International Students and Parents
Studying in Canberra is a rewarding and exciting experience. For most students, studying overseas is their first experience of visiting a foreign country and living away from home. Students in Canberra enjoy a balanced education with opportunities for personal, intellectual, sporting and cultural development. International students are made particularly welcome, with high quality Government education in a safe, friendly and multicultural city.
All government schools in Canberra offer high quality learning in modern, well-equipped and supportive environments. Our schools have developed a range of programs specifically designed to meet the needs of international students with the ability to tailor educational programs for individuals.
International students develop English language skills while studying at Canberra's government primary schools, high schools and colleges, alongside native English speakers. All Canberra government schools hosting international students provide English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) Programs for international students. Prior to commencement international students must meet Australian Department of Home Affairs student visa requirements. There are no additional specific English language requirements for entry into ACT Government Schools. All international students whose native language is not English must attend 20 to 40 weeks of English Preparation Course prior to mainstream studies. Intensive English Centres (IECs) are available as preparation for studying in ACT Government schools should it be required and there is no additional cost for this service.
Government schooling in Canberra is leading the way in preparing young people for the opportunities and challenges of life in the 21st century. With one of the best government education systems in the country, Canberra government school students consistently rate as the best educated in Australia and among the brightest in the world. An international education in Canberra sets students apart from their peers and provides multiple pathways to success.
The International Education Unit (IEU) is responsible for the enrolment of international students from Preschool to Year 12 in government schools in Canberra. In the ACT, a child is of compulsory education age from the age of six. For preschool aged children, enrolment placement for the dependants of temporary residents is subject to the availability of places. Please note, children must be four years of age by 30 April in the year they commence preschool.
The ACT Government Education Directorate is a registered education provider on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). Our CRICOS Registration Number is 00643J.
All providers of international education are mandated to comply with both the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) https://internationaleducation.gov.au/Regulatory-Information/Pages/Regulatoryinformation.aspx and the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (National Code) https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L01182. Under Standard 5 of the National Code, the ACT Government Education Directorate accepts responsibility for the welfare of students under the age of 18 who are not cared for by a Department of Home Affairs suitable relative in Australia.
There are three accommodation options for international students studying in Canberra Government Schools. The first option is for students to reside with a parent or suitable relative who is approved by the Department of Home Affairs as the guardian and who has legal custody of the student.
Under Migration Regulation 1.03 a relative means a spouse, parent, brother or sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, step uncle/aunt/niece or nephew. This is the only option available for primary school aged international students.
The second accommodation option is available to all high school aged international students. The Family Friend and Relative Program (FFRaP) allows the families of international students to nominate a family friend or relative to care for the student until the student turns 18 years of age.
The third accommodation option is where the Education Directorate arranges accommodation for international students over 16 years of age. The Homestay Accommodation Program places students with local Canberra families as this is the most effective way for students to experience Australian culture and improve their English.
International students studying in Canberra Government Schools receive a high level of care. Each school has an International Private Student (IPS) Coordinator and the Education Directorate provides a dedicated pastoral care manager and homestay manager to monitor student's attendance, progress, health and wellbeing. Officers from the Education Directorate are on 24 hour emergency call to assist international students as the safety and well being of our international students is paramount.
For more information regarding international students' obligations and requirements, please refer to:
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