Principal addressing school assembly

Why Choose Waimea


Waimea College is committed to providing a world class education for our domestic and international students. We believe in supporting our students to attain personal standards of excellence in academic, sporting, cultural and recreational activities.

Student working collaboratively in classroom

Key Features of our School

Our Students
Our New Zealand students are friendly and approachable. They enjoy having international students at the school and many will sign up to be an ‘international student buddy’ at the start of the year. Our international group is made up of variety of nationalities from across Europe, Asia and South America. When you leave Waimea, you will have friends from all over the world!
Student Safety
Waimea College is a safe school based in a friendly community. Parents based abroad can be rest assured that their son or daughter is living with a caring and responsible host family that have undergone a full police check and are approved by the international department.
Our Staff

Our teachers and support staff are well-qualified and experienced practitioners that are passionate about supporting your learning. Learn more.

Our Curriculum

Please click here to find out more about our curriculum

Academic Success
Students at Waimea College consistently demonstrate excellent results at all levels of NCEA. Our pass rates are above the national average and our international graduates have attended universities from all over the world. Waimea places a high value on academic achievement. Our International Dean and Academic Advisor will support you in achieving your academic goals, and additional support can be provided if needed.
Extra-curricular Opportunities
At Waimea College, we encourage you to say ‘YES’. We provide a wide range of extra-curricular sporting, cultural and recreational opportunities that will help you make New Zealand friends, support you in embracing New Zealand life and empower you to make the most out of your time at Waimea.
Our International Programme
In addition to the array of extra-curricular opportunities that are on offer, international students also have access to a variety of other events throughout the year. From our adventurous 3-day ski trip, to our weekend away in a vibrant NZ city, to our two-week end of year programme – there is always something to look forward to coming up soon.
Student Support
The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance. Waimea College is committed to providing a high level of student support via its guidance centre, well-staffed international department, caring form teachers and the provision of year level deans. International and domestic student leaders are also available to support you if required.

International Student Experiences

Please click on the items below to watch videos

Girl is playing Shot put

“Waimea college is a great school. All the teachers are very nice and they always take care of you so, if you have any problems, don’t be shy and just find a teacher to help you.

I joined the Waimea College Orchestra while I was in Y10 and the orchestra is a wonderful team. It’s fun and also you get lots of opportunity of going on trips such as to Wellington. They also have a school performance every two years which is an awesome things to do. Another experience I had in Nelson was mountain biking. It’s an awesome activity/sport to do in NZ. Especially it’s not a common sport in Asia country so you should try it!!”

— Howard, Hong Kong

Girl is playing Shot put

“As an international student I really enjoyed my time at Waimea College. I had the opportunity to try new subjects which aren’t common in Germany for example Materials Technology Textiles or Photography. I also really enjoyed the international Outdoor Education. We went to an amazing kayaking trip in the Abel Tasman National Park for three days. Furthermore I joined the choir, which was fantastic and I really liked to sing with the others and had private voice and piano lessons. All teachers I met were very friendly and interested in helping me.

Everything from the international department was really organised and I loved the International Sport Nights. Even though my time at the Waimea College was shorter than planned because of the Covid-19 virus, I’m very happy that I got the chance get to know all the students, teachers, the international department and naturally the wonderful country, so I would love to come back. I can definitely say it was an experience for my life and I can recommend to everybody if you have the chance, no matter how long, to do an exchange year in New Zealand, you should use it.”

— Franziska, Germany

Girl is playing Shot put

“I am so proud of myself to have studied at Waimea college. The atmosphere of the school, the surrounding natures, and the people. Everything was kind. I especially liked the Maori studies at Waimea. Coming from Japan, I didn’t know we shared so many similar cultures. Learning Haka was just awesome. Homestay family took me to many amazing places and I remember catching many yummy red snappers. I am now back in Japan, going to study medicine to become a paramedic, with the confidence which the Waimeans have taught me.”

— Fumitaka, Japan

Girl is playing Shot put

“My life at Waimea was amazing. I was surprised how active people were and realised the importance of being active. I joined the basketball team and having won the gold medal and going to Dunedin for my basketball games are the best memories I have.”

— Rina, Japan

Waimea College Campus Arial View

Our Facilities – Virtual Tour

Waimea College occupies attractive, park-like grounds set against the beautiful Richmond Hills.
Our classrooms represent modern learning areas that are enjoyed by staff and students alike. All classrooms are equipped with a high level of digital technology and wireless internet.

Click here for an aerial view of Waimea College.

