High School Australia

Australian high schools for international students

Study Abroad as an international exchange student at a high school in Australia. Stay for an entire academic year, semester or just a few weeks in the summer – whatever you desire! Are you a student who’s out for fun and adventure and want to speak, live and learn in a safe, fun-filled, relaxed and educational way? Participate in real school activities, experience a new world around you and create memories that last a lifetime.

You get to experience the ‘Real Australia’ through outdoor school activities such as excursions. Visit Australia’s major tourist attractions including fun, theme and adventure parks and be part of exciting action-packed adventure camps and exploring untouched Australian nature such as rainforests or a dynamic beach ecosystem.

Why Study abroad at a high school in Australia?

Ever wondered why Australia is such a popular destination for international high school students? Below we summarise the key factors for you!

Unique Flora and Fauna & Pleasant Climate

Kangaroos and koalas, rainforests and outback – who doesn't want to get to know the unique flora and fauna of Australia? In almost all regions, kangaroos, in particular, can be experienced in wild. The climate in Australia is pleasant all year-round. So you can enjoy swimming and surfing whenever you like!

High Living Standard & Good Infrastructure​

The places where international students can go to high school in Australia have a high standard of living and European infrastructure. Healthcare, energy and security are at the highest level. Australia is a very safe country. The crime rate is very low and the wealth of the population is very high.

Wide Range of Subjects and Leisure Programs

Australian high schools are well-equipped with creative learning. Every high school in Australia offers more than 30 subjects, so you can study a wide range of courses and subjects i.e sports, languages ​​and art. You can even study subjects such as marine biology or photography! Outside of school hours you can participate in sports and music programs. Many schools also offer excursions within Australia to visit some amazing places.

Internationally Recognised Education & Multicultural Society

Australia is a multicultural country and welcomes students from all parts of the world. The school system enjoys a high reputation which is proven by excellent results in the PISA. Australia made it among the top 10 countries in the world and is ranked as one of the most popular study destinations for international students. Australia is a popular study destination for high school students from over 40 nationalities due to its international reputation for producing high-quality learning outcomes. Even Britain’s future king, Prince Charles studied here and since then Australia has become a magnet for international students.

Australian High School Programs

High School Programs in Australia for International Students

Our Australian high schools have a range of programs specifically designed to meet the needs of international students with the ability to individually tailor student programs. Depending on your preferred duration and destination, we send you a list of the high schools that meet your requirements. You can then choose whichever high school you prefer.

As part of our Australian high school program you can chose to live with a supportive homestay family, in a boarding school, or with family relatives.

The classic school exchange, where students attend a high school of between 3 and 12 months in Australia. The Study Abroad program offers international students the opportunity to attend a public or private high school in Australia. International students take part in normal school life and are fully integrated into Australian school life.

Exchange students attend high schools outside major cities for 3 – 12 months. If you don’t move to the city, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia can also visit dreamlike destinations and excellent schools in Australia outside major cities. These high schools are grouped together in Australia to form the Regional Study Abroad program.

As an international student, you have the opportunity to earn an internationally recognized high school degree similar to the high school diploma or the Matura (Germany). Please check the recognition in your home country beforehand. You need about 2 years to get you high school certificate so get started in 11th grade (at the latest) and be in at least 8th grade.

Each state and territory in Australia has a different system designed for the final 2 years of school (known as senior secondary).

However, in all states you take exams in various subjects at the end of the 2 years. Your exams are carefully reviewed by a selected group of markers and, after the marking process, you are given a score. This score, places you in a ranking system, compared to every other year 12 student in the state.

When you apply to study at university, you score plays an important role in your admission. For example, university courses such as law, medicine, and engineering require higher scores.

Names of Year 12 qualification

  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT) ACT Year 12 Certificate
  • New South Wales (NSW) Higher Education Certificate (HSC)
  • Northern Territory (NT) Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE)
  • Queensland (QLD) Senior Certificate
  • South Australia (SA) South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)
  • Tasmania (TAS) Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE)
  • Victoria (VIC) Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
  • Western Australia (WA) WA Certificate of Education

Elite Program: Some Australian high schools have special priority programs-especially in sports and music-that go beyond the usual scale and involve particularly intense training.
International Baccalaureate: Selected high schools in Australia offer this internationally recognised school degree. You can find out more here.

Where do you want to visit a High School in Australia?

Information for students and parents

We know choosing the right high School in Australia is an important decision

That’s why we work in close cooperation with the Australia Department of Education, which offers junior and senior high school students from around, the world the opportunity to visit Australia. This is an experience of a lifetime for any student wanting to learn more about Australia and all the wonderful adventures that we have here waiting for young explorers to experience.

