Frequently Asked Questions


There are no specific entry requirements to join Marlborough Girls’ College, we do however ask you to send copies of your previous school reports and may ask you to complete an English and Maths test so that we can access your level.
Yes, although it is best to enrol at the start of a term. You can arrive during a term if it suits your travel plans. Students hoping to sit NCEA exams should arrive in term 1 or 2 of that year. Term 4 for senior students is focused on revision and exams with senior students on study/exam leave from mid-November.

Yes. We offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). All these classes are small in number and focus on speaking, listening, vocabulary, reading, and writing. At Marlborough Girls’ College, our international students are fully immersed in the school and classes, so we offer English assistance in class for those who need extra language support.

Yes, there is no further payment required for English tuition.

Yes. All students attending Marlborough Girls’ College wear a uniform from Year 9 to Year 13. Click here to learn more.

The International Dean will work with you before you arrive to help you choose the right subjects to achieve your goals. Your parents will need to approve your subject selection. You will also be able to change subjects within the first two weeks if you feel you would prefer a different subject.

Our Homestay Coordinator will be in touch with you to get to know you a little bit better before you arrive, that way she can find a local host family that matches you. Most of the time this works out really well, however, we do not always get this right. Your happiness and welfare are important to us, so if you are not happy in your homestay please let us know and we will work through this with you.

There is plenty to do apart from studying!

There are many sports and music activities in the school. You can attend the school dances, get involved in a large theatre production, learn an instrument, and join one of the school choirs or jazz band. We also have public speaking competitions or you could join our environmental group.

Playing sports is a good way of getting to know local students and getting involved in a wider range of activities. Term 1 is the best arrival time to ensure access to a team. Access to individual sports depends on the season e.g. Volleyball and Tennis are played in summer, Terms 1 & 4. Netball and football are played in winter, Terms 2 & 3. For competitive teams, students need to arrive when teams are being selected and attend a trial.

There are many outdoor activities to experience. There is the award-winning Queen Charlotte Walk and Marlborough Sounds, Nelson Lakes district, and Pelorus River, to name but a few. There are many groups that organise exciting outdoor adventures for international and New Zealand students, church Youth Groups, and music, theatre, sports and clubs to choose from.

Blenheim has one of the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand. It is protected from the country’s prevailing winds by the surrounding mountain ranges. There are four distinct seasons: a hot, dry summer peaking in February, a cooler autumn, a clear and crisp winter, and then a milder, moister spring.

The sun is very strong in New Zealand so you will need to use a sunscreen to protect your skin, especially during spring and summer. New Zealand homes have fires, heaters and electric blankets to make winter a pleasant time.

For more information on New Zealand climate and weather click here.

Supermarkets in New Zealand sell a wide range of fresh produce and specialty foods. There are also specialty stores available that sell foods and items from a range of countries overseas.  Most major supermarkets sell organic, gluten-free, and other specialist foods.

There are a large variety of cafes and restaurants in Blenheim and the surrounding region. You can get Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Italian food as well as New Zealand specialties. If you want fast food you can buy Mcdonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Kentucky Fried Chicken, sushi, or fish and chips.

You can learn to drive during your 18th year with an approved driving instructor. However, as a condition of enrolment at Marlborough Girls’ College you will not be allowed to drive or own a motor vehicle.

Your parents will need to write a letter to the Principal, Ms. Lynch, explaining the reason and dates for this leave. This must be done at least 5 days in advance.

Yes. We encourage students to study subjects at the level most suited to their ability and previous studies. For example, International Students may be capable of doing mathematics at a level ahead of their other subjects, as mathematics involves less language than most other subjects.

There are no obligations for you to sit our national exams. We encourage all our international students to experience school life by taking some prelim exams – this gives you a good indication of what you have achieved throughout the year. For those who plan to stay for 2 or more years and progress onto university, then we would expect to sit exams. The International Dean will talk with you before you arrive to give you a clear idea of what you’re working towards.

If you have concerns about any aspects of your education, you should immediately speak to the International Dean. If the problem is not resolved at this stage the student should discuss the concern with the International Director and/or the Principal.

International Students who are not satisfied with the service that they receive from Marlborough Girls’ College can contact the independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government – iStudent Complaints.  Information is available at their website iStudent.

New Zealand Visa regulations state that Year 12 and 13 International Students may apply to work up to 20 hours in any given week. All students who wish to work must submit the following documents to the International Director:

  • A completed Application for Variation of Conditions form (NZIS)
  • A letter from your parents giving permission to work

There is plenty to do apart from study! There are many groups that organise exciting outdoor adventures for international and New Zealand students, church Youth Groups, and music, theatre, sports, and clubs to choose from.

Marlborough Girls’ College