“Our commitment is to provide an excellent education and enriched cultural experience to all international students whilst they are studying at St Mary’s College ."  

We welcome the diversity that International Students bring to the College.

St Mary’s College is a Catholic School for Girls from Years 7-13. It is the oldest girls’ school in New Zealand and is consistently one of the top academic performing schools in Auckland and New Zealand.  These pass rates outperform most state schools and rival private school education pass rates. It offers a broad and dynamic curriculum and a complete range of quality experiences to support and develop students to their potential. The school has 1000 students and 40 international students and prides itself on the level of personal care and academic support that we deliver to all international students resulting in students achieving the necessary qualifications to pursue pathways in tertiary education. 


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Academic Excellence

St Mary’s College recently ranked 15th overall in New Zealand as a school that covers all the criteria that top universities are looking for. Please click here to read the full article from Crimson Education.

It has enjoyed a long tradition of academic excellence and is one of the best schools in Auckland. It supports students from Year 7 through 13 to reach the requirements to study at a New Zealand University or abroad.

Please click here for information on Why to Choose a Single Sex School or Catholic School for your daughter. 

St Mary’s College students’ history of academic excellence is reflected in our outstanding 2020 NCEA results:


Level 1 96.7 %
Level 2 96.4 %
Level 3 98.6 %
University Entrance 91.0 %

All Year 13 students successfully graduated to a University or Tertiary provider, and the majority of students in Years 11-13 gain a Merit or Excellent endorsement. Some recent successes are:

Alice Shan, China – University of Auckland  – Science
Yolanda Fan – University of Auckland – Early Childhood Degree
Yuka Fujii, Japan – Sophia University – Global Perspectives (Journalism)
Vanessa Chan, Hong Kong – University of Auckland – Engineering
Maggie Wang, Taiwan - Biomedical Science - University of Auckland 

NCEA and University Entrance 

The College follows the New Zealand curriculum for the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) which is studied over three years in Years 11, 12 and 13. Please click here to find out more about NCEA.

Central Auckland location

The school is located in one of Auckland's most respectable suburbs, Ponsonby, Central Auckland, just a 10-minute walk to Auckland’s city centre. It has a special mix of traditional and modern facilities including a 30m pool, tennis courts, gymnasium and a chapel, all within its spacious grounds, with spectacular harbour and city views. St Mary's College is located just 10 minutes from Auckland's CBD.

Care and Support for each student 

St Mary’s has three dedicated staff who look after the international students to make sure they are happy and successful.  Each student has the support of an Academic Dean who sets realistic expectations and individual timetables, an International Director who looks after their overall wellbeing and a homestay coordinator if they are living in a school monitored homestay.   The school is very caring and the students are friendly, welcoming and respectful.  A classroom buddy and international ambassador programme is established to help support the students on their first few weeks while they settle into school and find friends.

A school rich in traditions and history

Established in 1850, St Mary’s College is the oldest girls’ school in New Zealand. It is steeped in history, tradition and cultural richness, all based on the spiritual values of Mercy. International students do not need to be Catholic to enrol. Every student is valued and shares a sense of community with compassion, care and respect for others.

Outstanding Music school

The St Mary’s Music Department is world-renowned for its award-winning achievements and is recognised for musical excellence in New Zealand and abroad. St Mary's College continues to provide superior music tuition which, over the years, has helped many acclaimed musicians realise their potential. Music is an important part of school life and music instruction is compulsory in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. There are many exciting musical opportunities for students at all levels to choose from, such as orchestras, symphonic wind bands and choral singing groups.

Short-Term programmes

From 2021 we have limited spaces available for students enrolled under 10 weeks. 


International Students can stay with an approved caregiver (i.e. family member) or in an approved homestay that the school organises.  All homestay families are police checked and meet strict criteria before they can host students.

Please view our 2020 Homestay Information Pack

School quality assurance 

All schools in New Zealand are reviewed by the Education Review Office (ERO) who look at how schools’ reach positive learning outcomes for all children and young people. St Mary’s College has an excellent review including the process for international students which can be found here 

Being an Agent for the school

We take the experiences of our international students very seriously. We rely on our agents to enhance the experience for students and maintain close communication between students, families and school.

If you are interested in becoming an agent, please complete an Expression of Interest with references and send to

Sue King, International Student Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

When approved, the school will send you an Agent Agreement

In case of emergency

Please dial 111. For all other urgent matters please call Sue King on 021 157 8776 or Samantha van Deventer on 021 261 2779.

Information for Parents and Students