Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains the most commonly asked questions among potential and enrolled students. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please don’t hesitate to contact our Admissions and Student Support team for a prompt response.

General Information

You should get in touch with our helpful Admissions staff who can guide you through our admissions process. They can be contacted on 1800 870 532 or by email enquiry@hcla.edu.au.

You can also apply through our global network of partner agents.

Campus tours and appointments to speak with our staff can be arranged on request. Please contact us on 1800 870 532 to book a tour.

Many courses we offer are run year-round, with new intakes every week. This is what we call flexible entry and enables you to choose when and for how long you wish to study. Please be mindful however that if you intend to complete further studies in Australia or package your visa, you should seek further advice from our admissions team before committing to a program of study.

This very much depends upon the student; every student is unique, in general terms however students would be expected to progress from one English level to the next every 10-12 weeks on average. In most classes, you will undergo regular testing in class with you teacher and this can provide you with the opportunity that you are ready to go up a level. In-class testing is important as it also provides regular feedback to you in your learning progress.

We offer many opportunities for you to make friends in a social setting on campus. Some such activities and events include:

  • Sporting clubs
  • Cultural activities
  • Day trips
  • Weekend excursions
  • Surf Camps
  • Social Activities
  • Student parties
  • Job Preparation Workshops
  • Student Council
  • Graduations
  • Conversation Club

Our activities calendar is changing every month, so contact Reception for the latest information.

We love to hear any feedback, ideas or suggestions from students regarding activities.

We have a full suite of computers on campus in our specially designed computer labs. We also have campus wi-fi that students can use if you prefer to bring your own device. Ask at Reception for the wi-fi details.

Students of HCLA must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of eCoE issuance and course commencement. The admissions team will not issue any Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) Letters for student visa purposes as per company policy.

Visas, Rules and Regulations

If you only wish to study for a short period of time, a working holiday or tourist visa may be suitable for you. If you wish to study for more than twelve (12) weeks, generally you may need to look at a student visa (subclass 500). A different visa type may better suit your circumstances however. For the latest visa information, you should always refer to Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or your nearest Australian embassy or consulate.

You can also seek advice through our global network of partner agents.

For some of our English programs offered, this is a possibility. Health Careers Language Academy has relationships with both Institute of Health and Nursing Australia (IHNA) for vocational courses and Institute of Health and Management (IHM) for higher education programs.

We are always developing new articulation agreements with popular destination schools, please contact our admissions team for more information. Although many of our students come from a health or nursing background, many go on to work and study in other fields.

Remember that you still need to formally apply for admission to your intended destination school, be offered a place there, meet their other course entrance requirements (such as prior academic qualifications, submission of a portfolio or interview) and pay some of their tuition fees.

Health Careers Language Academy will help you with the English language proficiency aspect.

You will be expected to attend at least a minimum of 80% of your classes. Your class teacher will monitor your attendance regularly. If your attendance is dropping, you will receive verbal and written notice from the college. Please refer to the Attendance policy for further details.

It is important to remember that if you are suffering from genuine illness you should get a medical certificate from your doctor and give this to your teacher.

In the event you are unable to complete your course in the expected timeframe, there may be circumstances where you may need to extend your course and visa. To extend your visa, you will need to show/take the following to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection:

  1. Your Overseas Student Health Cover that is current with proof of your health cover card and/or receipt of payment.
  2. A medical examination in the past twelve months (some countries only);
  3. International students are required to demonstrate and/or declare that they have genuine access to sufficient funds to cover their expenses for their stay in Australia.
  4. Copies of:
  • Confirmation of Enrolment letter from HCLA;
  • Amended electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) from our admission team which shows an extension to your completion date.

Online visa application information can be found at http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Onli

It is a standard condition of a student visa to be enrolled in a full-time course. A full-time course means at least 20 contact hours in class per week (except at approved holiday times). As a student, you prove to immigration that you are enrolled in such a course by providing them with an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) that the college will provide to enrolled students. College staff create the eCoE for you through a government computer system called PRISMS. If you are a student visa holder, you need to ensure that you have an active eCoE from a registered provider.

