Overseas students and visitors

Instruction to staff for enrolling overseas students or hosting visits by overseas school students and adult educational groups.

Changes since previous version

July 2020 – updated contact details, embedded new links to policy statement.

Superseded Documents

This policy supersedes School Visits by Overseas Students or Adults 96/174, December 1996.

Document History

Updated to include reference to volunteers, interns, teachers, and assistant teachers from overseas and detail how requests are dealt with.

6 December 2018 – updated references to volunteers, interns, teachers, and assistant teachers from overseas.

17 July 2018 – updated references to the visa subclasses to 500 from 571 due to changes made by Department of Home Affairs.

  1. Policy statement
    1. The NSW Department of Education welcomes overseas students and visitors into our schools for short term visits or for longer periods to study.
    2. Specific requirements relate to:
      • overseas students enrolling in or visiting schools for short-term programs
      • international students on study abroad programs
      • international secondary student exchanges
      • temporary residents program
      • study tours
      • sister-school relationships that involve hosting overseas groups and international travel by teachers and/or students
      • international volunteers, international interns, international teachers on practicum and language assistant teachers from overseas.
  2. Audience and applicability
    1. All NSW government schools.
  3. Context
    1. Schools enrolling overseas students are subject to the legislative requirements of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act and the National Code 2018.
    2. The National Guidelines for the Operation of International Secondary Student Exchange Programs in Australia (2018) (PDF 411KB) apply to all registered student exchange organisations operating in NSW.
  4. Responsibilities and delegations
    1. Principals:
      1. enrol students from overseas in accordance with the appropriate departmental policy and DE International guidelines
      2. enrol temporary residents in accordance with departmental policy and Temporary Residents Program procedures
      3. decide to accept or decline a request to host a study tour in accordance with DE International guidelines on study tours (PDF 98.16KB)
      4. consult the list of registered secondary student exchange organisations to ensure the school only deals with organisations registered to operate in NSW
      5. establish and monitor sister-school arrangements consistent with the implementation document
      6. declare any personal or public disclosures related to any aspect of the activity such as gifts or donations using departmental procedures
      7. check that requests to host visitors under 1.2. comply with the requirements as outlined in the Overseas student and group visits: Guidelines for schools (PDF 98.16KB).
    2. DE International:
      1. Conducts programs and provides advice in relation to:
        • International student program – international students holding a student visa, subclass 500P
        • Study abroad program – international students on short-term enrolments for one term to one year, holding a student visa 500P
        • Temporary residents program – holders of other visas including tourist or visitor visas
        • Study tours – groups of students and/or adults visiting schools
        • Secondary student exchange – students holding 500 student visas attend for minimum of one school term to maximum of one year.
      2. Reports annually on reciprocity associated with the operation of international secondary student exchange programs.
      3. Monitors, evaluates and reports on the enrolment of international students and temporary residents in NSW government schools and study tours in relation to this policy.
  5. Monitoring and review
    1. The Executive Director, School Operations and Strategic Partnerships is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this policy and reviewing its effectiveness every three years.
  6. Contact
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