For schools: About student exchange programs

What you need to know

In Victoria, an exchange student is an international secondary student who:

  • is undertaking an exchange program of between four and 52 weeks
  • holds a subclass 500 student visa
  • presents an Advice and Acceptance of a Secondary Exchange Student form (AASES form) to the school on arrival.

Victorian schools should only enrol exchange students from SEOs we approve. We approve schools, community and private not-for-profit organisations as SEOs.

For a full list of approved SEOs, see:

If you have concerns about whether an organisation is approved, please contact us on (03) 9032 1539 or email vrqa.student.exchange@education.vic.gov.au.

Accepting an exchange student is at the principal's discretion. In deciding, principals may consider:

  • the availability of student places
  • appropriate timing of the program
  • support required
  • whether resources are available to offer a satisfactory program to the student.

Schools do not need approval to host a student on a visitor visa, provided the international student:

  • is undertaking a short-term visit only
  • holds a visitor visa for Australia
  • is in Australia either:
    • living with parents temporarily in Australia for the duration of their enrolment
    • living with close family relatives for the duration of the enrolment
    • participating in a teacher-accompanied study tour or cultural visit.

Schools should not facilitate enrolments of unaccompanied students on visitor visas. 

If your school has an established sister-school relationship with an overseas school, you may wish to apply for your school to become an SEO. This arrangement allows schools to expand their school-to-school exchange programs and offer opportunities for up to year-long student exchanges.

For more information about becoming an SEO, see:

In addition to organising their own student exchange programs, schools that are approved SEOs can host students through other student exchange organisations. In such cases, responsibility for reciprocity and student welfare remain with the SEO arranging the exchange, and not the hosting school.

Enrolling an exchange student

There are some general steps to enrolling an exchange student.

Step 1: An SEO will contact a school to request permission from the principal to enrol an exchange student for a specific exchange program and exchange period.

Step 2: Once the school agrees to the enrolment period, the SEO will provide the relevant information about the exchange student, including their Victorian host family and the contact details for the organisation's local coordinator.

Step 3: On arrival at the school, the exchange student (and/or the representative of the organisation) will provide a copy of the student's Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form.

Step 4: The school completes Part D of the AASES form, keeps a copy of the AASES form on the student's school file, and provides a copy to the exchange organisation.