Guide for your study In the USA
To learn more about studying in the USA, it is good to get an idea about the state you are looking to study in. The USA is a massive country as you know and there are huge variations in climate from state to state. For example, Hawaii is hot and tropical most of the year, whereas Minnesota can have winters that are so cold and snowy that you will never see the ground through all the snow! We will provide a student guide free of charge
To help you learn more about the country and its states, this table will assist you in making the right choice:
UK Education System
The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts. Primary education, Secondary education, Further education and Higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.
The education system in the UK is also split into "key stages" which breaks down as follows:
- Key Stage 1 - 5 to 7 years old
- Key Stage 2 - 7 to 11 years old
- Key Stage 3 - 11 to 14 years old
- Key Stage 4 - 14 to 16 years old
Generally key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move onto secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4.
Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE's or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE's they have the choice to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.
Our overview of the education system in the UK is divided into five main sections:
Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system. Please visit the British Council page for more information on primary education.
From age 11 to 16, students will enter secondary school for key stages three and four and to start their move towards taking the GCSE's. Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK; after age 16, education is optional.
Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A-Levels, GNVQ's, BTEC's or other such qualifications. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education.
Probably the most important subject area on this site. This explains more about the higher education system in the UK and how it works for international students. Most international students will be eligible to enter into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s “further education.”
Please note that Scotland has a separate education system and does not conform to the above structure.
Choosing the Right Program In Australia
The Australian system offers the international student many options to pursue, from ESL programs to graduate degree programs. . Here is a list of the most popular type of programs offered to international students in Australia:
ESL - English as a Second Language
Almost 20% of all international students who come to Australia enroll in an intensive ESL program (known in Australia as ELICOS) to improve their English. This number is increasing as students choose the multicultural atmosphere to Australia to learn English.
There are hundreds of institutions that currently offer English language programs and they vary from place to place. Programs cater to all levels, from beginner to advanced, and there are normally no admission requirements. Students will also take an ESL program as a foundation for their undergraduate studies in Australia.
Student would normally take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to prove their level of English. For more on the TOEFL exam, please click here. However, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is preferred by many Australian Institutions.
The ESLdirectory.com has an online database of manyESL schools. Please visit to find a school that's right for you!
VET - Vocational Education and TrainingRead More
Australia's VET system, called TAFE (Techical and Further Education) is a network of institutions that offer programs that are both practical and career-orientated. These programs enable students to begin their career path with study and work all rolled into one program. The main benefit to employers of VET graduates is that they know the individual has practical, work place experience as well as the theoretical background. Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of international students using TAFE/VET programs to enter Australia and increase their chances of becoming permanent residents.
Private/ Specialize Colleges
There are many colleges in Australia that offer diplomas, or certificates in most every area of study. These private/ specialized colleges vary in price depending on the school but they all basically offer program that can range from 3 months to 3 year. Credits from these courses may be able to be transferred to universities, but this it dependent on the college and its relationship with Australian Universities.