All posts by Mark Chang

Our Application Process


Download and complete the application form. Send us your scanned completed form to
Your application is reviewed and you or your agent will be notified when a decision is made.
Sometimes we may require additional information.

Payment and Visa

An invoice will be issued along with a Conditional Offer Of Place (COP), which you can use to begin your visa application process.
Once payment is received by us, we will issue a receipt and an Offer Of Place (OOP). 

These, along with an assurance that accommodation has been arranged, will be required by you to obtain a Student Visa from the New Zealand Immigration Service

Accommodation and Flights

Once payment is received we will work to find accommodation to meet your needs if that is required.


You will need to have Travel and Medical Insurance before you arrive. 
If you’re staying in accommodation arranged by the school, we may arrange to collect you at the airport to bring you home if required.
Your host family will help you get to school for the first day.
We have an orientation program that will teach you everything you need to know about the school and how to maximise your time here.

How to improve your home wifi

(Reproduced from Google’s blog. I thought the points made in this blog post by Sanjay Noronha are sound and worth repeating to our community.)

These days, access to a reliable Wi-Fi signal can feel as crucial as having basic electricity or plumbing. In fact, a recent study conducted by Kelton Research and commissioned by Google found that 28 percent of people don’t think they could last a single day without Wi-Fi. But in that same study, a whopping 81 percent of people said they have experienced issues with their Wi-Fi at home. So why is something so essential considered such a hassle?

Luckily, there are some simple strategies to maximize your home Wi-Fi network to avoid slow loading times or grumbling when you’re trying to get online. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your Wi-Fi.

Place your router as centrally as possible. 

Wi-Fi signals get weaker the farther away you go from your router, so if you keep your router by the front door, your videos might load more slowly if you’re trying to watch them by the back door. So if you can, place your router as centrally as possible within your home, though this may not always be possible depending on where your internet provider brings in the connection. And if you don’t mind your router sitting on the counter top, keep it out in the open. If you can avoid hiding it by a bookcase or filing cabinet, you can really help boost your Wi-Fi signal.

Consider a mesh network. 

A mesh network is a group of routers that wirelessly communicate with each other to create a single, connected Wi-Fi network over a large area. It allows you to have multiple sources of powerful Wi-Fi throughout your home, not just one from the main router. Having a mesh network solves the problem of having the router just relegated to a corner in the house. We created Google Wifi as a mesh system because having multiple points work together to create a seamless single network provides consistently strong coverage for all connected devices in every room of the house. 

Make sure your router is up to date. 

If your existing router is more than three or four years old, check to make sure it supports 5GHz Wi-Fi signals. Some older routers only support 2.4GHz signals, which can make your devices much slower. Think of it as having a car that isn’t fast enough to drive on the freeway. Upgrade your router to at least an 802.11ac system so you can also use 5GHz frequencies, which are like the autobahn of Wi-Fi. (There are more lanes, and higher speed limits.) 

Always, always make your network password-protected. 

Having an “open network” without a password might seem convenient, since there’s no need to remember a complicated password. But if you do that, anyone even driving by your home could join your Wi-Fi network and compromise your network, devices and data by accessing your drives or slowing down your network. Choose a strong password that’s tough for anyone to guess, but easy for you to remember. 

Create a separate Wi-Fi network for guests. 

If you have kids at home, or just get a lot of guests, chances are you’ve handed out your Wi-Fi password a lot. Setting up a guest network creates a second Wi-Fi network in your home so your guests can have a great experience while your own devices stay secure and private. 

How to restrict your child’s screen time

With the holidays coming up, the media is chock-full of advice on how you can restrict the screen time of your children. With all 3 major OS manufacturers touting methods on their operating systems (Microsoft -> Microsoft accounts, Google -> Digital Wellbeing and Apple -> Screentime), there is no shortage of avenues that the parent can take. This post isn’t about them.

