Courses Overview

You are considering coming to Australia as an international student. English courses for overseas students holding student visas are called ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) courses.

So why do you want to study English? The English language is general recognised as the lingua franca – a language used to communicate between people not sharing the same mother tongue – of international business, science, technology and aviation. Being able to communicate in English effectively can open doors for you.  

There are a number of reasons why you as an international student may choose to study English;

  • out of your own personal interest and to help you to communicate better, perhaps while travelling or socialising;
  • to help improve your employment or career prospects either here in Australia or in your native country when you return home;
  • to may need to reach a standard of English needed to enter further study pathways here in Australia either in the vocational education or higher education sectors

When you start studying English at NSW International English, you will be required to complete a placement test to help us assess your ‘starting’ English level. It is important for you that you join a class that is at your current English level, otherwise it would be either too easy or too difficult for you. 

Regardless of your motivation for studying English, NSW International English has an English program to meet your needs. The table below shows a summary of our current ELICOS programs;

ELICOS ProgramsLevelsDuration
General English



Elementary12 weeks
Intermediate12 weeks
Upper Intermediate12 weeks
IELTS* Preparation 12 weeks

 The next table below shows approximate CEFR scores equivalent to your level. 

CEFR** ScoreGeneral EnglishIELTS Preparation
B1IntermediateIELTS Preparation
B2Upper IntermediateIELTS Preparation


IELTS is the ‘International English Language Testing System’. It is an English test used by governments, universities and many other organisations to measure your English reading, writing, speaking & listening skills. If you have previously completed an IELTS test in your home country or here in Australia, you will have received an IELTS Test Report Form which gives you an IELTS score for the four macro skills, reading, writing, speaking listening and an overall band score.

While students may have completed some form of English test in the past such as an IELTS examination of TOEFL examination it is a condition of your enrolment that you complete a placement test when you arrive at NSW International English.


CEFR means the ‘Common European Framework of Reference’ and it is a set of guidelines used to describe the knowledge and language skills that learners of foreign languages should be able to show at different levels. There is a range of levels from A1 to C2. So your teacher could say to you that your starting English level is B1 for Speaking but only A1 for writing

Now go to the other links in the ‘Our English Courses’ tab to find out more about each course.