International Student Information

The National Theatre Schools accept digital applications from international students. Please see the ‘How To Audition’ pages for more information.

For further information, including course information, costs & additional fees, student visas, overseas health cover, uniform requirements, transport & accommodation in Melbourne, as well as the application process, please download our comprehensive Student Prospectuses:

Information for International students applying for any course at The National Theatre Ballet and Drama Schools

The National Theatre Melbourne is an approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO 3600)  and approved by CRICOS (Provider number 01551E) to deliver training to international students. Your fees are covered by the Tuition Protection Service. Please read the full prospectus to ensure you fully understand your rights as an international student.

The school year runs from February to December. There is currently no mid-year intake. Students unable to attend at the start of the year may need to wait until the following year. 

Applications open around May in the year preceding course commencement. International applications close at the end of November in order for visa approval prior to the start of the course.

Only in exceptional circumstances may a Ballet application be considered after this date. Please contact office@nationaltheatre.org.au for more details. Drama applications cannot be considered if arrival will be later than two weeks into the start of the course.


When applying, you are advised to ensure you know how the visa application process will work. 

Please check your eligibility here 

The government lists step by step how to apply for your visa here

Getting organised is very important as delays may affect your ability to start the course on time.

You will need to check and organise if you need:

  • Evidence of English Ability 5.5 or higher  IELTS or via an equivalent approved test
  • A Health examination
  • OSHC
  • A valid passport
  • Evidence of enough money for your time in Australia – fees and living expenses
  • COVID vaccination meeting Australian requirements

The government website is the best place to get up to date information on all of these things.

We will issue you a CoE – Confirmation of Enrolment  – if successful at the audition stage and you confirm you are enrolling on the course. There is a non-refundable $200 enrolment fee for the processing of all documentation. The CoE is needed as your evidence of your place on the course for your visa application. 

Things to note:

Students under 18 years old must have welfare arrangements in place to ensure they have support while attending the National Theatre Schools. A nominated guardian in Australia will be required to satisfy the National Theatre Schools that the students welfare is safeguarded and the nominated person wiill be noted on their CoE.  

If you need to sit for an English test, please arrange this quickly as the results will be needed for your visa application. Ideally, this has been completed before your audition date.

You will need to get OSHC – Overseas Studnet Health Cover – that starts when you arrive in Australia and covers you for the entire time your visa lasts. This cost is currently approximately AU$500 per year. If you are applying for a 3 year visa, you will need to pay approximately AU$1,500. You will need to ensure your visa covers you for any period you expect to stay after your course ends as this will be the visa end date. You can stay for a maximum of 3 months after your course ends – this is to ensure there is time for any resits or if the course has to be extended. Complete this only once you have been offered a place on a course.

We will not issue a CoE unless you have been successful at the audition stage. You need to complete that process first. When offered a place, you will be sent the enrolment form. Once this is completed, we will issue your CoE.

The prospectus lists the fees and duration of all courses.

Fees are payable in termly instalments. Any student who has not paid their fees by the first day of each term may risk their enrolment status being suspended until they have paid in full.

Once on the course:

There are minimum attendance requirements that may result in your visa being cancelled if you are not attending classes – please check the Attendance Policy for more details.

Your visa is at risk if you are not progressing on the course. Please see the Academic Progress section of the prospectus. 

International Students are allowed to work a maximum of 40 hours in a 2 week period. The Australian government has temporarily relaxed this limit on hours. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they know and comply with the latest regulations.

All policies for students (including International) are accessible via the student handbook or the website.

20 Carlisle St, St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia 3182

Administration Office            61 (3) 9534 0221

International Student Policies

The National Theatre Drama School’s accredited courses are approved to accept international students.

Student visas and visa compliance

International students cannot study in Australia without a valid student visa. Australian student visas are temporary visas that allow study in Australia for a specified period of time at an approved Australian educational institution.

The student visa allows students to stay and re-enter Australia for the duration of their course and work up to 40hrs per fortnight. This restriction is currently relaxed, however, it may be reinstated by 2023. You must not engage in any work before your course of study commences.

You apply for your student visa through the Department of Home Affairs website.

Dependent family members are eligible to apply for a Student Dependent Visa to come to Australia with students. These can be obtained from the Australian High Commission or Embassy. They will require supporting documentation. School-aged dependents accompanying them to Australia will be required to pay full fees if they are enrolled in either a government or non-government school.

International students under the age of 18 on arrival in Australia must have approved legal guardianship, welfare and accommodation arrangements in place. These arrangements are regulated by the Australian government to ensure student safety and wellbeing.

All the information is accessible from the visa website.

To apply for a student visa, you must first have an offer of a place on a course with The National Theatre. See the application process for more details.


Students are required to maintain an 80% attendance whilst attending School. If you are absent, you must notify the school at your earliest convenience. Failure to do so can result in Immigration being advised of your absence, and this can result in cancellation of your student VISA.

Academic progress

If students do not make satisfactory academic progress, they may be reported to the Department of Home Affairs which may lead to the cancellation of their visa. Unsatisfactory academic progress is defined as failing more than 50% of units in any two consecutive study periods (one study period equals one term). A failure in more than 50% of units in one study period will trigger a review of academic progress by The National Theatre and the implementation of an intervention strategy.