There are some other methods in which parents can help ensure that their children are getting the benefits of technology. Here are a few that you could try during the holidays :-

  • Establish consistent “media free” times, particularly at meal times. (That means no hand-held games for older kids, or cell phones or iPads for grown-ups).
  • Make your own media. Give your child a low-cost digital camera and teach her how to plug it into your TV. This is a great way to review memorable events and can be a rich language experience for very young children, as they name family members from their last birthday party, for example.
  • Provide exciting non-tech options in your child’s life. Instead of trying to remove current media from your child’s life, continue to enrich her playtime with new, concrete, interesting alternatives, so your child will want to turn off the TV.

Having said that, media consumption on computers doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing approach. Computers and television can play a key role in helping children wind down and relax. For example, a half-hour session of Thomas the Tank Engine after dinner can help your 5 year old make the transition from dinner to bed time and this will be more beneficial than 3 hours of it on Saturday afternoons.

Apply to Study

Applications for 2020 are welcome.
We are no longer accepting applications for 2019. 


Due to the current incidence of measles in New Zealand, all applicants are required to provide evidence of measles immunisation before their enrollment can be confirmed.

To complete the process, you will need to attach the following documents with your enrolment application.
  • Completed enrolment form
  • A scanned copy of your passport (and visa if you have one)
  • A photo
  • Your last school report, translated into English
  • Insurance certificate and policy details, translated into English (if you are booking your own)

Click here to see a description of our enrolment process.

Become a Host Family

Have you ever considered hosting an international student from Europe, the Americas, Russia or Asia? We are looking for families to become homestay providers to our international students. We need families for one term, two terms, and full-year periods. Families are reimbursed $280 per week.

What kind of families are we looking for?

We welcome applications from anyone in the Flat Bush area who speaks English in the home, has a clean, tidy home and a spare furnished bedroom, and has a desire to share their culture with an international student. Families need to be available and most of all, warm and welcoming.

Why host an international student?

Learning about a new culture through hosting an international student can be a very enriching experience, helping to enable people to understand other languages, food and customs.

If you are interested, we will endeavour to provide all the information you require. The application pack below contains information pertaining to expectations and guidelines which we hope will allow you to make that decision.


Students may live with one of the following :-

  • Their mother or father, who may apply for a Guardian visa to accompany them to New Zealand.
  • In a school approved homestay
  • With a family member or close family friend known to the student’s parents. This person is known as the Designated Caregiver (DCG) 


Some parents accompany their children to New Zealand. If students are living with a parent, the parent has full responsibility for the pastoral care of the student outside school hours.


Many International Students choose to live in an accredited homestay arranged by the school. All our host families have been carefully selected by a highly trained and experienced team. We understand the importance of a relationship between the student and the host family and as such we aim to match students with a suitably compatible host family. Student needs and requests are always considered when making placements and this ensures that they are placed in an environment that works best for them.

Our host families are wonderful and will give students the chance to experience the Kiwi way of life, as part of a caring family, and help them to develop their English language skills.

All homestay caregivers are police vetted in accordance with The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Designated Caregiver

Students can live with a Designated Caregiver (DCG) who is a person or family that the student’s parents have chosen to take care of their child while they are in New Zealand. The parents take full responsibility and accept the decisions made by their DCG regarding the day-to-day requirements of their child. Even though the parents have chosen the DCG, the school has a responsibility to check that the home is suitable for the student and if the caregiver will be verified as a DCG. All family members in the household over 18 years of age will be police vetted.

The DCG will need to sign the Designated Caregiver Agreement to acknowledge their understanding of the agreement and responsibility involved.

Do you wish to be a host family? Apply here!

Our Team

We have an International Student Team dedicated to the care and support of every international student, who chooses to make their home with us.

Senior LeaderInternational Student Coordinator
Raeesa DadaJoan Clansey
Raeesa is responsible for managing the Global Connection portfolio.Joan is responsible for overseeing the International team. She approves applications and is the primary contact for parents, caregivers and agents.

