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ACT Department of Education and Training

Australia
Overview

Overview

Canberra is a purpose-built capital city, designed to showcase many of the major political, educational and cultural institutions that support the Australian way of life. It is a vibrant and dynamic city, located in the heart of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It offers the best of both worlds, combining modern city living with easy access to the spectacular natural landscapes of Australia. Canberra is a safe place to live and has been named by the OECD as the safest capital city in the world, as well as being easy to get around via public transport.

The ACT education system has a firm focus on students and is underpinned by the principles of excellence, equity, access, agency and inclusion. Learning opportunities are innovative and future focused, with an emphasis on well-being and ensuring each student has the support needed for a meaningful education outcome. Students are encouraged to be life-long learners and, particularly at the college level, to pursue their interests and expand their horizons.

There are approximately 90 Government Schools in the ACT, providing schooling from Preschool to Year 12. At the secondary level, there are links with tertiary bodies such as the Australian National University (ANU), the University of Canberra, Australian Catholic University, Australian Defence Force Academy and Canberra Institute of Technology.

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Why the ACT Education Directorate?

Why the ACT Education Directorate?

Canberra Government Schools are an excellent choice for students seeking an international academic and cultural experience. Choosing to study at a government school in ACT allows students to benefit from:

  • Student intakes are capped to ensure capacity for individualised assistance for each young person to attain their potential.
  • There is a comprehensive support structure of people, resources and strategies, including early intervention for well-being, transition or academic concerns.
  • The final two years of schooling (Years 11 and 12) are in a dedicated college setting.
  • Assessment is continuous throughout the school year, applying strategies such as learning journals, portfolios, oral presentations, performances, observations and peer evaluation.
  • Homestay offers another dimension to the student experience, through active involvement in family lifestyle.

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Schools

Schools

Primary Schools (Kindergarten to Year 6)

International students from six years of age can enrol in primary school. They participate in programs to develop their social, emotional, intellectual and physical abilities. Literacy and numeracy are a focus as foundational skills. The maximum visa period in the primary school sector is three years. Students must reside with a Department of Home Affairs approved guardian who has responsibility for their care.

High Schools (Year 7 to Year 10)

Canberra Government High Schools cater to students aged approximately 12 to 16 years of age, studying Years 7 to 10. Teachers deliver the Australian Curriculum, balancing specific learning disciplines (e.g. science) with general capabilities (e.g. information and communication technology), In particular, STEAM units (incorporating science, technology, engineering, arts and maths skills) scaffold students to adopt a problem solving approach to real-world scenarios.

As an introductory year in Year 7, students sample all areas of the school's curriculum and in subsequent years study a mix of core units (e.g. maths) and electives (e.g. hospitality). Teachers and counsellors are available to help students understand their strengths and preferences and start to refine their career interests.

There is targeted support within their mainstream school for international students to improve their English language fluency and confidence. This may be supplemented for up to three school terms, on the recommendation of class teachers, by inclusion in an intensive English program at no further tuition cost to the family. The student remains enrolled in their mainstream school.

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Colleges (Year 11 and Year 12)

Colleges (Year 11 and Year 12)

The ACT Year 11 and 12 College system offers international students a unique learning experience. The two senior years are in a separate college setting where students gain the skills to be effective, independent learners in preparation for tertiary study. Students benefit from continuous assessment rather than a major external examination at the end of Year 12.

There is a broad range of academic units (60+) for selection at each college, with the only mandated unit for international students being English (as a second language). Students graduate with an ACT Senior Secondary Certificate. A statutory authority, the Board of Senior Secondary Studies, accredits courses for this Certificate and quality assures that what is offered meets entrance requirements of Australian tertiary institutions. Students seeking university entrance have the opportunity to obtain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score.

Graduating students are supported to clarify their post school pathways, to engage in tertiary sector orientation experiences and to action appropriate processes to transfer to new visas, enrol in further study or enter the workforce.

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Student support

Student support

International students are well supported - by staff in the International Education Unit (including two officers dedicated to transition/welfare), International Private Students (IPS) Co-ordinators at each school site (with international enrolments) and a 24/7 Student Assist phoneline.

They also have access to the same in-school mainstream services as local students, such as psychologists, careers advisers, youth workers and teachers with a focus on well-being and pastoral care.

Referrals can be made for specialised assistance, including to the directorate's multi-disciplinary Network Student Engagement Team or to community agencies, to resolve complex scenarios.

Overseas parents are linked into discussions and decisions, allowing them to take an active part in their child's education and development.

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Accommodation

Accommodation

International students not under the direct care of a parent or guardian, or an approved Department of Home Affairs relative in Australia, and who are 16 years or older, reside with local ACT families under the Directorate's Homestay program. Homestay hosts welcome international students as a member of their family:

  • Offering students an Australian lifestyle family experience in a safe and nurturing environment
  • Providing a suitably furnished room (bed, storage, study area), meals and access to amenities
  • Expecting students to dine with the family and contribute to conversation (in English)
  • Ensuring age-appropriate supervision and well-being care for students outside school hours and
  • Giving feedback on student transition so additional targeted support can be implemented if students are at risk of breaching visa conditions or finding ''settling in'' to be challenging

Expectations, for both Homestay hosts and participating students, are clearly outlined. This is appreciated by overseas parents and ensures well-being of students during their time in Canberra.

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Student testimonials

Student testimonials

Read what international students have to say about studying under the aegis of the ACT Education Directorate:

''I chose Canberra because it is a small well-organized city, where you can feel more a part of the community rather than one cog in a giant machine. The society is so tight knit that you will bump into everyone everywhere! Studying in Canberra has been great! It is a quiet town, perfect for focusing on academics as well as other personal endeavors and extracurriculars. It is also unique in its educational environment and system because it has fewer schools, and thus gives a very personalized experience. The variety of programs and activities that are offered.'' Daniel Mutyabule Yr12 - from Uganda

''My parents compared Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra with the education environment. We came up with the conclusion that Canberra was suitable for a variety of reasons. Compared to Sydney, Canberra has lower rates of international students, which brings a lot of benefits to students to be able to communicate more with local students. Unlike other states in Australia, Canberra doesn't have final examinations like HSC or VCE, so I thought getting an ATAR would be advantageous. '' Michael Huh Yr11 - from South Korea

''I realise that Canberra would be the best place for me as my study destination because I think a place with equanimity and calmness is beneficial for me as international students. For students who would like to go to Canberra to study, lucky you have been chosen the right place to study because universities in Canberra have top ranked in Australia as well as worldwide. Moreover, if you would like to go to high school or college, just stay calm and do not be shocked by the big gaps between high school to college and college to university. But you all will be fine, just do everything with all your best.'' Naomi Tran Yr11 - from Vietnam

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សូមជ្រើសរើសកំរិតសិក្សា

បញ្ចូលប្រធានបទជ្រើសពីបញ្ជីឬចុចស្វែងរក

  • ចាប់ផ្តើមវាយ, ជ្រើសពីបញ្ជីឬចុចស្វែងរក

  • បញ្ចូលប្រធានបទជ្រើសពីបញ្ជីឬចុចស្វែងរក

សូមវាយនិងជ្រើសរើសស្ថាប័ន

  • វាយបញ្ចូល 3 តួអក្សរនៃឈ្មោះសកលវិទ្យាល័យហើយជ្រើសរើសពីបញ្ជី

  • បញ្ចូលឈ្មោះសកលវិទ្យាល័យ ឈ្មោះសាលារៀនហើយជ្រើសរើសពីបញ្ជី

សូមជ្រើសរើសកំរិតសិក្សា

Got any ideal countries in mind?