“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 ."
St Mary’s College is committed to providing a world class education and is considered one of the top academic performing schools in New Zealand. Students’ are inspired by the diverse subject choice and supported to strive for high standards with around 95% of students graduating to universities around the world. The College is the oldest Catholic girls’ school in New Zealand with traditional values which develops the whole person with confidence and a strong sense of social justice. The school has 1000 students and spaces for 45 international students, so the level of care and support is exceptional.
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Outstanding Academic Excellence
St Mary’s College offers a dynamic NCEA curriculum which is studied from Years 11-13 as an academic pathway to University Entrance. The College consistently achieves some of the highest success rates in New Zealand. NCEA is an excellent qualification that offers a seamless transition to any university or tertiary institute in New Zealand and is globally recognised.
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St Mary’s College students’ history of academic excellence is reflected in our outstanding 2021 NCEA results:
NCEA RESULTS FROM 2021
|Level 1||97.1 %|
|Level 2||97.0 %|
|Level 3||95.6 %|
|University Entrance||88.7 %|
All Year 13 students are given the opportunity to successfully graduate 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 and jazz bands and choral singing groups. Participation in music groups is also a wonderful way for students to make new friends.
From 2023 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 2021 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
When approved, the school will send you an Agent Agreement
Information for Parents and Students
Examples of Laptops for students in 2023
Information for Living in Auckland Handbook 2021
Information for Parents & Students 2021
Subjects and Information Booklet