Failing a unit means being assessed as ‘Not Yet Competent (NYC)’ for a completed unit. In order to have the best chance of maintaining satisfactory progress you must:

  • Attend all theory and practical classes and pay attention to the work and activities undertaken in class;
  • Study the theory and practice the skills that are taught in class;
  • Ensure that you are present for all assessment activities scheduled by the teachers;
  • Make an appointment with the director of your school if you are having any difficulties with your studies.

In addition to the above minimum requirement, The National will implement procedures to begin an intervention strategy when your teachers think you may be in danger of not meeting the requirements.

Counselling and intervention may be triggered by any of the following events:

  • Failing key units in a study period
  • Failing two or more core units in any study period

If students fail to meet the requirements of satisfactory course progress, they will be reported to The Department of Home Affairs.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is a health insurance that covers the cost of medical and hospital care, which international students must have while in Australia for the duration of their course of study. OSHC will also pay for most prescription drugs and emergency ambulance transport. The OSHC premium cover must be paid before a student visa is issued and must cover the entire period of the student visa. Further details will be supplied to students who gain a place on a course.

Change of address

Upon arriving in Australia, you are required to advise the National Theatre Ballet School of your residential address and telephone number and of any subsequent changes to your residential address.

It is extremely important that students notify The National Theatre of a change of address as, under Section 20 of the ESOS Act, The National Theatre is obliged to serve a notice at your last known address if you breach a student visa condition relating to attendance or academic performance. The National Theatre may also send warning notices to you which are aimed at helping prevent breaches of your visa conditions.

As per the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) update, international students are required to update their current address at least every six months. It is your responsibility and in your own interests to provide details at The National Theatre to ensure you receive important information about your course, fees and possible breaches of your student visa.

Personal living expenses

It is important that all students are aware they must be able to cover their living costs as well as their tuition fees and any other expenses whilst in Australia. The Migration Regulations require international students to show evidence of funds to contribute to the cost of living and studying in Australia.

While students are allowed to undertake part-time work to subsidise their living expenses they must not rely on work to meet all their expenses.

The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia.   Refer to the step by step Student Visa Subclass 500 application and

Document Checklist Tool for details on how to provide the evidence required to cover the costs of your stay, including your travel, study and living expenses.

As of October 2019, the 12-month living costs are:

  • For students or guardians – AU 0$21,041
  • For partners coming with you – AUD$7,362
  • For a child coming with you – AUD$3,152

See https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/english/live/living-costs for more details.

It is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 18 to attend school and pay school tuition fees. If you have children that would be also coming to Australia, childcare costs also need to be considered. For further information, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs Immigration website.

Tax file number

If you wish to work while studying in Australia, you will need to have a tax file number (TFN). This ensures that the correct amount of tax is deducted from your earnings. It also allows you to claim a refund at the end of the financial year (30 June). Most students who work part-time are eligible for a refund. For more details and to apply for a TFN visit the ATO website.

English requirements

The National Theatre Melbourne courses are delivered in English.

Students must be able to demonstrate they have achieved an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) of level 5.5 or a TOEFL score of 46 or above(Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam in their home country to prove their English language proficiency.

Esos framework

The Australian Government wants overseas students to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia’s laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students.

These laws are known as the ESOS framework and they include the Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Act 2000, and the National Code 2018. ABC Training Pty Ltd is governed by the ESOS framework and is committed to fulfilling its obligations under the Act. For full description of ESOS Framework please refer to: https:// internationaleducation.gov.au/Regulatory-lnformation/ Pages/ Regulatoryinformation.aspx

The National Theatre acknowledges its legal obligations under State and Federal equal opportunity law, including:

  • The Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Cth)
  • The Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth)
  •   The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  •   The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)
  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
  •   The Privacy Act 1998 (Cth)

Information on International students’ rights and obligations can be found at the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/

International student deferral, suspension or cancellation policy

The school under extreme circumstances may defer, suspend or cancel the enrolment of a student. The National Theatre’s Ballet and Drama Schools deferment policy for International Students gives full details of what is acceptable as a reason for deferment. The grounds for consideration would be compassionate or compelling circumstances beyond the control of the student and which have an impact on the student’s capacity and or ability to progress through a course. Evidence of compassionate and compelling circumstances will be required. The deferral of studies is for a maximum of 12 months. Defer requests must be submitted in writing and have supporting evidence.

In line with Standard 9 of the National Code, grounds for suspension or cancellation of the overseas student’s enrolment include but are not limited to:

  • misbehaviour by the student;
  •   the student’s failure to pay an amount that he or she was required to pay
  •   or a breach of course progress or attendance requirements by the overseas student which must occur in accordance with Standard 8 (Overseas student visa requirements).

Refund policy – international students

In the unlikely event that the National Theatre Melbourne is unable to deliver your course in full,  you will be offered a refund of all the course money you have paid to date. Or, where applicable you may be offered enrolment in another National Theatre course at no extra cost to you. You have the right to choose whether you would like to transfer courses or accept a full refund. You will be required to sign a document accepting the refund or course transfer prior to any action being taken.

Where The National Theatre Melbourne is unable to provide you with a refund or place you in a suitable course, the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will attempt to place you in another course or provide you with a full refund.

You are able to request a refund for tuition fees paid in advance based on The National Theatre’s Course Refund Policy. All applications need to be made in writing.

You are able to request a refund for tuition fees based on The National Theatre’s Course Refund Policy. All applications need to be made in writing.

Drama Refund Request