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South Australian Government Schools

Government of South Australia Department of Education and Children's Services

Questions about living and studying in South Australia

Frequently Asked Questions

Studying abroad | Programs, fees and dates | Visa | School uniform | Health cover | Homestay | Support | Working | Living expenses | Holidays

Studying abroad

Q. Why should I study abroad?
A.
There are many personal and educational reasons for studying abroad. By studying abroad in South Australia you are challenging yourself to live and study in a different culture, improve your English, meet new people, make friends for life and become more independent. You will live with a caring local South Australian family and have access to studying different subjects to help you achieve your career aspirations; you may even discover a new career path! Studying in South Australia will also give you access to Australian universities.

While studying abroad you may also have the opportunity to travel to different parts of Australia and see new places that are very different to your home country. You will taste new food and encounter our famous Australian animals such as kangaroos and koalas.

 

Studying abroad will help you to become a global citizen by understanding new cultures and languages, broadening your experiences and sharing your culture with new people.

Q. Why should I study in a South Australian government school?
A.
South Australian Government Schools represents 100 primary and secondary public schools in South Australia with each school specialising in particular subjects and areas of education. You can choose from short or long term programs, depending on your purpose for studying abroad. You will be placed in a school to meet your needs, match you with one of our caring homestay families (high school students only) and support you throughout your program. South Australian Government Schools also provides an intensive English tuition course if you need to develop your reading, writing and spoken English language skills.

Our schools provide a comprehensive orientation program in your first week of school and will introduce you to a buddy who will show you around the school and help you meet local students. As well as being part of the local student community you will also be part of a small community of other international students who may be studying at your chosen school.

 

South Australian Government Schools also provides subject counselling, ongoing English language support and a 24 hours emergency phone service.

 

Q. What colleges can I study at?
A.
In Australia ‘college’ refers to secondary, or high school. If you choose study with South Australian Government Schools you will have access to a range of secondary schools catering for students up to 19 years of age. Please visit our Choose a School page to find a school that suits you!

Q.
How does study abroad help me enter university or college?
A.
After graduation from high school you can go on to tertiary study, such as university. Graduating from a South Australian government high school will give you a national Australian Tertiary Admission Rank score (ATAR) meaning you will have access to enter university courses across Australia (note that Queensland uses a different scoring system, however, your ATAR score can be converted for entry into a Queensland university course.)

Studying in a South Australian Government School before going to university will help develop your English skills to make studying and communicating and meeting new friends easier. The Australian education system encourages students to think proactively, explore their ideas and present them for discussion. Finishing high school in a South Australian Government School will help you with your transition to university where this type of thinking is expected.

Programs,  fees and dates  


Q. What programs do South Australian Government Schools offer?
A.
South Australian Government Schools have a range of short term and long term programs for primary and secondary students.

High School Students:

High School Graduate Program – 1 year to 5 years

High School Study Abroad Program – up to 4 terms

Regional Study Abroad Program – up to 4 terms

 

Primary School Students

Primary School Program – 1 year to 7 years

Primary School Study Abroad Program – up to 4 terms

Q. Do you offer student exchange?
A.
The South Australian Government Schools international student program is not a student exchange program, although may sometimes to be referred to as such. Our study abroad programs are non-reciprocal, and allow you to live and study in South Australia for 1, 2, 3 or up to 4 school terms.

Q. Do you offer student scholarships?
A.
South Australian Government Schools do not currently offer scholarships to international students, however, check with your education agent for scholarship or financial assistance opportunities offered in your home country for studying abroad.

Q. What is the difference between school and Foundation courses?
A.
South Australian Government Schools do not offer Foundation Courses as our international students choose to commence their studies in Year 10 or 11 to complete the intensive English course we offer to better prepare them for their final year of school (Year 12) and university study. By completing Year 12 in one of our schools you will have the opportunity to study the subject ‘English as a Second Language’ which means you can enter university without an IELTS score.

Studying in a South Australian government school means you will have a broader range of subjects to study to give you more options for your university studies and career aspirations. Foundation courses prepare you for entry into a particular course of study at university and without the experience of studying different subjects in Year 12 it is difficult to transfer into a different course if your aspirations change.

 

In our schools you will also be provided with the care and support to help you succeed in your studies. You will receive in-class support, tutorial sessions if you need extra help, personal and subject counselling and your International Student Program Manager is always there to talk to. When you arrive in Adelaide you will be met at the airport and introduced to your homestay family who will support you in your studies, help improve your English and care for you. You will have access to household facilities and meals during the day. Your homestay family will help you get to school on your first day where you will take part in an orientation program and be introduced to your buddy who will show you are around the school and help you meet local students.

 

South Australian Government Schools also has a 24 hour emergency phone contact service.

Q. What are the program fees?
A.
The program fees are what you would expect to pay for your tuition, Overseas Student Health Cover, administration, support services and homestay placement. Primary school students live with a parent or nominated relative and are not eligible for the homestay program.

View the program fees and inclusions for primary and high school students.

Dependant fees will apply for children of international tertiary students.

Q. How much money will I need for additional school expenses?
A.
South Australian Government Schools recommends you allow AUD $300 - $550 per year for additional school expenses including stationery, school excursions and camps.

View the International Student Program fee schedule for detailed additional school expenses.

Q. When can I start my program?
A.
You can commence your studies at the beginning of any school term or join the mid term intake.

View the application dates to decide when you would like to start.

Q. How do I enrol in a program?
A.
Once you have decided on your program, you may wish to choose an education agent to guide you through the enrolment process. The enrolment process includes submitting a student application form, receiving and accepting your Letter of Offer and applying for your visa.

View the complete enrolment process on the Primary School or High School student page.

