Gulf Harbour School

International Students Accompanied by a Parent

Our school community is very international and we cherish the richness of our multicultural school life. We also love having visitors from all over the world that experience the culture of New Zealand and our school by sharing our every day life for a period of time. Some families stay for two weeks, some spend a term or even a year or two. We believe that international students who are accompanied by their parents during a short term or long term stay feel happy and secure during their time in New Zealand and settle down quicker and more happily.

If you are interested in applying for a place at our school, please contact Dagmar Goodall via

What will you need to do?

First let us know that you are interested in enrolling a child at our school. We need to know:

  • that a parent will be with the child for the entire stay
  • the exact period of time you would like to enrol your child for
  • your child’s date of birth and name

Next you will receive an offer of place, followed by an invoice, once the school has established that your child can be accepted. You might need the offer of place document to apply for your visa. It is important that you apply for the correct visa, please check this carefully with NZ Immigration.

Before you arrive in New Zealand, make an appointment for an enrolment. When you come to our school to enrol your child, please, provide a document such as your rental agreement to confirm that you are accompanying your child.

Students that enrol at our school for short periods, that is under three months of time, are allowed to enter New Zealand with a visitor’s visa. Please, provide your and your child’s passports to confirm that you have the appropriate visas.

The fee for international students is $ 300.00 per week, $ 3.000 per term. Please, pay the sum on enrolment, but not before you have confirmation of a place at our school. We have to have proof of suitable travel and medical insurance for the whole length of your stay in New Zealand. Please, bring in your travel insurance documents when you enrol your child.

Short term and long term international students will study the full New Zealand curriculum as part of a mainstream classroom. The ESOL teacher will assist the class teacher to enable the international student to participate in the school programme. The international students will meet the ESOL teacher once or twice a week for an English language lesson.


What is it like to join a classroom at Gulf Harbour School as an international student?

The international students that join our school arrive with different levels of English language ability. Please, be aware that even if your child has been learning English at school in your home country for several years, they might only be able to understand very little in an English speaking school environment, when they first arrive. Needless to say that a student with very good language skills will find the transition into the New Zealand classroom easy and enjoyable from the beginning.

We want this experience to be a happy and successful time in your child’s life and that is why we are very honest about what we observe when international students first arrive. The first weeks in our classrooms at Gulf Harbour School can be frustrating for international students. Some children are even upset due to their lack of understanding and the immense challenge of communicating in another language. At the beginning of their stay the students might feel a little bit lonely and even bored in their new classroom. The classroom teacher will be very supportive, but won’t run a different programme for the international student. The international student can expect one or two sessions of English support per week that is delivered outside the classroom by our specialised English language teacher.

It is very important that you prepare your child for this experience and the fact that it is a challenging and initially even scary time. Please, consider carefully, if your daughter or son is the kind of person that will adapt easily and has the courage and resilience to deal with this experience. Our experience has taught us that students that love to communicate and have the attitude to give everything a go without fear of failure are the most successful students and gain a lot from their stay with us. It is very important to reach out and communicate – even in the first days of their arrival – as speaking a language can only be learned by using it, even if our vocabulary might be limited and we might make many grammar mistakes.


What is your child going to learn and what progress can you expect?

This is a very difficult question to answer, because the progress an international student makes depends on the level of language ability they had at the beginning of their stay, their ability to communicate and reach out and their personal pace for learning. Another very important factor for progress is the length of time a student stays at our school.

When your child first arrives in New Zealand the ESOL teacher will assess the language level of your child. The ELLP, the English Language Learning Progressions, is the document that we use to document the progress of our ESOL students. The ESOL teacher will report to you based on these learning progressions, if your child stays for more than two terms.

Gulf Harbour School
Gulf Harbour School

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