If you withdraw from your course, default on student fees, or your attendance drops too low, this can result in cancellation of your CoE and therefore may result in cancellation of your student visa as well. Therefore, the college must be strict on things like attendance. I encourage you to chat with our Student Services Officer or Admissions Officer if you have additional questions in this area.

Note: not all courses can be issued with an eCoE; such as some of the exam preparation courses (IELTS Preparation, OET Preparation).

Holding appropriate medical insurance is a requirement for student visa holders. The correct insurance is called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) and there are several approved Australian government providers of this available. The college can arrange this on your behalf (invoiced with your offer) or you can arrange this by yourself.

You can usually apply to get single cover, couple cover of multi-family cover.

Our preferred provider is Allianz, however you may choose to contact and arrange your policy with any of the following providers:

Please note that there are exceptions to the rule however; you do not need OSHC if you are:

  • A Norwegian student covered by the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme;
  • A Swedish student covered by the National Board of Student Aid or by Kammarkollegiet;
  • A Belgian student covered under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia

If the visa granted states that overseas medical insurance is required for compliance, then OSHC is compulsory for you.

On some other visa types (other than a student visa), you may be eligible to apply for Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC). Do not get OVHC if you hold a student visa.

Further Study

Every TAFE, university and private college will have minimum English language proficiency requirements that they expect their students to meet at course commencement. English requirements may be different for each of the courses they run. Some courses such as a Bachelor of Nursing may have higher English requirements than for example a Bachelor of Business. Such requirements are also determined in part by professional registration requirements with Australian government bodies.

Most admission departments will request that you provide them with your English test results (such as IELTS, OET, TOEIC) when you submit an application to study with them. If you wish to avoid sitting such a test, you should if they have any articulation agreements in place.

Before Arrival

Your first day on campus will consist of your Orientation and for some students, an English Placement Test as well. The test will tell us your areas of strength and areas of improvement and will help us to allocate you to an appropriate class. It will also enable your class teacher to give you feedback and work with you on key areas of focus. Orientation will give you a general introduction to the rules, requirements and expectations of students on campus. You will receive important information regarding who to contact for support, safety information and what to do in an emergency. Attendance at orientation is compulsory and it is very important that you attend.

Finding a job

All students who intend to get a job and work in Australia must to apply for an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) from the Tax Office.

A tax file number (TFN) is a unique number issued to individuals and organisations to help the Tax Office administer tax and other Australian Government systems. It is one of the most important forms of identification in Australia. A TFN will help you to do the following:

  • lodge a tax return
  • ask the Tax Office about your tax affairs
  • start or change jobs

For further information, please visit the ATO website.

International students work in a wide variety of industries in Australia. Most commonly, international students can be found working in the following areas:

  • Hospitality sector
  • Construction sector
  • Retail and customer services sectors
  • Nursing and care sector

As you are here to improve your English, it may be worthwhile to consider looking at jobs that involve a good degree of customer interaction and people skills (compared to say a back-office data entry type role). This helps improve your English level and gives you an opportunity to practice what you learn in class and gain confidence in using English in your daily life.

You need to have work rights attached to your visa to work in Australia. You should check your visa conditions on the immigration Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

Our helpful Student Services Officer can assist you with general careers advice and point you in the right direction. We also run regular workshops on campus to assist you with things like:

  • Preparing a resume/C. V
  • Interview techniques and practice
  • Confidence building when interviewing in English
  • Choosing appropriate attire for a job interview
  • Australian business culture and etiquette

Most job seekers find work in Australia through job websites such as:

This is just a small sample of many websites available on the internet.

Enrolled students

An approved holiday or ‘leave of absence’ can be taken in some circumstances. You will need to formally apply for this and it needs to go through a formal approval process. It may be granted taking into consideration some of the following important things:

  • The end date of your current student visa
  • Your intended course start date at your destination school (if you intend to do further study at another institution such as IHNA, IHM, TAFE or university)
  • Your attendance history
  • Your course progression and academic history
  • Exceptional or unexpected circumstances

Please talk to your Course Co-ordinator or our Student Services Officer at Reception to discuss further.

Please speak to our Admissions Officer or Student Service Officer if you intend to withdraw, extend or change course. They will guide you to the correct forms to complete and talk you through the required processes.

