March 2018 e-News Destination Cairns


In​ternational students who study in Cairns enjoy first-class education and numerous opportunities for new learning experiences and outdoor adventure. Located in the North of Queensland, Cairns is an important link to Asia and a global leader in tropical health, environmental management, tourism, aquaculture, marine services, fishing and agriculture.​

​​​​​​​​Live in a region rich in beautiful outdoor spaces and environmental treasures, including the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.​

Study specialist programs that draw on regional industry expertise, such as marine science, mining, tropical ​​agriculture, environmental science and tourism.​​

​​Benefit from pathways to TAFE, vocational study and world-leading universities.​​​​​

​​Enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle in a warm, tropical climate with lots of living space.​​

Connect to major cities across Asia and the Pacific through Cairns airport.​


Your choice of schools in Cairns:​

High Schools:​

Preparatory to Year 12 schools:​

Primary schools:​

School updates: ​

The 'Daintree Rainforest Observatory - Our classroom in the rainforest' ​

A state-school initiative to bring science lessons to the beautiful Daintree will be brought to life by a consortium consisting of James Cook University, Trinity Bay State High School, Cairns State High School, Smithfield State High School and Redlynch State College.

The 'Classroom in the rainforest' will be based at the Daintree Rainforest Observatory, which offers students a range of ecosystems to study and explore, including mangroves, highland and lowland forest, freshwater and shoreline. The project secured funding from Queensland International Education and Training Partnership Fund, which helps to develop initiatives that align with the goals of the Queensland Government's International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 20​​​16​—​2026.​​

The fund is managed by the Trade and Investment Queensland's (TIQ) International Education and Training Unit (IETU).

Atherton State High School reaches the final stage of prestigious Queensland Aerospace Industry Education Awards​

In November 2017, three Atherton State High School students earned a place at the finals of the prestigious Queensland Aerospace Industry Education Awards​. The awards are run by the Gateway into Industry Schools Program​ and sponsored by many large aerospace companies such as Qantas, Boeing, Virgin Australia, the Air Force and many more.  

The School's Senior Syllabus in Aerospace Studies gives students the opportunity to study the underlying principles of aviation and aerospace, including the structure, management and regulation of aviation and aerospace businesses and enterprises. Students can also interact with the aerospace industry through excursions and field research, and even have access to a Flight Simulator program. 

Step into the entertainment and music industry at Redlynch State College​

Many young people dream of entering the music industry however, few have access to the specialist training required to build the foundation for a serious career. Redlynch State College is one of only few Australian schools that give students the chance to gain these skills early by studying a Certificate III in Live Production and Services. 

As well as developing essential theoretical knowledge, students gain practical experience by working on school and community events. The qualification provides a pathway into a career or further study through industry education courses and university degree programs, such as audio engineering, lighting, event management and production. ​

Orpheus Island: Classroom on the reef​

Twenty-four international students were among the group of students from Trinity Bay State High School who took part in a five-day research project with teachers and researchers from James Cook University at the Orpheus Island Research Centre, 50 km off the coast of Townsville. 

STEM pathways: coding and robotics in primary schools​

The Queensland Government's focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is preparing students for the jobs of the future and developing their skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and innovation. 

Queensland Government schools offer a range of coding and robotics activities, and many enter teams in local, regional and national robotics competitions. In addition to their curriculum classes, Trinity Beach State School offers extracurricular clubs in coding, robotics and drones. 

While these activities are fun and educational for the students, robotics teacher Ms Shorten says they also contribute to establishing clear STEM career pathways that students can follow throughout their education.  

"The potential for students studying STEM subjects are the career pathways for them, both through high school and university and into the future." she said.

"We have several programs where our students go over to the high school (Smithfield State High School) and we work in conjunction with their teachers to ensure that what we're teaching them connects to what they need before they go to high school to continue in STEM programs."  

A rich musical education at Edge Hill State School

Edge Hill State School has some of the best music teachers in Queensland, so it's not surprising that its choirs, bands and orchestras perform so well in local, regional and state music competitions.

The school's choral program achieved significant recognition at the 2017 Cairns Eisteddfod Competition, while the Senior Concert Band and Senior String Orchestra won their categories at the same event.

Classroom and extracurricular music programs enhance learning, and students at Edge Hill have access to Music Academy programs from Preparatory level to an advanced stream where students in Years three to six can learn an instrument privately or through the school instrumental program. 

Sports Excellence at Whitfield State School​

Participation in sport delivers lots of benefits from maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, to making friends and experiencing to the thrill of competition. At Whitfield State School, students have access to a sports education that supports them to achieve their personal goals and offers a pathway to compete at a higher level in the future. 
Students that demonstrate particular athletic potential can join the school's Sporting Excellence program to receive specialised coaching and individualised programs to enhance their skills in netball, football (soccer), basketball and Australian Rules Football (AFL).

In 2017, Whitfield State School celebrated success in a number of sports competitions, including:

> Winner of the Cairns District Cross Country Championship
> Winner of the Cairns District Athletics Carnival
> Winner of the Junior Division of the Fowlers Cup Netball Competition
> Runners-up in the Senior Division of the Fowlers Cup Netball Competition
> Runners-up in the Regional AFL Q Cup Competition.

I love studying in Cairns because……​

"There are so many more things that I would call highlights of my visit, such as our diving course, the first hike, camping with my host family at Roaring Meg Falls, but there are also small, daily things that I really love about Australia: having wallabies in our neighbourhood, saying thank you to the bus driver when getting off the bus, eating Tim Tams with friends at the lagoon. 

It is a big step to leave home and everything known for months to experience another way of life at the other side of the world, but I can only recommend everybody to do it since the Australian wildlife and the amazing people one can meet are so much worth it. I'm having the time of my life here in Cairns and I surely will come back one day."

Hannah from Germany, Trinity Bay State High School

​"I have enjoyed studying the subject Tourism because I like the tourism business and I love travelling, and tourism ​is a big part of all of that; so I was really looking forward to doing that.

If you study in Cairns, you should definitely go to the (Great Barrier Reef) because it is a big part of the city, and of course of the tourism, and it's beautiful. I have been diving before and I did my diving certificate and you're just in another world; it's incredible. 

I definitely think that studying in Queensland helped me with my computer skills. I also had the choice of many different subjects and I think that the subjects that I am studying will help me in my career."

Tomma from Germany, Smithfield State High School​

"People are friendly when I walk down my street every day and my neighbours say hello to me. I made lots of friends, especially international, from China, Indonesia, Germany, Italy and Vietnam.

I experienced a lot of things that I couldn't experience if I stayed in Japan. It was a good decision to come at high school level because I could see local people and how different education is in Australia and Japan and I think it will help my future and my career."

Kano from Japan, Cairns State High School

To find out more about EQI schools in Cairns, please contact your EQI
Regional Manager by email or visit the EQI website.​​​​
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Last reviewed 20 February 2018
Last updated 23 November 2020