Frequently Asked Questions
Can I extend my Student Visa if I decide to stay longer?
Yes, we can help you to do this at Onslow College. It is easy to do and we will help you.
Will my homestay family look after me?
Yes, our homestay families are experienced and they are well supported by the International Department. Many have been hosting students for many years. We have regular contact with our homestay families to make sure they met our expectations. The houses are checked and household members over the age of 18 are police vetted. We also meet with you regularly to find out how you are feeling about your host family.
Do I have to stay in a homestay?
Yes, we would prefer our international students to be with an English speaking family to help improve their English. You can also stay with family member or family friend approved by school.
Can I travel around New Zealand while at Onslow College?
You may travel with other families or your own natural parents around New Zealand. We can help you do this. We can also help you to join a tour around New Zealand with your age group or you can join a school organised trip overseas or around New Zealand. Remember! We also take all new international students on a camp for 2 days to the Wairarapa in February. You will have the opportunity to go rafting, abseiling, high rope climbing and sometimes surfing.
Must I have medical Insurance?
Yes, all international students must have medical and travel insurance yhat covers their time in New Zealand. We can arrange this for you.
Is English Language tuition included in the tuition fees?
Yes, you don’t need to pay extra money for English Language classes. English lessons are part of your school curriculum. We have an excellent English Language Department to help you learn English and prepare you for university study.
Is there any language support for students in their mainstream curriculum subject classes?
Yes, in year 9 - 11 classes. We also have a Science and Mathematics Support class that provide extra language support for Year 11 Science and Mathematics and YEar 12 & 13 Mathematics.
Can international students take music lessons?
Yes, many of our international students take music lessons after school hours. This is an additional cost. They can also join the school choir, school band, rock bands or the school orchestra. Every year the music department takes students on a music camp in March outside Wellington which is very popular and a lot ofun.
Can I play sports at Onslow College?
Yes, we have many sports teams at Onslow College. Many of the games are played against other school either after school or in the weekend.
Can I participate in an outdoor education course at Onslow College?
Yes, we have a course which is run both semesters. Senior students Students will have the opportunity to experience a range of outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, abseiling, kayaking, camping, tramping and sailing.
Is it possible to study subjects at more than one level?
Yes, this is possible. For example, students who are good at Mathematics may work at a higher level. We have a lot of experience at working out a study plan that will suit all students and we will advise them on the best path of study after assessing their English level and looking at their previous school record.
Can I work while on a student visa?
NZ Immigration rules allow senior students (Year 12 & 13) to work up to 20 hours a week. However we only allow you to work 10 hours a week during term time. You need to apply for a Variation of Conditions to your student visa. We can help you to do this.
What should I do if I am unhappy about anything in my homestay or school?
You should talk to the Director of International Students or the Homestay Manager as soon as possible. We want you to be happy here and enjoy living with your host family.
How do I get entrance into university?
If you have an intermediate level of English (this means you have learnt English for 3 or more years) you will probably need around two years of high school in NZ before your English is good enough for university study.
To get into university in New Zealand:
- You must pass at least four Year 13 subjects depending on the university you wish to attend. Many students achieve good results in the following subjects Maths (calculus), Maths (statistics), Economics, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Art - Design, Art - Painting, Accounting, Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish. All universities now require passes in 4 or 5 subjects and a grade point average.
- Also you must pass at least 10 NCEA credits of Year 12 English. You can do these credits in either mainstream English and/or English Language classes
- You must also pass Mathematics at Year 11 level (or higher).
How much spending money to do a need to have each week while I am studying at Onslow?
The amount that you need will vary depending on the activities you do and if you do some travel around New Zealand. Your homestay will provide you with snacks, meals and basic toiletries but you will need to buy your own personal items and pay for your own transport to the city and sometimes to school. Also if you need to buy any additional clothing, sports clothing or equipment, eat at a restaurant or takeways or go to a movie. We suggest that you allow for about $50 a week with some additional funds available if you need to buy something extra.
The information provided above is only a simple summary of requirements. It is important to check the website of each university for their entry requirements. You may need different grades for some courses.