Withdrawing from your course may have implications for your visa or affect your progression to further study (if you have packaged your course). You should also seek advice regarding possible refunds (if any applicable under the Refund policy).

Extending your course is possible if need required, you would normally be invoiced for additional tuition and other fees in such circumstances and you may need a new eCoE.

Changing your English course may be needed upon receiving appropriate academic advice. This may involve paying a tuition ‘upgrade’ fee if the new course costs significantly more than your existing program of study. You may also need to be issued with a new eCoE.

In all the above circumstances, appropriate academic advice will be sought and you will be counselled by support staff. It is advised to be familiar all HCLA’s policies in these areas.

If you change your address, email or telephone number, you need to notify the college within seven (7) days. Please see college reception.

You should first talk with your class teacher and let him or her know that you are having an issue. If this does not resolve the problem, you can also speak to the Course Co-ordinator and seek further advice.

How do I open a bank account?

It is highly recommended for you to open a bank account when you arrived in Australia if you intend to stay for more than a few weeks. The big banks in Australia are:

To open a bank account, you usually need to provide ‘100 points’ of identification that prove your identity. Points of identification are normally calculated by providing the following documents to the bank:

  • Birth Certificate
    Citizenship Certificate
70 points You can only get points for one item in this section
  • Drivers Licence (full / probationary / learner)
    Shooters Licence
    Public Service Employee ID card
    Commonwealth or State Government financial entitlement card (e.g. Pension card)
40 points These cards must have a photograph or signature
  • Land Rates
35 points Applies to home buyers or owners only
  • Any card on which your name appears:
    Medicare card
    Credit Card (only 1 per institution)
    Store Account card
    Video Store Card
    Library Card
    Union Card
25 points
  • Documents on which your name and address appear:
    Car registration
    Utility bill
    Rental receipts
    Records of another financial institution showing you’ve been a member for 12 months or more
25 points

Government regulations

The delivery of courses to international students in Australia is governed by a comprehensive framework of laws that are designed to protect students’ rights and responsibilities, and the integrity of the Australian visa system (also called the ESOS Framework). Students are also expected to meet minimum standards of behaviour, attendance, academic performance and the conditions of their visa.

The key government rules that govern delivery of courses to international students include:

  • The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act
  • The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (National Code)
  • The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) Standards

For more detailed information regarding the ESOS Framework you can visit this government website.

All education providers in Australia that enrol international students must register with the Australian government on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The CRICOS register can be found at this website.

Tuition fees are part of the fees you pay when you accept an offer to study at HCLA. Tuition fees are those directly related to the delivery of your course. Other types of fees invoiced may include (but not limited to) application fees, accommodation fees, placement fees, materials or printing fees.

You would have received an itemised invoice as part of your offer to study at HCLA. You would have also agreed to pay said fees (upfront or in instalments) when you accept an offer to study. Failure to make payment of outstanding fees as agreed (this is called student default) may result in termination of your enrolment and may have consequences for your student visa.

In the unlikely event that an education provider in Australia is unable to deliver a course to students (this is called provider default), the Australian government has strong protections in place to protect students’ unspent tuition fees or provide assistance to find an alternative course. This only covers tuition fees, not other fees such as accommodation.

This system is called the Tuition Protection Service (TPS). If you require more information about the TPS, please refer to their website.

I have a complaint that I would like raise, can I get assistance?

If you are unhappy and dissatisfied with any aspect of your course, with the campus or with staff members at HCLA, you have a right to make a complaint.

You have a right to have your complaint kept private, especially if it is about another HCLA staff member.

If the staff member you speak to is unable to resolve your complaint, they will ask your permission to tell the Course Coordinator, Principal Administrator or another staff member. You can have someone with you when you discuss your complaint with staff members; you don’t have to do it on your own.

You will be told the outcome of your complaint in writing and a staff member will help you read it if you ask them to. If you are unhappy with the outcome of any decision process you have the right to appeal.

In the event you are unable to resolve any serious issues and complaints internally through our complaints and appeals processes, the Australian government has in place the Overseas Student Ombudsman.