International Students

At Kelburn Normal School we offer international students an opportunity to become a member of our school family. We are pleased to be able to offer international students the opportunity to experience the NZ education system and study at Kelburn in a high quality caring, social, artistic and academic environment.

So why choose Kelburn Normal School as an International Student provider?

We accept only small numbers of international students at any one time so this means your child gets a very personalised kiwi learning experience.

The school has a wide range of subjects, taught by highly skilled staff. We pride ourselves on our academic success rates, creativity and a range of sports and cultural events. The Performing Arts are a key feature of the school. Students may join the school choir, orchestra, kapa haka, or band. There are opportunities to have private music tuition in piano, violin, singing, guitar, cello, recorder, flute, and drums. We also offer opportunities in a range of dance and drama activities.

Our students say...

“We make friends easily. There are many sports and trips we can do like real Kiwis. The teachers are cool.”

Our Parents say...

“You and the ESOL class have helped my son a lot to adapt to KNS school life”

“When we came to NZ, the boys didn’t speak English at all. Now they are fluent.”


Kelburn Normal School's curriculum is based on the New Zealand National Curriculum sourced from the Ministry of Education. All staff involved in curriculum delivery (educational programmes), are appropriately trained professional teachers registered with the New Zealand Education Council.

New Zealand education

Here is a short clip of some stories about how New Zealand has given children a high quality education and the experience to help them grow. New Zealand teachers are among the most professional in the world and your child's safety is assured by the government. Hear from real parents who have experienced a New Zealand education.

Here is a story from a Chinese parent about attending a school in NZ similar to Kelburn.

Tuition fees

For our tuition fees with please refer to our Fee Schedule on the International Students enrolment page. We have a minimum enrolment of ten weeks.Tuition fees are payable in full before the student commences at Kelburn Normal School.

Our tuition fee also includes stationery, day trips and a KNS branded clothing item.


Kelburn Normal School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. Students under the age of 10 must live with a parent or legal guardian. Kelburn Normal School does not offer homestay accommodation.

Students over the age of 10 but under 18 years who do not live with a parent or legal guardian must be in a properly supervised group of students whose educational instruction is not more than 3 months; or be in the care of a residential caregiver.

Language assessment

Initial assessments in English language ability, are completed by the English Language teacher in the first 2-3 weeks of school. Reports that highlight areas of strengths and language learning needs are passed to classroom teachers.

Ongoing assessment continues over the term by both the English Language teacher and the classroom teacher. Assessment covers competence in listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar.

After 6 weeks at school the classroom teacher will report on the emotional and social development of the student:

  • How are they settling into school?
  • Have they made friends?
  • How is their behaviour?
  • Are they participating in class activities?

Class Placement

International students study with New Zealand students in mainstream classrooms. New students are placed in age appropriate class levels and participate fully in classroom programmes. Classroom teachers are trained to incorporate and support the student in the mainstream classroom.

Depending on the student's English language needs, international students may leave the classroom, for periods of up to 45 minutes, 3 times a week, to receive specialised English language tuition in a small group.

English language tuition is designed to meet individual language learning needs and ensure the student is able to participate successfully in the mainstream classroom.

Farewell for departing students

Final English language assessments will be completed by the English language teacher.

Students receive an official Kelburn Normal School Leaving Certificate. Homeroom classes may choose to have a class party in the form of a shared lunch for leaving students.


Kelburn Normal School Video

Click this link to see students at Kelburn published in 2018.  

And also this recent video (2020) produced by WellingtonNZ featuring one of our students.


International Enrolments