FCE, CAE Cambridge Exam Preparation Course in Australia
Duration: 10 or 12 weeks
Program Start: Specific dates (see the “Key Points” panel)
Tuition: From AU$320/wk (depends on intensity)
Student Status: not required for applying
Participants from: All countries
When to apply: Min 2 months before start
Paid: n/a, parallel paid job allowed
The First Certificate in English (FCE) and the Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) will empower you to follow any academic course at university level, communicate effectively at managerial and professional level, participate with confidence in workplace meetings or academic seminars, carry out complex research, and express yourself as an individual.
You will have not one, but two expert teachers, experienced in Cambridge Examination Preparation! Small numbers of students are guaranteed in all classes of these courses. For 12 weeks, you will be working together in a group of students with a common goal. The course is highly structured and you will get lots of opportunities for practice tests to get perfectly prepared for your exam!
Combine with workplace practice
Practice your newly acquired language skills in real life by being placed in a company in Sydney. Organized in areas such as marketing, accounting, engineering, finance etc.
Combine with paid work
Most students work in cafes, fast-food and restaurants making about AU$10-AU$18 per hour. Check our “Financial Guide” on the “How it works” panel.
- 10 to 12 weeks
When to apply:
- At least 2 months prior to your desired program start date.
- Intensive English Course – 20 hrs/wk
- Super Intensive English Course – 25 hrs/wk
Course dates 2013:
- From January 7 to March 15, from March 18 to June 7, from June 10 to August 16, from September 9 to November 29
- If you are a Super Intensive student, your classes will start at 1:30 pm on the first day (Monday) after the Orientation.
- If you are an Intensive student, your classes will start at 8:30 am on Tuesday.
Australian Public Holidays 2013:
- 1 Jan, 28 Jan, 29 Mar, 1 Apr, 25 Apr, 10 Jun, 5 Aug, 7 Oct, 25-26 Dec
Orientation Day after Arrival:
- Monday: morning students arrive 8:15 AM, evening students arrive 3:30 PM.
- Bring: passport and a passport photo.
- Receive: Student Orientation Book, Sydney Map, CityRail Network Map, Activities Flyers.
- Interview and written test: to assess your English level.
- Enrolment agreement and student card: you’ll sign them.
- Information about: the school, classes, activities, and life in Australia.
- Short tour of: the school, its facilities, the area surrounding the school.
- After the Orientation: go home or ask further questions.
- Super Intensive students: start at 1:30 PM on Monday after the Orientation.
- Intensive students: start at 8:30 AM on Tuesday.
Paid work permission:
- You can work alongside this course.
- Students on Student Visa can work 20 hours per week.
- Students on Working Holiday Visa or Work and Holiday Visa can work up to full-time.
- Job must not interfere with courses.
- For more details, check the “How it works” panel.
- Home Stay with Australian families
- Student Guesthouse
- Your own-sourced accommodation
- See the “How it works” panel for more details
- See the “Prices” panel for the costs
- You must be insured to participate
- Student Visa holders have to register with OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover), the compulsory Australian student medical insurance.
- Working Holiday Visa holders will have to organise their own medical insurance.
- Holders of other visas can buy the sponsor-arranged insurance or enclose a proof of their own, in English
- APEX Foundation does not offer support with insurance
Important: Many insurance policies do not cover work. If you intend to work in Australia, make absolutely sure that your insurance covers any injuries sustained while working!
How it works
How the program works
from application to arrival
After you are accepted for the program and paid the fees, you receive a Letter of Acceptance.
If you are going to apply for the Student Visa, you will also receive an Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment form (e-CoE) which you need for your visa application. The accommodation department will also start arranging your accommodation. You will receive travel directions to your accommodation shortly after that. If you wish for a taxi to wait for you at the airport, you must supply your arrival details at least 2 weeks prior to your arrival. It is ideal to schedule your arrival for Saturday or Sunday around the noon time, or before. That way, even if your flight is delayed, which happens quite often, you reduce the likelihood of arriving late at night. On Monday morning at 8.15 am, you will attend your orientation and after that start your course.
what Visa you can apply for
Tourist Visa (Subclass 676)
If you are planning to do a course of 12 weeks or less, you can for a tourist visa. If you want to extend your visa after the course, you can, but you can extend it for tourist-only purposes for a second 3 months and sometimes further. It is illegal to work on a tourist visa. However, voluntary work for non-profit organisations is permitted.
Student Visa (Subclass 570)
You should apply for a student visa if you are planning to study for 13 weeks or more. This visa will allow you to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Please check with the Australian embassy nearest you how much money you have to have available for covering your living costs in Australia in order to receive your visa. Ordinarily AU$ 18,000 is required for 1 year of study.
Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)
Students from Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, HKSAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom can apply for this type of visa. This is a 12-month visa, which permits a maximum of 3 months study during the 12 months. The other 9 months allows you to work, however, you can not work for more than 6 months with any one employer.
Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)
This visa is for people from Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA, who want to travel and work for up to 12 months in Australia. This visa allows you to supplement the cost of your holiday through periods of temporary or casual employment.
where you can go
Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities in the world (click for pictures). With a population of over 4 million people, Sydney has all the excitement of a big city but is surrounded by beaches and mountains. The relaxed lifestyle of Australians and the natural beauty of the country make Sydney a perfect destination for a young international traveler wishing to study English while enjoying life in a far-away coutry!
which one to choose
Many people don’t realize that accommodation cost about the same, if not more, than the program itself! This holds true in Australia, as well as in the UK and USA and other places. Choosing the right accommodation option is therefore an important decision.
This program can offer you a wide range of accommodation from self-catering student guesthouse to a full-board homestay with an Australian family. You are, of course, free to arrange your own accommodation too.
Home Stay – the best for learning
Home Stay with a local family is the best choice for learning a language! You will be talking with the family members in the morning as you get up, during breakfast and then in the evening. This is not like talking in a class at school! You will really practice your language skills, pick up new words and listen to the correct accent.
Homestay families live in houses, apartments or semi detached houses. Majority of the families live 30-50 minutes away from the language center.
Home Stay accommodation is available as Half-Board, which includes both breakfast and dinner (+ 3 meals on the weekends), No Meals with use of kitchen facilities (schedule arranged by family) or Twin Share, which is a private room shared with a travelling companion, breakfast and dinner and 3 meals on the weekends. For simplicity, we are only showing prices of HB, please ask about the remaining options.
Student guesthouses are great for enjoying the company of your peers from many other countries in the world. This is ideal for a casual learner who doesn’t mind listening to equally imperfect English of his or her companions. Each residence contains a range of rooms, all with wireless Internet, TV and DVD or VCR player and wardrobe space. Each resident contains a courtyard area, TV room with cable television and a fully equipped kitchen. Every one of these guesthouses has its own unique trait.
You are free to arrange your own accommodation. Maybe you have friends or relatives who live in Sydney with whom you can stay for free. Or perhaps you are applying as a group of friends and will rent a cheap apartment together.
A common strategy of students on budget is to pay for two or three weeks of the accommodation arranged by the program to have a place to stay after their arrival, and find a cheaper roomshare during this period.
alongside the course
Many participants are interested in the opportunity to having a paid job alongside the course. Partly they want to help cover their expenses, partly to practice their English, and partly to really feel like they are living in Australia.
Paid work is allowed, but job placement is not a part of this program! You have to find it yourself.
We remind you that students on a Tourist Visa are not allowed to work in Australia. If you come to Australia on a Student Visa, you must take up a full time course during the whole duration of your stay. You are allowed to work but only outside of these study hours, and a maximum of 20 hours per week. If you come on a Working Holiday Visa or Work & Holiday Visa (if your country is eligible), you are allowed to work full time for one year in Australia but must change employers after 6 months.
Importantly, any such employment happens outside this program and must not interfere with your classes! Otherwise you might be cancelled for non-attendance. Most students work in fast food, cafes, restaurants, and the like. These positions generally pay between AU$10 and AU$18 (see also the Australian Minimum Wage below), with deductions for taxes and any other services provided by the employer, for instance meals. If you get a position where you get tips, such as a waiter, you may make more money on the tips than what is your wage!
how much it will all cost
This is not a promise! This is a guide intended to give you a general idea about some of the numbers. Your own experience may be different! We use the Australian Minimum Wage in our calculations, you may make more money than that. You may also be able to live more cheaply, for instance if you find yourself a roomshare with other students.
Let’s have a look at these two example scenarios:
Visa: Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), or Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)
Duration: 10 weeks of school, 10 months of work (or about 40 weeks of work)
Course: Intensive, 20 hr/wk @ AU$320/wk
Accommodation: HomeStay single room @ AU$190/wk
Work: 40 hrs/wk @ AU$15.51/hr
50 weeks of accommodation = – AU$9,500
10weeks of school = -AU$3,200
40 weeks of work = +AU$24,816
Under this scenario, you will be left with AU$12,116 to cover your other expenses, having fun in Australia and bringing some money back.
Visa: Student Visa (subclass 570)
Duration: 12 weeks
Course: Intensive, 20 hr/wk @ AU$320/wk
Accommodation: HomeStay single room, half-board @ AU$190/wk
Work: 20 hrs/wk @ AU$15.51/hr
12 weeks of accommodation = – AU$2,280
12 weeks of school = -AU$3,840
12 weeks of work = +AU$3,722
Under this scenario, half year of quality language school and accommodation with one meal per day in Australia will cost you AU$2,398.
Comment: With the Intensive course, 20 hours of classes means just 4 hours of school every day. Even with having to prepare for the next day’s classes, this leaves you enough time for part-time work.
