Australia attracts many secondary school students each year, offering them a high-quality and internationally recognised education. Last year, there were almost 18,000 international students enrolled at Australian secondary schools. The most popular destinations were the eastern coast states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
If you are thinking about studying at an Australian secondary school, we explain the advantages.
1. Australia is a safe and welcoming country
Even if Australia is very far from your home country, it is a safe and welcoming place for international students from all over the world. It is also very multicultural, with close to a third of Australians born in another country. This means that you will find many of the comforts of your home country, from specialist supermarkets to cinemas and cultural festivals.
2. You will complete a high-quality course of study
Many Australian schools offer places to international students, with each state and territory providing its own senior secondary certificate. These certificates are completed in the final two years of study (Years 11 and 12) and allow students to complete a broad range of subjects, from academic studies such as English, mathematics and sciences to interesting areas such as business management, health, hospitality, politics and visual arts. Students are assessed and ranked compared to others in their state, resulting in an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or Overall Position (OP) for Queensland students. This rank is the primary method of entrance to Australian higher education providers. Across Australia, an alternative to the standard certificates is the International Baccalaureate (IB). The IB is offered by approximately 150 Australian schools and is recognised for university entrance around the world.
3. Australian secondary school study can lead to further education opportunities in Australia
Completing secondary school in Australia may help you get into a further course of study at an Australian university, Technical and Further Education Institute (TAFE) or private college. Tertiary entry is competitive, so there are no guarantees of course. See the Higher education — undergraduate and Vocational education sections for more information about entrance and tuition fees.
4. You will be able to practise English with native speakers
One of the greatest benefits of studying in Australia is that you will get the opportunity to speak English every day — to your classmates, teachers, your host family, local shop owners, restaurant staff and just about anyone who is willing to strike up a conversation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask someone to repeat themselves — Australians speak quite quickly and tend to use slang, but are very accommodating to non-English speakers.
5. Your school will have offer many support services
If you are worried about studying in a foreign country, it helps to know that Australian schools provide plenty of support to help you feel ‘at home’ when you arrive. Typically, services cover airport pick-up, academic and language assistance, counselling and peer support groups. You can also get involved in the school’s extracurricular activities, which will include everything from sports teams to hobby clubs.