Columba’s International Programme

Columba College offers a fully integrated, mainstream academic programme for girls from overseas, years 7 through 13. Our academic results are among the top in Otago and New Zealand. 

Each girl’s individual programme is assessed and mentored from the outset. Each is given the ESOL support needed for her to achieve alongside Kiwi girls whose native language is English.

International girls can strive to gain NCEA and University Entrance in New Zealand. Alternatively, many girls have achieved the necessary qualifications to gain admission to their university of first choice back home or in the United Kingdom and North America.

Read our latest Education Review Office report.

International House

2018 marked the opening of the new International House, an appealing, purpose-built facility for our International Students. The House comprises a space for ESOL classes, lectures, supervised homework study, a new kitchen for preparing snacks and meals, as well as staff offices and a reception area.

international house 


At Columba, the pastoral care of young women has been a priority for over 100 years. And as a signatory of the NZ Ministry of Education’s Code of Practice, no stone is left unturned in ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of our international girls.

This commitment starts upon arrival, when new girls are met and welcomed by the Department’s Director, Mrs Sue Medary. Each girl is given a comprehensive handbook explaining all school systems and procedures. Then comes a tour of the campus with opportunities to meet teachers and other students.

Next the Director works out subject choices and timetables, and assists with IT compatibility, explains insurance entitlements, helps with the purchasing of school uniforms, opening a bank account, buying a cell phone of SIM card, and becoming familiar with the city and its facilities.

During this process the Director comes to know each international girl personally, to better effect close evaluation, goal setting and ESOL assistance.

Each girl is given the Director’s cell phone number and through the Director, help is available 24/7.