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William Colenso College is a co-educational school with 500 students from years 7 to 13

Our college is based in the seaside city of Napier on the sunny east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. We have the staff, facilities and programmes to help students from around the world gain internationally-recognised qualifications.

Our school offers quality education, excellent facilities and leadership opportunities. We were very proud to be awarded the Prime Minister’s Education Award for Education Focus in 2018. In 2017 we won the Excellence in Leading award and were finalists for Teaching & Learning and Governance. We also provide a world class Outdoor Education Programme as part of the curriculum.

About William Colenso College

William Colenso College, located on a spacious campus, is a modern and progressive school with a rich tradition of providing high quality academic, cultural and sporting opportunities.

The school is successful, small scale and has a friendly, safe environment. Our staff and students accomplish excellent results in all areas of school and society – whether it’s in sports, academia, arts, culture or community. We have been helping students from around the world achieve success in this environment for 30 years – and we have fun doing it!

See what our students say

What can I study?

Students study a comprehensive range of academic subjects and specialist programmes. Academic pathways are crafted to suit individual needs. Our highly trained teachers love investing their time and sharing knowledge with students.

All students study core academic subjects including maths, English, sciences and social sciences. Maori language and cultural classes are also offered and are a significant part of the school character. Students can choose to develop their practical and creative skills in woodwork, textiles, metalwork and engineering, food and nutrition, design, photography, art, digital technologies, physical education, dance and our nationally-recognised outdoor education class.

Fees 2022/23

All the support you need

The college prides itself on the support it offers International Students. Our pastoral care coordinator builds a support network around every student. Our experienced and trusted homestay parents work with us, with each other and alongside the international student group to help everyone thrive and grow in their time here. Many homestay families become lifelong friends with their students and families.

Our team includes a nurse and a student counsellor, as well as extra-tuition and in-class support for those who require it. We also have a culture of inclusion and co-operation, meaning that all members of staff and students will support and encourage all of our International Students. Also, with 20 to 30 International Students at William Colenso College, you’ll never be short of friends or support from someone who is in the same situation as you.

Jocelyn AuldPrincipal.

Mr Robin Stewart - International DirectorResponsible for applications and introducing new International Students.

Ms Jody Stent - International Student DeanResponsible for pastoral care of International Students. Jody is also Homestay Co-ordinator.

Ms Moira TerryESOL teacher.

Ms Kana KogaLanguage support teacher aide.

Ms Laura JacksonMarketing Manager Europe.

Mrs Louise MacfarlaneEnglish and ESOL teacher.

Live with a Kiwi Family

To ensure that you get the most from your time in New Zealand, you’ll be placed in homestay accommodation with a local family. Here you’ll become part of the family and find warmth, support, friendship and a real taste of the Kiwi lifestyle.

International Student Dean and Homestay Co-ordinator, Ms Jody Stent, will arrange everything and she is always on hand to deal with any issues, should they arise.

We offer internationally recognised qualifications including University Entrance

William Colenso College has a strong tradition of academic achievement and we are a signatory to ‘The Code of Practice for the Care of International Students’.

Many of our international students have attained high academic success, won scholarships and gained places at top universities. Fundamental to this success is having high expectations of our students, backed with well-structured and student-centered programmes with a focus on high standards and quality teaching.

Success stories

In recent years International Students at William Colenso College have achieved remarkable success. Among some outstanding performances are the following:

  1. Skylir Chang
    Proxime Accessit 2017
  2. Michael Le
    2019 Academic Excellence
  3. Rachel Tsai
    2018 Academic Excellence
  4. Rahel Weber
    2018 Dux
  5. Moeka Nakane
    2020 Dux

You can study overseas

Discover yourself

Step outside your comfort zone, see the world, make up your own mind. Bring out your independent nature – become an explorer and uncover your inner curiosity. Find yourself and grow.

Experience new cultures

Find incredible new foods, customs and traditions. Immerse yourself in different cultural perspectives and understand how other cultures live and think.

Improve your language

Completely immerse yourself in a new language – there’s no better way to learn than to dive right in!

Graduate and Career Opportunities

You will gain a great education and a new language, as well as exhibiting your willingness to learn, and to commit to your education – all of which are very attractive to university admissions and future employers. Whether it’s back home, in New Zealand or in another country, you’ll show that you aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges.

New experiences

You may have an undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, kayaking, or various other new activities you may never have tried back home.

Friends for life

Make lifelong friends from different backgrounds. You’ll support each other and will create rewarding relationships. They can also be important networking tools later in life.

Once in a life time opportunity

It’s an experience unlike no other – grasp it!

