Intensive English programs

English at an Intensive English Centre (IEC)

The NSW government owns and operates intensive English centres (IECs) to help international students to improve their English and adjust quickly to their school studies. The course introduces students to the Australian school system, provides intensive English language tuition, as well as orientation and welfare support. Lessons are in English and cover key high school subjects such as maths, science, history and geography.

Students must be at least 12 years of age to enrol and have school reports showing previous English tuition in their home country, with good results in all subjects. Students attend an IEC closest to their intended high school and attend for approximately 20 weeks to help integrate them into their high school studies.

There are 14 IECs in Sydney and Wollongong, as well as Sydney's Cleveland Street Intensive English High School. Enrolment is 4 times a year, at the beginning of each school term.

View the school calendar and locate IECs on a map.

High quality teaching and support

IEC teachers are university-trained and fully qualified to teach English as an Additional Language/ English as a Second Language (EAL/ESL). The classes are small, with a maximum of 18 students, with the modern language laboratories providing computers, electronic smart boards, video and library facilities. Support services include:  

  • bi-lingual translators provide students with support in the classroom
  • teaching programs offer individual or small group support in the initial phases of learning English
  • extension programs are available for students who excel in their learning
  • homework centres in most school libraries after school, allow students to access extra free tuition if they need support with revision or homework.

How to apply

To apply to study at an intensive English centre, complete Part 7 of your International students application.

School locations

Search for NSW government primary and high schools available for enrolment by international students or temporary residents:

Find out more about studying at a NSW government school

Intensive English programs


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for help with choosing a school or enrolling.




International Student Guide
Study Abroad Brochure
School Profiles
Application Form

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Intensive English programs


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