Group of students smiling


International Students

NSW government schools are Australia's largest education provider. Our school curriculum and integrated welfare programs are highly regarded internationally, and we welcome international students into our schools.

We have 5 international student programs: 

1.    International student program  - for children on student visas (see below)
2.    Study abroad program  for children on student visas
3.   Temporary residents program (TRP) for children of parents on temporary resident visas
4.   Study tours  for children groups or adult groups on visitors visas 
5.   Secondary student exchange for children on student visas.

What the International Students Program offers

In 2017, over 27% of our International students program students appeared on the merit list of Distinguished Achievers, having scored over 90 in a subject. Additionally 3 students gained ‘Top All-Rounder' status, having scored 90 or above in 10 units or more.

These outstanding achievements are even more impressive since these students came from 58 different schools, demonstrating excellent results across a range of schools and locations. Read more about our DE International Awards 2017.




students in library researching

Secondary High School
(Years 7 to 12)

NSW government high schools have co-educational schools, with boys and girls learning in the same classroom, as well as boys-only schools and girls-only schools. 

All students who are enrolled in Year 11 and Year 12, and successfully complete their studies, are awarded a Higher School Certificate (HSC), and graduate with an ATAR score.  The HSC is a highly regarded qualification which offers opportunities for further study at Australia's top universities.

High school enrolment requirements

•    Good passing grades in the student's main academic subjects.
•    Good English language proficiency with prior English tuition and school reports showing good passing grades in English language studies. 
•    In Australia, all teaching and learning is conducted in English (except other language studies) so students must have completed one of the following to meet requirements:
a)    Intensive English programs study in a NSW government school OR
b)    2 years minimum study at Secondary level with studies conducted in English OR
c)    a IELTS (International English language Testing System) minimum score of 5.0 (for years 7-10) or 5.5 (for year 11 or equivalent) - or good results in other approved English language tests including TOEFL, TOEFL Junior, AEAS and STEP Eiken. 

Contact us to discuss your intended address in NSW so we can advise which high schools are available to you. You can also view high schools on this map (not a complete list) or use the school finder tool. 

High school start dates

There are 4 school terms in each academic year - see calendar. International students can enrol in years 7-10 from late January to early October (term 1 - term 3).  

International students in high school year 11 must enrol in term 1 or 2 (and complete terms 2 and 3) as year 11 has only 3 terms (January to October). Year 12 starts in October and finishes the following year in October-November when the statewide HSC exams are held. 

High school subjects 

High school subjects are varied and engaging. English language studies are compulsory and can include classroom English. Intensive English programs, and EAL/ESL (English as an additional language/ English as a second language). 

High school subjects include:

•    mathematics (with extensions/ higher level study)
•    science (biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science)
•    information technology
•    design and technology
•    creative arts (music, art, drama)
•    economics
•    business studies
•    legal studies
•    geography
•    history (ancient and modern)
•    health and  physical education
•    food technology
•    personal development, health and physical education (PDHP)
•    choice of up to 40 languages - see HSC syllabus 
•    various vocational subjects which offer a certificate qualification upon completion.

Some schools specialise in certain subjects so are popular with students with particular interests in languages, sport, technology and the creative and performing arts.

Important information



International students under 18 years of age must have suitable accommodation arrangements while they are studying in Australia. Access the Accommodation and welfare page for more information.

You can also browse the pre-departure guide for information about living and studying in New South Wales. Note: once a student has a confirmation of enrolment, in a NSW government school, they can use the supplied username and password, to login, learn more, complete complete quizzes and start preparing for their study experience in Australia.

How to apply

Students on a student visa can apply for an international students program, via the steps below.

How to apply

Complete the application form

There is one application form (with various parts) as below. Applicants should download, complete the correct section, and sign the application form before providing to us - contact information

Education agents may prefer to use the online application system (registering via the TAFE website). Note: if applying online, the online Terms & Conditions document must also be provided.

International student program (ISP) and Study abroad program (SAP)
Programs Application form Apply online
High school - International student program Download (pdf 155 KB) Apply online
Primary school - International student program Download (pdf 155 KB) Apply online
High school - Study abroad program (SAP) Download (pdf 155 KB) Apply online

If you have already started an online application you can check its progress by logging in to the TAFE online application system

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

International Students

Do you need help?

Ask a question online or contact
DE International or an authorised agent
for help with choosing a school or enrolling.




The International Students Program
is available to students who enter
Australia on a student visa (i.e. subclass 571P). Holders of all other visa types may be eligible to enrol under the Temporary Residents Program.




International Student Guide
Study Abroad Brochure
School Profiles
Application Form

See more and translated documents


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Agent search

DE International has a worldwide network of representative agents who can help you complete and submit your application to study.

These representatives must provide you with accurate and up-to date information and advice regarding programs, courses, application procedures, living and studying in Australia. They can also assist with your visa application. If you wish to apply through an agent it is recommended that you use an agent on this list. If you choose to use another agent who is not published on this list, then DE International is not responsible for the accuracy of the advice provided to you.

If you have any concerns with regard to the service provided by our agent representatives, please contact us.

International Students


ESOS Framework

The Australian Government wants international students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding study experience in Australia.

Read more about the ESOS Framework.


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

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