Living in New Zealand

Friendly, welcoming, un-crowded, clean, green and always ready for an adventure.

  • Safest country in the world
    Global Peace Index – 2017
  • Least corrupt country in the world
    Transparency International Corruption Index – 2016
  • Most peaceful country in the world
    Global Peace Index – 2017
  • Home of the Hobbits!
    We also have the All Blacks

Why study in NZ

What can you study?

Many of our international students have attained high academic success, won scholarships and gained places at top universities. Fundamental to this success is having high expectations of our students, backed with well-structured and student-centered programmes with a focus on high standards and quality teaching.

All students are expected to study five subjects plus special Friday options. Mathmatics, English and/or ESOL are the only compulsory subjects, You’ll have access to the Senior Subjects below.

Advanced English
Multi-level English
Film Studies
University Entrance English
Media Studies
Health Sciences
Visual Arts
Digital Art
Maori Art Painting/Printmaking
Performing Arts
Event Management
Stage Craft
Food & Nutrition
Food technology
Principals of Cookery
Soft Materials
Soft Materials Tech
Te Reo (Maori)
PE / Health
Physical Education
Sports & recreation
Health & Social Services
Outdoor Education
Social Sciences
Maori Tourism

Choose Napier & Hawke's Bay

We are a small coastal city (population 57,000) located on the North Island of New Zealand.

Less than 1 hour by flight from Auckland or Wellington, we have a rural hinterland of vineyards, orchards and sheep farms serviced by the twin cities of Napier and Hastings.

Hawke’s Bay has a mediterranean-type climate – long, hot summers and mild winters. We love our mountain to surf landscapes, adventure activities are everywhere.

Every year we celebrate Art Deco weekend, and Hawke’s Bay has been crowed the Southern Hemisphere’s ‘Art Deco’ capital.


Code of Practice

WILLIAM COLENSO COLLEGE is a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016.

In summary the Code sets standards for educational providers (such as William Colenso College) to ensure that:

  • The recruitment of International Students is undertaken in an ethical and responsible manner
  • Information supplied to International Students is comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date
  • Students are provided with information prior to entering into any commitments
  • Contractual dealings with International Students are conducted in an ethical and responsible manner
  • The particular needs of International Students are recognised
  • High professional standards are maintained
  • All providers have fair and equitable internal procedures for the resolution of international student grievances

Learn outside the classroom

At William Colenso College, we recognise that building confidence is a thrill and it’s worth the effort to be challenged physically and mentally to develop confidence and leadership skills.

We live in an amazing part of the world and the college makes full use of Hawke’s Bay’s diverse and wonderful natural environment to provide a safe, enjoyable and challenging learning experience in the outdoors.

We offer a wide range of sporting and cultural activities for all age groups. Students can gain official credits towards NCEA qualifications by completing some of the world’s most exhilarating outdoor experiences.

For many years now, the college has been able to offer one of the best Outdoor Education Programmes in New Zealand.

On campus we have the biggest school-based indoor climbing wall in the country. Under expert guidance our students are able to participate in a range of activities including: rock climbing, high and low ropes courses, kayaking, tramping, camping, mountain biking, skiing, surfing, caving and leadership.

Come and challenge yourself while adding to your educational qualifications.

How to apply

Before you can enrol at a New Zealand high school you must obtain the appropriate Student Permit/Visa.

Most students like to work through a local Education Agent. If you wish to work with a local agent, but do not know any near you, please contact the International Director and he will be able to provide you with names and contacts for approved agents in your country who work with William Colenso College.

If you choose to use an agent, the agent will help you through the following steps which might differ a little depending on what country you come from.


You must complete an application form and you or your agent must send it to robin.stewart@colenso.school.nz.


The International Director will consider your application and reply as soon as possible – usually within 24 hours.


If your application is accepted, an Offer of Place will be sent. This will also include an invoice with details of fees payable. At this time a Tuition Agreement will be sent.


The fees then need to be paid. The invoice includes the school’s banking details to enable you to transfer the fees directly into the school bank account.


As soon as payment has been received by the school, an official Receipt and Confirmation of Offer is sent. This is the document you will need when you apply for your Student Visa. You can find out more about visas on the Immigration New Zealand website.


You can now apply for your student visa. This is done through your nearest New Zealand Immigration Office. If you are using an agent, they will help you complete this application.


If you have all the required documentation completed correctly, it should not take long (2-3 weeks) until you receive your visa. You can now begin to make your travel arrangements.

International Contact Information

For all questions please contact International Director Robin Stewart
Phone: +64 06 831 0180
Email: robin.stewart@colenso.school.nz