INTERNATIONAL STUDENT PROGRAM STUDENT HANDBOOK
This is a useful reference guide for you to ensure that you comply with the terms of your visa and you know how to get assistance if you need it.
This information should be read together with the Orientation Handbook you receive on arrival at Elwood College.
As an International Student, you must be very careful to follow all the Visa conditions that have been set out for you by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
It is very important that all students know what they must do and how they can best meet all the conditions. This book will help you to understand what is expected of you. If you do not understand any part of this book or the Visa, you must speak to Ms Turchina or Mr Spring about it.
- 1. Personal information
All personal information must be accurate and recorded by the college:
- Telephone number
- Mobile telephone number
- Parent contact details (overseas)
If you make any changes to telephone numbers, then the college must be told immediately
- 2. Guardianship & Welfare Support
The Department of Education and Training and through them, a Principal Class Officer of the school is responsible for your welfare. The college will appoint one of its staff to be your welfare support officer. You will have several people on whom you can call if you need help: Director of Program (Mr Spring), Manager of Program (Ms Turchina), any of your teachers, your homestay parent or any of the assistants who work with the International program.
No changes to these arrangements can be made at any time by anyone other than the college. If you would like to discuss these arrangements or to request a change, please see Mr Spring or Ms Turchina.
- 3. Homestay
Only the school can approve homestays. Students, families or welfare support officers cannot change homestays at any time except when approved in writing by the college.
If there is a reason you wish to change homestay, make a time to speak with one of the International staff who will help you.
- 4. Attendance checks
- Elwood College checks student attendance every lesson, every day.
- Attendance is also checked on-line by the Department of Education and Training.
- The International Student Program Unit of the Department of Education & Training will be notified immediately your attendance falls to 90%
- Students must attend at least 80% of all school days – this includes excursions, information days, examinations etc.
- The College issues a list of dates for attendance and all International Students must attend on the given dates. No student may leave Australia before the end of a term or return after the start of a term.
- 5. Changing schools or courses
- Changes in courses of study can only be approved by the college
- Changes must not be arranged by students or guardian but will be made by Ms Turchina or Mr Spring.
- Students may not arrange changes with other schools. Requests to change must be sent to the Department of Education and Training. If you would like to change schools please notify one of the International Staff and you will be provided with assistance.
Elwood College provides a very high quality homestay service. Types of homestays vary, as do the needs of individual students.
- A ‘Family style’ homestay in which students might expect to live in a situation which will have close supervision and require students to observe some house rules as set out below. This style of homestay is suited to most students, and will require students to behave in the same ways as they would while living with parents at home.
- An ‘Independent style’ homestay in which the student will have greater freedom, rather like a share-house for University or College. This style of homestay is generally suitable only for older students.
Both styles of homestay are available in high quality homes which have good, comfortable facilities and a caring homestay parent.
If a student has a problem with a homestay, we are very happy to discuss it and to assist the student. Sometimes it may be necessary for Elwood College to move the student to a new homestay and the college will do this as efficiently as possible. There is no charge for this service. Other requests to move homestay will incur an administration charge of $100 per move.
Only the school can approve homestays. Students, families or welfare support officers cannot change homestays at any time except when approved in writing by the college
ADVICE FOR HOMESTAY STUDENTS
What to do if you have a problem with your homestay
- Discuss the problem with the homestay parent and your counsellor/guardian. Inform Ms Turchina of the problem so that she can follow up if necessary.
- If the problem continues, request a meeting with Ms Turchina or Mr Spring so that the College can assist you. The college will inform your counsellor/welfare supporter.
- If the problem continues, inform either Ms Turchina or Mr Spring so that another homestay may be found for you. The college will consult with your counsellor/welfare supporter before doing this.
Small problems are usually easy to resolve but can become more difficult if left for a long time.
Elwood College Homestays Provide
- A furnished bedroom
- A place to study and do homework
- Use of a shared sitting/TV room
- Use of a shared bathroom
- Use of a shared laundry
- 3 meals each day
- Use of a shared telephone
Homestays do not usually provide private telephone lines for guests. If a student wants to have a private phone line connected for Internet or telephone use, then they should expect to pay approximately $280 to have the line connected to their room.
Students should expect to pay the homestay parent for all telephone calls made from the shared telephone.
Homestay Hosts will discuss the rules of their house with students.
Some homestay rules students might expect:
- Regular times for meals
- All family and guests eat dinner together
- Time limit to use of TV – usually 10.30pm on school nights – other times to be negotiated with homestay parent
- No guests in rooms after a set time at night - unless approval is given by the homestay parent
- No overnight guests in rooms – unless approval is given by the homestay parent
- No staying out overnight without approval of the homestay parent
- Set times to be in rooms at night – usually after 11pm
- Set quiet times at night.
- No smoking or cooking in rooms
You have a problem with or want to change your HOMESTAY:
If you have a problem with your homestay, the best thing to do is to speak with your homestay parent about it and tell one of the International Student Program Staff about your problem as soon as you can.
If you are unable to resolve the problem, one of the International Student Program Staff will speak with the homestay parent for you.
