Introduction

Qualifications from NSW government secondary schools (high schools) are recognised world wide, and the international student program caters for international students in over 150 high schools in Sydney and regional locations.

High school begins in Year 7 (12 years of age) and ends in Year 12 (18 years of age). Subjects and activities covered include English, mathematics, science, technology, languages, creative arts and humanities.

If you successfully complete Year 12 you're awarded a Higher School Certificate (HSC) and Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).

Class sizes are usually between 10 and 30 pupils, and schools are equipped with libraries, auditoriums, gymnasiums, computer rooms and science laboratories. Laptops are available for students in Years 9, 10 and 11 for educational use.

If you're applying for a student visa and would like to enrol as an international student in a NSW secondary school, you'll need to complete an application form.

Eligibility

For enrolment in junior high school (Year 7 to Year 10):

  • you must have achieved a minimum score of 5.0 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or an equivalent approved English language test, or
    • have had your secondary studies conducted in English for at least 2 years, or
    • have completed an intensive English program in a NSW government school.
  • you must have achieved good grades in the main academic subjects
  • in Years 7 and 8, you must live with a parent, or a direct relative approved by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • in Years 9 and 10 you may live with a parent, an approved direct relative, a parent-nominated carer, or a homestay family approved by the Department of Education International (DE International).

For enrolment in senior high school (Years 11 and 12):

  • you must have achieved a minimum score of 5.5 in IELTS  or an equivalent approved English language test, or
    • have had your secondary studies conducted in English for at least 2 years, or
    • have completed an intensive English program in a NSW government school.
  • you must have completed Year 10 or its equivalent in Australia or overseas, and have good passing grades in the main academic subjects
  • you may live with a parent, an approved direct relative, a parent-nominated carer, or a homestay family approved by the Department of Education International (DE International).

If you'd like help with your application, the DE International has a worldwide network of representative agents to guide you through the process.

What you need

  • your personal details
  • certified copy of your birth certificate or your passport
  • visa details (if applicable)
  • your accommodation and welfare documentation
  • overseas student health cover (OSHC) details (if applicable)
  • certified copies of your school reports for the last 2 years
  • evidence of your proficiency in English such as:
    • evidence you have been studying for a minimum of 2 years in a school where all subjects (except languages) are taught in English, or
    • English language test results (IELTS, TOEFL, AEAS or STEP Eiken).
  • certified translations of all supporting documents that are not in English
  • your method of payment.

How to apply

  1. Check the eligibility requirements.
  2. Select the 'Download PDF form' button.
  3. Complete and sign the form.
  4. Gather all your supporting documents.
  5. Email your application to isc@det.nsw.edu.au

More information

  • If you're talented in performing arts (dance, drama or music), technology, languages or sport, you can apply to high schools which offer specialist facilities.
  • Boys-only secondary high schools, girls-only secondary high schools, or co-educational secondary high schools (boys and girls) are available for international students.
  • If you need to improve your English skills before you enrol, you can apply for an intensive English language course.
  • There are 4 school terms:
    • Term 1 begins in January
    • Term 2 begins in April
    • Term 3 begins in July
    • Term 4 begins in October.
  • High school applicants for Years 7-10 can enrol from Term 1 to Term 4.
  • Senior high school applicants for Year 11 must enrol in Term 1 or Term 2 only. It is best to enrol in Year 11 in January to ensure you have the most amount of time to learn the Preliminary HSC curriculum.
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