private alternatives and schools for boys, for girls and for mixed genders. Let’s find what suits you best.

You will have a thrilling time in school, especially since you will have quite a few electives, meaning you will choose many of the courses yourself. Among our offerings you can find an Outdoor Education Program, which is a great way to combine quality studies with extreme sports. Sports are offered at all schools in New Zealand. You can find rugby, netball, soccer and hockey, to name a few. 

Let's meet

Download our high school brochure

Download our brochure now and read all about STS High School.

Skiing and surfing

The North island has a warm climate and the South island, closer to Antarctica, is home to fjords, ski slopes and glaciers. What’s so amazing about this country is that you can go skiing on a volcano and bring your surfboard to catch the perfect wave down by the coastline, all in the same day! It’s a country of contrasts, for sure.

The seasons are the opposite compared to the Northern hemisphere. When Europe has winter, it’s summer in New Zealand. And vice versa. Make sure to pack your bag according to the right season and be prepared to join the adventure that awaits you!

Population: 4.7 million
Area: 268 000 km2
Capital: Wellington
Language: English. Maori and New Zealand Sign Language are also recognized as official
Traffic: Left handed
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Country code: +64

School life in New Zealand

A high quality school system, lots of sports options and school uniforms to unite the students and giving them a badge of pride – that sums up high school in New Zealand.

High school the Kiwi way

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. If you are placed in the final year, you will finish by going to the school ball. That’s often considered the event of the year, a chance to dress up like a celebrity for a night!

In most high schools there will be 1-3 compulsory subjects, depending on your level. A full schedule consists of between 5 – 6 subjects. It’s a great chance to join a course you wouldn’t find at home.

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 at the end of January/beginning of February. Our programmes in New Zealand last 3 terms, and 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’ve got that, go ahead and send your application today. The number of spots for exchange students in public schools is limited, secure yours today!

Your Kiwi family

New Zealanders are often referred to as Kiwis. Our Kiwi host families can be found on both the South and the North island. They are most commonly located in rural areas or smaller towns, but some live in bigger cities.

There is no such thing as a typical New Zealand family. They are all different and can have toddlers or teenagers, grown up children or no children at all. However, what they do have in common is the fact that they have been carefully selected and that they are happy to welcome you to their home.

The inside info

New Zealand families socialise frequently with friends and relatives and will gladly show you their country. You will get all the inside info about what to see and do. New Zealanders are very engaged, can be quite impulsive and love activities. Be open to all these influences – you might find yourself a new hobby!

Quick facts

  • Who can go: 15–18 years on arrival
  • Departure month: July and January
  • Language requirements: At least 3 years of English
  • Visa: Yes. Additional cost
  • Prep Course: Welcome Camp, included
  • School year: 4 terms, February-December
  • School day: Usually 08.45 - 15.30
  • Subjects: Compulsory and optional courses
  • Trips in the country: North Island in April. South Island in September. Additional cost

A thrilling leisure time

Are you adventurous? If not, try to step out of your comfort zone and you will see that your options in New Zealand are unlimited. The country is full of extreme sports like parachuting, rafting and bungy jumping, which actually originates from New Zealand. But of course, there are more laid back things to do as well. Like golf, sailing and bathing in hot springs.

If you’re into the Tolkien’s fantasy world, living in New Zealand will bring your dreams to life!. The beautiful and dramatic locations from the movies do exist and make for perfect places to visit when you have time off from school.

Try something unique

Fun fact about New Zealand: the number of sheep in the country is 15 times the number of human inhabitants. Yes, herds of them can be seen everywhere. And this is not a joke: sheep shearing is a sport! You should really try the sport sheep shearing. To shave off the wool is more difficult than you might think. Take the chance to try something unique, it might be a once in a lifetime experience. 

Spend your holiday on tour

In New Zealand, we offer all our exchange students the chance to join a North Island Tour in April and a South Island Tour in September/October. There will be an additional cost for the tours, covering all coach travel, accommodation, most evening meals and breakfasts and optional activities.

The South Island Tour is an 11 day adventure where you will experience New Zealand’s wilderness with glaciers and spectacular nature. You might also see some whales and sea lions. The North Island Tours is also 11 days of exceptional experiences. We will visit the country’s capital Wellington, the country’s largest city Auckland and enjoy the mild climate and a beautiful coastline.

Welcome Camp in Auckland

Upon arrival, students will spend the first three days in New Zealand in the city of Auckland. You will get valuable information and tips about the culture and daily life and also join in on some fun excursions and activities. 

What's included

  • Accommodation in a host family
  • Full board in a host family
  • School spot in a local high school 
  • Personal assistance and contact person in both home and host country
  • STS Welcome Camp 
  • Online pre-departure meeting
  • Emergency support 24/7
  • Free interview
  • Meetings and material to prepare you and your parents
  • STS bag
  • STS Diploma


Please note that the transport to your destination and back is not included the program fee.

Sales Year
3 Terms
From 16 500 €
2 Terms
From 15 500 €
2 Terms
From 15 500 €
3 Terms
From 16 500 €
3 Terms
From 16 400 €
2 Terms
From 14 900 €


About you/the student