Nurturing young people to reach their full potential under Christ.

International Students

Covenant Christian School (the School) is registered with CRICOS (provider number 02943C) to enrol International Students.

The School will only enrol international students who are living with a parent or close relative, as it no longer approves welfare arrangements for international students.

Link to International Enrolment Form

2.1.1 Enrolment Requirements

International studentsTo be accepted into a course at Covenant, students must satisfy the School that they:

  • have a parent or responsible close relative as guardian in Canberra;
  • have their own appropriate accommodation in Canberra;
  • are in certified good health (no disabilities or medical conditions) with a written Doctor’s Certificate;
  • Upon arrival, your parent or guardian must update the Medical Information Form that gives the School staff enough information to be prepared for any likely medical problem (eg food allergies) and also know which doctor or medical practice you belong to while in Australia.
  • have adequate and appropriate health insurance;
  • have no history of violence or school suspension; and
  • have funds to pay the application fee and the whole year’s fees.

Grade or Year Level Placement

Students are assigned to a grade based on a) their chronological age and b) their spoken and written English language proficiency. Usually, students who are proficient in spoken and written English and turn –

4 before 30 April will enter the Preschool class

5 before 30 April will enter the Kindergarten class

6 before 30 April will enter the Year 1 class

7 before 30 April will enter the Year 2 class

8 before 30 April will enter the Year 3 class

9 before 30 April will enter the Year 4 class

10 before 30 April will enter the Year 5 class

11 before 30 April will enter the Year 6 class

12 before 30 April will enter the Year 7 class

13 before 30 April will enter the Year 8 class

14 before 30 April will enter the Year 9 class

15 before 30 April will enter the Year 10 class

Note: If the International Student has below average or minimal spoken or written English, they will usually be placed in a lower grade than their chronological peers.

Students are to indicate on the Application Form whether they consider their own spoken and written English to be a) Minimal, b) Below Average, c) Average, or d) Above Average.

Students who apply must provide their School Report documents from the previous school (unless they have not attended school before) and will be assessed by telephone call as to their spoken English skills. Those who receive a placement offer at the School will also be assessed by our teaching staff upon arrival at the School, to confirm their English language ability and to ensure that they are placed in the most appropriate class for their needs.

Educational Qualifications or Work Experience Required

Applying students are required to provide Covenant Christian School with written reports from their previous year of schooling. These are be in English or translated to English and will used to assist in the placement of students in a grade or year level.

The student’s previous school results will be taken into account as part of our class placement procedure.

2.1.2 Course Information

The Primary (Years K-6) course runs for 266 weeks in total (38 weeks / year).

The Secondary (Years 7-10) course runs for 152 weeks in total (38 weeks / year).

International students may enter a course at any time and do not have to do the entire course. However, they must stay for a minimum of 3 months (12 weeks) unless a special exemption approved by the Principal.

Qualification Offered

Students who complete the Primary course will receive a Year 6 Graduation Certificate.

Students who complete the Secondary course will receive an ACT Year 10 Certificate.

Students and their parents will receive a School Report twice per year, once at the end of Term 2 (June/July) and once at the end of Term 4 (December).

Modes of Study The courses offered to International Students at Covenant Christian School are only conducted as full-time, on-site attendance courses. There is no distance learning.

Assessment Methods

The School uses a range of assessment methods that are identical for both domestic and International students. These include:

Diagnostic assessment

  • is often undertaken at the beginning of a unit of study to assess the skills, abilities, interests, experiences, levels of achievement or difficulties of an individual student or a whole class
  • can involve formal measurements (e.g. IQ/aptitude tests, fitness tests) that are used to establish a starting point or baseline OR informal measurements (e.g. observation, discussions, questioning)
  • informs programming and planning, and learning and teaching methods used, as well as assessment choices.

Summative assessment

  • assists us to make judgements about student achievement at certain relevant points in the learning process or unit of study (e.g. end of course, project, semester, unit, year)
  • can be used formally to measure the level of achievement of learning outcomes (e.g. tests, labs, assignments, projects, presentations etc.)
  • can also be used to judge programme, teaching and/or unit of study effectiveness (that is as a form of evaluation).

Formative assessment

  • is the practice of building a cumulative record of student achievement
  • usually takes place during day to day learning experiences and involves ongoing, informal observations throughout the term, course, semester or unit of study
  • is used to monitor students’ ongoing progress and to provide immediate and meaningful feedback
  • assists teachers in modifying or extending their programmes or adapting their learning and teaching methods
  • is very applicable and helpful during early group work processes.

Informal assessment involves:

  • systematically observing and monitoring students during in class learning and teaching experiences
  • interacting with students to gain a deeper knowledge of what they know, understand and can do
  • circulating the classroom and posing questions, guiding investigations, motivating and quizzing students
  • providing opportunities for students to present or report upon their learning and teaching experiences
  • collecting, analysing, and providing feedback on in and out of class work samples (e.g. how their group work projects are progressing).
  • Formal assessment involves:
  • the use of specific assessment strategies to determine the degree to which students have achieved the learning outcomes
  • assessment strategies including: essays, exams, reports, projects, presentations, performances, laboratories or workshops, resource development, artwork, creative design tasks, quizzes and tests, journal writing, portfolio
  • individual and/or collaborative tasks that usually attract a mark (group work may include both an individual and group component).

