Student Life

Our international students experience Kiwi culture, not only by studying in college but also by taking advantage of the many trips that we or our host families have organised for them.

About us

We are located in Botany Downs — a beautiful suburb east of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.
  • Auckland has a low crime rate and students can walk around safely in the areas near our college.
  • We (normally) have 140 international students.
  • We have boys and girls, from 13 to 18 years old.
  • Students come here from nineteen different countries!
  • We are in New Zealand’s sub-tropical North Island.
  • We are perfectly located 30 minutes from Auckland airport and 30 minutes from Auckland city.

The facts and figures

New Zealand is an amazing place.
  • New Zealand was the first country to introduce pastoral care requirements for international students in 2002
  • New Zealand ranks fourth in the Global Peace Index
  • Auckland was the Most Livable City in the World in 2021. New Zealand is now eleventh happiest country in the world. Ahead of all the other “Big Five” study abroad destinations.

School organised trips

Whether you are here for a ten-week experience overseas or hoping to graduate from BDSC and continue studying in New Zealand, we provide a series of trips during the school year to amazing parts of our country. So you can maximise your time with us and take advantage of everything the school and New Zealand has to offer.


Our trip to the Coromandel is a part of our amazing End-of-Year Program. For many of our students, this trip is the absolute highlight of their time at our school.

Bay of Islands

On our Bay of Islands trip we go sand boarding, take a dolphin cruise and see the largest Kauri tree in the world. This amazing trip is a great way to showcase some of the things that make New Zealand special!


Rotorua is a great way to showcase the best of traditional Māori culture. Students get to learn the haka, eat a hangi, and enjoy the signature sights (and smells) of “Roto-Vegas”!

Advice & Wellbeing

Interact with people from different cultures

Moving to a new place can be challenging, especially if you don’t know anyone and things are unfamiliar. Here’s some advice on how to meet new people and make new friends while you’re studying in New Zealand.

Making friends in New Zealand


Your personal wellbeing and mental health are very important to living a healthy life. Find out how to stay happy, healthy and safe as an international student in New Zealand.

Personal wellbeing

Rights & obligations

It’s important to understand how New Zealand law applies to you while you’re here. Find out what our laws are around drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

New Zealand law

Cost of living

The following is a guide to potential living costs that students are likely to incur during their stay. In general, we would recommend ~$100NZD pocket money per week.

Mobile phone plan $20 per month
Public Transport $70 per month
Free time activities $300 per month

We would also recommend that on arrival students open a New Zealand Bank account, the school can help with this. Parents can provide a monthly amount to students that they can budget with.

When receiving advice

If you need legal advice YouthLaw Aotearoa provides legal advice to young people and children living in New Zealand.

Youth law

The citizens advice bureau are a locally based, community organisation who help people to know and understand their rights and obligations, and how to use this information to get the best outcomes.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Adjusting to our cultural environment

Learn more about New Zealand lifestyles, Māori culture, speaking New Zealand English, and our attitudes to relationships and religious freedoms.

New Zealand life and culture

Understanding NCEA

For many, the first qualifications earned at school will be the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Here’s how it works.

Understanding NCEA

Past students’ successes

Our past students not only succeed in traditional ways, they’re changing the world.

Dan Cullum and his friends are on a quest to travel the length of the second longest river in the USA on a boat made from recycled and reclaimed materials. Their goal is to produce a documentary. Its purpose is to follow the challenges of a journey on trash, to unearth the reason behind why the Mississippi River is one of the most polluted in the world, and to tell the story of how local communities along the river have been affected by its pollution and their efforts to clean and restore it.

Eighteen-year-old Aryaman Taore recently turned down a place at Harvard University to take full control of his personal delivery service business, LazyAz. Read more

A peak body for schools supporting international students in the education sector

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