School to school exchanges

School to school exchanges, also called sister school exchanges, are direct relationships between a school in New Zealand and a school overseas, where students have the opportunity to spend time studying in the partner school. The host school is responsible for pastoral care while students are on exchange.

Establishing a school to school exchange programme

Your school might like to consider the following factors when establishing an exchange programme and choosing an exchange partner school.

Establishing an exchange programme

  • How do exchanges fit with your school’s internationalisation policy, if you have one?
  • Do you have the time, resources and funds to establish and maintain the school relationships, and to support both inbound and outbound students?
  • Is there demand from your current students for student exchanges?
  • If you teach a language, can you connect to a school in a country with the target language?
  • How do outbound exchanges fit with your school’s EOTC policy?
  • Funding the exchange.

Finding an exchange partner

  • Has your school been involved in other international learning opportunities which you can expand?
  • Do you have a current relationship with an overseas school which you could extend to include exchanges?
  • Is your school part of an international network of schools with similar values or philosophies?
  • School staff connections: do any teachers or staff members have connections with schools in other countries? Have any of your teachers taught overseas?
  • School community: are any of your school community from overseas? Do they have connections with schools in other countries?
  • Does your town have an active sister city relationship?

Sister Cities New Zealand website (external link)

The Asia-New Zealand Foundation website has information on developing sister school relationships, which can help you develop your exchange programme.

Sister Cities — Asia New Zealand Foundation (external link)

Apply to us for a school to school exchange

Your school must be a signatory to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 to apply to operate a school to school exchange programme.

Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 — NZQA website (external link)

You must then submit a full application to operate an exchange programme in your school. As part of the application your school commits to:

  • providing Code of Practice level pastoral care to your inbound exchange students
  • making sure appropriate pastoral care arrangements are in place for your outbound students, and
  • a reciprocal exchange programme.

School to school student exchanges application form [DOCX, 81 KB]

School exchange Memo of Understanding template [DOCX, 16 KB]

If you already have an approved exchange programme, you can add additional overseas partner schools by using the following application form and a Memo of Understanding with a partner school.

School to school student exchanges additional application form [DOCX, 241 KB]

School exchange Memo of Understanding template [DOCX, 16 KB]

We’ll contact you to let you know the outcome of your application.

NZ schools approved to operate exchange programmes

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