Australia is renowned worldwide for its high quality English language courses, and, is the fourth most popular destination for international students wanting to improve their English language skills. Australia is also the only country in the world with mandatory national standards, ensuring the very best in global English education.

International students will find themselves immersed in the language and culture by studying through an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) program.

ELICOS courses are designed to assist the student to develop their English language skills. These courses provide a great way to build English language skills for entry into higher education or for general interest. A number of English language schools are affiliated with College and University education courses, allowing the student to progress through a "Package", commencing with an English language program moving up through to a diploma/degree certificate. 


Education providers offer a range of Courses suited to individual requirements, lasting from 4-48 weeks. These courses include:

Types of Language Schools

University (on-campus)

The Australian University English programs are conducted using well-qualified teachers with the very latest in teaching technology. The standards are the best in Australia and most of the institutions provide the same level of facilities and services that are provided to other students enrolled at that university. This means in most cases the student will get to use all the facilities such as:

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  • Library
  • Health Services
  • Sporting Facilities (swimming pool, gym etc.)
  • Student Associations
  • Housing/Accommodation

By studying at a University English school, the student will receive the highest standard of English teaching in Australia along with the best range of services available. It is also easier to move into a full academic program once the student has graduated from an English course. A University English school is usually the most expensive of the language schools available.


Private (independent) English schools provide a personalised, boutique and caring environment for English study. As English is usually the institutions only subject, they pride themselves on providing the best teaching staff, resources and activities. Many private English Schools are located in prime locations, such as inner-city, coastal, rural which provides the student with more than just an academic experience. Classes are usually small too. If the student is looking for a more personalised approach to English language learning, then a private English school may be the right choice.

Vocational / TAFE

Vocational education includes Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This type of education is very practical and relies heavily on a real life work-place education structure, rather than on sole academia. Like the University system, the student can usually use all the facilities which a vocational student would have access too. Additionally, there are many diploma or degree packages provided by the same institutions which the student may be able to move into once they have graduated from an English course. The TAFE / Vocational system is usually the cheapest option of all language schools in Australia, offering ELICOS, intensive English programs, and certificates in English language. 

Average Tuition Costs

ELICOS and English language course costs vary significantly depending on course duration and provider.  The average tuition is AUD$300 per week.

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Institution Type Tuition Range
University (on-campus) From AUD$350 – $400 per week
Private From AUD$250 - $300 per week
Vocational/TAFE From AUD$300 - $350 per week

Please note, the ranges above are a guide only. There may be additional fees for miscellaneous requirements.

Admission Requirements

ELICOS and English courses cater for beginners to advanced, therefore the entry requirements do vary according to level of English language course to be studied. Usually a preliminary test will be administered prior to course beginning to determine level of English course required.


There are many accommodation options available for international students. For more details please click here.

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