A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Marion, South Australia
Early Learning to Year 12

International Students

Westminster School welcomes International students of all nationalities and faiths who wish to experience the excellent standards of education, high-level integrated technology, and various opportunities to develop academic skills in friendly, safe, multicultural communities.

We offer an extensive range of subjects, foreign languages, sports, outdoor education, creative arts, music, leadership, and exchange programs around the world. We also provide individual learning plans and support to International students in order to ensure not only their academic progress, but also their physical safety and emotional wellbeing.

Westminster School is very proud of the academic success that International students have achieved over many years and most of them continue their tertiary education at internationally recognised universities in Australia, England, America, Japan or China.

Westminster School is located in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. The school is an Early Learning Centre to Year 12, coeducational, day and boarding school. The school has approximately 1100 students in total and each year Westminster School has approximately 40 International students enrolled across our Preparatory and Senior Schools.

Westminster School has strong communication links with the parents of current and graduated International students. The Principal, Mr Simon Shepherd, regularly travels to many Asian and European countries to meet International students and their families.

As a part of the International Student Program, the International Student Coordinator hosts the Overseas Parents Meeting in major cities in China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam. This is a great opportunity for parents to find out how their child develops learning and interpersonal skills, both on and off campus.

For more information about being an International Student at Westminster, please read our International Student Handbook.

WESTBridge

The WESTBridge Program is an intensive English course for newly-arrived International students, designed to prepare for a successful transition to mainstream classes. Students study with a specialist EAL (English as an Additional Language) teacher, in a small class, to provide individual attention.

Depending on the student’s initial English level and the level required for their academic study, students spend 10 to 20 weeks developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken English. The course has a specific focus on the development of grammar, vocabulary, and English pronunciation. Students construct a range of texts, and develop research skills appropriate for Senior Secondary education. English language learning encompasses major subject areas, including Mathematics, Science, and Societies and the Environment.

While studying in the WESTBridge program, students are in the safe and supportive Westminster School environment, and have opportunities to participate in the life of the School community. They are in a tutor group, participate in Health and Physical Education classes, and often join sports teams, music groups, or other extra-curricular activities.

Entry requirements: Academic results and English proficiency test results. An intensive English program is not required if students have achieved an AEAS Assessment of Advanced Stanine 7.

Academic Achievement

International students who have graduated from Westminster School have flourished in their chosen fields, often in Law, Medicine, Engineering, Commerce, Computing, and the Creative Arts. As a School we enjoy hearing news of current students and Old Scholars who are making a positive contribution at Westminster and other universities.

Outstanding Year 12 SACE Results are produced by many International students (listed only recently graduated students):

  • Wenfei YAN: ATAR 98.60
  • Tingting Hu: ATAR 99.1
  • Tung Ngok Li: ATAR 93.10
  • Cong Liu: ATAR 94.30
  • Feixu Zou: ATAR 97.5
  • Salman Junejo: ATAR 96.75
  • Hussein Al Hammad: ATAR 92.30
  • Yourong Zhang: ATAR 92.60

International students at Westminster School have demonstrated strong mathematical skills through their scholarship applications or various Mathematics competitions:

  • Chenhao Suo achieved Distinction in a highly competitive Mathematics competition
  • Hanching Ren won the Mathematics Scholarship at Westminster School
  • Kai Xiang ranked in the top 0.3% in the Westpac Mathematics Competition
  • Yourong Zhang received the Lawrence and Haese Medal for outstanding achievement in Mathematics

International students at Westminster have also demonstrated their various talents in Foreign Languages, Fashion, Art and Music:

  • Hounjeong Lim won second place in the APEX Australia Teenagers Fashion Competition in South Australia in 2010
  • Ji Hyea Han won first place in the APEX Australia Teenagers Fashion Competition in South Australia in 2011
  • Ruiting Yun won the Music Scholarship at Westminster School
  • Linh Nguyen achieved the Merit Award in Stage 2 French Continuers
  • Dabin Seol achieved the Merit Award in Stage 2 Japanese Continuers

Westminster School aims to provide opportunities for International students to achieve more than they thought possible. This is the evidence that all International students are achieving their full potential at Westminster School.

Student Services

The International Student Coordinator oversees the International Students program and supports all International students at school. Ruifang Huang understands the concern of parents, and the special needs of International students living away from home in a different cultural setting. She provides various events to encourage International students to achieve their full potential in all areas of their lives. Her language ability helps parents, students, and staff communicate without a language barrier.