We are with you all the way – before, during and after your high school abroad in Australia. All our international student services are free! Australian institutions have nominated us as education advisers.

Our High School Service Includes:

The Application Process:

We help you apply

Apply directly to the Education department can be more time consuming and stressful since you need to be the one doing the research, the paper work and the chasing!  You can reduce your stress and contact one of our friendly staff at AA Education. We will be able to provide you with all the necessary information and support needed, we will be able to process your papers and do all the chasing for you!

You can apply any time during the year, however we recommend you apply as early as possible so that we have sufficient time to process your application.

We know a high school study abroad placement in Australia is a new experience for your child

It means new beginnings and the second half of their schooling journey. This is also the most important part of a students learning journey, as it is when they will be starting to think of who they are, who they want to be and what they want to do with their lives. Studying at High School in Australia is the stepping stones for a future career.

Most parents want to find the perfect Australian High School for their child, as it is when you are serious about your child’s education. Australia has many options available in terms of class sizes, subject choices and further study opportunities for those wanting to study a vocational or high education course in Australia after finishing school.

Important Information

There are four school terms during the year in Australia but the exact school term dates vary from state to state, this is because individual states in Australia manages their own education system.

The tuition costs and living expenses in Australia are considerably low compared to countries such as USA and the UK. However, the cost usually vary according to where you are located and it depends also on your own personal living style.

Tuition fees in public schools usually vary between $12,000* to $22,500* a year and the cost for homestay is usually between $260* and $370* per week including 3 daily meals.

So, as a secondary school international student, you may expect to spend around $20,000* for the year (tuition fee and living costs included). This is only an estimated cost, the actual cost may be different from person to person according to your own personal lifestyle and where you live in Australia.

Here you can find out about the costs and term dates of the high schools in Australia.

Regardless of your age, if you are enroled in an Australian High School International Student program, you are required to live with either with parent, a homestay, in a boarding school or with an approved close relative through out the entire duration of your stay in Australia.

Full immersion with a host family
While students are able to interact with their Australian and international peers at school, they are also able to become fully immersed in Australian life by living with their host family in Australia. Students are usually offered a shared or private room with their host family and it can cost anywhere between $260* and $370* per week including most meals.

All host families/ homestays are screened, so only families who are understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity may be selected. Your host family understands and they are there to support you, to help you learn English and to help you learn more about Australia. Through interacting, communicating and participating in activities with your host family, you will begin to really ‘live’ like an Australian!

Airport Pick up

When staying with a homestay family you will receive the ‘Arrival Details’ form after the confirmation of your application. You will need to complete this form if you wish to be picked up from the airport when you arrive in Australia.

As you leave Australia, your host family are usually the ones to drop you and see you off at the airport.

Entry requirements can vary between schools throughout Australia

Academic performance and ability is taken into consideration during the selection process. Some high schools in Australia are more selective in their student intake and place more importance on academic or sporting excellence.

Australian High School enrolments may be limited simply because of the availability. You and your parents should consider the culture and extracurricular activities of each school-as they differ widely, particularly in the private sector.

Proficiency in the English language is a must for high schools in Australia

If you come from a non-English speaking country where English is not the language of instruction, you will need to show proof of proficiency in English before beginning your studies.There are many benchmarking tests which carefully assess your English language ability, however the most widely used is the IELTS. Unless you are applying for senior secondary school, a recommendation letter from your teacher will suffice the English requirements.

If your English is not good enough, you can either take an English course within the school that you have chosen or join one of the English schools around Australia.

The High School Preparation (HSP) is a course designed to provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge that you need to be able to study comfortably in your Australian school. The program runs for 2 school terms (approx. 20 weeks) and is compulsory if you are able to provide documents (e.g. IELTS results or a recommendation letter from your teacher) as proof of English proficiency.

To join any international high school student program in Australia, you need a student visa (sub class 500). You can apply for your student visa when you have a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from an Australian high school. Your CoE serves as an indication of your confirmed application and fee payment. When you book your Australian high school experience with us, we help you apply for your student visa.

If you are attending a high school for less than 3 months, it is possible to just apply for a tourist visa. However, not all high schools offer such a short stay. Contact us to find out your options.

Work Rights

The Subclass 500 student visa allows you to work in Australia to a certain degree. You need to consult school staff at your host school in order to obtain permission to work, because the school needs to assess and ensure that your academic performances will not be hindered.

