Secondary student exchange programs

Secondary student exchange programs allow Victorian secondary students to undertake full-time overseas study programs from four to 52 weeks.

Under reciprocal arrangements, overseas secondary students undertake full-time study programs in secondary schools in Victoria.

What you need to know

In Victoria, secondary student exchange programs are provided by student exchange organisations (SEOs) approved by the VRQA.

VRQA-approved SEOs include government, Catholic and independent schools, and community and other not-for-profit organisations.

International students participating in an official student exchange program enter Australia on a subclass 500 student visa.

Official exchange students do not pay school tuition fees, and host families volunteer to provide accommodation.

Student exchange programs do not include school group study tours, or short-term private visits by students holding visitor visas. For example, they do not include students travelling with a parent or hosted by relatives.

Student exchange programs are different from the full-fee paying international students program offered at Victorian schools registered to deliver courses to international students.

For more information on full-fee paying international students program see:

International students on visitor visas

An international student on a visitor visa who seeks temporary enrolment in Victorian schools:

  • must pay tuition fees if enrolling in a Victorian government school, see: www.study.vic.gov.au
  • may be required to pay tuition fees if enrolling in a Victorian Catholic or independent school (for more information, contact the school directly).

Schools temporarily enrolling a student on a visitor visa should make sure that the student is either:

  • residing in Australia with their parent(s) or close family relatives for the duration of the enrolment, or
  • travelling to Australia as part of a teacher-accompanied study tour or cultural visit.

Schools should not facilitate the enrolment of unaccompanied school students on visitor visas.