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Student orientation – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Version number 2.3 | Version effective 23 December 2021
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Student orientation – subclass 500 (schools) visa procedure

Audience

Education Queensland International (EQI), EQI staff, school staff, Overseas students, EQI homestay providers, parents/ Department of Home Affairs (DHA) approved guardians of Overseas students and their agents.

Purpose

To clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of EQI and schools and the steps they follow to develop pre-arrival, arrival and ongoing orientation programs to support Overseas student adjustment to study and life in Queensland.  

Overview

EQI and school staff develop and distribute orientation information to Overseas students. Orientation starts prior to arriving in Queensland and EQI ensures that orientation information is age and culturally appropriate and supports the wellbeing and academic success of Overseas students. EQI informs schools of the essential information to be conveyed to Overseas students and parents when developing school-specific orientation programs. Ongoing orientation is developed by EQI and maintained by school staff to further ensure Overseas student understanding of orientation materials and to provide additional information to ensure Overseas student wellbeing and adjustment to study and life in Australia. Orientation materials and practices are reviewed to ensure currency, accuracy and effectiveness of delivery.

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Ongoing enrolment – subclass 500 (schools) procedure.

Responsibilities

EQI staff

  • ensure pre-arrival information is relevant, accurate and available to the general public on the EQI website and the Your Passport to Queensland mobile application
  • provide further pre-arrival orientation to Overseas students, parents and agents once enrolment has been confirmed
  • review and update Overseas student orientation materials annually or when otherwise required
  • review and update EQI, International Student Program (ISP) student orientation checklist (Department of Education [DoE] employees only) annually or when otherwise required
  • review and update orientation information provided to Overseas students and parents, ensuring relevance and accuracy as well as the effective facilitation of information 
  • provide ongoing support to schools in the development and delivery of the orientation program
  • ensure staff contact available for overseas students for the purpose of providing advice regarding ongoing orientation
  • approve publication of pre-arrival information on the EQI website.

School staff (for example, International Student/Homestay Coordinator or Line Manager)

  • develop and coordinate the delivery of pre-arrival information and materials for Overseas students to complete prior to arrival (such as subject information, uniform requirements and bring your own device information)
  • develop and coordinate the delivery of an age and culturally appropriate orientation program and Overseas student orientation handbook
  • review and update orientation information (as directed by EQI or school principal) provided to Overseas students and parents, ensuring relevance and accuracy as well as the effective facilitation of information
  • provide ongoing orientation and support to Overseas students and parents to adjust to study and life in Australia
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date records (for example, adding a record of contact in OneSchool for each contact with Overseas student).

School principal (or delegate)

  • approve the orientation program and orientation handbook
  • oversee the ongoing support provided to Overseas students to adjust to study and life in Australia.

Process

Flowchart - Student orientation process 1. Pre-arrival 2. Arrival 3. Ongoing 4. Review

Image 1 : Flowchart - Student orientation process

1. Pre-arrival orientation

EQI staff

  • maintain pre-arrival orientation information for availability on the EQI website and Your Passport to Queensland mobile application, including (but not limited to):
    • welcome
    • about Queensland and arriving in Queensland
    • communicating
    • schooling in Queensland
    • homestay
    • 1800 QSTUDY
    • Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) information
    • Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) information
  • ensure delivery of pre-arrival information to Overseas student, via parent/agent, once enrolment has been confirmed.

School staff

  • develop and maintain pre-arrival orientation information, including (but not limited to):
    • timetable information
    • uniform requirements
    • school policy and procedure (for example, Student code of conduct)
    • non-tuition fees (for example, non-curriculum excursions, uniforms and excellence programs)
    • bring your own device requirements and specifications
    • subject selection information
    • local transport options
    • homestay rules and expectations
    • wi-fi access 
  • issue the pre-arrival orientation information to Overseas student/parent/agent prior to Overseas student arrival.

School principal (or delegate)

  • approve or request further amendments to pre-arrival orientation information.