2.1.3 Campus Location and Facilities

Covenant is located on 6.6 hectares (16 acres) of land at 1 Woodcock Drive, Gordon ACT 2906 (Australia). For a detailed listing of its facilities and resources available for students, refer to section 14.  See also our location and campus map.

2.1.4 Arrangements with other registered providers

Each of the courses offered is provided on-site at Covenant Christian School. There are some class trips and excursions of 1 to 3 days in duration that are part of the program. There are no other arrangements with other registered providers.

2.1.5 Course Related Fees

A Tuition Fee is payable that covers: the teaching of the course, compulsory materials, textbooks and basic stationery items.

A list of fees associated with can be found on the following page:

Tuition Fees

You will be billed one academic year in advance and the School must receive the 50% payment before the Student can commence studies. You will receive an invoice that itemises your Tuition Fees like this:

A Non-Tuition Fee will also be required to pay for uniform clothing items and, depending on the activities selected by the student, may also be required to pay for extra non-compulsory materials for certain school elective courses (eg Food Technology; Outdoor Education).

The initial cost for uniform, payable upon purchase of the items, will depend on quantities but you must allow for approximately $600 which will buy enough items to provide for both Summer and Winter seasons. Each year, if the student is staying longer than one year, an additional amount of approx $200 will be payable to provide for items as the student grows and items wear out.

Should the student elect to take Food Technology, Outdoor Education or any other elective subject with additional costs for materials, an additional fee will apply. This will vary from $25 to $100 per term depending on elective chosen.

All Primary students participate in a swimming program each year – cost – ~$115.

All Secondary students are requested to participate in a three day camp – cost ~$500.

Year 10 students also participate in a three-day camp to Sydney – cost ~$500.

A Building Fund levy of $520pa applies for each family enrolled at the School (2024 figure).

Fee Changes

The School reserves the right to increase fees at the end of each calendar year. This is to cover cost increases, in particular the cost of teaching and other staff salaries. As a guide, fee increases historically have been approximately 2% above the cost of living increases.

Payment Methods

Bank cheque / draft – payable to: Covenant College

Telegraphic Transfer – to the School account. Ask your bank to identify student’s name on all correspondence sent to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Bank: Commonwealth Banks of Australia (Colishaw Street, Greenway ACT 2901, Australia)

Account Name: Covenant College

BSB: 062-914 Account No: 00800118

All payments are to be made in Australian dollars only.

Refund Policy

Covenant Christian School will promptly offer refunds to parents or guardians who do not access services provided as part of the contract of enrolment – see section 3.2 for details.

2.1.6 Enrolment Deferral, Suspension or Cancellation

The School will keep on a student’s file any documents related to assessing, approving and recording a deferment of the commencement of study or suspension of study for the student, including keeping documentary evidence on the student’s file of the assessment of the application.

The School will only defer or temporarily suspend the enrolment of an international student on the grounds of:

(a) compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. illness where a medical certificate states that the student is unable to attend classes); or

(b) misbehaviour by the student.

The School will:

(a) inform the student in writing that deferring, suspending or cancelling his or her enrolment may affect his or her student visa;

(b) notify DIAC and the Secretary of DEEWR via PRISMS as required under section 9 of the ESOS Act where the student’s enrolment is deferred, temporarily suspended or cancelled.

The School will inform the student in writing of its intention to suspend or cancel the student’s enrolment where the suspension or cancellation is not initiated by the student and notify the student that he or she has 20 working days to access the registered provider’s internal complaints and appeals process (see Complaints and Appeals under section 8 above).

If the student accesses the School’s internal Complaints and Appeals process, the suspension or cancellation of the student’s enrolment under this standard can not take effect until the internal process is completed, unless extenuating circumstances relating to the welfare of the student apply.

2.1.7 ESOS Framework

The Australian Government has put in place rules and regulations to ensure that international students are given the education they pay for and are protected from poor practices. You may visit the following website that gives details about your rights as an international student. At the site, there is a great deal of information about the rights and responsibilities of both students and institutions involved with Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS).


