International Schools in Cook Islands

Diploma and graduate hat - Fotolia

You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in Cook Islands with fee information. It includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools and you will find the right school to prepare for International Baccalaureate, and other diploma in Cook Islands. Some schools will follow the New Zealand curriculum with English speaking programs.

Education in Cook Islands

The first western schools on Cook Island began with British missionaries from the London Missionary Society, and later the Seventh-day Adventists. Today, education in the Cook Islands is closely linked to the educational system of New Zealand and is administered by the Ministry of Education. Administration of the system is divided among three regions: Rarotonga Island, the Southern group, and the Northern Group.

Primary and secondary education are free and attendance is compulsory for children between the ages of five and fifteen. The use of Maori is encouraged in all the schools, although English is also widely used. The Ministry runs 4 terms per year with holidays running over Christmas (6 weeks), April/May(2 weeks), July/August (2 weeks), and October (1 week).

International Schools

International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in the Cook Islands. Schools usually follow a curriculum model based on the New Zealand standard. Many schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or Vietnam. These includes internationally accepted accreditation and exams such as the international baccalaureate.

Admission and enrollment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality. Tuition tends to be expensive based on local standards, but offers high standards of learning, boast smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and extracurricular. Boarding facilities are available at some schools, but most only provide day classes.


The CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools.


St Joseph's School
Address: St. Joseph's Rd
Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Tel: (00)68226111
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

St Josephs Primary School is on the main island of Rarotonga. It was established in 1895 by catholic missionaries. The school caters for students from Early Childhood up to primary school level (Grade 6).

Nukutere College
Address: PO Box 76
Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Tel: 26-110/21167/21168
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Nukutere College is a Roman Catholic secondary school. Nukutere means "people on a journey", a reference to the pilgrim Church in the South Pacific contex. The school caters for students from Year 8 to Year 11.

Imanuela Akatemia
Address: P.O.Box 3090
Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Tel: (682) 23 668
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

The "God with us Academy" is a Christian kindergarten to Year 13. The school uses Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E) Curriculum and is founded on Christian principles.