This policy outlines the roles and responsibilities for schools when coordinating a short-term study tour for students from overseas.
- Study tours range from 1 day to 4 weeks and provide groups of visiting overseas students with the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge through: integrated lessons with local students, English language learning, themed study, cultural exchange, buddy program and tourism activities. Some study tours include homestay accommodation.
- Study tours are coordinated by the Department in conjunction with host schools and accredited study tour operators. Schools must not accept a study tour without consulting the international education division of the department. Schools do not need to consult the Department when hosting visits from their sister schools as these are not considered study tours.
- Schools are not authorised to accept fees for hosting a study tour. All fee payments must be coordinated and received by the Department in accordance with (Ministerial Order 819) which specifies the fees payable by overseas students enrolled in study tours.
- Host schools receive a disbursement, via the Department, for providing educational and homestay accommodation services which cover the operation and delivery costs of the program. The International Education Division makes contact with schools that accept study tours to provide the reimbursement through Financial Services Division (FSD).
- Some schools offer homestay accommodation with families from the school community, generally those with a child of the same gender and approximate age as the visiting student so that they may act as their school buddy.
- Schools must not accept a study tour without consulting the Department. Schools must forward all queries from study tour operators to the International Education Division, which manages the study tour program.
- Schools must advise the department prior to hosting a study tour and sign an agreement when hosting each study tour group. The agreement is facilitated by the Department and includes:
- the roles and responsibilities of the school, accredited study tour operator and Department
- information on the services required to be provided by all parties
- the responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of overseas students within school hours and out of school hours
- Schools must organise an integration program for study tour students, including English classes and appropriate educational activities with local students. Some schools may decide, or be requested by the study tour group, to house the visiting students in homestay family accommodation, or conduct themed excursions and welcome and farewell activities. These activities must be organised by the school.
- Schools must ensure homestay families and the accommodation are appropriate for the student’s safety and wellbeing during their stay. This includes selecting a family from the school community that is of good character, coordinating and monitoring the accommodation for each overseas student and ensuring all homestay family adults, including other students, have a valid and current Working with Children Check.
- Schools must manage unexpected issues and emergencies, including providing crisis management and 24 hours emergency contact.
- Schools are requested to provide feedback to the Department on study tours they host and on accredited study tour operators so that the Department can continue to improve the study tours program and the support offered to schools.
A study tour is a fee-for service short-term inbound educational program ranging from 1 day to 4 weeks for overseas students for which fees are prescribed in Ministerial Order 819. Study tours allow groups of overseas students to have a rich educational and cultural exchange in a Victorian government school. The experience incorporates a combination of English language learning, themed study, classroom integration, cultural exchange, buddy program, and edutourism excursions study tours are different to reciprocal student visits from a sister school partnership and the international student program, which are governed by separate policies.
Reviewed 03 March 2021