Vietnamese students may choose to attend 2 types of school in Australia: state or private. However, the private sector is quite varied with both boarding and day schools, schools offering the Australian state curriculum or the International Baccalaureate and schools catering more for international students seeking to enter top universities.


State Schools

  1. Very reasonable cost.
  2. Some offer the International Baccalaureate.
  3. Available in every city in every state.
  4. Students live with host families.
  5. Classes may be larger than in private schools.
  6. In some popular cities and districts there may be a high number of Vietnamese students.


Private schools

  1. Some offer boarding.
  2. Many have special facilities- such as bridging courses for students who need extra English or subject knowledge.
  3. Some offer the International Baccalaureate.
  4. Some schools focus on academic results and entry to top universities.
  5. The cost is much higher than for state schools."


A “pathway” is a special programme designed for international students to allow them to prepare for and enter mainstream education. There are 2 main types of undergraduate pathway programme in Australia:


1. On-campus Pathways:

a) International Foundation pathway: this is designed for students who have  completed 11 (or sometimes 12) years of secondary education in their home  country and want to enter university in Australia. Foundation courses are  available in all subjects for all universities. The length varies from 8 -12  months depending on level of English.

b) International Diploma pathway: this is a special programme which  combines Foundation elements such as Study Skills and English language with  components from the first year of degree studies. The Diploma is mainly  available only for Business, Finance, Computer Science/IT courses. The length  varies from 8 -12 months depending on level of English.


2. College Pathways:

Offered by state (TAFE) and private colleges, these are Foundation and  Diploma courses allowing the student to progress to degree courses at  universities. Usually they are 1 academic year each.

Pre-Masters courses: these are available at on-campus pathway colleges and  private colleges  and are designed for students wishing to study a Masters degree who need to improve their academic scores (if they scored below GPA 7 on their first degree) and/or their English and study skills are below entrance requirements. Courses are from 3-9 months in length, but usually only in Business and IT areas. Pre-MBAs are also available for people with no work experience, for example.

Pre -sessional English courses: available at all universities and colleges for people who need to improve their English scores before starting a mainstream programme.

NB: There are strict regulations imposed by the Australian Visa Office regarding English levels and exams accepted. Check these out in advance before making your study plan.


Australia is a very popular study choice for students from around the world. With its pleasant climate, laid back lifestyle and buzzing cities, Australia has study options for everyone.

Australia has a 12 year high school system and on graduation, students can apply to study anywhere in Australia as each state recognizes the qualifications of the others.  Students can choose to continue their studies at one of the following:

1. Technical and Further Education (TAFE) College: these are large public colleges in every state which offer advanced Diplomas and Associate degrees in vocational subjects, after which students can transfer to a university to complete their degree if they wish.

2. Private Vocational College: offer similar courses to TAFES

3. Public or private university: there are 38 public and 3 private universities in Australia which offer 3-4 year Bachelors degrees, 1-2 year Masters degrees and postgraduate research degrees.

4. Private degree provider: there is a number of degree providers which are authorized to offer their own or other universities’ degrees (for example, Business Schools).

The top universities in Australia are known as the Group of 8 and consist of the following universities:  Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Monash, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and the Australian National University.

Students wishing to enter a 3 or 4 year degree who do not meet the entrance requirements can take one of the many pathway programmes available for many Australian universities.


All Colleges and universities have their own English language centres to help international students meet the entrance requirements for their courses and to support their studies. These programs can be applied for together with the main course and entrance to the main course is guaranteed once the student passes the English program and achieves the required score.

In addition to these, there are many different, private language centres in Australia which provide a wide range of courses for different needs:

  1. Short summer language and activity courses for children, teens and adults
  2. Short language courses for working people (eg Business English)
  3. Examination preparation courses (eg  Cambridge exams, IELTS, etc)
  4. English Language Teacher Training courses (eg CELTA, DELTA)
  5. Pre-sessional English courses with university placement (for students who have not yet decided on their main course of study)

Vietnamese students and working people can attend summer courses during their annual vacation time, and they can take their pre-sessional English courses with university placement at recognized language schools in Australia which have partnerships with local universities. However, it is difficult for a single adult with no other study plan to obtain an Australian student visa just to study English, although students are permitted to study English for up to one year before progressing to their main study programme.

Generally, for all except summer or short business courses, students should have a clear study plan for the period after they complete their English course and should get an offer letter for their next course or proof that the language school will guarantee a university placement for them in order to get a visa. Most Australian  language providers  have a range of partnerships to help students move forward to the next stage of their study plan, offering university placements or pathway programmes with articulation to universities.

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