Australia has earned its nickname “The Lucky Country” time and again. Beautiful weather, friendly people and a widely varied landscape are just a few of the reasons you should choose to spend time abroad here as a high school student.
Students coming here from other English speaking countries will find the transition easy, while those who speak English as a second language can use this as an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the language.
Australia is great for students who are interested in: economics, business, learning English, agriculture and making new friends
High school students interested in high school abroad in Australia can choose from:
- A semester or full year exchange
- A study / travel program over spring, winter, or summer break
- A summer study abroad program
High School Exchange
Individuals studying for a semester or full year in Australia will usually live with a host family. This is a great opportunity for students to see what daily, family life is like in Australia. Students learning English will see their language skills improve from communicating with their new friends and family, while those familiar with the language already can use this opportunity to learn more about the day-to-day life in Australia.
A semester to a year exchange is common, providing students ample time to make new friends and really settle into their new home.
Youth Travel Tours
Travel tours for teens are a wonderful way for high school students to spend a short, concentrated amount of time abroad. Tours are usually geared toward different themes such as cooking, adventure travel, or volunteerism. Students will have a fun, unique experience while incorporating educational components like environmental or cultural studies -- and all without missing your normal coursework back home.
Summer Study Program
For students who only have the few months of summer break available, an intensive summer program is perfect. Just keep in mind, the northern hemisphere’s summer is actually Australia’s winter. Depending on where you are in the country, southern locations like Tasmania can reach 40°F (5°C) while northern areas like Darwin stay around 65°F (18°C). Oftentimes these summer programs can be partnered with universities that will allow students to receive college credit.
Planning Your Trip
Student visa requirements for Australia differ depending on what country you’re from. If you’re a high school student from Canada, the UK or the United States and plan to travel or study for less than 90 days, you can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority Visa for Australia online.
Interesting in studying longer? You will need a School Sector Visa. Proof of admission is required to apply for this type of visa, which will last through the entirety of your studies and a month or two beyond.
If you are traveling with a program, they almost always usually provide assistance with visa applications.
The type of study abroad program you choose in Australia will determine your housing options. Host families are commonly provided for semester or yearlong exchanges so students have the support system of a local family. Those partaking in teen travel programs will likely share a hotel or hostel room with fellow travelers. Students participating in summer programs often live in university dorms with other students.
If you’re flying from North America, flights to hubs like Sydney and Darwin will likely cost between $1,300 - $1,500 USD, while those coming from Europe can pay around $1,000.
Costs for transportation, food, nights out and additional expenses in Australia are on par or slightly more expensive than in countries like the United States and Canada. Residents from the UK will find prices to be a bit cheaper. Students should budget around $40 USD a day.
Program costs can vary based on what’s included, the length of stay and type of housing. You’ll be looking at a range of $3,500 for a two-week trip to $11,000 for a summer experience to $18,000 for a semester long program.
Packing for Australia really depends on when you’re going and where you’ll be. The summer months (December, January, February) are hot while the winter months (June, July, August) can be chilly to mild. Also consider that Australia is a massive country, so living farther north, and closer to the equator, will be overall warmer than living in southern destinations. The interior of the country has climates of desert and grassland, while coastal regions have varying climate zones of tropical (north), subtropical (northeast) and temperate (southeast).
- Breathable and UPF (sun resistant) clothing
- Warm/waterproof jacket
- Solid walking shoes for outdoor adventures
- A hat
- A power and voltage converter
Health & Safety
Staying Healthy in Australia
There are no specific vaccinations recommended for Australia. Cases of rabies are found in bats, so if you are planning frequent outdoor or adventure travel you may consider a vaccination. Some mosquito-born illnesses are found in Australia such as Dengue fever. High school students should take proper precautions like covering the skin in high-risk areas and using bug repellent. Food and tap water are safe to consume in Australia.
High school students traveling to Australia should not have any problems if they follow general safety guidelines. As with anywhere in the world, being aware of your surroundings is an important means of keeping safe. Pickpocketing and petty theft is known to happen in more crowded, touristy areas of larger cities. Always follow local government laws and stay away from illegal drugs and underage consumption. Australia has experienced terrorism incidents in recent years, so remaining vigilant is encouraged.