International Learning Community

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International Learning Community

Hillcrest Christian College commenced its International Student Program in 1996 and is registered to accept international students from Prep to Year 12. This highly successful and supportive program aims to give students a genuine Australian school experience and strong academic support in one of Queensland’s leading private schools, assisting our students to progress into the future academic or career pathway of their choice.

Unlike ELICOS Colleges, where students are removed from mainstream English speaking students, international students at Hillcrest are immersed in an English speaking environment from their first day. This language saturation strategy improves the student’s listening and speaking skills at a much-increased rate.

We offer international students:

  • long-term and short-term programs
  • integrated ESL lessons in all year levels, to support students to develop both Conversational English and Academic English (minimum of 5 lessons x 40 mins per week)
  • English for Second Language Learners, a board registered subject in Year 11 and 12 that provides a rigorous English course with culturally-appropriate content
  • after school tutoring for all international students at no extra charge
  • a warm, accepting College community that seeks to welcome and connect with students from other cultures
  • caring and supportive local homestay families for Year 7 – 12 international students requiring accommodation

International enrolments are capped at 5% of the student population with limits in each year level, enabling international students to integrate well and maximise their opportunities for learning within the Australian context.

Hillcrest Christian College has seen many international students from across the world graduate and successfully move into a variety of universities including those in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

The College also welcomes visits from small groups of students connected to our partner schools as part of cultural tours to Australia.

CRICOS Provider No: 01043C

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International Purpose

Hillcrest Christian College is a welcoming, caring community of Christian believers who offer an academic program to overseas students, in order to provide them with an authentic Australian school experience.

We aim to:

  • Immerse our International Students into the Australian culture within the Hillcrest Christian College context, while facilitating an educational environment of excellence and integrity.
  • Provide a loving and safe Christian environment that is founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible.
  • Teach sound academic principles and at the same time encourage young people to develop in character, morality and social justice.
  • Provide Australian students with an exposure to other cultures and ideas, and to broaden their understanding of the global context within which Australia is situated.
  • Provide English language support so that students can be successfully integrated into mainstream classes with Australian standards.
  • Provide equal opportunity for International Students, enabling them to exit secondary schooling suitably prepared for a chosen pathway, either in Australia or their country of origin.
  • Encourage young people to achieve to their potential.
  • Integrate International students into our wider College Community.
  • Foster an acceptance and understanding of multiculturalism within the Hillcrest Community.

International Staff

The Executive Head of College takes overall responsibility for the operation of the Hillcrest International Learning Community (HILC). The staff of the International Department are responsible for its operations, and are accountable for delivering the programs and achieving the aims and objectives of the department.

Director – Teaching, Learning & Global Education

The Director works full-time and is responsible for selecting and enrolling new students, and coordinating all aspects of the International Learning Community. The Director also monitors the social and academic development of each International student during their enrolment, and maintains close contact with Hillcrest teachers to ensure that any problems are identified and resolved as promptly as possible. The Director liaises closely with our Homestay providers, and overseas the College Homestay Program. Parents or students are encouraged to contact the Director for guidance and assistance with any concerns or questions they have.

TESOL Teacher

Our full-time TESOL teacher is qualified and experienced to assist our International students with their language development through English tuition, and also provides specialised teaching to our Junior Primary to Senior Secondary students in our ESL classes. At the completion of each study period, the TESOL teacher provides Secondary students' parents with a report outlining the student’s current language ability levels. Parents are encouraged to speak to our TESOL teacher if they have any concerns regarding their child’s language development.

International Student Support (ISS)

The College employs teachers to provide support for International students with their mainstream subjects. These teachers are responsible for assisting students with their homework and assignments in compulsory after school classes, designed to enable students to meet their subject requirements. The teachers act as tutors in specific subject areas, and also assist students with the development of their time management and study skills.

Administrative Assistant

The International Department also has a part-time Administration Assistant who looks after the daily needs of students within the HILC,and provides support to the Director, TESOL teacher and students. The Assistant also liaises with Homestay parents, and assists students with orientation, integration, and enquiries. The Assistant is also responsible for setting up blue card registration and medical insurance, and maintaining all contact information, pertaining to enrolment.

Support from all College Staff

Hillcrest Christian College staff work collaboratively and support one another as a team. The successful operation of our International Learning Community is due to the combined cooperation of teachers, administrative and services staff.

International Support

International students at Hillcrest are offered support on a number of levels, including homestay accommodation, social and cultural experiences, and access to necessary services and support personnel.


Key features of the Homestay experience include:

  • A safe and stable environment in an English-speaking Homestay
  • Three meals a day
  • Own bedroom, quiet and adequate place to study
  • Inclusion in family activities
  • Use of computer for studies and email facilities (most students bring their own laptop)
  • Transport during the week and on weekends to the level that is offered their own children
  • Assistance with English through family conversation and discussions
  • Emotional support during settling-in period.


  • Social functions are organised throughout the year to help foster friendships between students. Our International Day, End of Year Dinner, Formal and Semi Formal events, all provide students with the opportunity to meet outside of school hours
  • Monitoring of socialisation during school hours
  • New students are allocated a ‘buddy’ to assist them in their assimilation into College life
  • Parents and relatives are welcome to visit the College. Please contact the Director – Teaching, Learning & Global Education prior to the visit, to arrange a suitable time.

Cultural Experience

  • Class and International Department excursions are offered each semester.
  • An optional 'Aussie Experience' trip may be planned during the year, if enough students are interested. A College-appointed chaperone would accompany students.
  • Pastoral care during their enrolment
  • Intensive support during their initial 'settling in' period
  • Tutoring (ISS classes) for mainstream subjects, available at no extra cost
  • Private ESL tutoring can be arranged at the current rates
  • Homestay monitoring and support (intervention when needed)
  • Career counselling and assistance with tertiary planning
  • Holiday travel: policies and procedures are in place to monitor student travel and ensure their safety when travelling during the holidays
  • Open lines of communication to parents, usually through an Education Agent, to inform them of their child’s progress, including term reports, reports on request including (academic and non-academic), a Semester/Term newsletter and a letter of attendance/completion for Secondary students on graduation.

International Facilities

International students are encouraged to take advantage of all facilities available to them at Hillcrest Christian College.

The International Learning Community is a purpose-built facility comprising of two learning areas – a classroom for ESL lessons and a meeting/study area; a kitchenette for students to heat food, and office space for the International staff. Students enjoy formal and informal learning in these areas.

The Department is in a central location on College grounds, with easy access for visitors and its own entrance, just along from Hillcrest's Main Reception.