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Characteristics of Australian schools

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The teacher's role

The teacher aims to assist students in reaching their individual learning goals.

Class activities

Students commonly undertake projects, group work and self-directed learning.

Dress codes

Most schools enforce dress codes or have a uniform to promote a sense of equality and to maintain a focus on education instead of fashion.

Class sizes

These are kept as small as possible, so teachers can regularly interact with students on an individual basis.

School hours

Schools operate from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Before-school and after-school care is generally available to those students who require it.

Teacher training

Australian teachers are nearly all university trained, with secondary school teachers having specialist qualifications in their subject area.

Special programs & services

These are available for: • gifted students • students with disabilities • to help them reach their fullest potential.

English support

International students often have access to English language support to help them adapt to their new school environment.

Entry points

Primary schools

Students may enter at Preparatory level or Year 1.

Any other options of getting into primary schools?

A student can enter at any year if the application is accepted by the school, and they have complete transcripts from their former school. In some instances they may be required to take a placement test to ensure their success at their new school.

Secondary schools

Students may enter Years 6 or 8 or at Years 10 or 11 - beginning of junior/senior high school.

Any other options of getting into secondary schools?

A student may enter at any year if the application is accepted by the school, and with appropriate transcripts. New students need complete academic records and an appropriate English language proficiency.


Boarding school

Many non-government secondary schools provide accommodation, meals and laundry services for international students.

Home stay

Students can live with an Australian family, gain access to the Australian lifestyle and practice English in a natural and friendly way.

Farm stay

This is same as a homestay, but in a rural setting. It is suitable for short stays.

Share or rental accommodation

Students over 18 may share or rent an apartment or house.

Approximate costs

• Boarding School A$10,000 - 20,000 per year • Homestay / Farm stay A$110 - 270 per week • Share Accommodation A$70 - 250 per week • Rental Accommodation A$100 - 400 per week

Advantages for international students

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Why Australian schools?

Australian school education offers the opportunity for students to develop life skills in a positive and outgoing environment. Importance is given to personal development as well as academic studies.

Advantages for international students

Some schools and colleges cater exclusively for international students, whereas others have long traditions of student exchange with other international schools.

How these schools attract international students

They attract in three ways: • Quality, • English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs And • Information and Communication Technology in Schools.

Quality - Comparisons with other countries

• Australia performed better that the USA or UK in all areas. • Australia was among the top ten countries in all three areas. • The top 5% of Australian students achieved at the same level in all domains as the top 5% of students in any country.

English as a second language (ESL) programs

• Prepare students for entry into school studies in intensive English courses, • Provide on-going language-support programs for students after they begin their formal studies.

Information and communication technology in schools

• Computers, • Digital data and communication links, • Film and television, • Satellite signals to remote locations, • Internet access points, • Online courses and materials.