Key Points of the International Students Program

  • WESTBridge Program: Newly-arrived International students attend the WESTBridge Program to prepare for a successful transition to mainstream classes with a specialist EAL (English as an additional language) teacher.
  • Orientation Program: New students who are not from the WESTBridge Program attend a five-day orientation program prior to commencing at Westminster. The program is designed to help new International students settle quickly and make the most of many opportunities that exist at school. At the conclusion of the Orientation Program, students will know their subjects, teachers, facilities and classrooms, and where they can get help when they are not sure about anything at school.
  • English as a Second Language Support Program: EAL teachers understand that International students put enormous effort into developing their communication skills in English. We offer EAL classes as a part of our normal curriculum and International students receive individual academic support from the EAL teacher across the curriculum.
  • Outstanding Pastoral Care through our House System: Students are assigned to a House, and are matched with a Tutor. The teacher in charge of a House knows about many aspects of every student in their House. Students and a Head of House will have regular meetings to discuss school life, educational goals, happiness, and other more routine and social issues.
  • Leadership Program: Students are encouraged to develop leadership qualities in all areas of their life. We encourage independence in preparation for their schooling and their future. There are many opportunities for leadership: Sport, Performing Arts, International experiences, Tours, Community Services, School Leadership positions in all year levels, House System, and the Captain of International Students.
  • Career Counselling: Westminster School provides career education, work experience, and advice on subject selection and university entrance.
  • Other services: Reception on arrival in Adelaide, Overseas Student Health Cover, Homestay Accommodation, Visa advice and so on.

Accommodation

As Westminster is a Day and Boarding School, we welcome International students into our outstanding boarding house. Our boarding precinct is a leader in the State with our Boarding staff trained to take care of our international student community, providing them with a supportive and caring living environment.

Homestay options are available, however we prefer that our students lived within our School community, giving them access to our beautiful grounds and providing an integrated living and study environment.

Boarding House

The Westminster School Boarding House welcomes students from Years 7 to 12 from a diverse range of backgrounds and a large population of Australian country students. Our Boarding provides modern facilities and a welcoming ‘family’ atmosphere with a dedicated team of experienced, professional, and supportive staff. The boarding experience gives international students the chance to build life-long friendships with fellow students from very diverse backgrounds, both in regional and rural Australia and other countries. This mixing of cultures and life experiences provides all with opportunities for meaningful interactions.

Homestay Information

International students perform better in school when they live in a supportive and caring family environment. Westminster School carefully selects Australian host families, who provide a safe and secure environment for students living away from their own homes.

The host families are expected to provide full board and appropriate care and supervision to the age of the student. The host families also help International students to adjust to the Australian culture and lifestyle, assist with language, and support their learning program.

Westminster School works with the homestay placement agency, Happy Homestay Adelaide. The Homestay Program is closely monitored by the International Student Coordinator and the Homestay Coordinators of Happy Homestay Adelaide. Happy Homestay Adelaide does its best to fulfil the requests of International students as closely as possible and makes regular visits to host families and international students to help them achieve their full potential in all areas of their lives.

Enrolment Information

Westminster is a great School for International students. Listed below are the steps required to enrol.

Enrolment steps

  1. Read the website in detail. View the International section, as well as Preparatory and Senior School, and our Facilities.
  2. Email any questions you have to Darin Betro.
  3. Email us your completed application form, an AEAS report and a copy of the last two school reports/transcripts OR contact one of our agents if there is one in your country/region and have them send the application to us.
  4. Westminster School will then assess your application, and if we accept, Westminster School sends you an offer/invoice letter.
  5. You then deposit the invoice amount into our account and return the signed acceptance letter.
  6. We then issue a Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) and Welfare Letter (CAAW).
  7. You then use the CoE and CAAW to get your student visa.

Following this will be a series of steps to complete. Our International Student Coordinator will guide you through this post-enrolment process to ensure a smooth transition into Westminster School.

Please download the following document for more information about our Current International Agents.

Student applications are received by email and assessed according to the following steps.

For each application:

Step 1

When a school transcript is received with an Australian Education Assessment Service (AEAS) report, the AEAS report will be assessed first. There will be a specific recommendation in the AEAS report relating to the number of weeks required for ELICOS before mainstream school is undertaken. The report will also indicate the student's level in English language proficiency, general ability and mathematical reasoning.

Westminster School only accepts students who achieve a minimum language and academic level. In addition, we will welcome students with a positive attitude to learning.

Step 2

If the student's AEAS assessment is above average and we have received a copy of the student's report, the school transcript will now be assessed. The level or band of the student's school will also influence if the student's report is acceptable - for example, at a Band 1 Hong Kong school, an English subject result of at least 65%, an Average Subject result of at least 65% and a class ranking that places the student in the top half of the class will be satisfactory; however, in a lower band school, the student's results may need to be an English subject result of at least 80%, an Average Subject result of at least 80% and a class ranking that places the student in the top third of the year level.

If the school report and school band read together are considered to meet the minimum acceptable requirements, then move to Step 3.

Step 3

Check the school report for any behavioral issues, negative teacher comments, or attendance issues. If any of these are negative, the student may not be accepted. If the student's school report comments are considered acceptable, move to Step 4.

Step 4

Check if there are any special circumstances that also need to be considered - for example, a trusted longstanding agent strongly recommends the student or the student is young in a low year level or has a specific interest in a non-core curriculum area like arts, sports, outdoors, agriculture etc. If there are special circumstances that should be considered, a slightly lower level academic performance may be accepted (as determined in Step 2).

Step 5

An interview is conducted by the International Student Coordinator.