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High School Exchange in Australia

Adventure in the Outback

Australia is a country that inspires visions of sun, sand, surfing, kind people, wonderfully diverse wildlife and awesome adventures. Australia is a country where students who want to experience a new world and culture, but maybe don’t have the aptitude with languages, can settle in and learn a lot about this incredible continent and about themselves.

In Australia, we offer the classic high school exchange program and the Preferred program. On the Preferred program you can choose where in Australia you live and which school you attend. You determine the specifics of your exchange program and what is involved. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to learn more about this program.

Life as an exchange student in Australia

You will be warmly welcomed into your new family home, whether you are placed in the beautiful island state of Tasmania or in the far north, tropical Queensland. Australia is a country of extremes, from the heat of the sun all year round to the cold of the desert nights, or sipping hot chocolate on a winter evening in Adelaide. Australians are well known for their welcoming and laid back attitude, their love of meeting new people and a true enjoyment of adventure and the outdoors. You can join them and explore this vast and beautiful country with the support of a host family and a school behind you.

The Australian school system

The school year runs from late January to November/December. The year is  usually made up of two semesters, with a longer winter break in June/July and shorter holidays at Easter and in September. Australians attend high school for six years, from Year 7 to Year 12. Students are 17 or 18 when they graduate and complete their HSC (Higher School Certificate.)

Schools in Australia are either co-educational or single sex. They require that students wear a uniform that is designed to suit the Australian climate. Lunch at school is often a packed lunch, but there is the option to have a hot lunch in the canteen if you wish.

Subject choices and options vary from state to state in the final two years of school. Some states require that you take Maths or Science or English, while others do not. Generally students study 4 to 6 subjects and prepare for their end of school exams with a focus on these areas. The school timetable is full and students shouldn’t expect to have ‘free’ periods, as they would in England and Wales.

What if I want more choice?

If you want to go on exchange to Australia but want to choose where in the country you live or make sure you attend a school that specialises in a certain subject, then Australia Public Preferred is the program for you. You make the big choices to ensure that your high school exchange looks as you want it to.

Exchange student in Australia with wonbat
Exchange student with host family

High School Exchange in Australia 2024-25 || 10-11 months: £11,895  || 9 months: £11,795 || 5 months: £10,595

Australia student opera house

Arrival Orientation

You will normally arrive in Australia at one of the major airports: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Brisbane. Staff will meet you there and assist you to transfer onto your domestic connection or help you to find your host family at the airport. Once you have settled into your new home, you will participate with other exchange students in an online arrival orientation session run by our partner organisation.

Australia students snorkelling

Reef, Rainforest and Outback Tour

Join our partner organisation on a trip to experience the magic that Cairns and its surrounds has to offer. With accommodation in a Cairns hotel, a rainforest lodge and an outback farm, you will see all of the wonders of Queensland. Feed kangaroos, swim in a waterfall, learn to throw a boomerang, and sail and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. This trip has it all.

Australia students on outback tour

Outback Tour

Join your fellow exchange students on a 6-day tour of the Australian outback. Tour Alice Springs, visit an Aboriginal sacred site, swim in the natural water holes. Visit the spectacular Kings Canyon and walk the ‘Lost City’ and the ‘Garden of Eden’. Gaze with awe on Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Kata Tjuta. Get some red dirt on your shoes and learn about the central area of Australia and the indigenous people who live there.

Apply for a high school exchange in Australia today!