Raphael House is a state funded Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf school. We have about 370 students ranging from age 4 1/2 (in the Kindergarten) to age 18.  Our school offers rich academic, sporting, cultural and outdoor education opportunities. We are situated on a beautiful bush clad hillside overlooking Lower Hutt and only 20 minutes from New Zealand’s popular and vibrant capital city of Wellington. Nature is on our doorstep with wild coasts and mountainous forests as well as our spectacular Wellington Harbour. The city hosts many arts and musical events and is known as the Coolest little capital in the World.

We offer two international programmes for students wishing to study in New Zealand:

Exchanges: (for students who attend one of our partner schools in Japan, German and Austria)

Foreign Fee Paying Students: (for students from any country)

International students must at the time of application be enrolled in and be attending a Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf school in their home country. (Exceptions may be made for students who have attended a Rudolf Steiner School but can no longer do so for a practical reason.)

Raphael House does school to school exchanges only and does not work with agents.

We offer:

Highlights of the school year, Sport and other Activities 

We offer a rich programme of activities, such as outdoor activities and camps, art, class plays, music and concerts, festivals, languages (ESOL, German and Japanese), sports (hockey, soccer, futsal, water polo, netball etc.) and community based work experience.


The New Zealand Certificate of Steiner Education (NZCSC) is recognized by NZQA (New Zealand Qualification Authority) as a secondary school qualification, equivalent to NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) it is an internationally recognized Steiner qualification with university entrance at Level 3.

LEARN MORE through our school prospectus for International students which can be found HERE

Contact for International Students

All Enquiries                             international@raphaelhouse.school.nz

International Student Coordinator
Irja Haefliger                             irja.h@raphaelhouse.school.nz

School Office (office hours only)
Telephone: +64 (0)4 569-5161

Emergency Phone: 027 314 6548

Exchange Process


How to Apply for an Exchange


Mailin (15) from Germany 

I came to Aotearoa on a school-to-school exchange for 5 months. My impression of New Zealand is that everyone welcomes you with open arms and is always ready to help. On my first evening here I went to the Raphael House Swimming Club and experienced the nice atmosphere there. The first day going to school was really exciting for me and everyone made me feel like I already belonged to the school community. I quickly made friend with people in my class and also other classes. Before the summer holidays I was in class 9 and we had an awesome class camp. It is called Odyssey Camp and for me it was so different to all the camps I had experienced in Germany before. I learned so much there and the whole camp was great fun. After the summer holidays with my family I was in class 10 and there experienced the most amazing camp on the Wanganui River together with my class. In school all the teachers were really nice and always helped me out if I did not understand anything. I really enjoyed my time at Raphael House and it was hard to leave New Zealand. I would always come back! 

Nils (16from Germany 

My Exchange to New Zealand 

Hello, my name is Nils. I’m from Berlin and I went to New Zealand for 6 Months for a student exchange. My older brother went to Raphael House as well when he was younger, so it was an easy decision for me. I stayed from the end of Class 9 until Class 10 over the southern hemispherical summer. When I first arrived, I was welcomed by a heartwarming greeting from my host family and exchange brother Ethan. My first day at school could not have been any better. My classmates were incredibly open and friendly right from the start and it did not take long until I knew nearly all of them. Even most of the class above me. I also met some people from Berlin which I’m still good friends with today. But not just that, two friends from New Zealand even visited me in Berlin and stayed at my place!  

I think to name one single highlight wouldn’t do it justice but some things I loved, were my trip to the South Island where I went to a great festival, when I drove up to Auckland with Ethan, his cousin and grandmother and in general the openness and friendliness of the people living in New Zealand.  

I would definitely recommend to have an international student experience at Raphael House.  

Rain (17) from China 

When I graduated from a Steiner lower school in China, for my own plan and dream of future, I wanted to go to a peaceful and green country to finish my high school Steiner education. It was at this point that I came to Raphael House.  

My first impression of Raphael House was really good. Set on a beautiful, green hill, I could see all the buildings below me. With no roaring from cars, or markets around, the school seemed far away from the noisy sounds of everyday life. In this peaceful environment, I thought, I can be calm and enjoy studying and creating.  

I’m now in Class 11, My classmates and teachers are friendly and kind to me. When I’m confused, they are willing to help.  

I still remember the feeling when we canoed down the Whanganui river for our Class 10 camp. That was the most wonderful camp I’ve ever had, and I’m deeply attracted to the natural world of New Zealand.  

I’m glad that I can finish my high school education at Raphael House and enjoy studying there. I hope there will be more international students joining us in the future. 

Hanis (18) from Thailand 

Just by saying yes to my mom’s question, my life changed completely.  

3 years have gone by, and now I am about to finish school. It is kind of scary to know that I won’t be here next year anymore, but instead, I will go out into a big world following my dream. It is shocking to realized that I don’t have to sit patiently in the Eurythmy room for half an hour listening to the teacher talking every Wednesday morning, no more Bill doing the role every morning, shouting out everybody’s name. No more Main lessons or walking up the zigzag every morning. I will definitely miss Ray’s dance move every morning before we started Philosophy main lesson. This school means home to me and I will never forget how much fun I had here.  

I remember when I first came to New Zealand, everyone gave me a really warm welcome, I did not know any of the students but they were so nice to me. All the teachers supported me so well and this was the reason I had the strength to carry on with these tough years and completed all the assessments.  

This year, my last year of studying in this lovely school, I felt like everything went better than the year before. I had so much work to do, including the Class 12 project. I am so glad that my class 12 project went well, everyone did a very good job and I will never, ever forget how it feels to stand up there on a stage presenting my work to everybody. 

“It was like a mountain when I stayed close to it. I felt like it would fall down and bury me. But when I was on top of it, I could see everything down there being smaller, the houses were tiny and so were people which I could hardly see. And when I came back down, seeing the same mountain far away in the distance, I felt like I am bigger than the mountain.” And now my journey continues, I climbed this beautiful mountain, and now it is time to search for another mountain to conquer. Thank you to Raphael House, for preparing me for the next challenge I will face, the next mountain I will climb……. 

Hanis Songpreecha