International Student Program - aifc

International Student Program

International Student Program

aifc provides eligible international students an opportunity to study our accredited courses on campus in Sydney, Australia through our International Student program

Study in Australia
Study in Australia

Australia is one of the most popular student destinations in the world. International students benefit from engaging in an education system with a strong global reputation, while enjoying the friendly, relaxed outdoor lifestyle that Australia offers.

aifc offers a wonderful mix of international students and staff who work together to make the study experience inspiring, rewarding and life-transforming.

In addition to best-practice vocational education training in Christian counselling, a deliberate purpose of the On Campus Program-International is to restore, equip and mobilise students for the great commission: discipling the nations. Students from a diverse range of Christian and cultural backgrounds enrol in the program to develop personal and professional skills that help make them healthier, more effective ministers of reconciliation in a needy world (II Corinthians 5:18).

The Program
The Program

The On Campus program-International offers a rich, multicultural learning experience for students from all over the world, including Australian students who wish to study full time in a multicultural setting from Sydney. The program is accredited with the Australian Government and with other accreditation agencies, including the Australian Skills and Quality Authority (ASQA).

The On Campus program-International is a full-time, three-year program comprising of three sequential courses:

  1. Diploma of Counselling (Christian) (Year 1)
    10486NAT CRICOS Code 085356B
  2. Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian) (Year 2) 10487NAT CRICOS Code 085357A
  3. Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual) (Year 3) 10134NAT CRICOS Code 091740K

The program involves:

  • Training , tutorials, demonstration, skills, practice and assessment work – held on campus in Stanmore, Sydney, Australia for 15 hours each week with appropriate student support
  • Discussion forums, which provide a space where students can engage more deeply with the learning material and explore it with other students and trainers. Discussion forums make up 5 hours of online component each week.
  • Learning partners – during the Diploma and Advanced Diploma, students work with a learning partner for group work and to provide peer support.
  • Assessment tasks – include journaling, written assessments, and counselling skills assessments.
  • Counselling practice – throughout the program, students have the opportunity to apply the counselling skills they have been learning
  • Excursions and visits to counselling centres and other organisations.
Eligibility criteria
You are considered to be an international student if you are NOT:
• an Australian citizen; or
• a New Zealand citizen; or
• a dual citizen of any country with Australia or New Zealand; or
• a permanent resident of Australia.

Eligibility criteria

International students who wish to study in Australia must apply for a study visa and are legally obliged to enrol for full-time study.

The Australian Government has instituted major reforms to the procedures of student visa applications. Under these reforms, each country has been assessed at different levels, which determine the requirements for a successful application.

If you are interested in our international program, you should begin the process of obtaining your student visa as early as possible by contacting the Australian Embassy in your city, as it can take a few months to process a visa. The Australian Embassy in your own country can help you with these details. For information on your country’s assessment level, as well as student visa requirements, please visit the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website at

In addition to a study visa, prospective applicants must demonstrate that they are high quality candidates who are likely to complete their chosen course. aifc requires that On Campus Program-International applicants hold a minimum International English Language Test Score (IELTS) overall band score of 5.5 (or equivalent), with no individual band below 5.0. Applicants must also have achieved a score of 60% or higher in their core high school subjects (such as English (if taken), Mathematics, Humanities and Sciences).

Frequently Asked Questions


Below is a list of commonly asked questions from students about our On Campus (International) program. Please contact our Program Director ( if your question is not on this list, or for more information.


When do I need to apply?

Applications for our On Campus International Program from eligible domestic (Sydney based) and international students must be received by aifc a minimum of 30 days prior to the start date of your first study course. Aifc offers one annual intake only, in March every year.  Applications must be received by 15th of February of the same year. Late applications may be considered. Contact the Program Director.


What steps do I need to take to apply?

For domestic students, apply through our online enrolment system and select the ‘On Campus’ option.  For international students, please follow the steps below to apply to study in Australia with aifc:

1. Complete our International Student Application Form (link) and pay your enrolment fee. Your complete application will then be assessed by our International Student Officer (ISO).


2. If you have provided a complete application, you will be invited to participate in a 40 minute interview with our Program Director. The interview will be through Skype for students residing overseas, or in person in Sydney for on-shore applicants (ie. international students already in Australia).


3. After your interview, you will be issued an Offer Letter and Student Agreement. The agreement will need to be signed and returned to the ISO, and at this point you will be required to pay your first semester’s fees.


4. Once your Student Agreement and fees have been received, you will be issued with a CoE certificate. (This is the document required to apply for a student visa). You will then have completed the application process, and can begin your enrolment.


5. Apply for a student visa (see the question ‘what type of visa will I need?’ below.)


When does your course start?

Our 2018 On Campus (International Students) Program commences on 6 March 2018h March 2018.


What type of visa will I need?

You will need a Student Visa (subclass 500) to study with aifc.


The Australian Government’s simplified student visa framework (SSVF) is designed to make the process of applying for a student visa simpler to navigate for genuine students.


Under the SSVF framework:


– international students apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500 )regardless of their chosen course of students.

– student guardians will apply for the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590)

– a single immigration risk framework will apply to all international students

– all students and student guardians will generally be required to lodge their visa application online by creating an account in ImmiAccount.


Visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Studying in Australia site for more information.


What requirements do I need to meet under my Student Visa?

For all Student Visa conditions and requirements, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.


When will I know if my application has been successful?

You can expect to hear back from our International Student Officer within two weeks after we have received your application, and from our Program Director within 1 week after your enrolment interview.


How expensive is it to live in Sydney, Australia?

The official Study in Australia government website provides helpful information on the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation as an international student.


Do I need to study full time?

The Australian Government requires all international students on a Student Visa to study full-time to comply with Visa conditions.


Can I work and study?

