All you need to know about English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students ( ELICOS)

The English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) is Government regulated in Australia. It is designed and developed to allow speakers of English as second language to develop their knowledge in English language mostly to continue their academic pursuits in Australia.

ELICOS comes under ESOS ACT (The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000) . The act establishes legislative requirements and standards for the quality assurance of education and training institutions offering courses to international students who are in Australia on a student visa. This act specifies what is required from ELICOS providers to maintain their registration as an ELICOS provider. The Department of Education and Training is responsible for the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)


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English language training colleges or institutions usually have a well-developed support system for international students and takes care of the reception, orientation and initial accommodation needs of the students.

ELICOS courses can be undertaken by students in student visa, working holiday visa or tourist visa. But there is a limit for the duration of study depending on your visa. Tourist visa holder are permitted to study for a maximum of three months and working holiday visa holders upto 4 months. If you wish to undertake a course longer than that, you should apply for a student visa.

ELICOS courses can be taken up as standalone courses but a majority of the students take up ELICOS courses as a pathway for entry into university course or VET courses

ELICOS students on student visa are covered by the ESOS Act but those on tourist visa and working holiday visas are not covered by ESOS Act.

Visa Requirements

Student visa (subclass 500) allows you to stay in Australia to study full-time in a recognised education institution. Details about the application process will be found in this link.

Tuition costs

The tuition expenses for ELICOS courses can change depending on the providers.  Generally, tuition fee range from AUD$250 to AUD$350 per week for courses that involve 25 hours of tuition per week.

ELICOS course providers

The list of ELICOS providers can be accessed from this webpage.

How to apply for ELICOS in Australia

Apply directly to the school

 The list of English schools with links can be found in this web page. Apply directly to the school as per their individual web pages.

ELICOS Centres are accredited by either TEQSA or ASQA and are outside the Australian Qualification Framework. There are a wide range or ELICOS courses designed to satisfy the need of students. Generally, the duration of full time ELICOS course may range from 4 to 48 weeks. Courses are available for pupil of any proficiency level – from beginners to advanced. The courses are designed in such a way that students can join at any time during the year and usually comprises of at least 20 hours of study.

Types of English Training

General English – This course is designed to improve English language skills for travel and work purposes. The course focuses on communication skills with emphasis on speaking and listening.

English for Academic Purposes –  This course is designed for those who want to study in an Australian School, vocational college or university.

Secondary School Preparation – these programs are designed to develop speaking, listening and writing skills. The course also helps student familiarise with the teaching methodologies of secondary schools.

Examination Preparation – This course is designed to prepare you to appear for exams such as IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, or the Cambridge First Certificate

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) – These courses are designed to meet specific student needs for English proficiency like technical or business English proficiency. They are usually designed specifically for a small group of students with similar needs.

You may also find information from this website about ELICOS –



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