International Students

Southwell School is one of the leading Independent day and boarding primary schools in New Zealand and we welcome International Students at all levels of primary education, both boarders and day students.  We enrol children from ages 5 to 13 (Year 1 to Year 8) and provide excellent education in a caring environment.  The School is located in Hamilton city (population of 140,000) and is situated just a little over an hour's drive from Auckland International Airport. 

Southwell School has been hosting International Students, both boarders and day students, for over 20 years and we have excellent systems in place to ensure the students are well looked and receive a great range of opportunities.  The School has modern facilities and experienced staff. We have specialist teachers teaching in purpose built facilities including: Music, Performing Arts, Science, Technology, Sport, Art, and Pottery. We also teach the French, Chinese & Maori languages. We are also very lucky at Southwell School to have over 12 hectares of beautiful grounds and playing fields for the students to enjoy.

Southwell School follows the New Zealand Government's National Curriculum for primary schools, but as mentioned above Southwell has the added advantage of having purpose-built facilities and specialist teaching staff to ensure students receive extra value to their educational experience. 

It is an advantage for International Students to attend Southwell School before they go on to secondary school. By coming to Southwell they get to experience and adapt to school life and New Zealand culture in a smaller, caring environment and also develop their English language skills. All of this is a huge help in preparing students for their secondary education. 

Southwell School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students as required by the New Zealand Government. The Code of Practice ensures a very high standard of care for International Students studying in New Zealand and all school's are monitored by the government to ensure they are complying with the Code.

The Education Review Office (ERO) is a New Zealand Government Department  that is responsible for reviewing and publicly reporting on the quality of education and care of all students in all New Zealand Schools. Each school is visited and assessed by a team from the Education Review Office approximately every three years. Here is Southwell School's most recent report from the Education Review Office.

For more information see the menu on the left, particularly the Application Process document. Also take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions.


A student visa is required for international students to study in New Zealand. This can be applied for once a place has been offered at the school and the tuition fee has been paid. New Zealand Immigration requirements state that children under the age of 11 years of age are to be either accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or stay in an approved Boarding facility.  Southwell School has excellent Boarding facilities for children aged 8 and over.  We assist with finding a suitable guardian and homestays if required.


The subject English as a Second Language (ESOL) is available for those students who need it and each student will receive individual attention for as long as it is required. 


The International Student Director takes a personal interest in each student's well-being and is available during the school day for students to talk to at any time. All staff members at Southwell are very caring and will happily assist any student at any time. 

For further information please contact the International Student Manager:

Gloria Archer