2. Arrival orientation

School staff

  • refer to EQI, ISP student orientation checklist (DoE employees only) to assist preparation of age and culturally appropriate Overseas student/parent arrival orientation program and orientation handbook that includes (but is not limited to):
    • introduction to the school
      • school hours and routines
      • responsible behaviour plan 
      • facilities and resources
    • introduction to EQI, ISP
    • student visa conditions
    • support services and school staff available to assist Overseas students
      • to adjust to study and life in Australia
      • with issues that may adversely affect their education
      • with their English language proficiency
      • with study and academic achievement
    • how to seek help and report incidents which occur at school and outside school, including
      • school-based Overseas student support services for example, guidance officer, school-based health nurse
      • who to contact in an emergency (including information about emergency services in Queensland)
      • 1800QSTUDY international student emergency hotline student visa conditions (for example, Overseas student health cover (OSHC), attendance, behaviour, course progress and working while studying)
    • orientation to local area
    • homestay, if required
    • safety, awareness and actions that Overseas students can take to enhance their personal security and safety (for example, water safety, beach and sun safety, personal wellbeing, safety with adults)
  • meet Overseas student, parent and DHA approved guardian on the first day of attendance at school:
    • introduce Overseas student and parent to school staff including school principal and support staff
    • designate a central meeting place for Overseas student and agree to meeting times
    • match Overseas student with a local student (buddy) to assist during class and transitioning between classes
    • undertake tour of the school and supply map of the school
    • provide Overseas student and parent with timetable and orientation handbook, and assist Overseas student to read and understand
  • within the first week of starting to attend school:
    • finalise subject selection and inform parent/agent, if required
    • deliver approved orientation program with orientation handbook
      • complete ISP student orientation checklist (DoE Employees only)
      • ensure Overseas student/parent has understood information by asking questions about the information provided
      • provide access to interpreter services, if required
      • document and record Overseas student attendance.

School principal (or delegate)

  • approve or request further amendments to orientation program and orientation handbook
  • meet Overseas student and parent/DHA approved guardian and welcome to the school.

3. Ongoing orientation

EQI staff

  • provide advice to overseas students, regarding ongoing orientation queries

School staff

4. Review of orientation

EQI staff

  • ensure pre-arrival information is up to date and relevant by conducting regular reviews of:
    • EQI website information
    • Your Passport to Queensland mobile application
  • ensure EQI, ISP student orientation checklist(DoE employees only) is up to date by conducting regular reviews and notifying school staff of any changes
  • ensure appropriate information is being delivered by schools and appropriate support is offered to schools when required.

School staff

  • review the orientation program and orientation handbook, at least annually, to ensure accuracy and relevancy
  • provide updated orientation program and orientation handbook to school principal for approval
  • implement approved changes to orientation program and orientation handbook.

School principal (or delegate)

  • approve or request further amendments to orientation program and/orientation handbook.

Definitions

Term

Definition

1800 QSTUDY
(+61 1800 778 839)

A student hotline for managing incidents involving students across Queensland.

Agent

Education agent registered with EQI to recruit Overseas students for EQI programs.

Delegate

Is a classified officer (Heads of Department, Deputy Principals and Principals) nominated by the principal who is authorised to make some International Student Program decisions on behalf of the school principal.

Department of Education International (DEi)

The international branch of the Department of Education and employees of DEi.

The Department of Education’s trading name is Education Queensland International (EQI).

Department of Home Affairs (DHA)

Commonwealth government responsible for immigration.

DHA approved guardian

A parent, legal custodian or relative over the age of 21 years approved by the Department of Home Affairs to be responsible for the Welfare of Overseas students under the age of 18 years.

EQI

Education Queensland International

EQI staff

DoE employees working in DEi, trading as EQI.

Homestay

Homestay is accommodation services offered by a family, a couple or a single person where food and shelter and a safe, caring and supportive home environment is provided to an Overseas student. Homestay is arranged by schools and/or DEi staff.

For International Student Programs: Overseas student accommodation arranged by schools for Student Visa 500 holders; where EQI is responsible for the welfare of the Overseas student at all times, including outside school hours.

Homestay provider

Homestay provider is a family, a couple or a single person who is approved by DEi or schools to host overseas students in their home.

For Study Tours a homestay provider is also known as a Host Family.

For International Services this includes families involved in reciprocal exchanges.

International Student Programs

A study pathway offered to Overseas students to fulfil their academic potential, develop new skills and achieve personal goals in a way that suits their individual needs. International Student Programs includes: Primary School, High School, International Baccalaureate, and High School Preparation.

Overseas student

Student in Australia on visa subclass 500 (schools sector) enrolled in an EQI course.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

A mandatory requirement for overseas students studying in Australia (with the exception of student from Norway, Sweden and Denmark). Cover must be provided for the entire duration of the student’s visa period.

Parent

Natural parent or legal custodian.

School

For International Student Programs: Queensland state schools accredited by EQI to deliver international student programs.

School staff

Employees of schools with responsibilities to support international students. For example – International Student Coordinator, Homestay Coordinator, Head of Department, Deputy Principal, Accredited Officer (Study tours).

Student code of conduct

A document that defines the standards of behaviour by which all overseas students agree to be bound as a condition of their enrolment.

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

Nil

Review date

24 January 2023
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