International Students

We welcome International Students at Riwaka School. We are licensed to accept enrolments for International Students from all over the world.

Our school has a roll of about 220 students and is located in the Riwaka township which is nestled in close proximity to Motueka, Kaiteriteri and the beauty of the Abel Tasman National Park; accessible through the gateway of Marahau.

Established in 1848, we are one of the oldest schools in new Zealand. Despite the age of the school, learning spaces have received continuous upgrades and all students have access to digital technologies as tools to aid literacy, numeracy, problem solving, collaboration and creating.

We have a caring and diverse staff with a range of backgrounds and skill sets.

During your child’s time at Riwaka School, they will experience the richness of the New Zealand curriculum, experiencing opportunities for Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC), the opportunity to forge new friendships, opportunities to participate in after school sports, swimming in our 8m x 25m heated swimming pool over the summer months and interacting with our friendly staff.

We are proud of our school and the efforts and achievements of our learners. The feedback we receive from parents is very positive, particularly around the caring nature of staff and willingness to go the extra mile for all learners. We hope to be able to work with you to help forge life-long memories of learning and friendships made in a great medium-sized NZ primary school with a ‘big heart’.

We have Ministry approval to host International students at Riwaka School for short or longer stays.

We have had several students over the years from Switzerland, England, the Philippines and Germany. All students have thoroughly enjoyed their experiences and made the most of all learning opportunities. We thoroughly enjoyed having these students and their families with us.

For further information, please contact our principal.

Adele Lidgard –

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my child is eligible to attend Riwaka School?

We welcome enrolments for students aged 5-14 years of age for periods of 10 weeks up to eight years!

What are the enrolment procedures for International Students?

All New Zealand children enrolled at a State School are entitled to a ‘free education’. Children can be enrolled at a New Zealand State Primary School from their fifth birthday. Education becomes compulsory at age six. Children fourteen years and over attend Secondary School. Education for New Zealand children remains compulsory until the age of sixteen.

State schools are funded by the Government and teachers are paid by a Central Government pay service. International students do not qualify for ‘free’ education and are required to pay a fee. Riwaka School is a signatory to the New Zealand Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and therefore approved for the enrolment of international students. Our school policy requires International Students to enrol for a period no less than one term (approximately 10 weeks.)

International Students enrolled at Riwaka School must be living with a parent or legal guardian for the entire duration of their enrolment.

How do we enrol our child?

The process for enrolment involves completing the 5 steps below:

  1. Send a completed application form together with the non-refundable application fee, the child’s latest school report and a photocopy of the first page of the caregivers and the child’s passport. Send to the Principal by email at: .
  2. Your application will be reviewed and if successful, you will receive a letter of acceptance via email as well as an invoice for tuition fees.
  3. You write or email back your acceptance of the place offered, pay the fees and expenses to the Riwaka School Board of Trustees bank account.
  4. We send back a letter (or email)  to confirm your place and a receipt for fees paid.
  5. You apply for a student visa from the nearest New Zealand High Commission or Embassy.

What are the fees?

We charge a $200 application fee. This is non-refundable if you decide against coming, but is deducted from your school fees if you accept a place here.

A government levy of  up to $900 per year is charged.

Tuition fees are approximately $250 per week (including GST). The school year is approximately 40 weeks in duration.

You will need to plan for other school expenses, such as stationery, school camp charges, Motec (technology programme for Years 7 & 8 students), after school sporting activities, etc. These amount to approximately $400 per year.

There will also be insurance and student visa costs to be arranged privately. We cannot accept any enrolment if there is no insurance cover for the period whilst in New Zealand.

What visa is required and what are the conditions of this?

International students studying in New Zealand require a Student Visa.

Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available through the New Zealand Immigration Service, and can be viewed on their website at

The details completed in the ‘Offer of a Place’ form provided by the School are required by New Zealand Immigration for the issuing of a Student Visa or Permit.

The School will inform the New Zealand Immigration Service when:

  • Students complete the course for which they have enrolled and return to their home country.
  • Choose to leave Tasman School to continue their study at another school in New Zealand.
  • Students fail to attend school on a regular basis (act truant).

What do I need to know about healthcare and 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. We also strongly recommend that you obtain insurance to cover your travel to and from New Zealand.

Other charges you may have to meet include:      

  • The cost of dental treatment     
  • Specialist services, eg Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Services