Study English in Australia

Studying English in Australia offers you the opportunity to learn and practise one of the world’s most widely spoken languages with a diverse group of fellow international students.

International students in a classroom learning English
Last Updated Wednesday 13th March, 2024

While employers look fondly upon future employees with proficiency in multiple languages, the English language is used so commonly that mastering it is crucial when entering the global workforce. Plus, if you want to pursue further studies at an international education institution, you’re going to need to have proven English skills.

There are a wide range of organisations and language schools in Australia that offer specifically designed courses to help international students develop and improve their English skills. Some courses are tailored to teach the English language skills necessary for a specific industry, such as tourism, business or healthcare, while others are more general. There’s something for every student when it comes to finding the perfect language course in Australia.

Why you should study English in Australia

 Australia is the third most popular destination for international students in the English-speaking world after the United States and the United Kingdom – but comes with its own unique benefits.

As an international student in Australia, you are surrounded by some of the best and most well-regarded education providers in the world, you can take your pick from a range of the most liveable cities, and you’re awarded more flexibility in finding a part-time job (which you can use to practice your English conversation skills!). That’s not to mention Australia’s stunning and diverse landscapes, great weather, incredible landmarks, unique wildlife, friendly, multicultural community, and laid-back lifestyle.

Plus, there are compulsory national standards that education providers must meet and a comprehensive, industry-led quality support framework, meaning that international students studying English in Australia – or any course, for that matter! – are guaranteed a high-quality education that will be recognised across the world.

Types of English you can study in Australia: courses and qualifications

 There are a range of courses and qualifications to suit your needs and the level of English you want to achieve. These include:

General English

If you’re looking to improve your English for general, everyday use or casual work in an English-speaking country; improve your general proficiency before commencing higher level English courses.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

If you’re wanting to study at an Australian school, university or vocational institution.

English for Specific Purposes (ESP)

If you’re looking to improve your English language skills for a specific context or environment, for example, for a corporate or business environment.

Exam preparation for English proficiency tests

If you’re wanting to undertake an English language exam such as IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge or PTE Academic.

English for teaching

If you intend to teach English as a second language in your own country.

Study tours

If you want a mix of general English learning with a short holiday, or to undertake work-related training.

English language testing providers

 As an international student, if you are interested in undertaking study at an Australian educational institution, you may be required to pass an English test before applying. This is to demonstrate you have a certain level of English language skills.

There are some students who do not need an English test for their visa application, for example, if you’re only planning on taking an accredited English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) in Australia.

There are a range of different English language tests you can take, including:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language: Internet Based (TOEFL iBT)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)

The IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, CAE and OET are all valid and accredited ways of assessing your English, depending on which institution you are applying to, with different scores needed for each test. Make sure to check with your educational institution before taking the test, as the minimum score requirement for the course you are interested in may be higher than that for a student visa.

Entry requirements

 The entry requirements you’ll need to study in Australia vary according to the level of English language course you want to study. You will need to check the entry requirements with your chosen institution.

Where to study English in Australia

Each education provider’s courses are tailored to suit specific learning styles and levels of English proficiency.  It is important to review the course outline to ensure your learning goals will be met if you want to study English in Australia.

There are a variety of English language schools in Adelaide offering English language courses.  We’ve listed these below.

South Australian College of English (SACE)

SACE offers academic English courses that are designed to teach students the skills they need to enter a VET or higher education courses.

The University of Adelaide

The University has a specific centre named the English Language Centre (ELC) that is made up of four different programs, all of which are designed for academic purposes.

Mercury Colleges

Mercury colleges alter their English program around each student in order to meet their needs.

ILSC Language School Adelaide

The Adelaide campus is the newest location to a growing network of ILSC Language Schools around the world and offer foundation english courses, conversational and English for Academic purposes courses.

Eynesbury College

Provides English courses for beginners and intermediate students in preparation of academic tests.

Centre for English Language University of South Australia (CELUSA)

Provides the knowledge and skills required to meet the academic requirements for English language.  CELUSA is part of SAIBT who offer pathway programs for students wishing to continue studies at the University of South Australia.


TAFE SA offers English language intensive courses for overseas students (ELICOS). These courses are for those who require English language training before they commence their studies in Australia.

Student visas

Subclass 500

To study in Australia as a full-time student, you’re required to apply for a Student visa (subclass 500). This visa allows you to study for up to five years in a recognised education institution. During the application process, you may need to provide evidence of your English language skills, depending on the course you plan to study. This supporting evidence includes department-approved English language test scores.

When you finish your English study in Australia, you have the opportunity to apply for a different visa, as you may be eligible to meet the English requirements. However, each student’s eligibility is assessed individually.

Last updated: 13 April 2022

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