Iona College

Proud to be one of the top-performing schools in New Zealand. There is a tangible sense of warmth and belonging at Iona. We welcome girls from all over the world into our family. Embracing students with a variety of cultural backgrounds sits at the heart of teaching our young people about compassion, acceptance, tolerance and cultural diversity.


Click here to view the Iona College prospectus


Established in 1914, Iona College is rich in history and steeped with traditions. The College embraces this heritage whilst our holistic learning environment and future focus inspires our girls to be the best they can be. Iona’s vision of ‘Empowering Girls For Life’ represents an inspirational position, and an aspirational outlook. It fosters a culture of personal excellence where girls develop a passion for learning and are encouraged to reach their potential within an inclusive and supportive community.

Class sizes are small to ensure students are engaged in their learning, and specialised tuition in English is provided as required. Located in Havelock North on 27 acres of beautiful park-like grounds the College nurtures a remarkable sense of place and space. There are extensive playing fields, a sports centre and swimming pool. We have purpose-built facilities for art, design, photography, music and technology. The award-winning state-of-the-art Information Resource Centre and The Blyth Performing Arts Centre enhance the learning environment for our students. These are magnificent and dynamic spaces to learn and perform in.

Iona’s extensive programme of sports, culture and the arts, encourages leadership, teamwork and personal growth. Our girls are able to explore opportunities, develop their talents and learn to confidently express themselves as individuals.


The harmonious integration of our international students into our boarding house and the local community is a defining characteristic of Iona. Our boarding house is a flourishing community home to 160 boarders. International students live in the boarding house during term time and they spend holiday breaks at a vetted and approved homestay. At Iona, an exceptional standard of round-the-clock care is provided from a team of highly professional and experienced staff who actively work with boarders to develop their empathy, compassion and resilience. Boarding gives students an invaluable experience of communal living.


The government authority Education Review Office reports that Iona College’s “regular monitoring and review processes provide good information about how well students’ pastoral care and education needs are met. The progress and achievement of these students in English language learning and the curriculum are known to the board and teachers. Data shows students make good progress and transition well prepared for future pathways. All international students live in the boarding hostel. They are integrated into the school community. Feedback from students and their parents indicates high levels of satisfaction”. “The quality of care is high. Girls are provided with comfortable, clean living conditions that offer a degree of privacy and opportunities for social interaction. Students are supervised after school for prep and during the night. Weekend activities are offered. Food is nutritious, varied and appetising. Dietary needs are observed.


Marina Arai – University of Tsukuba, Japan
“Studying at Iona definitely prepared me well for my integrated international study degree. It helped me to communicate with foreign teachers and students easily and now writing is not that difficult for me. At Iona I lived with my classmates and friends. It’s such a cool thing to do. I remember the fun times we’ve had sitting on the bed, chatting about songs, movies and stars”.

Xin Yi Chen – Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), USA
“I am grateful to have been an international student at Iona and feel I have been offered so many opportunities. I can relate to New Zealand and see myself as almost ‘half-Kiwi’ after spending my teenage years at such an inclusive school. If international students are looking for an in-depth experience overseas, I would highly recommend Iona College.”