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  • Are the programmes offered in private schools?
    No, all schools offering bilingual programmes are publicly funded and therefore free to NZ citizens, permanent residents and work visa holders. Some schools ask for an administrative donation each year. However, every child participating in a bilingual programme is encouraged to make a donation to Frenz. See our page "Costs" for more information.
  • What does my child need to bring to school?
    Your loved one needs to bring his/her lunch and snack, a water bottle and a hat and sunscreen for the summer terms (Term 1 in February-April and Term 4 in October-December). Your child's teacher will let you know what other school stationeries he/she will require.
  • I am arriving on a work visa. What will bilingual education cost?
    If you are arriving on a work visa, your child(ren) will be considered as domestic students. Therefore, schools will be free (some school ask for small administrative donations). However, to participate in a bilingual programme, your family will need to become a member of Frenz ($40/family/year) and we ask that a donation of $550/year/child be made to Frenz. Without Frenz, bilingual education would not be possible in NZ because the ministry doesn't supply schools with French learning resources. With your donations, Frenz supports all the schools offering bilingual education in NZ by buying all their French learning resources.
  • Is the FRENZ donation compulsory?
    Donations in their nature are not compulsory. However, everybody participating in the bilingual programme must understand that bilingual education would not be possible in NZ without donations. More and more children across NZ have this incredible opportunity to have bilingual education thanks to years of donations by visionary parents like you who donated time and money to open, grow and support bilingual units. Without donations, bilingual education would not be a reality in NZ so we thank you for supporting your children's bilingual education by donating to your association: Frenz :) See our page "Costs" for more information on how donations are used and why they are critical to the success of our bilingual programmes.
  • When do I pay my membership and donation?
    Once your child(ren) have started school, the Frenz manager will contact you regarding membership fees and donations.
  • What level of French is required to be accepted in a bilingual programme?
    The bilingual programmes are taught in French so children need to understand French in order to progress through the curriculum. Visit the "Who is Bilingual Education for?" section (in "Bilingual programs" tab) for more details.
  • Can you join a bilingual programme part way through the year?
    Most units have a wait list most years and it may not be possible to join part way through the year. Contact the schools directly to find out if your children can join partway through the school year.
  • When do enrollments start for the following school year?
    Birkdale North School (Auckland North) and Burnside Primary (Christchurch): you can enrol at any time during the school year and children can start at any time. Richmond Road School (Auckland Central), Ridgway School (Wellington) and Kowhai Intermediate (Auckland Central): you must enrol by September for the following school year
  • Is there a cafeteria/canteen at the school?
    No, New Zealand schools do not have cafeterias and children need to bring their own lunch and snacks with them at school.
  • What are the school hours?
    Every school has slightly different shcool hours but generally speaking, school starts at 9am and finishes at 3pm. You can drop off and pick up your child directly in their classroom. Most school have before and after school care options offered by third-party groups that operate from 7am and after school from 3-6pm. Contact the school of your choice to find out what school care programmes are available on their premises.
  • I don't have a child enrolled in a school offering bilingual education. Can I still be a member and borrow French books?
    Yes, anyone can become a Frenz member, which gives your family access to any of our French libraries hosted in each school offering bilingual education. Find out the libraries opening hours at
  • Can we apply for a bilingual programme even if we don't live in the school zone?
    Yes you can.
  • How do families maintain bilingualism after primary school?
    For the moment, Kowhai intermediate is the only school to offer a French-English bilingual programme beyond primary school. Otherwise children continue their education in mainstream i.e. in an English speaking environment. If you cannot attend Kowhai Intermediate and wish to further your child's education in French, you can look at options such as le CNED. Also, most families maintain French at home through friends gatherings, books, films etc.
  • How involved are parents in kiwi schools? What is expected of parents? What sort of help do parents provide around the school?
    Parents can be as involved as they can/want in Kiwi schools. You can ask to come read to children, go on school trips, etc. but in the bilingual programmes, we need extra help as teachers are being asked to do double the work: put French books away, scan and repair French books in the library, help do school promotion, etc. Visit our "Get Involved" page to find out how you can help out.
  • What can I do to prepare my child to a bilingual programme if our child was born in NZ and hasn't got access to a bilingual education before school?
    Exposure, exposure, exposure :) Read and speak in French to your children, let them listen to French songs/nursery rhymes and watch French cartoons, organise play dates with other French speaking families, have private or group tutoring...
  • Do the bilingual programmes follow the french curriculum?
    No, the schools teach the New Zealand curriculum in French.
  • Are there parent groups to support each other?
    Yes, each school has a parents group and help each other out all the time. We are forming a community away from home!
  • What is an international student?
    Your child will need a student visa if he/she will study in New Zealand full time and the course is for longer than three months. This type of visa is not necessary if your family arrives in New Zealand with a work visa. Not all schools in New Zealand can accept children arriving in New Zealand on a visitor visa or a student visa. Find out more information at
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