Our school welcomes international students as part of our school community.
Pārāwai School is in a picturesque location on the Coromandel Peninsula, approximately one hour’s drive from Auckland International Airport and 1 ½ hours drive from the Auckland CBD. We are proud to be the largest full primary school in Thames offering rich learning programmes for years 1-8 (ages 5-13). We are located in the small historic gold mining town of Thames, at the base of the Coromandel, which is one of the most beautiful areas in New Zealand. There are amazing white sandy beaches, mountains, rivers, native bush and surrounding farm land. Services and facilities available in the town of Thames cater for most of the needs of the community. These include a public library, museum, airport, sports and cultural clubs, as well as a comprehensive shopping centre and range of professional services.
Pārāwai School is a contributing school to Thames High School and Hauraki Plains College, both schools are Code signatories, welcoming international students.
The Pārāwai School roll reflects diversity in ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The school received an outstanding Education Review Office Report, and we have an extremely well-resourced school in terms of facilities, equipment and personnel. You may view the latest ERO report here: https://www.ero.govt.nz/review-reports/parawai-school-19-08-2019/
Please click to view or download our 2021 International Prospectus.
Living in NZ
New Zealand offers a very supportive environment for students. Numbers in your class will probably be smaller than you’re used to. So you can expect to receive more personalised attention from your teachers than you might in other parts of the world.
Questioning - Unlike in some cultures, asking questions is an important part of New Zealand education. At all levels students are expected to have original thoughts and to be able to express them in their learning. This is how we show respect for our teachers - by participating fully in the academic process.
Encouraging creativity - New Zealand is a young country where independence, initiative and resourcefulness are more highly regarded than status or rules. As a student here you’ll be encouraged to be questioning, flexible and to seek your own answers by thinking for yourself.
Pastoral care - New Zealanders are genuinely concerned about people and are always willing to offer help when needed. You can live with a host family, in a room of your own, and they provide meals. Interacting with your hosts and meeting their neighbours and friends is a great way to advance your English and get ‘up close’ with New Zealand’s way of life and culture. Living in a homestay will provide the opportunity for making new friends quickly.
Climate and what to bring
New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country. Temperatures can vary between 2 C – 12C during the winter months (Mar – Aug) and 14C – 24C- 28C during the hotter summer months (Sept – Feb).
Recommended Clothing - Dress is informal and relaxed on most occasions. Smart casual clothes are acceptable in most situations. In summer a light jacket or sweater should be included in your luggage should the weather turn cooler or you visit the high country. You can expect some rain, so include a light waterproof jacket or coat. Pack warm winter clothing if visiting between May and September. Layer your clothing.
Benefits for International Students
Rich Educational Experiences
English immersion in classrooms and playground
Specialist support for new learners of English
Frequent learning excursions and trips
Exciting school camps
Full pastoral care provided to ensure our students' happiness
Advanced Education available in:
Literacy, numeracy and problem solving
Team and individual sports coaching
Art, music and drama
An ESOL programme will be determined for students on a case by case basis and our Special Education Needs Coordinator will work with the teacher and student to ensure a programme of learning is in place to meet their needs.
Safety and Security
High standards for education and behaviour
A strong philosophy of partnering with parents to help children
Promoting family and community friendships
Small friendly school in a caring, social environment
Small class sizes (approximately 23-26)
Consistently high academic achievement for all classes
High sporting achievement
Enthusiastic, high calibre teachers
Computers in every classroom, supervised internet access for all children
Library information centre & dedicated librarian
Quality after-school care and holiday programmes
Safe, idyllic location in one of the most beautiful places in NZ
Close to Thames High School and short driving distance to Hauraki Plains College
Close proximity to beaches and parks
Local sports clubs
The New Zealand Education System
The New Zealand Education system is ranked as one of the best in the world. It has 3 levels:
Early childhood education – from birth to school entry age
Primary and secondary school – from ages 5 to 19 (school is compulsory between the ages of 6 to 16)
Further education – includes all higher and vocational education.
