Overseas Students

The best of both worlds

Do you fancy an adventure, going away as far as Australia? Are you interested in an academically high standard of education? Are you internationally minded? Would you love to be part of a community rich in cultures, backgrounds and languages? Would you like to learn and live at least two languages in an authentic environment? Do you mind spending 6 to 12 (or even 24) months away from home?

Studying at the German International School Sydney 

If your answer to all the questions above is yes, then the German International School Sydney (GISS) may be just right for you. We are an international school situated on Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches; where you can find kilometres of beaches along with dense bushland while being only 40 minutes away from centre of Sydney. 

GISS offers a bilingual education in both English and German. Up to Year 10 the school’s own curriculum combines the content and requirements of both the NSW curriculum as well as the curriculum of the German State Thüringen. In Years 11 and 12 we offer the worldwide highly recognised International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

More information about studying at our school can be found in our school handbook

Individual Care

It is part of the school’s overseas students’ policy that all enrolled overseas students (students studying on a student visa and their parents staying overseas) live in Oz Homestay approved families. This includes students  over 18 years of age. These overseas students are supervised by our school’s counsellor Ulrike Miehle, a trained social worker and CAS coordinator in our IB Diploma Programme. To find appropriate student accommodation GISS works in close cooperation with an agency called Oz Homestay to ensure that individual needs are met and the right host family is found. Students under 15 years of age have to live with close friends or members of the student’s family. This ‘parent’s nominated home stay’ needs to be registered, checked and approved by the agency, in order to meet welfare and visa regulations.

Host families are the student’s guardians, which includes parental duties such as monitoring student’s homework, taking students on outings, helping them to become familiar with the local area and the Australian life. The students are expected to act responsibly and to understand that they are here to respect and discover a different culture and are encouraged to maintain open communication with their host families, the agency and our student counsellor.

Broaden your horizons and come home bilingual 

„Many students broaden their horizons significantly when they spend a year abroad and seem to appreciate their family much more. Not only do the students return home bilingual, but also responsible and self confident, often with an international approach to life.” She warns each student that an exchange year abroad is not the answer to solving problems at home. “Students need to want to have this year abroad for themselves, they also need to have a spirit of adventure and curiosity”.

Ulrike Miehle

The International Baccalaureate (IB) opens doors to Universities worldwide 

GISS offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Years 11 and 12. Upon completion, the IB Diploma enables graduates to apply for any university worldwide. The IB subject selection can be designed bilingually by choosing subjects German, Biology and/or History in German. The IBDP runs over a two year period which is why students have to enrol for two years.

More information is available here.

Advantages of a High School Year (or half year) at the German International School Sydney:

  • Bilingual education: Choice of teaching language for certain subjects; Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) applies for all subjects taught in either only German or English. Creation of a fully bilingual timetable is possible and very common.
  • International approach: students with over 20 nationalities, several different native tongues, a curriculum that includes a German and the NSW curriculum, worldwide highly regarded IB Diploma Programme.
  • Australian influence and consideration of individual needs is ensured by carefully selected host families through Oz Homestay.
  • Additional language lessons in Spanish and/or French are available.
  • In their spare time, students can participate in typical Australian sports such as cricket or rugby or even try surfing lessons.

Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) sets out the legal framework governing delivery of education to international students in Australia on a student visa. More information is available here.