International Students

International Students

Welcome to St. John’s College!

Nau mai ki Hato Hoani!

(“Now my key har-tor ho-arni”)

We are always excited to have international students add to the rich and diverse cultures of our school.



Founded in 1941 and with a current role of around 420 young men, our aim is to provide a high-quality education, grounded in Gospel values within our Catholic and Marist traditions. Our international students have not always been Catholic but have accepted our Values in their path to manhood.

St. John’s College has a strong focus on excellence in academia, sport and the Arts, supported by a totally dedicated and highly-qualified teaching and administrative staff where international students will feel at home, learn, thrive and grow.

We love hosting short and long-term students to experience not only a world-class New Zealand education but also our world-renowned, beautiful Hawke’s Bay.

We have excellent homestays that will welcome your son into their homes and families, who enjoy hosting overseas students in a safe environment. They allow our international students truly to embrace the ‘Kiwi’ lifestyle.

St. John’s College is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students published by the Ministry of Education.


Mr Christopher Wilson

Director of International Students

St. John’s College, Jervois Street, Mayfair,  Hastings 4122

College Office +64 6 878 6853

Mobile Phone +64 272 662377

Cheers, thank you = kia ora (“key-ōr-a”)

Download International Student Prospectus

“Another sunny day in sunny Hawke’s Bay!”

Hawke’s Bay is all about the outdoors!

The main cities of Hastings and Napier are coastal and enjoy a Mediterranean climate, yet are only two hours away from scenic hiking in the mountains and three hours from the ski slopes – you really could ski in the morning and catch the surf late afternoon! These popular and beautiful tourist cities are only 12km apart yet Napier is famous for its architecture – known as the Art Deco Capital of the World – with a population of 65,000 people, whilst Hastings is an agricultural centre promising to excite your taste buds with its many world-class vineyards, orchards and even a figgery, and has a population of 80,000.

The Hawke’s Bay region is known as the fruit bowl of New Zealand and provides excellent recreational and sightseeing opportunities; check out It’s also a bowl of creativity, famous for its many artists, sculptors and a very lively music scene from the Cabana (the ‘oldest live music venue in NZ’) to the 25,000+ Mission Concerts.

We have some great indoor activities too, such as cinemas, Super Strike bowling, museums, an Opera House, a Flip Out and of course lots of shops and cafes too.










Some of the many New Zealand accolades:

  • 1st Place – Safest country in the world (Global Peace Index, 2013)
  • 1st Place – Least corrupt country in the world (Transparency International Corruption Index, 2012)
  • 2nd Place – Most peaceful country in the world (Global Peace Index, 2013)
  • 2nd Place – Best country to live in (U.N. Human Development Report, 2012)

Homestay Accommodation

Te Whakaruruhau kāinga rua

(“Tay Facka-roo-roo-how car-inga roo-a”)


Whether staying for a week to experience our stunning Hawke’s Bay or to live and study for a full year, St. John’s College can arrange a homestay family for our international guests. Living with a New Zealand family helps to increase their circle of friends as well as improve their English skills.

We have excellent homestays that are carefully selected and will welcome your son into their homes and families. They enjoy hosting overseas students and provide a safe environment allowing our international students to embrace the ‘Kiwi’ lifestyle. Many families have adorable pets though we have homestays without should your son have an allergy. All students will have their own fully-furnished bedroom and share the rest of the house. Nearly all houses in Hawke’s Bay are detached with a garden. Parks, shopping, a cinema complex, etc. are usually not far away.

As part of being a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and whether staying with a host family or family members, the school abides by the strict rules within the Code, which include police vetting, bi-annual home visits and surveys.


“I enjoy staying with my host family and they are lovely family and my best experience was doing a birthday party.”

“I enjoy staying with my family and it makes me happy.”


Would you like to be a Homestay Family?

He kāinga anō tō whare? (“hay car-inger are-nor tor farry”)


Hosting a student is a beautiful gesture of humanity which will enrich not only theirs but your life, bringing two worlds together.

If you have your own children, they will love having another ‘sibling’ and will grow from learning about another culture.

If your family would like to open your home to an international student for a short or long-term stay, we would love to hear from you. You will be guided and totally supported by the College. Please contact the Director of International Students for an application form:

Enrolment and Fees

‘We’ll guide you all the way to our doorstep!’

“Mā mātou koe e ārahi ki Aotearoa”

(“mar mar-tow kway ay are-a-he kee Are-or-tay-are-o-a”)


Click here to view our Fees for International Students for 2023

Being a State-Integrated Catholic school, part of the fees go to the Palmerston North Diocese, because it, not the Government, is responsible for the ownership costs of the College’s land and buildings. The fee also supports the Diocese’ and its part in supporting the College in providing our students with the opportunity to encounter Christ through our Catholic faith. These fees are included in the tuition fee, which makes learning and growing at St. John’s College very reasonably priced.

Simple Steps to be on our doorstep

Here are the steps you need to follow to begin the study journey at St. John’s College:

Email us for an Application Form, which must be completed and returned with…:

  • Your son’s most recent school report(s);
  • A letter of recommendation from a senior teacher;
  • A copy of his passport;
  • A copy of his visa (if he already has one);
  • Once accepted, an Invoice will be issued along with a Conditional Offer of Place which you can use to begin your visa application process;
  • Once payment is received, the school will issue a Receipt and a confirmed Offer Of Place.
  • Take the Offer of Place and your Receipt to your nearest New Zealand Embassy to apply for your visa.


A Zoom with a View!

Once on board and counting down the months and weeks, we like to begin communicating via Zoom, Skype or Messenger et al so as to get to know each other, learn more about you and make you feel part of our family too.


Organising your accommodation

Having learnt more about you, we can arrange a suitable homestay family. Once organised, they like to receive an introductory letter in English and you can start communicating too and feel ‘at home’. See our webpage regarding accommodation.


Medical and Travel Insurance

International students must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand; we work closely with Uni-Care. Most international students are not entitled to publicly-funded health services while in New Zealand. If you receive medical treatment during your visit, you may be liable for the full costs of that treatment. Full details on entitlements to publicly-funded health services are available through the Ministry of Health, and can be viewed on their website at The Accident Compensation Corporation provides accident insurance for all New Zealand citizens, residents and temporary visitors to New Zealand, but you may still be liable for all other medical and related costs. Further information can be viewed on the ACC website at


See you at the airport…easy!

You will be met at Napier Airport by your homestay family and/or a representative from St. John’s College. Depending upon the day and time of arrival, we’ll soon take you on a quick tour of the area to get your bearings, which might include Te Mata Peak – a place full of Maori legend, the most amazing views of Hastings and Napier, the sprawling vineyards, countryside and mountains.

Student Voices

‘Ngā whakaaro whai mahara’

(“ngar fack-are-or fy mar-harra”)

Here are some of our international students sharing their stories