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English in Whitsundays - SACE

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Programme Summary:

  • Ages 18+
  • Minimum stay: 2 weeks
  • Very popular tourist destination
  • Whitsundays island port and the Great Barrier Reef
  • General English courses and exam preparation
  • Help in finding a job
  • School in the centre of town and right by the beach
  • Homestay or Student House accommodation


Airlie Beach

The Whitsundays is centrally located on the tropical Queensland coast midway between Cairns and Brisbane. Location adjacent the Great Barrier Reef and the departure point for the many tropical Island resorts and national parks, the Whitsundays is a great opportunity to learn English while holidaying and diving or sailing in a tropical paradise.

The options for exploring the Whitsundays Islands and Great Barrier Reef are unlimited. Dive or snorkel on the reef or enjoy the beautiful white sands of Whitehaven Beach. Go whale watching and visit one of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays group. Featuring warm days all year round and a relaxed and friendly cosmopolitan atmosphere, the Whitsundays is known as the Sailing Mecca of Australia.

Over 70% of the Whitsundays region consists of protected marine and national parks. Conway National Park State rainforest areas offer a range of walking treks through tropical rainforests and with views of the sea and Whitsundays Islands.

Airlie Beach is nestled amid rainforest ridges, tropical island horizons and bordered by coastal bays, yachts and marinas attracts visitors from around the world. Airlie Beach lagoon, situated on the landscaped Pacific Ocean foreshore, offers swimmers safe all year round and free access to clear, clean waters.


The campus is located in a new modern building just a 5 minute walk from public transport, shops and the beach. The college building features a café, a student common room with computers and internet access, a video room and bright modern class rooms.
Our partner was among the first English Language Colleges to be accredited in Australia and the first independent Language College to be established in the Whitsundays.

All teaching staff meet the requirements of the National ELT Accreditation Scheme ( (NEAS). All teachers have specialist English language teaching qualifications. They are enthusiastic, motivated and caring professionals.

School facilities include:

  • Bright, modern classrooms
  • Cafeteria
  • Common room
  • Internet access
  • Room where videos can be projected
  • Help with finding a job

The Job Advisory Service is very popular with our students on Working Holiday and Student Visas. A weekly update of jobs available in Airlie Beach & Whitsundays is posted on the student noticeboard each week. If you want to find a job during your stay in Australia or do an internship in the Airlie Beach region, visit our page Job and internship in Australia, or consult the school's PDF: Work Australia : Finding work after your course (PDF, 183.2k)

Activities/Excursions during your stay

The Whitsundays offers one of the largest choices of marine tourism experiences - learn to scuba dive, sail on the pristine Great Barrier Reef marine park, relax on a tropical island resort or explore the many uninhabited island national parks.

The school organises numerous activities throughout the week. These activities may be free, though some do require a fee. The variety and availability of these activities depends on the time of year.

Possible activities may incldue:

  • Treasure hunt on Airlie Beach
  • Hiking in national parks
  • Cricket on the beach
  • Barbecues
  • Swimming in the lagoon
  • Visit to the Prosperine Museum
  • Nightly activities
  • Numerous cultural activities

During the weekends, students can participate in a number of different excursions. These activities can include:

  • Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sailing along the Blue Pearl Bay
  • Camping on a deserted island
  • Hiking in the rainforest and trip to Cedar Creek Falls
  • Horse riding through the forest
  • Eco-safari and crocodile watching
  • Visit to Hamilton Island Koala Gallery (where you can cuddle the koalas!)

Every year, Whitsundays hosts water sports events: the triathlon, the famous Whitsunday Boat Show, the Hamilton Island race etc.



  • Lesson length: 60 minutes
  • Maximum number of students per class: 16 (12 on average)
  • Timetable: classes are held in the morning and/or the afternoon
  • Placement test: the first day of classes
  • Certificate of participation at the end of your stay
  • Regular progress evaluation (every 4 weeks)
  • Teachers are qualified to teach English as a foreign language

The school offers the following options:

General courses

  • General English: 20 lessons per week
    They are designed to improve students’ English language communication skills to prepare for future study, work, travel or career changes. Core classes concentrate on developing grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, reading, writing and pronunciation skills in real-life situations.

    Language levels: all levels

  • Intensive English: 25 lessons per week
    Afternoon classes (25 lesson programme) allow students to specialise and choose one or two Special Studies from a wide range of Special Studies options. These include:

    • Examination preparation (IELTS, TOEIC)
    • Academic study skills
    • Business English
    • Conversation and pronunciation
    • Advanced writing / grammar

    Language levels: all levels

  • Combined course: 30 lessons a week, 25 lessons of general group English + 5 private lessons

This programme combines general English lessons in the morning with specialised lessons in the afternoon. It also includes an hour long private lesson every day, for personalised progression.

