International Department

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International Student Department

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.

Our aims are 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 Staffing

The Principal of the College takes overall responsibility for the operation of the International Student Department. The staff of the International Department are responsible for its operation and are accountable for delivering the programs and achieving the aims and objectives of the department.

Director – International Student Department

A full-time Director with industry experience has been appointed to ensure that the International Program is delivered with integrity and efficiency. The Director is responsible for both the facilitation and co-ordination of the International Student Department, monitoring both the social and academic development of each International student throughout their enrolment. The Director is in close contact with mainstream teachers to ensure that most problems are identified and resolved at the earliest possible time. The Director liaises closely with the Homestay Provider and overseas the College Homestay Program. Students can avail themselves of support and guidance in all academic areas, careers counselling and social and emotional concerns. Parents are encouraged to contact the Director with their concerns and questions. The Director is responsible for the selection and enrolling of new students.

TESOL Teacher

A full-time qualified, experienced TESOL teacher is on staff to assist International students with their language development and to provide specialised instruction through ESL classes. The TESOL teacher is responsible for English tuition to International students from Junior Primary to Senior Secondary. On completion of assessment at the end of each study period the TESOL teacher provides parents of Secondary students with a report which outlines student’s current language ability levels. The TESOL teacher is responsible for establishing and implementing the College’s ESL Program. Parents are encouraged to speak to the TESOL teacher should they have any concerns with 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 organisational, time management and study skills.

Administrative Assistant

The College employs a part-time Administration Assistant to deal with the daily needs of the department. The assistant provides a support role to the Director, TESOL teacher and students. The assistant liaises with Homestay parents, assists students with orientation and integration, and attends to International Department enquiries. The assistant is also responsible for keeping and updating blue card registration, medical insurance, phone, fax and email addresses and information pertaining to enrolment. Students should speak to the Administration assistant for their day to day needs.

Support from all College Staff

The staff of the College work together as a team, mutually supporting one another. The operation of the International Student Department is dependent on the good will and cooperation of teachers, administrative and services staff.

International Support

International students will be offered support on a number of levels. This includes, 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 (ie – own desk, chair and adequate lighting);
  • 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 encourage the development of friendships between students. International Day, End of Year Dinners, Formals, Semi Formals, provide the 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.
  • Visiting parents and relatives are welcome to visit the College. Please contact the Director – International Student Department prior to your visit to arrange a suitable time

Cultural Experience

  • Class and International Department excursions are offered each semester.
  • An “Aussie Experience” trip may be planned during the year, if enough students are interested, to expose students to a different Australian experience. A College appointed chaperone would accompany students. Attendance is not compulsory.
  • Pastoral care during their enrolment.
  • Intensive support during their initial “settling in” period.
  • Tutoring (ISS classes) for mainstream subjects is 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 matters.
  • Holiday travel: policies and procedures are in place to monitor student travel to 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 Student Department is a purpose built facility consisting 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 housed central to the College and visitors can access it through its own private entrance just to the right of Main Reception.