International students

We encourage diversity and welcome students from all over the world into Kindergarten through to Year 12.

We have had students come from China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Nepal, South Korea, Thailand, the UK, the USA, and Vietnam.

Our curriculum is prescribed by the New South Wales Education Standards Authority (NESA) and Year 12 students graduate with the NSW Higher School Certificate.

The (Australian Government’s) Department of Home Affairs has authorised The McDonald College to enrol a number of students on Student visas. An 80% attendance rate is a requirement for ongoing enrolment at the College.

The process

Parents or Guardians of international applicants must complete the Application Form.

This must be accompanied by copies of all documents as outlined in the Checklist on the form, and payment of the Application Fee.

Admission of an international student

In addition to the Audition requirements for performing arts students or the assessment of proficiency for performance sports applicants – international students (for whom English is a second language) must meet the College’s English language requirements.

English Language Proficiency

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of the completion of the AEAS or IELTS test and results.

The minimum level of English Language Proficiency is:

Years 7 – 10IELTS (overall) 5.0
Years 7 – 10AEAS 55+
Years 11 & 12IELTS (overall) 5.5
Years 11 & 12AEAS 70+

The Registrar and the Director of Curriculum (in consultation with the Head of Diverse Learning if language testing is required) will determine if the student meets our minimum English Language Proficiency.

We may also accept a student on the recommendation of an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) provider – if they deem the student to have reasonable, operational English.

English as a Second Language (ESL) support

All staff support students from a non-English-speaking background in becoming more proficient in English.

International students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to assimilate, integrate and contribute to our inclusive and supportive school environment.

The delivery of ESL (Engliash as a Second Language) lessons can take various forms including:

  • allocated time during school hours for one-on-one / small group tuition
  • support within the mainstream classroom
  • specialised ESL support.

Accommodation and welfare requirements

An international student must reside with one of the following

  • a suitable relative (ie, grandparent, sibling, aunt / uncle, niece / nephew; or a step-parent, step-sibling, etc). You must provide proof of the family relationship. 1
  • The Boarding House at The McDonald College 2 & 3 or
  • an Appointed Guardian.


  1. If the parents of the student are unable to nominate a suitable relative, then a professional guardianship service must be engaged.
  2. International students who live in the Boarding House must also have a legally Appointed Guardian.
  3. International students staying at the Boarding House should note that the Boarding House is closed during school holiday, so making alternate living arrangements for these times will be necessary.

Legally, an Appointed Guardian must be

  • Appointed by the parents / guardian of the student and be 21 or older
  • Living in NSW and preferably in the Greater Sydney area.
  • Able to care for the student at home if the student is ill.
  • The first point of contact for the College and able to communicate effectively with College Staff in English.
  • Be able to communicate effectively on behalf of the College with the parents of the student.
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Contacts at the College

Erin GerardRegistrar (Primary Contact)Handles all aspects related to applications and enrolments for international students.
Maxine Kohler   PrincipalOversees all aspects of the College.
Meni ContosDirector of CurriculumOversees and monitors all students’ academic matters with NESA.
Peter KraftDirector of Performing ArtsOversees and monitors all students in the performing arts programs.
Rebecca RogersHead of BoardingManages and oversees the daily operation of the Boarding House.
Kirsty DunkHead of WellbeingCoordinates the College’s wellbeing programs for all students.

Get in touch with our Registrar

02 9752 0507 |