If we are not able to solve the problem to your satisfaction, we will arrange a change of Homestay for you. Remember, you may not change the homestay by yourself
You must inform Elwood College each time you intend to stay away from your homestay.
This is a requirement of the Government of Australia and is an important part of the terms of your visa.
You may not stay at the homestay of a friend or travel to other parts of Australia or overseas without informing Elwood College.
Parent permission is necessary in order to stay away from your homestay. You can do this easily by email. One of the International Staff will give you a form to send to your parents and they can sign and return it.
Student must inform Elwood College of their plans to return to their home country, the flight details and the dates of their planned return to Australia.
Please remember that you visa is based on your safety and welfare being guaranteed by Elwood College. Only when we know where you are and who you are with can we be sure that you are safe. Any student who leaves their homestay without notifying Elwood College is breaking the terms of their visa and this may lead to the visa being cancelled by the Government of Australia.
It is important that you keep Elwood College informed of your up-to-date contact details.
If you or your parents change a telephone number, please advise the school as soon as possible.
It is most important that the school should be able to contact your parents at all times. If any of their contact information changes, please make sure to tell one of the International Staff.
If you require documents to be sent to your home address after the semester or the school year has finished, please remember to address en envelope to yourself at home and to leave that envelope with the International Office at Elwood College.
If you have experienced problems with your school, your homestay, or other aspects of your education and living in Melbourne, the best way to find a solution is by talking to people involved. You can speak with any of your teachers or to the Director or Manager of the program at Elwood College. If you still have a problem and have not been able to resolve it or you wish to make a complaint, you can speak with the Principal of the school by making an appointment at the Administration Office. If you wish to make a further complain, you may contact the International Division of the Department of Education and training by calling 9637 2990 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are required to attend all classes and all College activities such as Level Assemblies, International Assemblies, Private Study etc.
If you miss classes or assemblies you will not only miss important information but it is possible that you may not pass the subject if your attendance falls too low.
Elwood College requires that you attend 90% of classes in every subject in order to be eligible to pass that subject.
For your visa, you are required to attend a MINIMUM of 80%. This includes any time you may have away from school due to illness or accident.
When your attendance falls to 90% you will be placed on a contract which checks your attendance regularly. If your attendance falls to 80% you will be reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as breaking the terms of your visa. If this occurs, it is possible that you visa may be cancelled by the Government of Australia and you would then be sent home.
Elwood College provides translated information about the terms of your visa. Please be sure to read and understand clearly the requirements.
Please do not book air tickets outside the required times. We know that air tickets are cheaper but if you miss time from classes then it is possible that you will not pass your subjects and you may also break the terms of your visa.
There are clear requirements from Elwood College which students must meet in order to pass each subject:
- Every piece of work must be completed for each subject
- Teachers must be able to see the student working on set work and be confident that the work has been completed by the student not by another person
- Students must have attended 90% of classes in each subject or they will not automatically pass that subject
If you have a problem with any aspect of your studies:
- Discuss the problem with your class teacher. Remember that there is a translator available at the college to assist you if you are not confident to do this. Inform your counsellor/guardian and/or Mr Spring and Ms Turchina so that she can help if necessary.
- If the problem continues, request a meeting with either Ms Turchina or Mr Spring to discuss the problem. The college will inform your counsellor/welfare supporter.
- If the problem continues a meeting will be arranged with your counsellor/welfare supporter, the teacher concerned and yourself, with either Ms Turchina or Mr Spring to resolve the problem.
You must not take time off school because of a problem which has arisen. It is better to discuss the problem in the early stages when it is easiest to resolve.
You must complete every part of the required work yourself.
If you have a tutor in any subject, you should inform your class teacher so they can work with the tutor to assist you.
IF you have a problem with or want to change your STUDY PROGRAM:
If you have a problem with any of your studies, the best thing you can do is to let the teacher know and to tell one of the International Student Program Staff know about it immediately. If you have not been able to resolve the problem, we will help you speak with the teacher and to complete any work which may be overdue.
If you want to change your study program you should speak with either Ms Turchina or Mr Spring and we will assist you. You may not change your study program by yourself.
If you have a health problem, there are many people who will be able to assist you. One of the teachers at Elwood College can take you to a doctor or to a dentist and we can also help you with translations if that is necessary.
Elwood College is also able to provide assistance with other health matters. Students can be assisted with nutritional health, mental health, personal advice etc and all of this is confidential and free to students.
If you have a problem with any POLICE, OFFICIAL or other MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC:
You should immediately tell one of the International Student Program Staff about your problem, if necessary, using the Emergency Contact telephone numbers. Remember that we are here to help you and you do not need to try to fix the problem by yourself.
You must be sure to co-operate fully with the Police and other Officials. You may ask to see their Identification and you may ask to contact your school/. It is recommended that you should call one of the emergency telephone numbers provided to you so that someone can begin to help you as soon as possible.
There are also Legal services available to International students and you can access these by contacting directly Legal Aid Victoria on 1300 792387 or though their web site: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/contact-us
If you have a problem with any BOOKS, EQUIPMENT or UNIFORM:
Tell one of the International Student Program Staff about your problem and ask for some help.
