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Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre

Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre is a small, cosy school located in the sparsely populated, but very beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, North Island of New Zealand. It was founded in 1988, just over a quarter of a century ago.

Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre is a member of English New Zealand – the official association of English language schools in New Zealand. The school is also one of four schools in New Zealand that are members of the International Association of Language Centres (IALC).

Accreditations, ranking and awards

Student satisfaction is rated at 90.39%, and 100% of the recommendations of students on their international site are positive. Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre is included in the first level of language schools in New Zealand on the NZQA scale, which gives students who study more than 14 weeks the right to work part-time in the country.


Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre is situated in the picturesque settlement of Whitianga, in the Mercury Bay district of the North Island of New Zealand, just over 200 kilometers from Auckland. The town is famous for festivals, the most popular of which – “Speed Whitianga” (racing of a variety of vehicles), “Festival of Scallops”, and New Year’s musical concert “Gold Coromandel.”

Student numbers

This is a small “boutique school” which can train up to 50 students at a time, from around the world: Japan, Tahiti, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Thailand, France, and Saudi Arabia. The maximum number of students per class is 12. Students can be anyone aged between 16 and 80 years. There are separate programmes for the 50+ category – the oldest student was 80 when he passed the course

Popular courses

  • Full course with practice: Includes three hours of classroom instruction and the rest of the time will be devoted to practice outside of school. This includes trips to Whitianga and other nearby places, and communicating with other students and the people of New Zealand under the supervision of teachers.
  • English 3: This course includes three hours of classroom instruction throughout the week and three days of practice under the guidance of a teacher (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday).
  • English Plus Surfing: The three-week course of morning lessons in the classroom and afternoon surf lessons (Monday – Thursday). Friday afternoons give you time to practice, and after three weeks, even a beginner can become an experienced surfer.
  • Special English language courses plus: The morning lessons are in the classroom, and there are special lessons in chosen subjects in the afternoons, plus extra practice on Friday. Choose from: surfing, golf, horse riding, New Zealand cooking, or bone carving.
  • Training courses for the Cambridge exams: (Cambridge FCE, Cambridge CAE, Cambridge CPE, Cambridge BEC).
  • IELTS Test preparation.

Course duration

Duration of training depends on the course you have chosen, your level of initial training and your learning objectives. English Plus Surfing: basic course – 3 weeks Special English plus courses: basic course – 3 weeks.

Tuition fees

  • Morning lessons (three hours) – 1-18 weeks at NZ$295 per week, with a discount for each week after the 18th.
  • General course (morning classes and lessons in the afternoon) – NZ$395 per week, with a discount for each week after the 18th.
  • Full course with practice – NZ$595 per week, and a discount for each week after the 18th.
  • English 3 – NZ$465 per week, with a discount for each week after the 18th.
  • Private lessons (60 minutes) – NZ$85.
  • English Plus Surfing (3 three weeks) – NZ$1890 (cost of equipment included in the room rate).
  • Preparing for exams: six weeks – NZ$2700, nine weeks – NZ$4050, twelve weeks – NZ$5400.
  • Registration fee – NZ$200.

All prices include GST (Goods and Services Tax).

Admission Requirements

The minimum age is 16 years. All students under 18 who do not have a legal guardian in New Zealand must live in the Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre hostel. Students are required to present a passport on the day of arrival in COLC, and students under 18 must provide parental consent. Medical and travel insurance is mandatory for all students, without exception.

Accommodation options

You can live with a homestay family, in the lodge or in the student house. Homestay is considered a very important part of the training program. Participating families help students to get comfortable with the language, traditions, and ordinary lives of New Zealanders.

In the lodge, each student will have a separate room (some with bathroom), and share the kitchen. The lodge is located five minutes from the town centre and the school. Cost of living: from NZ$238 to $258 per week for under 18 students, and varies for adults according to the accommodation.

Interesting facts

The school provides a unique opportunity to combine learning English with a great cultural and tourist programme, with the beautiful scenery of the Coromandel Peninsula as backdrop. Incidentally, this peninsula is on the 37th parallel mentioned in the book by Jules Verne “In Search of the Castaways”.


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