If you have obtained approval to work and if you are under 16 years of age, you can usually work for up to 12 hours per week during school time and up to 20 hours per week during the holiday periods.

There are various people and services that you can go to when you need help. You can get personal and school related support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the International Student Coordinator and/ or the homestay Coordinator at your host school. However, please keep in mind that the teachers at your host school, your host family, and the staff at AA Education are also here to provide you with the support and assistance when needed.

So, please do not hesitate to seek help when you need it

Different high schools in Australia offer different opportunities and have impact on what post school choices are available, after the final day of term. High School education in Australia starts in Year 5 or 8 and continues until year 12. The current leaving age for each state differs: 16 yrs for Western Australia, 15 yrs for the Northern Territory, 15 yrs for New South Wales, 16 yrs for Tasmania, 16 yrs for Victoria, 15 yrs for Queensland and 16 yrs for South Australia. It is compulsory for all students in Australia to study up to up to Year 10. After this, students must work or study further by going to a college or university. However, most student study Year 11 and Year 12, known as senior secondary education, which makes it easier to get into higher education.

High school education in Australia is an attractive career option for international students. It gives you a scope to study a subject the way you want or build up a career in the industry you are interested in pursuing.

Some international students study at high schools in Australia to enjoy world-class education offered in Australian schools, especially in a spacious campus with attractive facilities. Few others want an international recognition so that they can study further at a prestigious college or university while there are others who want a quick and effective pathway to a job-ready course.

Whichever path you choose, all major high schools in Australia will help you reach your target. In situations where you need additional assistance, your school arranges for special classes and programs to ensure you are equipped with the necessary prerequisites to pursue further options in life.

School Types
The school system in Australia consist of 3 different school types:

Public (State) High schools are funded by the government and places are typically given to the children that live in the same or surrounding suburbs as the school. For Australian students, public schools are free.
Private high schools are categorized either by religion: Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran etc. or are academic schools: Boys/Girls’ Grammar. There is also a range of other co-education and boarding schools available Australia wide. Private high school fees range from 2000$AU per year to 15 000$AU. To ensure a place at a private school, it is important to put your name on the waiting list early. Some children are signed up for their high schools at birth!
Independent schools are elite schools that do not have to follow the national curriculum, however they have a written policy on the curriculum they provide.

Private schools and Independent schools often have their own criteria when allocating places, for example the family being members of the parish/or of the same religion as the school.

Both state and private schools offer fairly similar subjects however, some schools do tend to lean toward academic learning whilst others offer more vocational and practical classes. Second languages are typically Asian languages.

Australian School Facts
Here are some common features of a typical high school in Australia:

School run from January to December.
There are 4 terms
1 is from the end of January to the beginning of April
2 is from the end of April to the end of June.
3 is from the mid-July to the mid-September.
Term 4 is from the beginning of October to the beginning of December.
You need an IELTS score to study in Year 11.
Students are awarded a Senior Secondary Education Certificate after successfully completing the course.
You are trained to enrol to colleges for further studies or start entry-level jobs after completion.
Some high schools have a two-year pre-university program that has international recognition. The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is offered to interested students that will help them to study at any global university.
High schools have homestay facilities where international students stay with the host family.
Graduates are qualified to seek admission to tertiary institutes.

Adventure of a lifetime – By Monika Biedak
To most teenagers, travelling halfway across the world to be immersed in a foreign culture may seem like a daunting prospect. But, for German born Hanna Koch, when the opportunity arose to do just that, she jumped on it without hesitation.

“It didn’t take me long to make my decision,” says Hanna.

“When I found out about the possibility of going abroad, it didn’t take me more than a minute to realise that I really wanted to do something adventurous.

“Of course learning English also played a part in the decision making process – I just wanted to experience something that was different from my usual life.”

She says the decision to choose Australia came from a long held interest in the country.

“I had the choice to go to England or Australia, so I chose Australia. Its distance as well as the climate enticed me. Australia had always fascinated me, not just the beautiful beaches, but also the people living there and their mentality.”

Looking back on her experiences as a student in Australia, Hanna is full of fond memories.

While spending the majority of her time in Brisbane, Queensland, the grade 12 student says she was also fortunate enough to get a glimpse of other parts of the country – including Sydney, Noosa, Fraser Island, Cairns and the Gold Coast.

Although unable to pinpoint her most memorable experience during her six-month stay, Hanna says what she valued most was the opportunity to experience Australia from a different point of view.

“I didn’t feel like a tourist at all. As a student, I got the chance to view things from a totally unique perspective.

“If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would.”

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