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International Students

The NSW Department of Education (DE), established for over 150 years, is Australia's largest education provider.

Our curriculum, learning outcomes and integrated welfare support programs are highly regarded worldwide.

In addition to gaining a first-class education, you will learn about Australian culture and acquire high-level English language skills.

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.

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Secondary High School
(Years 7 to 12)

International students who enrol in senior secondary high school (Years 11 and 12) and successfully complete the course are awarded a Higher School Certificate (HSC).

The HSC is a highly regarded qualification and can lead to further study at top universities, TAFE NSW Institutes and other educational institutions.

Choosing a school

  • Over 150 secondary high schools in Sydney and throughout NSW offer places to international students
  • Some secondary high schools specialise in languages, technology, performing and creative arts, or sport
  • Boys-only secondary high schools, girls-only secondary high schools, or co-educational secondary high schools (boys and girls) are available for international students.

Locate a NSW Government Secondary High School on a map.

Entry requirements


Junior Secondary (Years 7 to 10): Good passing grades in the student's main academic subjects.

Senior Secondary (Years 11 and 12): NSW School Certificate (Year 10) or its equivalent in Australia or overseas, with good passing grades in the main academic subjects.

English language

To be eligible to study in a NSW government school you will need to have studied English as part of your curriculum in your home country and achieved good results in English in your school reports.

To meet English language requirements you must complete at least one of the following:

  • Intensive English Program in a NSW government school
  • Secondary studies conducted in English for a minimum of two years
  • Minimum IELTS (International English language Testing System) score of 5.0 for Years 7-10 or 5.5 for Year 11 or equivalent results in another approved English language test (including TOEFL, TOEFL Junior, AEAS and STEP Eiken).


Compulsory subject

  • English or English as a Second Language (ESL)

Choice of subjects

  • Mathematics (with extensions)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science)
  • Information Technology
  • Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Geography
  • Ancient or Modern History
  • Legal Studies
  • Design and Technology
  • Food Technology
  • Creative Arts (Music, Art, Drama)
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • A selection of vocational subjects that also provide a Certificate-level qualification upon completion
  • A choice of 40 languages so your child may study their own language.

Important dates

Students in Years 7 to 10 can start any time up to the beginning of Term 4 (October) of the academic year.

Senior secondary high school students in Year 11 should commence at the start of the academic year during Term 1 (February) and complete three terms before moving to the Year 12 program in Term 4 (October).

See a calendar of term dates.

Important information


Accommodation and welfare

International students under 18 years of age must have suitable accommodation and welfare arrangements while they are studying in Australia.

Primary school children in Kindergarten to Year 4 must have a parent living with them at all times.

Students in Year 5 and Year 6 may live with a parent or direct relative.

Secondary high school students may live with a relative or in Homestay accommodation.

Go to the accommodation and welfare page for more information.

Browse the pre-departure guide for information about living and studying in New South Wales. Students receive a username and password with their CoE and are encouraged to login and complete quizzes.

How to apply

To apply for an international students program, follow the steps below.

How to apply

Complete an application

You can apply online or download, complete and sign an application form – a parent must sign the application form unless the student is over 18 years of age.

NSW Government Schools
Program Apply online Application form
Secondary high school Apply online Download (pdf 155 KB)
Primary school Apply online Download (pdf 155 KB)
Study Abroad (Secondary high school) Apply online Download (pdf 155 KB)

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