Language levels: all levels

  • IELTS Preparation Course - 25 lessons per week

    Duration: 12 weeks

    The IELTS Preparation programme is an intensive 12 week course designed to prepare students for the 4 main areas of the IELTS exam (speaking, listening, reading & writing). The International English Testing System, (IELTS) assesses the level of English of non-native English speakers who require English for academic or professional purposes.

  • Cambridge Preparation Course (FCE & CAE) - 25 lessons per week

    Duration: 8, 10 or 12 weeks (3 times a year, please see 'Dates & Prices' tab).

    Our school is an experienced Cambridge Preparation Centre. Students have achieved good results in these examinations. Individual counselling, weekly progress reviews and additional self access assist students achieve as much progress as possible.

  • English and Job

Our partner school has developed a service just for those students who would like to find a job while taking their lessons thanks to the working holiday Visa, or to find an internship in Airlie Beach thanks to the student Visa. For more information, see our page Job and internship in Australia as well as the PDF on the school's specialised service: Work Australia : Finding work after your course (PDF, 183.2k)


Accommodation is an important part of the students’ language experience. We take great care in selecting accommodation – homestay or residence.

Host Families

Single room, shared bathroom, full board

Homestay is our most popular accommodation option. Families are carefully selected, and students carefully matched with host families. In selecting homestay families, we believe it is important to choose families who appreciate hosting international students. Australian homestay is usually a very successful and happy experience for the student.

Practical information:

  • Bedding and towels provided

Shared rooms are available for two students travelling together

Student House


  • Large, single rooms
  • Shared toilets and bathrooms
  • Self-catering
  • Distance from school: a short walk away
  • LocationL a few minutes away from the beach, shopping centres and bus stops
  • A reimbursable deposit will be requested upon arrival (reimbrused at the end of your stay if no evidence of damage has been found).


  • Fully equipped, communal kitchen
  • Lounge area
  • Bed linen provided
  • Free WiFi
  • Laundry facilities
  • The residence is cleaned once a week. For the remainder of the time, students are responsible for keeping the apartment clean.

Prices 2019

Course start dates

Most courses start every Monday year-round (exceptions are outlined below.) On Bank Holiday Mondays, lessons start on Tuesdays.

Beginners : courses start on the 07/01, 01/04, 24/06, 16/09

Bank holidays and holidays (No lessons will take place on these dates and they will not be rescheduled or refunded.) : 28/01, 11/03, 19/04, 22/04, 25/04, 10/06, 07/10, du 23/12/19 au 03/01/20

Exam Prep Course Dates:

FCE Courses:

07/01-15/03 (9 weeks - exam 15/03) 18/03-07/06 (12 weeks - exam 11/06) 09/09-29/11 (12 weeks - exam 03/12)

CAE Courses:

07/01-15/03 (9 weeks - exam 16/03) 18/03-07/06 (12 weeks - exam 12/06) 09/09-29/11 (12 weeks - exam 04/12)

Prices include:

  • Chosen programme
  • Accommodation in homestay, full-board or in residence, without meals
  • All administrative and booking fees
  • A participation certificate
  • A placement test
  • Material costs

Prices do not include:

  • Travel to and from Airlie Beach
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Optional extras
  • Transport in and around Airlie Beach
  • Exam fees (IELTS & Cambridge)
  • Visa fees
  • Optional insurance
  • OSHC Medical insurance is obligatory for all programmes lasting more than 12 weeks

Practical Info


Arrival day: Saturday or Sunday Departure day: Friday (to arrive on the Saturday), Saturdau (to arrive on the Sunday)

  • Arrival airport: Brisbane (BNE), and then a domestic flight to Whitsunday Coast Airport, Proserpine (PPP)
  • Regular buses and taxis run between the Whitsunday Coast Airport and Airlie Beach.

Transfers available on request (extra fees apply, please see 'Dates and Prices' tab).

If you wish, we can book your flights for you. Please make this clear when you enrol.

Please note: do not book your tickets before we have confirmed your place in the programme (around 4 days after payment has been made).

VISA Information

Do you need a Visa for this programme? For more information consult our page Visa Information.

Please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone or email if you require any further information.

Our Programmes: Australia, New Zealand & Philippines

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