Student support at St Mary’s College reflects the Mercy Spirit of being caring and kind to each other.  There are school guidance counsellors and an international ambassador programme designed to integrate international students into the St Mary’s school life. Each international student gets the support and friendship of St Mary’s students in their classes and throughout their stay at the school, especially when they first start.

Students are guaranteed individual attention, as classes are small. In addition, tutorial and homework groups are provided to support student learning. Students also have access to English language support through the ESL Department. Besides small classes and a supportive environment, students have the benefit of excellent up-to-date facilities.

Student support 1

Careers Advisor – to help you plan for the future

The Careers Advisor is available by appointment for all students to discuss career planning. Please contact Judith Adams on (09) 376 6568 extension 726 or email

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Nurse – when you are not well (available daily from 9am - 4pm)

Students who report sick or injured to the School Office are cared for by the administrative staff or nurse. If they are unable to return to class, a receptionist or the Nurse will call the parent or homestay parent to have the student collected and taken home.

Buddies on arrival and International Ambassador Programme

On the student’s first day they will meet their teachers and be assigned a ‘buddy’ to help them settle into classes and find their way around the school.  All buddies are part of an international Ambassador programme where they help integrate the students into school life and introduce them to sports, clubs and extra-curricular activities.

Each term the students of other Catholic school get together to socialise and have fun.

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Code of practice and resolving grievances or complaints

When an international student comes to New Zealand to study, education providers have a responsibility to ensure that they are well informed, safe and properly cared for. In New Zealand this is called ‘pastoral care’ and to support this, the New Zealand Government has developed the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016.

From 1 July 2016 there has been significant changes to the Code of Practice and a new dispute resolution scheme has been introduced.  Both these documents regulate the care and support of your daughter or student you are representing whilst she is studying at St Mary’s College. 

Please click here to view the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 1 July 2016 (which replaces the existing Code of Practice), and a new International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) which has been established to resolve contractual and financial disputes between international students and education providers. Please click here for information.

Please be assured that St Mary’s College upholds and supports the Code of Practice, however, if for any reason you have concerns about your daughter’s treatment by the school or by one of the school’s agents, your first step is to talk to the school’s International Director, Mrs Sue King, and if your concerns are not resolved by the school you can contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), who will process your complaint through the DRS scheme.  The website address is above or, for more information on the complaint process, you can contact NZQA on 0800 697 296.

It is the Agent’s responsibility to obtain a copy of the Code of Practice (Code) and the Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) and understand it.

For more information please click here