Exchange Programme Organisations (EPOs)
Exchange programme organisations (EPOs) are independent organisations approved by the government to operate secondary school student exchange programmes in New Zealand.
Each EPO organisation is a little different, and they offer different lengths, types and destinations for their exchange programmes.
All organisations must provide pastoral care and support to their exchange students and report regularly to the Ministry of Education.
EPO students don’t have to attend a school that's a Code of Practice signatory.
List of approved EPOs and contact details
These following organisations are approved to offer secondary school student exchanges in New Zealand. If you're a student interested in going on an exchange you'll need to contact the organisation directly.
AFS Intercultural Programs
New Zealand Institute of International Understanding
Southern Cross Cultural Exchange
Student Exchange Australia New Zealand
STS Education NZ
Study International Service New Zealand
Youth For Understanding
Applying to be an approved EPO
Read the application guidance in the following application form before making an application. Send your application to the address on the application form.
We'll assess the application on all criteria in the application form, and consult with other government agencies as appropriate, for example, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and Immigration New Zealand. We may contact you for further clarification or supporting documentation.
We'll advise you of the outcome of your application in writing.
Establishing an EPO
Anyone interested in establishing an EPO should read the:
- guidance information in the EPO application form to understand our expectations of EPOs
- information on our Secondary school exchanges webpage.
We also strongly encourage you to research both the international education and exchange sector and the communities you'll be placing inbound students into or recruiting outbound students from, so you can best target your exchange offerings.
View the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016, including the Guidelines for Schools) and toolkit.
Read about education in New Zealand and about secondary schools in particular.
The NZQA website has information about the NCEA national qualifications for senior secondary school students.
The Companies Office website allows you to form and maintain a company, search the register of companies and file annual returns. It also has information about incorporated societies and trusts.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) business.govt.nz website provides information about starting a business in New Zealand.
The Charities Commission is responsible for registering and monitoring charitable organisations in New Zealand. Its website includes a guide to the Charities Act 2005 and the register of charities.
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