Students do not need to pass exams to progress from Pārāwai School to secondary school. You can find more information on the New Zealand Education system here: https://www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/study-options/schools/
International Student Policies
Please click here to view our International Student Policies
Children under 10 enrolling at the school must be with their parent who must have Guardian Visa and stay with the child whilst in New Zealand.
If you are over 10, you can live with a host family, in a room of your own, and they will provide all your meals. Interacting with your hosts and meeting their neighbours and friends is a great way to advance your English and get ‘up close’ with New Zealand’s way of life and culture. Living in a homestay will provide the opportunity for making new friends quickly.
Code of Practice
Pārāwai School has agreed to observe and be bound by the “Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021” (the Code). Copies of the code are available from the school or from New Zealand Qualifications Authority at: Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice
To apply please submit an application form, a photocopy of the student’s passport, a copy of the student’s birth certificate, vaccination records and last two school reports.
International Fees 2022/2023
Uniform & Stationery costs are on top of the above fees and can change depending on the year. Uniforms are not required for short term stays and stationery is included for groups.
For day or overnight EOTC trips, charges will apply and are dependent on the time of year and activity involved. These costs will be given to parents of international students along with the activities involved prior to any trips taking place.
Approximate Uniform Pricing
Health and Travel Insurance
Most students are not entitled to publicly funded health services while in New Zealand unless they are:
A resident or citizen of Australia; or
A national of the United Kingdom in New Zealand; or
The holder of a temporary permit that is valid for two years or more
If you do not belong to one of these special categories and you receive medical treatment during your visit, you will be liable for the full costs of that treatment.
Therefore, all students must have Health and Travel Insurance for the duration of their stay in New Zealand. Proof of cover will be required as part of the enrolment process and the school must approve your insurance which must cover your travel between your home country and New Zealand, repatriation and expatriation.
Other charges you may have to meet include:
The cost of dental treatment
Specialist services, eg Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Services
Full details of visa and permit requirements and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service and can be viewed on their website at http://www.immigration.govt.nz
All students studying with us for longer than 12 weeks, must hold a valid student visa. Children under 10 are required to live with their natural parent/legal guardian while studying in New Zealand.
Please note that students holding a visitor or student visa and attending a primary school may not work while in NZ, and this includes unpaid work. If the school becomes aware of students breaching their visa conditions, we are obliged to inform Immigration New Zealand.
Students and parents may experience problems and difficulties in adjusting to life in New Zealand. The teacher and, then the deputy principal in charge of International Students, if needed will first address any problems.
If you need further help, please contact the principal. If you are still not satisfied, you may address a complaint to the board of trustees.
If the school has not adequately addressed your complaint, the “Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016” has processes in place to lodge a grievance external to the school.
For complaints relating to contracts of fee disputes, The Dispute Resolution Scheme is the appeal authority. IStudents complaints is the appointed operator of the International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS). Please view their website for more information on the DRS rules and how to make a complaint. https://www.istudent.org.nz
For other complaints, you can contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) by phone on 0800 697 296 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning line for translations
In emergencies ring 111 and ask for an ambulance.
For information on entitlements to publicly funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health at www.health.govt.nz.
If you want a doctor or another medical services: http://www.healthpoint.co.nz or call the Healthline number: 0800 611 116.
The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents, and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but international students may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. For more information, go to www.acc.co.nz
NZTA information for visiting drivers: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driving-safely/visiting-drivers/ and / or http://www.drivesafe.org.nz/
Tips to help your children stay safe when walking and when travelling on ... Road safety tips to teach your children ... Kea crossings: school crossing points. https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/safety-for-children/ and / or www.safekids.nz/Safety-Topics/Details/Type/View/ID/9/Child-Pedestrians
Seat belts www.drivingtests.co.nz › Home › Advice
New Zealand Now http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz
Tourism New Zealand http://www.tourismnewzealand.com
Nau Mai NZ
A wonderful site for information on living and studying in NZ: www.naumai.nz.co.nz