Policy last updated
11 August 2023
This policy outlines the roles and responsibilities for schools when coordinating a short-term study tour for students visiting from overseas.
- Face-to-face study tours are available for overseas primary and secondary school students aged 10 and above. Study tours have between 10 and 20 students, and 2 accompanying adults. They range from 1 day to 4 weeks.
- Study tours are coordinated by International Education Division (IED) in the department in conjunction with host schools and .
- Schools must not accept a study tour without consulting 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 .
- For information on hosting a study tour, refer to the .
Face-to-face study tours are available for overseas primary and secondary school students aged 10 and above. Study tours have between 10 and 20 students and 2 accompanying adults. They range from 1 day to 4 weeks, with 1 to 2 weeks being the most common length.
Study tours are a great way to improve global learning and engagement at your school and support students to develop their intercultural understanding in line with the Victorian Curriculum F–10.
Study tours provide groups of visiting overseas students with the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge through integrated lessons with local students, English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes, and excursions tailored to the group’s interests. Study tour themes may include science and technology, performing and visual arts, leadership, and sport.
Becoming a host school and hosting a study tour
Schools must not accept a study tour without consulting the department. Study tour operators are not permitted to contact schools directly. Schools must forward all queries from study tour operators to IED, which manages the study tour program.
Host schools which receive a study tour program request from IED can choose to accept or decline the request. Schools which decide to host a study tour must organise a program for study tour students, including classes with local students, EAL classes and excursions. Some schools may offer overseas students welcome and farewell activities.
Schools are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of overseas students within school hours and out of school hours.
Schools must manage unexpected issues and emergencies, including providing crisis management and a 24 hour emergency contact.
Staff from IED are available to provide advice and support to schools interested in developing study tours.
Schools are requested to provide feedback to the department on study tours they host and on accredited study tour operators so the department can continue to improve the study tours program.
Virtual study tours
The department is currently investigating the feasibility of offering virtual study tours for offshore students. Virtual study tours would be developed by a host school around specific themes such as science, technology, engineering and maths, and the arts. Groups of 5 to 10 offshore students and a similar number of local students would take part in 2 or 3 online sessions (2 hours each) over the course of a week using an online platform such as Microsoft Teams.
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 services which cover the operation and delivery costs of the program
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 classroom integration, EAL classes, and excursions. Study tours are different to reciprocal student visits as part of a sister school partnership and the International Student Program (ISP), which are governed by separate policies.
This guidance provides information on how to become a study tours host school, and on hosting a study tour, including EAL classes, integrated classroom learning, excursions, and welcome and farewell ceremonies.
Becoming a host school
Hosting a study tour
IED in the department is responsible for managing inbound study tours in conjunction with schools and accredited study tour operators. When an application from a study tour group is received, the department assesses the application and contacts appropriate host schools with a request to place the group.
Schools decide to host the study tour group depending on the type of educational program required, the timing and number of participating overseas students.
Should the study tour group be accepted by the school, the department will develop a quote for costs to be paid by the study tour group, in consultation with the host school.
The department supports the schools to finalise their program for the study tour group.
The department then issues an invoice to the study tour operator and receives study tour fees prior to the visit occurring. The department then disburses these fees to host schools after the tour has occurred.
English as an Additional Language classes
Schools provide intensive English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes by qualified EAL teachers in appropriate classrooms with no more than 20 students.
Integrated classroom learning
Study tour students are required to be integrated into normal school classes (where language is not the main focus of the lesson) with local students to ensure educational and social benefits to the school community by having overseas students studying alongside Victorian students.
- If requested prior to the study tour group’s arrival, schools are required to organise excursions for the visiting group. The department will notify the host school about any requested excursions at the time of issuing the request to place. Study tour students usually participate in one excursion for every 3-day block during the study tour. Any alterations to excursions are to be agreed by the host school, the department and accredited study tour operator.
- A host school staff member and local students are required to accompany the study tour group on any school-organised excursions.
Welcome and farewell ceremonies
- Schools can arrange a welcome and/or farewell ceremony for the visiting group involving the overseas students, staff, and the local students.
- Overseas students often like to be presented with a certificate to commemorate their educational experience in Victoria.
Reviewed 04 March 2020