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UAE vs. International Boarding: A Price Comparison

Boarding in Australia

Ascham School

Ascham School is an independent, non-denominational, day and boarding school for girls, located in Edgecliff, an Eastern Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Total cost of boarding school in Australia per year: Dhs149,100


According to recent HSBC report, Australia is officially the most expensive country choice for international students studying abroad. The typical annual cost per international student is $38,516.

Modelled on the traditional boarding schools of England, Australian boarding schools have come a long way since their early days. Today, both the old and new have evolved into warm, modern and inviting institutions catering for new generations of boarding students.

Private school tuition fees vary widely across Australia, however, expect to pay anywhere between $20,000 (Dhs 57,188) and $32,000 (Dhs91,500) for a Year 12 tuition fees at a well-established, metropolitan private school, however, that excludes significant boarding fees.

It’s not all bad though, most schools do provide a significant discount for families where multiple children attend the same school.

Most schools offer: unlimited family time, the opportunity for parents to join their children for dinner, liberal leave and allow children to stay overnight with visiting family and attend as a day-student.

The Australian Boarding School Association (ABSA) is a self-regulatory body to which over 95% of Australian boarding schools are registered. The association aims to raise standards and professionalism within the industry and is a good place to start looking when choosing a school.



So, what am I paying for?
As boarding schools operate outside of the national and state education regulations they can implement innovative academic programmes. Many schools are known for their unique approach to education, an example being the Dalton Plan used by the Ascham School.

The Dalton plan at Ascham involves a combination of lessons and studies where students make active decisions about how they work and learn. This way of learning, and the confidence and independence it gives, stays with students throughout their tertiary study and into their careers.

Australian schools have extensive counselling services to make leaving home, family problems and integration into school easier for children.


Additional costs to consider

Australian student visas are considered expensive and inflexible.
Expect to pay $670 (1,917 AED)

One of the longest and most expensive boarding school destinations, flying to Australia will not only clock-up air-miles but travel hours too. Emirates flies daily to Sydney for approximately Dhs4,000-10,000
6,000 x 3 = 18,000 AED

Many Australian boarding schools do not include meals in their fees. So check before deciding on a school.
Lunches at The Kings School cost $460 per year (1,315 AED)

Registration and Family Admission (The Kings School)
One off fee of $3,850 (11,012 AED)

Overseas Student Health Cover (The Kings School)
Schools insist on health insurance and many offer discounted options if bought through the school office.
$585 single cover for 12 months (1,673 AED)

Higher School Certificate (The Kings School)
$1,079 for 2015 HSC students (3,086 AED)

Technology Fee (The Kings School)
$740-$1,100 per year (2,688 AED)

Family Levies (The Macdonald School)
Building, Library, P&F, college magazine and more
$1120 (3,204 AED)

Student Charges (The Macdonald School)
Technology, Production, additional Sports, fairs and festivals etc
$464 (1,327 AED)

School Uniform (The Kings School)
Full school uniform
$1,400 (4,000 AED)

Textbooks (The Kings School)
$800 per year (2,288 AED)

Goods and Services Tax on Boarders Meals (The Kings School)
$460 per year (1,315 AED)


Australian schools to consider

Geelong Grammar School
Where: Corio, Australia
What: Co-ed
Boarding: Years 5 +
Fees: Approximately $34,000 Dhs97,275
Academics: Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma
Established in 1855, Geelong was ranked second in Australia for its services. It was also the first school in the world to pioneer and develop the Positive Education system, and is recognised as the leading practitioner in the field.

What they say: “Our primary role is to deliver transformational educational programmes to promote well being throughout the world. We aim to teach students valuable life skills on which they can increase their learning capacity and build a successful and happy life.”

Ascham School
Where: Sydney, Australia
What: Girls
Boarding: Grades 6 +
Fees: Up to $26,000 per year (74,387 AED)
Academics: HSC Curriculum

A top ranking school for academic performance, Ascham utilizes the Dalton Plan, which self-directed learning with a combination of formal and informal lessons. Offering over 20 different sports it also has a strong tradition in music offering over 15 musical instruments and six music ensembles and performing groups.

What they say: “The Dalton Plan’s key objective is to develop independent learners who gain a deep understanding and critical awareness of academic subjects by taking responsibility for their work and time management.”

The Kings School
Where: Sydney, Australia
What: Boys School
Boarding: Year 4 +
Fees: International Students: Up to $58,722 Dhs168,000
Academics: HSC Curriculum
Australia’s oldest school The Kings School was founded in 1831 is set in 300 acres of landscaped grounds. Over the course of its lifetime, Kings has seen some of the biggest Australian names in business and politics through its doors.

What they say: “King’s boys work hard and get good results. A positive work ethic, talented teachers and small classes combine with high expectations from parents and staff to produce success from year to year.”

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