Questions about studying in Australia:

1. What is the best time to send my children to study in Australia?

P.5 to S.4 are the best time to enroll. If children study abroad before P.5, they will easily lose their Chinese ability. Therefore, it is better to go overseas to study abroad only after the child has a certain Chinese foundation in P.5 or later.

Of course, parents should also consider their children’s wishes and personality. If children have low self-discipline, it may not be good to go abroad too early. We recommend that children enter Year 9 in Australian schools (i.e. S.3 in Hong Kong), but parents should prepare for their children at least 12 months in advance.

2. When does Australian secondary school start? How many semesters are there every year? What is the holiday like?

The main starting months of Australian secondary schools are February and July. There are 4 semesters each year (except for the Tasmanian secondary school, which is divided into 3 semesters each year). Each semester lasts about 10-12 weeks. Australian secondary schools have short vacations between each semester, and longer summer vacations from December to January of the following year.

3. How should parents choose Australian schools for their children?

Parents can consider from the following aspects:

  • School category: Boys / Girls / Co-ed school? Government / Private school?
  • School area: If you choose to go to secondary school in big cities, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, there are many schools to choose. The area is more prosperous and there are more relatives and friends, but the cost is higher. If you choose to go to middle and small cities, such as Canberra, Gold Coast, Hobart, the environment is safer. The cost of living is cheaper and the language environment is also good. No matter the student graduated from secondary school in any city in Australia, the converted grades can apply to any university in Australia.
  • School performance: You can refer to the ranking of exam results published by Australian schools each year.
  • International student ratio: Some schools have a low proportion of international students, and the environment is more suitable for students to train in English, but we must also pay attention to whether children can learn happily in a nearly English circle. Schools with a certain percentage of Chinese are also beneficial.
  • Financial budget: It is necessary to calculate the cost of different items carefully. Among them, tuition and boarding fees account for the largest proportion, and there are also school fees, guardians, air tickets and other expenses.
  • Subject selection: Education in Australia is oriented by students’ interests and expertise. In addition to some basic subjects such as English, Mathematics and Science, does the school offer some subjects that students love and are more difficult to choose in Hong Kong? For example: Drama, Dance, Agriculture, Law, Aviation, etc.
  • Extracurricular activities: Can students choose some interesting or meaningful extracurricular activities? For example, performing stage plays, cricket, skiing, surfing, community service, etc.
  • School facilities: The tuition fees of Australian private schools are more expensive, but the facilities are usually more complete and high-quality than Government schools, including libraries, laboratories, music rooms, sports facilities, etc. Parents should consider when choosing a school.
  • Student character: Parents can choose different schools and subjects depending on the personality of the students to explore different interests of the students. Many secondary schools in Australia also provide IB courses to match the learning characteristics of some students.

4. What is the difference between Government schools and private schools in Australia? Can international students apply?

Tuition fees in Government schools in Australia are about one-third of those in private schools, which is much cheaper. Government schools are funded by the government and managed by the state government. They mainly accept local students, but some also accept applications from international students. Generally, students can enroll at the age of 13.

Private schools are divided into church, independent and university-affiliated secondary schools. There are relatively more international students. They are superior in terms of campus facilities, scale, management, financial assistance to students, and teaching quality. Students usually have a higher admission rate of universities.

5. Do students need to take entrance exams in Australian schools?

When selecting students, most Australian private schools will require students to take a comprehensive ability assessment AEAS exam to test their English proficiency, Mathematical reasoning and comprehensive learning ability. The school will also arrange interviews for students to assess their English proficiency, adaptability and logical thinking.

6. Should parents choose homestay or boarding school for their children?

Students staying in host families can learn about the local culture of Australia and integrate into the life of the local family. The host family’s expenses include separate rooms for students, two to three meals a day, water and electricity, and broadband Internet access.

Students staying in a boarding school can experience a regular group life, regular work and rest, eating and refreshing. There are also teaching staff stationed in the school to support students. Parents can choose a host family or a boarding school according to the student’s personality and preferences.

7. Can parents apply for a visa to accompany their children to study in Australia?

Yes, they can. Overseas students under the age of 18 can bring an immediate family member to Australia to accompany them. Parents only need to apply for a guardian visa.

8. Can students legally work while studying in Australia?

Yes, they can. The Australian Government stipulates that students with student visas can legally work 40 hours every two weeks.