International school students in Victoria

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

International students make a valuable contribution within Victorian schools, providing the benefit of cultural enrichment and global perspectives within Victorian school communities.

There are a number of different opportunities for international students to experience Victoria’s school education system and ways that schools can be involved.

International Student Program

Commencing in 1994, the International Student Program in Victorian government schools has established itself as an extremely successful school International Student Program.

Overseas students choose to study in Victoria due to its reputation for a high standard of education and the quality of life experienced during their stay. Victorian government schooling is the ideal pathway to tertiary study and enhanced employment and educational opportunities.

Schools that choose to host international students find great benefit from the cultural enrichment and global perspectives that these students bring to classroom discussions and school life.

The impact that international students have on the school environment encourages cultural understanding and a greater appreciation of global issues. Providing opportunities for international and local students to learn from each other and practice their language skills adds to the learning experience for students and teachers.

International students interested in enrolling at a Victorian Government school, see: Victorian Government Schools International Student Program

School accreditation for the International Student Program

The Department is registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) as the provider of all education services delivered to international students through Victoria’s government primary, secondary, and English language schools.

The Department is responsible for ensuring that schools comply with all the requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act; The National Code 2007 and the Education, Training and Reform Act (ETRA) 2006.

  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act
  • The National Code 2007
  • Education, Training and Reform Act (ETRA) 2006

There are approximately 260 Victorian government schools accredited to deliver programs to fee paying international students (students holding a subclass 500 Student - Schools visa).

The accreditation system ensures that international students receive a high quality educational experience through a high level of support and care in a safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment.

Victorian government schools delivering programs to fee paying international students holding subclass 500 Schools - Student visas must be accredited by the Department.

For more information see School Accreditation and Re-accreditation .

Victorian government schools delivering programs to all other fee paying students and temporary residents (on a range of visa subclasses other than a subclass 500 Student - Schools visa) do not require accreditation.

To identify fee paying and fee exempt students, see the Student Fees and Exemptions document located at International Students in Schools.

School resources

Study tours in Victorian schools

Victorian government schools welcome visiting groups of overseas students for short term study experiences. Short term study tours are an excellent way for overseas students to experience education, culture and lifestyle in Victoria. Study tours also benefit Victorian schools and communities by promoting language, cultural and international studies.

Study tours contribute to the internationalisation of education by providing Victorian students, educators, schools and local communities with the opportunity to interact and engage with students and educators from other countries.

This page provides information for government schools interested in hosting groups of overseas students on study tours.

If you are an overseas student, parent, educator or study tour operator, see: Student Programs

What is a study tour?

A study tour is a school-based short term study program that places groups of school-aged (minimum 10 years of age) overseas students in Victorian government schools. The duration of a study tour can be from three days to 12 weeks.

Overseas students undertaking a study tour:

  • gain new skills and knowledge through a combination of school-based learning and hands-on, educational excursions
  • improve their English through English as an Additional Language lessons and practice in a variety of settings
  • interact and learn with Victorian students to develop friendships and intercultural understanding
  • experience Australian culture and lifestyle through homestay with Victorian families
Study tours – choice of program

Themed study tours
Themed study programs are now available for overseas students. These programs are tailored to provide student groups with positive educational experiences and include a wide range of excursions with partner education centres. Study tour themes include:

  • science and technology
  • performing and visual arts
  • leadership and sports

Flexible study tour option
An option which provides flexibility to overseas students to design their own Study Tour is also available. This program provides student groups with greater flexibility in selecting their preferred program components as part of their study tour.

Who organises study tours?

The Department negotiates tour requirements with registered study tour operators representing the study groups. (Study tour operators must register with the Department and not contact schools directly to organise study tours.)

What support do host schools receive?

The Department's International Education Division oversees the registration process of tour operators, and provides support and advice to schools, particularly schools hosting for the first time. Also a School Resource Guide, accessible online, aggregates relevant legislation, information, requirements and policies that will assist in the governance, management and administration of study tours in Victorian government schools.

Benefits of hosting a study tour

Benefits to the host school

  • establishes and strengthens productive relationships between Victorian and overseas schools
  • presents opportunities to develop longer term international programs and projects
  • strengthens language programs and incorporates global perspectives into the curriculum
  • promotes greater diversity in the school communities and improves cross-cultural understanding
  • promotes the Victorian education system and quality of the school program internationally

Benefits to students, teachers and host families

  • opportunities for two-way learning and networking
  • encourages friendships, responsibility and increased self-confidence
  • promotes cultural sharing and understanding
  • reinforces commitment to additional language studies
Becoming a host school

Stage 1
The school may:

  • be approached by the Department regarding hosting a group
  • approach the Department with a query about a proposed program or to express their interest in becoming a host school

Stage 2
The Department will:

  • clarify program obligations with the principal
  • brief the principal and designated school contact person

More information

School Policy and Advisory Guide
Short-term Study Tours for Overseas Students

Study in Victoria

Department of Education & Training
CRICOS Provider Code: 00861K