three students next to a river


Secondary student exchange

The secondary student exchange program in NSW is a state specific reciprocal program whereby students from another country are enrolled as full-time students in a NSW secondary school for a period ranging from three months (or one full school term) to one year. Under similar program conditions, students from NSW are able to enrol full-time, in a recognised course of study in an overseas country.

  • Exchange programs provide a broad educational experience for students and increase international and cultural understanding among young people
  • Secondary student exchange programs are different from the full-fee paying International Students Program offered at NSW Government Schools.
  • Secondary student exchange programs in NSW are operated by registered not-for-profit exchange organisations or registered secondary schools.
  • After approval, secondary student exchange students enter the country using an Acceptance Advice for Secondary Student Exchange (AASES) form on a 500 Student Visa with full-time studies as the major focus.

Information and frequently asked questions

Information and FAQs

Information for students and parents

What is the main focus of a student exchange program?

The purpose of student exchange is to engage in study and experience a new culture. Secondary student exchange students must enrol as full-time secondary students at a recognised secondary institution in a recognised course of study.

Can I choose a specific school or location in NSW and determine my own course of study?

This may not be possible through a student exchange. If you wish to select a school and a course of study in NSW, the NSW Department of Education provides a range of programs such as Study Abroad and Study Tours.

What countries can I visit as a secondary exchange student?

The most popular overseas destinations for Australian exchange students are USA, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada, Belgium, Spain and Argentina, although choices are not limited to these countries.

How much do student exchange programs cost?

The cost of a student exchange varies. Charges are determined by registered secondary exchange organisations.

Registered NSW Exchange Organisations (providing exchange programs for students in NSW)

Schools (providing exchange programs for students enrolled in the school)

The NSW Department of Education provides a range of other international student programs such as a Study Abroad and Study Tours.

Can I arrange a 'private' student exchange if I know of a host family and school I want to go to?

No. Student exchange programs in NSW can only be organised through a registered exchange organisation. The NSW Department of Education provides a range of international student programs that might meet your needs.

What is the minimum and maximum duration for a secondary student exchange in NSW?

The minimum period for a secondary student exchange in NSW is 3 months or one school term and the maximum is one year.

How do I know if my child will be safe while on a student exchange program?

Individuals should only deal with registered secondary student exchange organisations. Registration requires compliance with NSW child protection procedures, host family screening, safe and supervised travel, adequate accommodation standards and emergency contact procedures.

Who do I contact regarding my satisfaction/dissatisfaction with a specific student exchange?

In the first instance, contact should be made with the exchange organisation. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, contact should then be made with DE International.

Secondary student exchange



Secondary student exchanges range
from three months (or one full school
term) to one year and are conducted by
registered exchange organisations.


Do you need help?

Contact DE International or a registered organisation.


We are a proud representative of Australian Government Schools International (AGSI), a collaborative association of government schools with international student programs.

Australian Government Schools International logo