New Zealand

Students going on exchange to New Zealand will be spoiled with its stunning scenery and warm and friendly people.  Further south than Australia, it can be chilly in some parts of the country, but New Zealand also has very pleasant summers.  There is no language requirement for students from Australia to go on exchange to New Zealand.  If you are not from Australia but would like to come on exchange to New Zealand, please contact us or your local YFU organisation.


Credit: Ludimila from Brazil

New Zealand students spend 6 years at primary or elementary schools. When they reach the age of 11, they either pursue 2 more years at their primary school or at a specialist intermediate school. This schooling phase is called the intermediate years and this precedes high school. At the age of 13, students go to high school and this is divided into 2 divisions – junior secondary and senior secondary. The junior years are between Years 9 to 11 and the senior secondary years 12 and 13 form the secondary years. The senior years are spent in pursuit of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Completion of this qualification is dependent on acquiring the required number of credits in study of certain subjects over those years. This can be a pathway for university entry or other tertiary study.  Students on program to New Zealand will not be enrolled into year 13.  The school year begins at the beginning of February in New Zealand and ends in mid-December.  Students in senior years may finish classes at the beginning of November.   At the high school level, students are able to make subject choices such as History, Geography and the Sciences.


Constanza Uruguay
Credit: Constanza from Uruguay

YFU New Zealand Host Families represent the many different types of families in the New Zealand community. We have families with young children, no children and single parents.  In many New Zealand host families both parents work full or part-time. Some  Kiwi families do most things together whilst  in others  individual members follow their own interests and are more independent of the family.  Over half of New Zealanders live in small to medium sized rural towns or rural areas.  90% of students are placed with families in these areas rather than in cities.  Your host family may have a lifestyle that is quite different from your own family. In New Zealand it is rare for families to have servants and you will be expected to help with household chores such as washing dishes, preparing occasional meals, keeping your own room clean and looking after your clothes.  New Zealand tends to be a matriarchal society – usually what Mum says goes!  In many host families both parents work full or part-time and are very busy, but most families try to come together for the evening meal which  in New Zealand is called “tea” and usually takes place around 6.30pm – 7.00pm.   It is very important to contribute this discussion and tell your host family about your day at this time.

*Prices below are for students residing in Australia only.  For other students wishing to come to New Zealand for their exchange, please contact us or your local YFU organisation for more information.

Program Departure Price Discount Deadline Application Deadline