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

Things schools might like to consider when establishing an exchange programme and choosing an exchange partner school include:

  • 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

Ways to find 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?
  • Sister city relationships (external link) – does your town have an active sister city relationship?

The Asia New Zealand Foundation (external link) has information on developing sister school relationships, which can help you develop your exchange programme.

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 (external link)  to apply to operate a school-to-school exchange programme.

Then submit a full application to operate an exchange programme in your school. As part of this application, your school commits to providing Code of Practice level pastoral care to your inbound exchange students, to making sure appropriate pastoral care arrangements are in place for your outbound students, and to a reciprocal exchange programme.

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

School exchange MoU template [DOCX, 16 KB]

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

School to school student exchanges additional application form [DOCX, 242 KB]

School exchange MoU template [DOCX, 16 KB]

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

List of approved schools to operate exchanges 



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