Contact us at . Our administration hours are Monday to Friday, 8 am – 3:30 pm (New Zealand Standard Time). We will endeavour to respond on the next working day should your enquiry be outside of these hours.

Monkey App

It has come to our attention that some students may be accessing and using a social networking application called “Monkey app”.

We strongly advise you to read the following review from a web site which investigates the safety of this and other apps so that you can be well informed about this and other possible on-line dangers to our students. 

These types of instant messaging applications are automatically blocked on the school’s network however we advise parents to monitor their children’s phones to see if they have downloaded it. We restrict the use of mobile phones at school and only allow their use to support learning e.g. recording a speech or Science experiment but these apps may be used after hours hence our communication on the matter.

Flat Bush 7 Conference

We had an amazing day yesterday during the Flat Bush Cluster 7 conference held in the Mission Heights Schools. For the uninitiated, the Flat Bush Cluster 7 is an annual gathering of the 7 schools in the Flat Bush area, Ormiston Primary, Ormiston Junior College, Ormiston Senior College, Baverstock Primary, Willowbank  Primary, Mission Heights Primary and Mission Heights Junior College. Keynote talks from notable speakers and breakout workshops enable teachers to connect and learn more about their role as educators in Aoteroa.

One great takeaway from the keynote talks was the importance of education and its role in shaping society. Chris Clay touched on the need for educators to empower learners to harness the collective will to solve the world’s problems. Grant Pix emphasized on mindfulness as a competency to be developed and Prof Peter O’ Conner related his experiences on vitality and the importance of imagination and creativity in and through learning about a world of wicked problems and our learners’ places within it. It was amazing to hear Melinda Webber; her awesome wahine toa and korero touched many in the audience.

As an ICT professional in the education industry, it has been always my view that ICT in the school should be used as a tool and an enabler. While information technology is indeed a positive tool for many, its possible abuse is too well-known and needs no repeating here, especially in New Zealand. Our challenge is how we can help raise the importance of empathy in our dealings with one another, especially in the realm of information technology. This and many more factors will be instrumental in shaping the future of ICT within the two schools.

Communication Is Key

The Pew Research Center is an American organisation that conducts research into many facets of life affecting the average American home. One of the many interesting studies it performs is on the effect of social media use among teenagers. Headlining the report is that “fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% says they are online almost constantly”.

Netsafe, our local Internet advisory agency, shares similar findings in its report entitled “New Zealand teens’ digital profile : a factsheet”. In 2017, “a third of NZ teens spend 4 or more hours online in an average day” and that “teens regard themselves as confident technology users”. Most of the report corelates with our experiences here in the Mission Heights Schools, with students in both schools rating their usage of technology highly in both personal and school aspects of their lives.

What is of interest here is the personal aspect, and which is not often discussed openly enough. Our teachers play an important and active role in helping and advising students in their digital lives and how to stay safe online, especially during learning advisor time. Here, there is a clear focus on digital citizenship and how to behave online in a manner that is consistent with caring for others. There is also this desire for the students to bring these practices back home.

As a result, parents also play an important role in creating this atmosphere at home. The ICT team often receives requests from parents on how to help their children at home, and the most important advice we can give anyone is that communication is a key element in building trust and rapport between parent and child. Establishment of that brings along greater cooperation among all parties alike.

For example, putting a time limit on social media use is very often a cause for strife between parent and child. In fact, the average person spends nearly 2 hours a day using various forms of social media, with teenagers using far more than that. If both parties are made aware of the consequences of spending too much time on social media, and a common goal is formed where social media use is lessened to an agreed duration, the results may be more acceptable than simply removing the device from said child.

Theere is a growing body of knowledge amongst goverment agencies and academia about the way young New Zealanders interact with digital technologies. It is our hope that we learn to embrace the opportunities and be upfront with the challenges and potential risks that these technologies afford.