International Education Regulatory Information

ESOS Legislative Framework

Please also refer to the Covenant Christian School International Students Policy:

International Students Policy (July 2017)

2.1.8 Living in Canberra

(See also: )

Canberra is a great place to live. It is –

  • Clean and safe – a survey by the Australian Institute of Criminology identified Canberra as one of the safest cities in the world.
  • A regional centre for a large population, from Braidwood in the East, Tumut in the West, Yass in the North, and Cooma in the South.
  • Political centre of Australia
  • Cultural centre and location of numerous important Australian national institutions including the National Library, War Memorial, High Court, Art Gallery, and Royal Australian Mint.
  • An education centre of excellence.
  • An affordable place to live.
  • A reasonable public transport is available with concessions for students.
  • Designed so that all suburbs have easy access to local shops and town centres where supermarkets, hair salons, cafes and restaurants, consumer electronic shops and many more businesses are located.
  • A scenic place to live. You will have the choice of ski fields in winter and beaches that go on for miles both within a short two hour drive of Canberra, plus bushwalking and mountain-biking all year round. Canberra itself has more bicycle paths than any other city in Australia, and is designed with natural parks integrated throughout the city. You will experience fresh air and natural beauty in Canberra.


Canberra is one of the few places in Australia where you really can enjoy four distinct seasons with lots of sunshine all year round. You can expect warm to hot summers, clear, crisp winters, spectacular springs and balmy colourful autumns.

Fact: Canberra enjoys more hours of sunshine than Sydney or the Gold Coast.

Average temperatures

Summer (December-February)

12 to 27 (degrees Celsius) OR 54 to 81 (degrees Fahrenheit)

Autumn (March-May)

7 to 20 (degrees Celsius) OR 45 to 68 (degrees Fahrenheit)

Winter (June-August)

1 to 12 (degrees Celsius) OR 34 to 54 (degrees Fahrenheit)

Spring (September-November)

6 to 19 (degrees Celsius) OR 40 to 66 (degrees Fahrenheit)

ACT school holidays

In Australia, the school year begins in late January – early February, with short breaks in April, July and September.

The school year finishes just before Christmas, with the long school holidays over the Australian summer in December and January.

Fast Facts*

  • ACT Population: 395,000 (Australia: 24,051,400)
  • Median age: 34 years
  • Average full time weekly income: $1,498 (Australia $1,575)
  • Average commute time to work: 15-25 minutes
  • Driving time to Sydney: 3 hours
  • Driving time to NSW south coast beaches: 2.5 hours
  • Driving time to NSW ski fields: 2.5 hours
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5% (Australia 5.6%)
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Australian Dollar
  • Telephone area code: 02 within Australia; +61 2 from overseas
  • * All statistics are approximate and current at June 2016 (some figures more recent).

Cost of living*

The following will provide some guidance on the cost of goods and services in Canberra ($AUD):

  • All day parking in the city: $10.00 – $15.00
  • Cappuccino: $3.60
  • Movie ticket (Dendy Cinemas): Adult $19.50; Concession $15.00; Child $14.50
  • ACTION bus tickets:
    • Cash fare single: $4.50
    • MyWay pre-paid electronic card single trip: $2.98 (maximum of $9.00 charged regardless of how many buses used)
    • MyWay concession pre-paid electronic card single trip: $1.49 (maximum of $4.50 charged regardless of how many buses used)
    • MyWay school student pre-paid electronic card single trip: $1.13
  • Entry to Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia
  • Canberra Glassworks: Free
  • Olympic Pool (Civic): Adult $6:00; Concession $4.00; under 3yo free
  • Ice Skating (Phillip): Two hour session $14.00 – $17.00
  • Canberra Raiders (Rugby League): Adults $34.00; Children $17.00
  • UC Brumbies (Super Rugby): Adults $33.00; Children $12.00
  • Entry to the National Zoo and Aquarium: Adults $40.00; Children up to three years $2; Children 4 to 15 years $23.00; Family (two adults and 3 children) $110.00
  • Floriade entry (spring flower festival): Free
  • 18 holes of golf (Gungahlin Lakes): Weekday $29.00; Weekend $39.00


Note: These prices are only meant to show the cost of living in Canberra.

International students under the age of 18 must be accommodated by a specific relative or guardian.

・ Median three bedroom house rent: $490 per week

・ Median house price: $602,500

・ Median two bedroom unit / town house rent: $410 per week

・ Median unit / town house price: $419,900

2.2 Minimum Level of English Language Proficiency

The School does not actively market for international students and currently depends on word-of-mouth recommendations from its past and current international students and families.

Recruitment of students is conducted at all times in an ethical and responsible manner and is consistent with the requirements of the curriculum. Appropriately qualified staff assess the extent to which the applicant is likely to achieve the outcomes of the course based on the applicant’s level of English and academic results.

Commencing in the 2016 academic year, applicants from non-English speaking backgrounds who have minimal or no English language skills must attend either the Primary the Secondary Introductory English Centre (at their own expense) and successfully complete the Pre-Intermediate course (10 weeks). This course is organised around nine themes, including school, food and shopping, orientation to Canberra and animals. Each theme incorporates a wide range of activities covering the four macro-skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The Pre-Intermediate course includes grammatical structures and focuses on the functional and communicative demands of Secondary schooling.

Students will be offered a place in the school with minimal English proficiency and placed at a grade level normally associated with their age. These students are expected to continue to learn the English language by ‘immersion’ in the school’s English language environment. They are advised to independently source English-language tutorial materials (at their own cost) if they require further instruction.

Updated: 16 October 2017

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