International Universities

If you are considering going to study in an overseas university when you leave school you need to be making plans for this from the beginning of Year 12 and should communicate your intention to Ms Griffiths. The Cambridge qualifications are recognised in virtually all universities but there are often specific subject requirements and grade attainments required for admission to certain degree courses. If applying to a Northern hemisphere university you need to remember they are working six months ahead or behind New Zealand and your application timelines will be adjusted accordingly.

For overseas universities generally a minimum of 3 A level subjects are required to have been studied. The grades and subjects required depend on the course to be studied. If thinking of studying outside of New Zealand it is most important that you check the entry requirements before you choose your Year 13 programme of study.  

As well as your A level results the University may require you to complete SAT or ACT tests or specific English Language testing if English is not your first language. As there are set times when this testing is held in New Zealand you need to make sure you are organised to complete these requirements before you submit your enrolment application. Most students take these test more than once.

There can also be more emphasis placed on personal and referee statements that are required to accompany your application. It is important that all guidelines such as word length or topic focus are followed for the personal statements and you make sure they are checked before submission. You also need to give your referees time to complete the necessary references. it is a good idea to approach your referees early in Year 13.

To obtain more information you need to do your research. Some basic information has been provided below. Pinehurst has contacts with some overseas universities so please check with the Career Counsellor or if you are looking to attend a specific university. Mrs Griffiths has some useful books which can be borrowed by students.

It is important to take care with your application as the process is highly competitive. You should ensure you submit your application by the 15 September (although some universities state 1st of October, many start the selection process earlier). The application requires you to provide information about yourself, achievements, interests and activities and Pinehurst also needs to submit a Confidential Reference to support your application. As the school reference takes time to write you need to have advised the Career Counsellor of your intentions by the beginning of September.

You generally get to nominate a number of options for accommodation and the universities do give much consideration to the composition of hostel residents trying to match areas of study, interests and social activities.

Accommodation applications are available on all the university websites.

Australian Universities

The application timeline for Australian Universities is earlier than New Zealand and their first round of offers for places is made just after CIE. Information about universities in Australia can be here.
How you apply to universities in Australia depends on your immigration status in New Zealand. 
New Zealand Citizens apply as domestic students through the relevant Tertiary Admissions Centre or university as listed below: (not directly to the University)

Name of Admissions Centre State covered Contact details 

Charles Darwin University 

Northern Territory 

Charles Darwin University
Northern Territory 0909 
Phone 00 61 8 8946 6666 

Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre Ltd 


Queensland Tertiary
Admissions Centre Ltd
PO Box 1331
Milton 4064
Phone 00 61 7 3858 1222 

 South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre South Australia 

South Australian Tertiary
Admissions Centre
PO Box 2
Rundle Mall
Phone 00 61 8 8224 4000 

Tertiary Institutions Service CentreWestern Australia 

Tertiary Institutions Service Centre
100 Royal St
East Perth 6004
Western Australia
Phone 00 61 8 9347 8000 

Universities Admissions Centre 

New South Wales 
Note: UAC works on behalf of all of the 
universities in New South Wales (NSW) 
and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)


Universities Admissions Centre
Locked Bag 112
New South Wales 2128
Phone 00 61 2 9752 0200 

University of Tasmania Tasmania 

University of Tasmania
Private Bag 45
Tasmania 7001
Phone 00 61 3 6226 7151 

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre   Victoria 

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre
40 Park Street
South Melbourne 3205
Phone 00 61 1300 364 133 

NZ Residents and International Students generally apply directly to the university. 

To find out more about the financial support for studying in Australia go to Study Assist

Any student applying to an Australian University needs to provide the details of their application (student number etc) to the Mrs Griffiths by early September. This information is sent to the Cambridge Examination Board so your results are released directly to the Admissions Centre in January to help speed up the processing of your application and hopefully offer of a place of study. Please note that International Students may still have to send their results directly to the university in January.

United Kingdom Universities

All applications to any UK tertiary institution or university are made through the one enrolment centre referred to as UCAS.  You are able to choose up to five places to make application for but can only include one of Cambridge or Oxford Universities not both.  The timeline for applications and entry to study is different from New Zealand so please check early what is required. 

The applications are all done online and Pinehurst School has an official log-in students need to use when making the application so please see Mrs Griffiths for this information.  It is vital you use this otherwise the necessary reference will not be able to be submitted by Pinehurst to support your application. Mrs Griffiths will hold information sessions in term 2 to outline the process.

For more information, enrollment etc please access UCAS.

More information about Universities can also be found here, here and here.

