International Students

Photo: Matthew Syres

The McDonald College encourages diversity and welcomes international students. The College often hosts students from New Zealand, Korea, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and the UK.

The Kindergarten – Year 12 curricula taught is that prescribed by the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA). Teaching methodology and assessment procedures are in accordance with the College’s Secondary School Assessment Policy. Curriculum Guides are given to secondary students upon enrolment. Qualifications gained are Year 12 Higher School Certificate.

ESL Program

The responsibility for assisting students from non-English-speaking backgrounds in becoming more proficient at English rests with all teachers and College personnel. The College offers a compulsory English as a Second Language (ESL) program for international students to enable them to develop their full potential, to gain the skills, knowledge, and values needed to contribute actively and positively to the school environment, and ultimately become an integrated and successful citizen. 

The delivery of ESL lessons can take various forms such as:

  • Withdrawal from normal classroom activities for intensive tutoring in small groups or individually,
  • Support within the mainstream classroom, or
  • Specialised ESL support for the mainstream classroom teacher.

Admission of International Student

International students applying to the College must provide reports and references to the Registrar as part of the admission procedure.

Each international student entering the College will be assessed by the Registrar and the Director of Curriculum (in consultation with the Head of Learning Enrichment, if language testing is required) to determine they meet the College’s minimum English Language Proficiency.

The minimum level of English language proficiency is:

Years 7 – 10IELTS (overall) 50
Years 7 – 10AEAS 55+
Years 11 & 12IELTS (overall) 5.5
Years 11 & 12AEAS 70+

The College may also accept a student for enrolment on the recommendation of an ELICOS provider if the student is deemed by the provider to have reasonable operational English.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has authorised The McDonald College to enrol a number of students on student visas for study in Australia. (The McDonald College Registered Provider Code 02293K).

An 80% attendance rate is a requirement of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Accommodation for students from Year 7 to Year 12 (all genders) is available at the College’s boarding residence. Students not requiring boarding will be asked to give full details of accommodation and guardianship arrangements unless they are residing with a parent. It is the student or guardian’s responsibility to advise the College of any change of address.

The primary contact for International Students or intending Overseas Students is the College Registrar. A list of key staff for International Students is detailed below

Mrs Erin Gerard


Handles all aspects related to enrolling at the College including particular needs and requirements for overseas students. She manages student’s applications and enrolment processes and is an integral member of the team that manages Overseas Students

Mrs Maxine Kohler    


Mrs Kohler oversees all aspects of enrolment and the education programmes offered at The McDonald College

Mrs Meni Contos

Director of Curriculum

Oversees and monitors all students’ enrolments in accordance with NESA for the NSW Higher School Certificate. She is the College’s primary academic advisor

Mr Peter Kraft

Director of Performing Arts

Mr Kraft oversees and monitors all student enrolments in the College’s Performing Arts programmes. He is the College’s primary Performing Arts advisor.

Ms Rebecca Rogers

Head of Boarding

Ms Rogers manages and oversees the daily operation of the College’s boarding house

Ms Kirsty Dunk

Head of Pastoral Care

Coordinates the College’s pastoral care programmes for all students, including Overseas Students. She coordinates the Year Coordinators who have particular pastoral responsibilities for each academic cohort from Years 7 – 12