You are permitted to work to a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session – and for an unlimited time during holiday periods.


How much do the courses cost?

The annual cost of full-time study at aifc for international students as of 2018 is:

Diploma (year 1) – $9,800.00

Advanced Diploma (year 2) – $11,800.00

Graduate Diploma (year 3) – $14,400.00

These fees are subject to annual review. See the fee schedule (link) for more.


Is there an enrolment fee?

Yes. aifc has a non-refundable application fee of $250 (International students only.) You will be required to pay this at the time of your application.


Can I bring my family with me to Australia?

In some cases you can apply for family members to join you in Australia.


As a student, it is important to check what you can bring into Australia before you enter. Please ensure you visit the Can I bring it back? guide before you decide to bring anything to Australia.


What about accommodation for students?

Once you have confirmed you will be studying with aifc in Sydney, you can look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Some tips when searching for accommodation include:

• Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees.

• Consider how far it is from the Aifc campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train (our Stanmore campus is only a 5 minute walk from Stanmore station!)

• Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.

Students are responsible for organising their own accommodation while in Sydney. Options include short term accommodation, rental, and homestay. We are unable to provide on-campus accommodation for international students. Visit the Study in Australia website for more information and tips.


How long is the program of study?

We offer a 3-course, full-time study package for international students, with each course lasting 1 year. Students who begin study with us in 2018 can expect to complete their 3-course package in December 2020.


What are the study dates and do you have study breaks (holidays)?

aifc operates on the basis of four terms each year of approximately 9 weeks’ duration.


For 2018, our study periods, including holiday breaks, are:


Study Period 1: 6 March 2017 to 5 May


Holiday break:  (2 weeks)


Study Period 2: 15 May to 4 July


Holiday break:  (3 weeks)


Study Period 3: 31 July to 22 September


Holiday break: (2 weeks)


Study Period 4: 9 October to 3 December


Where is your campus located?

Our Sydney campus is located at Stanmore House – 53 Harrow Rd, Stanmore NSW 2048.


How far from the Sydney CBD is the campus located?

Our campus is located a 10 minute train ride from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). It is a 5 minute walk from Stanmore train station.


What about books and other costs?

All unit readers are provided as part of your course fees. The remaining required texts must be obtained by you. The total cost of books required for the Diploma course is approximately $400, and for the Advanced Diploma course (second year) is approximately $500.


Do you offer recognition of prior learning (RPL)?

Yes, we offer recognition of prior learning (RPL) to all students. If you wish to be considered for RPL, and to obtain a copy of our RPL policy, please contact the On Campus (International Students) Program Director.


What is the content of your course – what will I be studying?

The courses emphasise personal application and growth, as well as personal equipping – through training and the activities described below. Being competency-based, students will be trained in counselling skills and to effectively use a counselling and family therapy model.


The courses are designed to take our students on a very intentional journey, comprising 6 month block we call ‘seasons’”


10486NAT Diploma of Counselling (Christian)


1. Cornerstone (first 6 months)


We lay the foundations with Jesus himself as the cornerstone. We explore your personal discipleship journey, basic counselling skills, ethics and God’s redemptive work in the life of the believer.


2. Equip (months 7 – 12)


We introduce you to a specific model of counselling and the basics of cognitive behaviour therapy. We look at working with those who are suicidal, those from other cultures and some introductory interventions around depression and anxiety.


10487NAT Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian)


3. Plunder (months 13 – 18)


We dig deep into the world of psychology including learning and personality development theory. We introduce you to stress management and a model of working with families. You start counselling a Diploma student under close supervision and learn the basics of case management.


4. Sent (months 19-24)


Just as Jesus had a season where He sent his disciples so we have a transition season to prepare you for vocational work as a counsellor. You engage with external clients under external supervision. In this season, you start to explore specialised topics of interest as well as covering foundational work with addiction, grief, loss and with families.


10134NAT Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual)


5. Refined (months 25 – 30)


You are no longer a student in training but a colleague doing professional development. We go on a journey of professional and personal refinement from counsellor to therapist – exploring new clinical approaches, grappling with contemporary ethical issues and learning specific leadership skills.


6. Leaders (months 31-36)


Thorough elective choices, professional practice and a research project you are becoming a subject matter specialist in a particular therapy area. We take you through an externally accredited course to teach you to be a supervisor.


Will I be studying with Australian students also?

Yes. Our On-Campus program is open to both international students on student visas and to domestic (Australian) students who wish to study in a rich, multicultural setting on campus from Sydney.


What do I need to prepare for the pre-enrolment Skype interview?

You do not need to prepare for your pre-enrolment interview with our Program Director. It is designed as an informal discussion to get to know you a little, explore your reasons for wanting to study with us, and address any issues with your application.


I am under 18 years of age – can I still apply?

For 2018, our international student program is open to students who are over 18 years of age only. We are exploring the possibility of making the program available to people below 18 in future.


Does the program provide in-language support?

Some of our trainers and assessors speak other languages and are aware of some of the educational strengths and challenges presented to students for whom English is a second language. 


Do I have to pay my course fees up-front, or do you have payment plans available?

Once accepted into our program, students may choose to pay for the entire cost of the study program up-front, or incrementally by semester. The first semester of study must be fully paid by students before commencing study.


What are some career options after my study with aifc?

Graduates of our courses are currently working as counsellors, psychotherapists, youth workers, chaplains, children and youth counsellors, case workers/managers, pastoral care workers, drugs and alcohol counsellors, and family therapists. Many also get employment in government, not-for-profit and community organisations.


Who can I contact for more information?

For enrolment-related enquiries, please contact our International Student Officer (


For program-related enquiries, please contact our On-Campus (International) Program Director (

Ready to enrol? Send us an email and we’ll send you the enrolment form for International Students.