The outdoor classroom – Te akomanga o waho

In close proximity to three National Parks, our region is an adventure-seekers’ paradise. It provides an incredible classroom for all students to experience exhilarating outdoor activities through our extensive Outdoor Education programme.

In Year 9 you will have the opportunity to attend camps in our great outdoors. The focus of the camps is to challenge you personally while working as a team, and includes activities such as tramping, rafting, canoeing or kayaking, and a confidence course.

In Years 11, 12 or 13 you can participate in a range of outdoor pursuits such as kayaking, rock-climbing, tramping, alpine skills and mountain biking.

Waimea College’s membership of Outdoor Education New Zealand underpins our commitment to outstanding educational opportunities outside the classroom, where safety is paramount, and we are proud of our industry-leading OutdoorsMark Safety certification.

“Waimea College is surrounded by three beautiful National Parks where students go with the outdoor education programme to learn life skills they normally wouldn’t learn in the classroom, while pushing their boundaries and having fun.” — Georgia, Year 13

Our International Team

Girl is playing Shot put

Hayley Roper – International Manager and Dean

“My name is Hayley. I am the International Manager, I am responsible for the international department here at Waimea College. I am looking forward to working with our international students and to guide their experiences of our school, our community and our country. As a student at Waimea College you will see a lot of me. When you arrive, I will help you select subjects for your timetables and help with any problems you may be having in the classroom and school. I will be there to help you celebrate your successes, face your challenges, and I take overall responsibility for ensuring your time in New Zealand is safe and positive. My door will always be open to Waimea College’s international students and I am looking forward to meeting you soon.”

Contact Hayley

Julianne Wheeler

Julianne Wheeler – Assistant International Manager

“I am the person you will see at the front desk in the International Office. My role is to help everyone in our international family to feel informed and supported. I deal with all administrative matters and also assist with documents required for your visa applications, insurance claims and sending out school reports. I will try to answer any questions you may have. When Hayley is away on her marketing trips overseas, I will step into the International Manager role.”

Contact Julianne

Mel Young

Tori Puklowski– Homestay Coordinator

“I am here to support you in your homestay, school and in the community. I want you to have the best possible experience, which you will remember forever. I am available to you so you can talk with me about anything, I will respect your culture and your privacy. Please feel comfortable to see me with any questions you have about your homestay, friends, holiday plans, the New Zealand culture and lifestyle or any problems you are experiencing.”

Contact Tori

Head of English International

Rebecca Henaghan – Teacher in Charge of English Language

“I am the teacher of English Language. I will enjoy getting to know you and help you enjoy your achievements here at school, as well being alongside you if you face problems or challenges. If you are studying English Language, it is likely I will also be one of your subject teachers. I am looking forward to meeting you.”

Contact Rebecca

Girl is playing Shot put

Trish McGee – International Teacher Assistant

“I support our senior international students in their mainstream New Zealand English programme. I also teach a one-on-one individualised language programme for students requiring additional help in speaking, writing and listening in English. I have an in-depth understanding of the tasks that are required of you to in order to succeed and am committed to supporting you in achieving these. I’m proud to work at this school and am looking forward to meeting you at Waimea College soon. Remember, if you need any help, please just come and see me to ask.”

Contact Trish

Girl is playing Shot put

Kay Sneddon, Ph.D – Thailand – South East Asia Advisor

“I have two main roles at our school. I firstly look after our International Marketing in South East Asia, promoting Waimea College. As International Student Advisor to our South East Asian students. I provide support when you start school to help you adjust to the English-speaking education system.  My role is to take care and support you with anything you may need help with.”

Contact Kay

English Language at Waimea

New Zealand English classes

All international students are tested for their level of English on arrival. Students are then placed into a mainstream New Zealand English class that will best support and maximise their English development during the time they are at Waimea. A number of our New Zealand English classes are attended by an additional staff person especially placed in the class to support the learning of our international students.

English Language classes

Waimea College offers a full English Language programme for international students requiring additional help with their reading and writing. Students will be placed into one of four levels of class dependent on their ability when they arrive. As our English Language classes are small, students have plenty of opportunity to engage with the teacher and maximise their learning. All our English Language teachers are qualified practitioners and highly experienced in mentoring speakers of other languages.

Additional Literacy Support

Students requiring additional support in reading, writing or speaking in English may be considered for our low ratio literacy programme. This is a one-on-one or one-on-two computer assisted programme with proven success in supporting students with particularly low levels of English. Students are allocated into the programme on a term-by-term basis with priority going to our long term international students working towards their NCEA and University Entrance qualifications.