Overseas learning experiences (student and teacher exchanges)

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Overseas learning experiences:

  • help to broaden and internationalise the outlook of students and educators
  • involve opportunities to spend time in another country
  • allow international delegates to experience Victoria and our education system.

Overseas learning experiences are available for teachers, school leaders and students in Victorian schools. Overseas delegations visit Victoria to deepen their understanding of Victorian education policy and practice.

We run international delegation programs for international visitors that include school visits.

Resource eBook for schools

Overseas Learning Experiences for Students: A Resource for Schools includes effective planning, implementation and integration of student overseas learning experiences into school programs. It draws upon the work of schools that have successfully incorporated such experiences into whole-school programs for international education.

For more information, see:

Programs for educators

Overseas learning experiences give school leaders and educators the opportunity to develop their practice through study, benchmarking and teaching in overseas countries.

Asia Education Foundation study tours

The Asia Education Foundation (AEF) conducts study tours for Victorian teachers and school leaders to a range of countries in Asia.

A key element of these tours is to provide opportunities for the development of professional practice through participation in overseas study programs to countries in Asia.

AEF promotes Asia literacy for young Australians, which includes knowledge, skills and understanding histories, geographies, societies, cultures, literature and languages of the diverse countries of our region.

These programs support the Department's goal to enhance international experiences for Victorian students and educators.

For more details about these study tours, see Study programs to Asia.

Programs for students

An overseas learning experience gives students the opportunity to live and learn in a different culture. Students develop cultural literacy, global knowledge, cross cultural communication skills and international networks.

These skills have been identified as essential to 21st century learners who will be looking at their future employment opportunities and life choices from a global perspective.

For more information, see Victorian Young Leaders to China Program.

When planning your overseas learning program, it is important to consider the potential impact of your group’s program. 

The Commonwealth Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has developed smart volunteering guidelines to advise schools of their responsibilities when travelling overseas. This is a valuable resource and should form part of your planning process. 

For more information, see Smart Volunteering

International delegation programs

We can facilitate short term programs to give international delegations an insight into the Victorian education system and provide the opportunity for the exchange of ideas between the delegates and hosts.

Delegations can be from overseas education departments, schools and institutions.

The programs can include:

  • a general overview of our scope of work
  • Victoria's approach to professional development, curriculum, assessment, reporting and pedagogy, school management and internationalising the curriculum.

For further information email international@edumail.vic.gov.au

Hosting an international delegation

Hosting a delegation of overseas visitors is a great opportunity for your school’s leaders, teachers and students to benefit from professional and cultural exchange.

The school community gets the opportunity to establish links with another country and the experience can enhance teaching programs to make language, cultural and international studies come alive.

It can also be the start of an ongoing partnership between your school and overseas schools.

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.

About study tours

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

We negotiate tour requirements with registered study tour operators representing the study groups. Study tour operators must register with us. They cannot contact schools directly to organise study tours.

Host schools support

Our 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

We will:

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

For more information and to view our policy, see Short-term study tours for overseas students.