Try more scenarios and cost/income combinations yourself. All prices are shown on the “Prices” panel.
|Student status:||not required for applying|
|Required level:||FCE – Upper Intermediate, CAE – Advanced level*|
|Nationality:||Nationals of all countries are eligible|
|Type of visa:||Tourist Visa, Student Visa, Working Holiday Visa, Work and Holiday Visa|
*Language placement test and assessment, carried out on day one, ensures that all students are in the right class and improve quickly.
- All fees are subject to change without notice.
- All bank transfer fees are born by the participant regardless of the direction of the transfer.
- If paying by bank transfer $30 should be added to invoice total in order to cover bank charges.
Application Processing Fee: $50
- Processing your program application
- Processing your payment to the program sponsor
- Transferring materials and communication between you and your program sponsor until your departure for Australia
- Responding to your email questions until your departure for Australia
- Check APEX Foundation Terms & Conditions for more details
AU$220 Enrollment Fee + weekly tuition in AU$
- Enrollment on the programme
- Initial test, evaluation and class placement
- Tuition for the chosen course option and number of weeks
- Monitoring and support throughout the placement (24-hour emergency student support)
Study Material: AU$120
one-time charge in AU$
- Study material for the course
prices in AU$
only applies to Student Visa holders
- Student Visa Holders must have Australian Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).
- The program sponsor will arrange this insurance for you.
- Holders of other visas can buy the sponsor-arranged insurance or enclose a proof of their own insurance in English.
- See “Key Points” for more details.
prices in AU$ per week
|Single room HB||Single room||Twin room HB*||Twin room||Triple Room HB||Triple Room|
* must be booked by two students travelling together
** minimum 2 weeks
***minimum 4 weeks
Accommodation Placement Fee: AU$200
One-time charge for booking the accommodation you selected.
Accommodation change after placement: AU$100
If you wish to change your accommodation and want the new one be arranged by the program sponsor.
- Transfer between Sydney Airport and your accommodation
- Arrival: AU$110
- Departure: AU$70
*It is your responsibility to inform us of your arrival details minimum 14 working days prior to the transfer! Failing this, the transfer may not be provided as requested/paid. There is no refund for booked and unused arrival transfer. Arrival details include: arrival date, arrival airport, the airline, flight number and arrival time.
Cancellations & Refunds
if you have to cancel
- Application Processing Fee is not refundable
- Accommodation Placement Fee is not refundable
- Visa denial: Full refund of the paid Tuition less AU$100
- Cancellation by participant 28 days or more before the course starts: 85% of the Tuition refunded
- Cancellation by participant less than 28 days before the course starts: an 9 weeks’ Tuition is charged
- Cancellation by participant after the course starts: No refund
- Cancelling homestay accommodation requires at least 4 weeks notice, otherwise 2 weeks’ accommodation fee is charged.
- No fees can be refunded while you are in Australia
- Tuition fees are not transferable
- If any course is terminated before its commencement, course monies will be refunded in full.
- Per the ESOS Act 2000, if any course is terminated after the course commencement date, the school will arrange for the transfer of the student to another institution offering a similar course at no extra expense to the student. Alternatively, the student may elect to have course monies refunded.
- Refunds are transferred to participant within 8 weeks of APEX International, LLC.’s receipt of written notification.
- Instructions for transfer of the refund, regardless of the payment method, are used exactly as supplied by the participant. APEX International, LLC. bears no responsibility if the instructions are incorrect, incomplete or not understandable by any bank or other institution involved in transferring the funds. Bank fees plus $50 is charged if transfer of the refund must be repeated.
How to Apply
- We email you a computer-fillable PDF application form with instructions.
- Fill it out, save and email back to us, we will check that it’s done correctly.
- If everything is done correctly, we will ask you to send us the hard copy by mail.
- Get a AU$50 check (Traveler’s Check) for the Application Processing Fee and send the entire package to us.
- Once your application is accepted you will get instructions for payment of the Program Fee.
- We send your materials and payment over to the program sponsor.
- After your application and payment have been confirmed, you will receive a Letter of Acceptance from the program sponsor.
- If you are applying for the Student Visa, you will receive your e-CoE (Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment form).
- Everybody receives Arrival Instructions.
- Next, you arrange your flight and give us your detailed arrival information.
- Ideal arrival day is Saturday, not too late in the case you’d need any kind of support.
- After arrival in Sydney, you will travel to your accommodation.
- On the first day (Monday) at 8:15 am the orientation will start.
It’s best to apply at least 2 months prior to your planned departure. Check with your local Australian embassy how long it will take you to get the your visa.
*The test hast to be completed hand-written.
Can I apply with a friend?
Yes. Even groups of friends are welcome!
Can I select a location for my course?
No. This school is located Sydney.
I am from – insert your country – can I participate?
Yes. The program is available to applicants from all countries.
Can I work in the Australia alongside this course?
Yes. If you have either Student Visa, or Working Holiday Visa.
I am currently not a student, can I participate?
Yes. This course is opened for everybody.
Can the program pay for itself?
Possibly. See “Financial Guide” on the “How it works” panel.