About the Study Abroad program

This program offers a wonderful opportunity for high school students to study in a NSW government school, stay with a family in a ‘homestay’ and experience a unique Australian lifestyle. You can choose a school in a coastal, rural or urban setting and study from 3 months to 1 year.

View our Study Abroad video on the right for more information. Also available in Italian and French.

School Locations

You can choose from schools located throughout NSW, including Sydney and regional centres.

For more information about the regions of NSW, please visit the Tourism NSW website.

Applying for the Study Abroad program

Students are encouraged to submit applications through an education agent registered with DE International who can assist with preparing your documents for application and the complex visa application process. Some students may be required by DE International to submit their application through one of these agents.

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • be under 18 at the time of enrolment
  • not be in your final year of schooling
  • have maintained good passing grades in your main academic subjects.

Step 1 – Submit your application

From 26 March 2020, we no longer accept manual application forms.

Complete an online application, ensuring that all questions are answered. You must provide a residential address and email address for you and your parents.

Attach the following documents to your application:

  • payment of the application fee
  • a certified and translated copy of your passport or birth certificate
  • the relevant welfare requirement form:
  1. If you are requesting a homestay placement
  2. If you are nominating a direct relative as carer
  3. If you are nominating a distant relative or close family friend for approval as carer
    • complete a Parent Nomination for Homestay form
    • provide a certified copy of the carer’s passport
    • provide evidence of the carer’s residency status if they are an Australian resident
  4. If your parent will be your carer on a guardian visa
  • a certified copy of your school reports for the last two years, showing good passing grades in your main academic subjects. If these are not in English then please also provide certified English translations.
  • evidence of appropriate English language skills for direct entry into high school:
  • a completed English Teacher’s Recommendation Form














  • a recognised English language test result e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, AEAS, Step Eiken
  • evidence you have been studying for a minimum of 2 years in a school where all subjects (except languages) are taught in English

Step 2 – DE International assesses your application

DE International will assess your application  to ensure:

  • age appropriateness
  • good passing grades in the main academic subjects
  • suitable living arrangements
  • appropriate English language skills.

Academic requirements

  • Germany - you must be studying at a Gymnasium (students from a Realschule or Hauptschule  may also be accepted)  and have, at minimum, satisfactory  results in the main  academic subjects of English, mathematics, science, history and geography.
  • Czech Republic,  Denmark, France, Italy, Poland, Slovak Republic and Switzerland – you will have a mark of 60% or above in your main academic subjects of  English, mathematics, science, history and geography.
  • Brazil and Mexico  – you will have a mark of 6-10 in your main academic subjects of English, mathematics, science, history and geography.
  • Other countries: if your country is not listed above please contact us to discuss.

Genuine Temporary Entrant

DE International will also assess your application against the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria, which is set by the Department of Home Affairs. This is an integrity measure used by the Department of Home Affairs in its assessment of student visa applications to ensure that the visa will be used for study purposes only and to verify a genuine intention to stay in Australia temporarily.

If all required documentation and information have been provided and you have met all eligibility requirements then DE International will contact your nominated school and its associated Intensive English Centre (if required) to confirm your placement.

Step 3 – Issue of offer letter

Once your school has been confirmed, DE International will issue you a letter of offer, confirming:

  • the school you have been accepted at
  • your course dates
  • total course fees
  • conditions of accepting the offer
  • the expiry date for the offer.

You will also receive an invoice for fees required on your first instalment payment including fees for:

  • school tuition
  • homestay placement and airport transfer (if applicable)
  • Overseas Student Health Cover

If you have requested a close friend or distant  relative to be approved as carer then DE International will arrange for a registered homestay organisation to contact your nominated carer and begin the process to obtain a  Working With Children Check Clearance and home inspection.

If you have requested a homestay placement then your Homestay Booking form will be referred to a homestay organisation to begin finding a suitable family for you.

Step 4 – Accept your offer

To accept your offer you will need to:

  • Sign the offer acceptance page of your offer letter
  • Return all pages of the offer letter, including the offer acceptance page, to DE International
  • Make payment of fees outlined in the invoice you received with your offer letter.

If your course is longer than 6 months, you may choose to pay more than 50% of your tuition fees before the course commences. For courses of 6 months or less, you will need to make full payment of tuition fees.

Find out more

Step 5 – Confirmation of Enrolment issued

DE International will then issue a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) form, for the courses you have accepted. If you have requested a homestay placement, or for a distant relative or close family friend to be approved as carer, then a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) form will also be issued to you. These are documents required to apply for a student visa.

NOTE: If you have nominated a distant relative or close family friend for approval, a CoE and CAAW will not be issued until the homestay organisation has confirmed that all required Working With Children Check clearances have been received for all members of the carer’s household and the home inspection was successful.

Step 6 – Apply for your visa

Apply online for your student visa through the Department of Home Affairs website using your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) and Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW). Full details on student visa application requirements can be found at https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au.

An education agent is highly recommended for this process as it is very complex and applications from certain countries require substantially more documentation and background checks.

During peak periods the Department of Home Affairs may take up to 2-3 months to process your visa application. You will need to have been issued a student visa before you can enrol at school so make sure to allow for visa processing times when planning your visa application.

Step 7 – Get ready for your adventure!

You’ve received your visa and booked your flights. Your homestay details have also been sent to you. It’s time to start preparing!

Your education agent will help you to understand:

  • the NSW climate and the type of clothing you will need to bring with you
  • cultural differences
  • how the NSW government school system differs from your own
  • things to do during your stay.

Our Arrival Guide app provides useful information on:

  • things to bring with you
  • the different areas of Sydney international airport, including a map
  • things to do in NSW
  • how to get the best out of your homestay experience
  • your first week at school.

Download the Arrival Guide app on the App Store and the Play Store via the QR codes below.

app store qr code

Arrival Guide App Store
android qr code

Arrival Guide Play Store

Start dates

Our intake days are at the beginning of each school term.

Junior school

High school applicants for Years 9-10 can enrol from Term 1 to Term 4.

Senior high school

Senior high school applicants for Year 11 can enrol in Term 1, Term 2 or Term 3.

Accommodation Options

You can request to stay in homestay accommodation with an Australian family. This allows you to experience daily life in Australia, and to practise your English with your homestay family.

Note: Your homestay will provide you with 3 meals a day, including food to make sandwiches to take to school. Single or double placement is not guaranteed. However, students always have their own room. Find out more about our Homestay Standards.

Read more about Accommodation Options >

Overseas Student Health Cover

As part of the student visa application you will need to demonstrate that you have purchased Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) as insurance to cover the duration of your stay in Australia.

OSHC helps cover the cost of medical expenses including doctors, specialists and various hospital services.

Find out more

Responsibilities of international students

As an international student, you must meet student visa requirements, including:

  • Maintaining a minimum of 80% attendance of all classes
  • Meeting course progress requirements
  • Maintaining approved living arrangements
  • Abiding by Australian laws.

Further information on these conditions and other processes for requesting leave, requesting a change to living arrangements or making a complaint or appeal can be found in our Information for International Students handout.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the termination of your program.

Support available during your stay

Our schools provide a range of support services to ensure you settle in, are well supported and can achieve your best. These include:

  • a dedicated student support team, consisting of an international student coordinator, year advisor, counsellor and careers counsellor
  • English language support
  • homework centre, offering assistance with homework.

Find out more

The Australian Government is committed to providing international students with a safe, enjoyable and rewarding study experience in Australia.

Learn more about the ESOS framework

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

Visit the AGSI website for more information