If you have a problem with a COLLEGE matter:
You should tell someone at the college and also inform your agent or representative if you have one. If you do not feel comfortable about telling someone at the college, you might also want to tell someone at the Department of Education and Training – International Division by calling (03) 96372990.
If you still feel that you have a problem and that it is not able to be resolved, the school promises to appoint an outside person to help you.
If you have a problem of a MONEY or FINANCIAL matter:
If you have a problem with money, credit card, banking or insurance matter, tell either one of the International Student Program Staff, the Business Manager or the Principal. Any of these people will be able to help you with reporting the matter to the Police or in resolving the problem.
Elwood College also has a number of different counsellors available to assist students:
- Careers/Pathways/Further study
- Social welfare counselling
- Sub-school leaders who will be able to give advice about study programs
- Student Welfare Counsellor
CAREERS& COURSE COUNSELLING
Elwood College is fortunate to have the services of an expert in Careers Counselling and Pathways (future study) Counselling. For many years the college has had an excellent reputation for assisting students to gain entry to Universities TAFES and other colleges in Australia and overseas.
The Counsellor can give expert advice on:
- study programs
- required subjects for entry to University or Colleges
- Course of interest at University or other institutions
This service is completely free to all students. The service requires you to make an appointment to speak with the counsellor. If you would like to assistance with this service or you would like one of the International Staff to go with you to the appointment, please advise Ms Turchina or Mr Spring.
International Assemblies are held regularly. Different topics will be discussed each time. Some information will be given out about camps, excursions and other social activities.
Your personal information will also be checked at these assemblies.
International Assemblies are an important part of the College teaching program. All international students are required to attend these assemblies.
Establishing an Australian bank account is easy for International students.
Elwood College can help you to set up an account at a local branch and you will have a card linked to that account in just a few days.
You can use the account for your parents to send you money for your living expenses and the college will be able to send any refunds you might be due directly to your account.
Please ask one of the International Staff if you would like assistance in establishing a bank account.
A critical incident is any incident on-shore (in Australia) or off-shore (in your home country or other country) which has an effect on your health, safety, study program or your visa conditions.
Examples of this might be: an incident in which you have an accident and must miss classes; an incident involving the Victoria Police or Transport Police; a threat made to you or your friends which you feel makes you unsafe; and many others.
If you or your friends are involved in a Critical Incident, please report it immediately to one of the International Staff so that we can give you every assistance necessary to ensure that you are safe and healthy.
Please use the Emergency Telephone numbers on the card you have been given and feel free to call at any time you need assistance with a Critical Incident.
EMERGENCY CONTACT DETAILS
Every International Student receives a small card with 3 Emergency Telephone numbers on it.
Please keep this card in your wallet or another safe place in case you need to call for help.
It is intended that you should call for help at any time if you feel that a situation is not able to be controlled by you or your homestay.
The people on these telephone numbers are available to help you outside school hours, on the weekends and on vacation times. Please remember that it is the role of the International Staff to help you and you can call whenever you feel unsafe, uncertain what to do in a Critical Incident, lost or in need of an adult’s help.
Elwood College offers a wide range of extra activities for International Students. These range from sports coaching to music lessons and social activities.
A number of excursions to locations in Melbourne city or to other parts of Victoria State are included in the program and no charge is made for these activities.
Two camps are included in the program and the college heavily subsidizes these. They include a visit to Sydney, Canberra, Gold Coast or Tasmania as well as an outdoor activity camp. These camps are a part of the teaching program and are compulsory for all International Students. There is a charge of A$250 per person for the interstate camps and $100 per person for Victoria camp. It is expected that International students pay this fee at the time of commencement at Elwood College.
All students, homestays and welfare supporters receive a copy of an Important Dates document. This contains all the important dates for each Term and you should read this and keep it for future reference. This document should also be shown to parents who may be booking a return air ticket for you. The document tells you the exact dates on which you may leave Australia and the dates on which you will need to be back for the commencement of a new term. All students are required to sign a statement to say that they have read and understood the Important Dates document.
Students who are in the care of Elwood College may only travel and stay away from their homestay when parents give the college their permission. Students may only travel within the state of Victoria when travel plans have been approved by the College. Students may only travel on group excursions when the group is made up of students supervised by teachers or approved adults.
Students must complete a copy of a Travel Advice form which is available from the International Office. Students must not travel unless they have completed the forms and given those forms to the International Office at Elwood College.
Students are required to notify Elwood College of their travel plans when they return home at the end of the school year. Please ensure that you have completed the travel information form so that we are aware of your travel movements.
International students who are under 17 years of age are entitled to use a Student Concession ticket on Melbourne Public Transport.
Please be aware that you are required to hold a valid “TOUCH ON” ticket for every journey you take.
If you are travelling on a Student Concession ticket, you must also carry your school ID card to show that you are a full time student.
International Students who are over 17 years of age are required to purchase full fare tickets without Concession.
There are strict penalties for failing to carry to correct ticket. If you have any questions about how to use the Public transport system in Melbourne, you can refer to your ORIENTATION HANDBOOK or speak with one of the International Staff.
Updated February 2018
Department of Education and Training Victoria CRICOS Provider Code 00861k