Information about student exchange programs for schools

What you need to know

Exchange students are international secondary students who:

  • are undertaking an exchange program of between 29 days and one year
  • hold a subclass 500 student visa
  • present an Advice and Acceptance of a Secondary Exchange Student form (AASES form) to the school on arrival.

Victorian schools should only enrol exchange students from SEOs we approve. We approve schools, community and private not-for-profit organisations as SEOs.

For a full list of approved SEOs, see:

If you have concerns about whether an organisation is approved, please contact us on (03) 9032 1539 or email

Accepting an exchange student is at the principal's discretion. In deciding, principals may consider:

  • the availability of student places
  • appropriate timing of the program
  • support required
  • whether resources are available to offer a satisfactory program to the student.

Schools do not need approval to host students on a cultural visit provided the international students are:

  • undertaking a short-term visit only
  • hold a visitor visa for Australia
  • visiting for less than 28 days in a government school or less than 12 weeks in a Catholic or independent school.

Schools that have an established sister-school relationship with an overseas school may wish to apply to us as an SEO. This arrangement allows schools to expand their school-to-school exchange programs and offer opportunities for up to year-long student exchanges.

For more information about becoming an SEO, see:

Schools that are approved SEOs are able to host students through other student exchange organisations. In such cases, responsibility for reciprocity and student welfare remain with the SEO arranging the exchange, and not the hosting school.

Enrolling an exchange student

There are some general steps to enrolling an exchange student.

Step 1: An SEO will contact a school to request permission from the principal to enrol an exchange student for a specific exchange program and exchange period.

Step 2: Once the school agrees to the enrolment period, the SEO will provide the relevant information about the exchange student, including their Victorian host family and the contact details for the organisation's local coordinator.

Step 3: On arrival at the school, the exchange student (and/or the representative of the organisation) will provide a copy of the student's Acceptance Advice of Secondary Exchange Student (AASES) form.

Step 4: The school completes Part D of the AASES form, keeps a copy of the AASES form on the student's school file, and provides a copy to the exchange organisation.