Welcome to Mountainview High School, Haere mai, Haere mai.

Our school is situated in Timaru, the thriving main centre of South Canterbury in the South Island of New Zealand. Timaru is a small city that has a beautiful coastline. We are close to other centres as well as the lakes and mountain districts of this magnificent country.

Mountainview High is an exciting and successful Year 9 – 13 co-educational secondary school that has been on its current site since 1984. Our campus is beautiful, with views over the hills and distant mountains and the school layout provides a stunning working and learning environment for all students and staff. It is the envy of many schools in New Zealand.

At Mountainview, our students come first! We pride ourselves on the extensive range of subjects and our main goal is to ensure that every student gains the academic qualifications and social skills that will enable them to be successful as members of their communities well after they have completed their studies with us.

Our co-educational environment is an ideal platform for International Students where acceptance, tolerance and harmony is an everyday part of life. International students are able to participate in all the activities of the school. We pride ourselves on the way in which they become quickly integrated with sporting, cultural and other extra-curricular activities. We are proud of the way in which our students make Mountainview High School a very special place to be a part of.

Student Stories

From former Thailand International Student Nut
Hi! My name is Nut. I was an exchange student from Thailand. Even though I stayed in New Zealand for only a short period, I still enjoyed every moment there. I lived in Timaru with a very kind host family and studied at Mountainview High School. At that time, I felt like I didn’t want to go back to Thailand because I really love this school. I can choose any subject that I want to learn which some of our Thai schools can’t. Moreover, all the teachers were very kind and friendly. They all welcomed me nicely. I feel so lucky that once in my life I have been to New Zealand. Thank you for taking good care of me.
Nuttacha Suphanimitwatsana (Nut)
From former Thailand International Student Kaow
The first day that I came to New Zealand my host family gave me a very warm welcome. It felt like home they were always smiling and gave me a hug before I go to bed. My host family were very happy, funny and lovely family also their pets are all nice to me.
I really enjoy the food there in New Zealand, it’s very different kind of food from home but they were also delicious. My favourite food in New Zealand was fish and chips, creamy ice-cream and roasted lamb. My first day of school was a very nice day, every one was very friendly they are all nice, cute and lovely. I got many friends from the school. My buddy is so nice she is very beautiful I love her a lot. I have been to many beautiful places in New Zealand such as Lake Tekapo and Oamaru. New Zealand is so natural and they have a nice and clear sky at daytime and a lot of stars a night time. Now I feel like New Zealand is my second home. It’s was very beautiful memories and I’m sure that I will go back visit my host family and friends or to be an exchange student again.
Phimphiroon Boonchat (Kaow)
From former Germany International Student Marvin
Hey, my name is Marvin Petersen. I´m from Germany and I had the privilege to study at Mountainview High School for 10 Months. In my time here, Mountainview has always made sure that all my needs were met and furthermore the Staff as well as students supported me in making these 10 Months the best experience, I could possibly have had. For example I was included in the school musical, enjoyed tramping in the middle of nowhere and even went bungy jumping in Queenstown. I was able to see a lot of New Zealand in this year and Timaru truly is a pearl. It is a small, but lovely town. I love the bay and the close town. All the people I met here are like a small family for me and even my homestay is, despite our differences, a big support and a surrogate home. Mountainview is a special school. It sees your potential and supports you in coming closer to your dreams. It recognizes your effort. This year I received several Prices at Senior Prize giving, including first overall in Psychology and ESOL. I´m really thankful for everything in the last 10 Months and I´m looking forward to coming back one day to visit my new, second home.
Marvin Petersen
From former Thailand International Student Ice
Living in other country is not easy. I’m one of the International students that came for education in New Zealand , where everything is different for my country. First time that I was arrived here I felt that I can’t stay any longer but when I try to go along with people here , I fine it more easy and comfortable . Mountainview high school teach me many thing that I haven’t done before like Drama class, Photography , Art grapic etc. and Kiwi students are also very friendly and kind to us that make me feel more than welcome and help me a lot. Homestay is other points that help me a lot to and me make change my viewpoint and make me feel comfortable at there house, I also like the city here . Life is very easy here because we don’t have any traffic jam or polution . This is my opinoin for Timaru and Mountainview high school for my experiences.
Thai students
Adisorn Jadmuang ( ice )

Living in Timaru

Mountainview High School is a modern well-equipped state co-educational school located on a magnificent and spacious site overlooking the sea and mountains.

Originally established in 1901, it was rebuilt on a new site in 1983 with a new name of Mountainview High School. Emphasis is placed on providing a caring environment where high standards of academic excellence are expected.

Academic Programme

The school accepts students from Year 9 to Year 13. A wide choice of subjects is available. Extracurricular activities offered include golf, skiing and snowboarding, tramping, sailing and a variety of sports teams engaging in regular competition, including basketball, badminton, table tennis, soccer, rugby, volleyball and hockey. Tuition in musical instruments is available, and music and drama play an important part in school life.

English Language Support

A comprehensive ESOL programme is available from highly-trained and qualified ESOL teachers.

Course Commencement

Students are accepted at any time during the year.

Student Support

On first arrival students are met at Christchurch International Airport at no extra cost. There is a full-time Director of International Students to look after their needs.


This is with a New Zealand family (homestay).

In Summary

Mountainview High School provides excellent preparation for university study. Class sizes are limited so that students are able to receive close personal attention. We assist students with their applications for university.