Q. How do I pay my program fees?
A.
If you are a Study Abroad Program student, you will pay your full program fees when accepting your Letter of Offer.

If you are a Primary School Program or High School Graduate Program student, you will make an initial payment as indicated on your Letter of Offer and then be invoiced every 6 months if paying by semester or 12 months if paying annually.

All payments must be paid in Australian Dollars (AUD) by the due date on the invoice. Payments not made by this date will incur an AUD $100 late fee. Payment can be made by international bank transfer, credit card or cheque. International students currently studying in a South Australian government school can make payments in person at the International Education Services Office. Please note: cash payments cannot be accepted.

View the How to Pay your Invoice information sheet for more details.

 Visa

Q. What are the requirements for a student visa and how long does it take to process?
A.
Australian student visa requirements differ from country to country. You can obtain information regarding visa requirements from your education agent or the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. You can lodge your visa application with the Australian Embassy in your home country who can advise on how long it will take to process.

School uniform

Q. Do I need to wear a school uniform and if so how much will it cost?
A.
As a student attending a South Australian government school, you will need to purchase a school uniform (including a sports uniform). A uniform will cost between AUD $250 - $500. Refer to the individual school websites for uniform requirements and costs.

Health cover

Q. What is Overseas Student Health Cover?
A.
Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is medical insurance which will help you pay for doctor’s fees, ambulance, x-rays and blood tests, hospital cover and medication while studying in South Australia.

South Australia Government Schools will organise OSHC for all students. If you are enrolling in our High School Graduate Program or Primary School Program, there will be an annual OHSC fee in addition to your tuition fees. If you are enrolling in a Study Abroad Program, OHSC is included in the cost of your program fee.

Q. Why do I need Overseas Student Health Cover?
A.
As an international student, you are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover for the duration of your student visa. Health cover will ensure that you have access to essential health services whilst you are in Australia.

 Q. Can I obtain a cash refund for my medical claim?   
A. 
Yes. BUPA Centres in South Australia are able to process cash refunds for all eligible claims up to AUD$100. Higher refunds of up to AUD$500 may be available at the discretion of the BUPA Centre manager. Students can visit BUPA for a list of all eligible medical claim items.  Download PDF .Process for cash refunds. 

Homestay

Q. How will I meet my homestay family?
A.
If you have requested to be met at the airport, a member of our Student Support Services team will introduce you to your homestay family when you arrive. You may also have the opportunity to contact your homestay family via email before you leave home to introduce yourself.

Q. Will I live with a billet (homestay family)?
A. International high school students who will not be staying with a blood relative* will live with a billet - a homestay family. Our homestay families are accredited to host international students, will live close to your chosen school and include you as part of their family. Living with a homestay family will be a highlight of your time studying abroad in South Australia and many students find they become a second family and will come back to visit them, or invite them to their home country, once they finish their program.

* The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) defines ‘blood relative’ as a parent, sibling, step-sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, step-grandparent, step-aunt or step-uncle.

Q. How am I going to get to and from school on the first day?
A.
Your homestay family will help you to get to and from school on your first day. Once you feel confident, your homestay family will show you how to use public transport to get to school.

Q. How do I pay for my homestay accommodation?
A.
If you are enrolled in a High School Study Abroad Program or Regional Study Abroad Program, the cost of your homestay is included in your program fee and these payments are managed by South Australian Government Schools.

If you are enrolled in a High School Graduate Program, you will need to pay a fortnightly homestay fee direct to your homestay. Your first homestay payment is due when you arrive. Alternatively, for an annual administration fee of $200, South Australian Government Schools can manage the homestay payments for you. If you choose this option, your initial fee on your Letter of Offer will include 12 months homestay fees. After that, South Australian Government Schools will invoice you for 6 months homestay fees in advance.

Support

Q. Who will help me if I have a problem?
A.
There are a number of people who can assist you if you are having problems at school including your homestay family, International Student Program Manager, homegroup teacher, school counsellor and officers of South Australian Government Schools. In the case of an emergency, South Australian Government Schools offers a 24 hour emergency phone service.

Working

Q. Am I able to work part-time whilst studying at school?
A.
If you are enrolled in a High School Study Abroad Program or Regional Study Abroad Program, you are not permitted to work.

If you are enrolled in a High School Graduate Program and have completed your Intensive Secondary English Course (ISEC), you can speak with the International Student Program Manager at your school to seek permission to work part-time. Your student visa will allow you to work to a maximum of 20 hours/week.

Living expenses

Q. How much money will I need for additional living expenses?
A.
South Australia is one of the most affordable study destinations in Australia. South Australian Government Schools recommends that you allow AUD $100 - $150 a week for additional living expenses which may include snacks, transport, clothes, entertainment, phone, internet and other personal items.

View the International Student Program fee schedule for detailed cost of living expenses.

Holidays

Q. What do I do if I want to go on holidays?
A.
If you intend travelling within South Australia, interstate or overseas during the school holidays, you will need to discuss your travel plans with the International Student Program Manager at your school before making any arrangements. This will apply whether you are travelling with or without your homestay family and is a requirement for your personal safety and of your student visa.

Q. What happens to my homestay room when I am away on holidays?
A.
If you are enrolled in a High School Graduate Program and go away on holidays for more than one week, you will be charged a room holding fee instead of the full homestay fee. This will ensure that no one else can occupy your room in your absence and your possessions are not disturbed.

Q. What if I want to travel while in South Australia?
A.
International students are able to travel while in South Australia but under specific conditions. Students enrolled in one of our programs are under the care of the Department for Education and Child Development and the department is able to approve or deny student travel plans based on particular circumstances, such as travelling alone.

International students currently studying in a South Australian government school should seek advice from the International Student Program Manager at their school.



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