USA University Information

Many issues need to be considered and planned for when looking to study in the USA. The area you want to go to, the type of study interested in, and scholarship opportunities are just some of the things that need to be investigated. The following websites can provide information that you may find helpful when undertaking this investigation:
Education USA
Funding US Study
College Board
Common App
USA Study Guide

For students interested in sport scholarships NCAA will provide a starting point for research.

For SAT registration click here. For SAT preparation click here.

The US Consulate in New Zealand employs an Education Officer - Katie Sleeman who can help with information and applications. Katie will visit Pinehurst each year to hold an information session.

The consulate also has a blog with information about universities in the USA which you can view by clicking here

It is important to have a balanced record of academic study when applying to American Universities.  The following information has been put together to help students when considering their subject choices at Year 9 and Year 11/12.

Subject Requirements For USA Universities

The following information is quoted from the College Board website and gives a generalisation only of subject requirements for entry into American universities (Colleges) which can alter for specific institutions and courses and for different years. Just like New Zealand universities, entry criteria can change from year to year. High school for America is considered to be a four year course so in effect it is the equivalent of Year 10-13 in New Zealand or Year 9-12.

It is recommended that you keep a broad range of subjects for Years 10 & 11 trying to cover the various areas noted below. By Year 12 you need to be deciding on which American universities you may want to target for enrolment and making any adjustments that are needed in your study programme to meet their specific entry requirements.

Please note that your academic marks are only one part of the requirements for admission and other factors are taken into consideration when you apply such as SAT test results, personal statement and community service.

Interpretation of the entry requirements for NZ from the Education Adviser at the US Consulate are in italics.

High School Classes Colleges Look For...

If you’re in high school and you’re thinking about college, you should know that the courses you take now matter. That’s because college admission officers want to see a solid foundation of learning that you can build on in college.

To create that foundation, take at least five solid academic classes every semester. Start with the basics, and then move on to challenging yourself in advanced courses. The courses listed below should prepare you for success in college and beyond.

English (Language Arts)

Take English every year (4 years study in NZ). Traditional courses, such as American and English literature, help improve your writing skills, reading comprehension and vocabulary.


Algebra and geometry help you succeed on college entrance exams and in college math classes. Take them early, so you'll have time for advanced science and math, which will help show colleges you're ready for higher-level work.

Most colleges want students with three years of high school math. The more competitive colleges prefer four years. Take some combination of the following:

·         Algebra I

·         Algebra II

·         Geometry

·         Trigonometry

            ·         Calculus


Science teaches you how to think analytically and how to apply theories to reality. Colleges want to see that you’ve taken at least three years of laboratory science classes. A good combination includes a year of each of the following:

·         Biology

·         Chemistry or physics

·         Earth/space science

Schools that are more competitive expect four years of lab science courses, which you may be able to get by taking advanced classes in these same areas.

Social Studies

Improve your understanding of local and world events by studying the cultures and history that helped shape them. Here is a suggested high school course plan:

·         U.S. history (a full year)

·         U.S. government (half a year)

·         World history or geography (half a year)

·         An extra half-year in the above or other areas

 (For NZ this can be covered by 2 years of either History or Geography plus counting the time spent in these subject at Year 9 Level)

Foreign Languages

Solid foreign language study shows that you're willing to stretch beyond the basics. Many colleges require at least two years of study in the same foreign language, and some prefer more.

(For students not planning on continuing language studies for Year 10/11 or who do not have a second language this may limit the choices they have for study in America or they may be required to study a language when they get to University in America)

The Arts

Research indicates that students who participate in the arts often do better in school and on standardized tests. The arts help you recognize patterns, learn to notice differences and similarities, and exercise your mind in unique ways.

Many colleges require or recommend one or two semesters in the arts. Good choices include studio art, dance, music and drama.

(For NZ Year 9 level classes in art, design technology, music and drama can tick this box as well as participation in art related activities such as music lessons, playing in school band or being part of the school production)

If a student is planning to apply for an art/design related degree they are likely to have the same requirements in terms of presenting a portfolio of their work as they would have for an NZ University and they would have been expected to have been studying these subjects at school.

There can be some flexibility to the Social Studies, Foreign Language and the Arts requirements especially if student marks are very good in the other areas of study and the SAT tests.  If they do not have the entry requirements in these 3 areas usually the student is required to study papers in these areas during their first year at University.

Please note that the CIE curriculum is considered as “Challenging Course Work” so all the subjects you study are relevant for demonstrating your academic abilities.

For further details you can visit the College Board website by clicking here.













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