International News

So far this year we have had 24 students as part of our programme with more to come. This number included 9 students from a school in Thailand who spent a very enjoyable 3 weeks with us.

Students are well settled into their programmes, and we have also had a great trip to Dunedin with some international students from other South Canterbury schools. The trip included visits to-Moeraki Boulders, Oamaru historic sector, ice skating, shopping, museum, and a bit of sight-seeing. We were really proud of the group and the way they took part. Many positive comments were received from the places we visited.

One of the best aspects about having these students in the school is the cultural value they add to our whole student body. We had many students act as Kiwi buddies for the Thai Group that came. Their role was to provide guidance and support so that they felt part of the school. The students followed their buddies to classes and group meetings and got to make new Kiwi friends. At the end of the Thai visit we had a lunch, presented certificates to the students involved and they had an opportunity to bid them farewell. Many of the Thai students wanted to come back next year and one boy wants to come back and finish his high school education here. That is a good sign that things went well for them.

Our Homestays continue to provide a great service to these students. It is important that the internationals are in homes that treat them as they would their own children, provide support when needed, and generally enjoy the benefits of providing a good “Kiwi experience”. We have a great set of homestays but are always looking for more. If you are interested in finding out about this, please send me an email at

In Term 3 we have another 13 students arriving – 3 junior high students from Japan (7 weeks), 3 German students (all year) and 7 students from Brazil (until mid-November). It is going to be a busy time. We are planning a trip to Queenstown, a trip to Christchurch and a trip skiing. There will be notices home about all this of course.

Thank you to everyone, Kiwi students, staff and homestays for making our internationals feel welcomed and part of our school. They provide us with an opportunity to add cultural value to Mountainview and we have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and make friends from all over the world. Well done everyone.

International Accommodation

The aim of the Homestay Host Programme is to provide the student with a New Zealand cultural experience in a family environment that is positive and accepting of the cultural differences each student will bring.

Our international students come to us from all over the world as part of their overseas experience. Whilst exciting, we are aware that this time can also be a bit daunting and can be a source of nervousness. Our experienced homestay families are well-experienced at dealing with this.

We like the Homestay option because it exposes our international students to English in an everyday setting, and our Kiwi way of life. To make the most of this opportunity, and to be involved in the family, the student needs to be prepared to “take part” in the daily routines of the host family. For example,

  • Help prepare meals and help clean up afterwards
  • Spend time with the family after meals (whether watching TV or going for walks)
  • Do not hide away in the bedroom
  • Talk to the family about your day
  • Ask permission before going out
  • Keep your room tidy
  • Do not spend all the time on the internet.

Host familes come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever the make up of the host family, they will have gone through a thorough checking process, including Police Checks, and be approved by the school. Our basic philosophy is…

“If we wouldn’t want our own children in the home, we would not put a student in there.”


International student report

International Report 2018

This year we have had 52 students from various countries attend Mountainview High School as International students. We have had 7 full time International students from Hong-Kong, Thailand, Germany and Japan. The first semester started with 14 new students from Thailand and a group of Brazilians who joined our school for a few months. In the second semester we had a group of Chinese, Korean and two groups of Japanese students attend Mountainview. They all participated in the classes with the Kiwi students. Some of the students even excelled in different areas of school; academically and sporting.

At the beginning of the year, we attended the International students Mayoral welcome ceremony at Caroline Bay Hall where we met Mayor Damon Odey. We watched the performance from our school’s jazz band, a Kapa Haka item by Timaru Girls and a musical by Roncalli College students. That was the first time that some of our students had experienced the Maori culture.

Swimming Sports and Athletics was a blast! Seeing teachers participate in the games and how enthusiastic the students were really put a smile on my face. The International students were in charge of the barbecue during the Swimming Sports. It was a great kiwi experience.

During our first term break the school took us to Tekapo where we had our first experience ice skating and being in the hot pools overlooking the amazing view of Lake Tekapo. Although it became very windy and started to rain halfway through the trip, I think everyone still had a great time. We were also lucky enough to have a trip to Christchurch and visit the Antarctic Centre. We experienced how cold and strong the wind is in the Antarctic and we also learnt about what scientists do in the Antarctic, which I found very interesting.
In Term 2 the senior international students attended our school ball. Balls are not very common from our backgrounds that it was a new experience and all of our international students had a blast that night. I particularly enjoyed dancing with my friends and taking pictures with them in our beautiful dresses. It was fun to see our kiwi friends all dressed up in gowns and suits.

In May, we hosted the International Day where we got to dress up in our traditional outfits. The Brazilians sang a few songs, the Asians made a quiz and the Thais performed their traditional dances. We also had a farewell party for the Brazilians and we made different types of Kiwi food such as Pavlova, Kiwi Dip, Lolly Cake, Cheese Rolls, etc. We had an awesome time making them. It was the first time trying these Kiwi classics for some of us.

Term 3 brought new students and another Tekapo trip was planned with the new group of Chinese, Koreans and Japanese. We went on the Tube Park. We had a lot of fun sliding down the tube. We also went to Queenstown. We had an amazing view at our campground as we were facing Lake Wakatipu. We went on the Gondola and the Luge. Some of us even were brave enough to do the bungee jump.

Overall, our International students and visitors had an amazing year in Mountainview High School.

Nicole Wong
Head International Student

International Enrolment

For international enrolment information please click on the links below