Starting school


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In the first weeks of your study experience, you will take part in a detailed orientation to help you to get to know your new Australian surroundings, your new school and your new responsibilities.

What to expect when you arrive

You will get:

  • an introduction to school staff who are part of the International Student Program 
  • a tour of your school’s facilities
  • information about any special conditions attached to your student visa
  • details about the school policies and guidelines that apply to you
  • help organising a school uniform, textbooks, enrolment and timetabling
  • information about the school curriculum and help to choose subjects
  • health and safety tips to look after your wellbeing you enjoy your stay
  • homestay tips to help you to make the most of living with your Australian family.​

​​​Your school year

In Queensland, our school system goes for 13 years, but as an international student, you can study from Prep right through to Year 12. 

When you study in Queensland, you will join a school year which is divided into 4 terms, from late January until December. We have a short holiday between terms and a long summer holiday in December and January.

During the holidays, you can explore Australia on one of our holiday adventure programs.

Find out about Queensland school term dates and public holidays​.

​Your school day

In Queensland, you will go to school from Monday to Friday each week.

Your school hours will usually be from 9am to 3pm each school day, although in some schools, the hours may be slightly different.

Attendance at school is compulsory except in special circumstances, such as illness. Schools keep records of student attendance which are reported to us. You don’t need to go to school on public holidays, school holidays and student-free days.​

Sports and extracurricular​ activities

Our schools provide a great range of extracurricular activities where you can develop new skills, make friends and practise your English outside the classroom.

Options may include sports, art, music, theatre or special interest clubs such as chess, coding or robotics.

You may join sports teams based on your ability and whether there is room for extra players. We have different seasons for sports, so check if your sport is being played during your stay. You can also play sport by joining a local sports club in your school or homestay area.


Schools have processes in place to assess your academic progress through the year. Assessment tasks go towards your final grade and may include:

  • assignments
  • written and/or practical examinations
  • oral presentations.

​​​​School uniform

At most Queensland Government schools, students must wear the school uniform. The uniform for each school is different. You can visit a school’s website to find out about uniform rules and costs. It is your duty to buy the school uniform.

Most schools have second-hand uniform shops to help families save money.

Uniform costs are not part of the tuition fees paid before enrolment.


The schools that you can go to are close to major public transport including bus, rail and ferry services. Your homestay host will show you what public transport you can use, and someone from the family may even travel with you to and from school every day.​

In this section​​

Last updated 07 July 2022