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Learn English and study in Australia

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At Curtin University, students from around the globe are gaining the English skills they need to study a degree in the beautiful city of Perth, Western Australia.

Having good English skills is important if you want to study in Australia. But if your English isn’t yet strong enough, you may be worried about when and how to apply for a course in Australia.

Curtin University runs specific programs in Perth, Western Australia to help you improve your English so you can meet the requirements for studying a course at the university.

You can apply for a Curtin English course at the same time as your chosen degree and package them together on your student visa. When you package your Curtin undergraduate or postgraduate course with your Curtin English course, you may be eligible to receive up to AUD$7,008 to put towards your university tuition fees*.

And there are many other benefits. Learning English at Curtin University helps you get used to the university campus and Australian life. With practice, you will feel more confident speaking and writing English, which will assist you both inside and outside of your classes, and make it easier to meet new friends and find work opportunities.

When you study at Curtin, you can be assured you’re studying at a highly credentialled university. Curtin ranks in the top 1% of universities worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2023. Its graduates were rated the best in Australia for employer satisfaction in the Government’s most recent QILT survey, and the university continues to achieve the highest QS Stars rating possible for a tertiary institution: Five Stars Plus.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Curtin English programs

The minimum score required for a student visa from an IELTs test score is 6.0. The minimum score required to take a packaged ELICOS (English language intensive courses for overseas students) is 5.0.

Curtin English offers several programs, each catering for different levels of English skill: General English in partnership with Navitas; Gateway English; and English Language Bridging. You can start your journey at a level that suits your skills, and progress through a tailored pathway until you reach the level you need for your degree course.

All programs are designed to help you feel more confident speaking and writing English, which not only helps you in your university classes, but also enables you to socialise outside the classroom.

Senior English teacher Jamina Tubbing describes what to expect from her English classes.

“Students learn all four English skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening,” Jamina explains.

“Classes are communicative, meaning there’s lots of opportunities to interact with other students. We have students from all over the world – lots of different nationalities working together to improve their English. We make grammar fun and there’s a lot of games associated with that. It helps the students with their memory, and it helps them to build friendships and relationships with other students.

“The main goal of most students, in addition to progressing on to academic studies, is to build up the skills and confidence for their interactions. So, whether that be in getting some part-time work or finding new friends and socialising, the work that we do really helps to foster that confidence for living in Australia.

“I love watching them build their confidence. Most students come to us almost in a state of panic and worried about how they’re going to be successful, worried about how they’re going to learn all the English – and just watching those light bulb moments where students realise and understand and then they find themselves using it is absolutely joyful.”

Three Curtin English students sitting at a picnic bench outside the Curtin English building, chatting and laughing.

Which Curtin English program is best for you?

  • General English: This is for people who are just starting to learn English, and have an IELTS score between 3.0 to 5.0 or equivalent.It helps with speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Passing General English will qualify you to study Gateway English. General English is only available online and cannot be packaged with a student visa.
  • Gateway English: This program is for people with an IELTS score of 5.0 to 6.0. You’ll learn how to write essays in English and give presentations, and you’ll also learn strategies to help you study.

After studying Gateway English, you can study either English Language Bridging, or at Curtin College.

  • English Language Bridging (ELB): This course is for people with an IELTS score of 5.5 or above. You’ll learn advanced English skills, including academic writing and research. You’ll also learn academic literacy and study skills like critical thinking and referencing. Passing English Language Bridging gives you the English skills you need to study a Curtin degree course at Curtin University.
  • Curtin College: If you meet the required English score for your course, but lack other academic requirements, you have the option to study at Curtin College. Passing a Curtin College course gives you the skills you need to study at Curtin University.

Curtin English student reviews

Curtin English has been running for 50 years and has a success rate of more than 90%. But what do our students think? Here, some of our graduates share their unique experiences of growth and learning at Curtin. 

Yasser, from Arabia

Yasser values the diverse community at Curtin English and acknowledges the practical benefits of enhancing his English language skills for both academic and daily life in Perth.

“The main skill I learned from Curtin English is writing. It was a very challenging one for me but at Curtin English they helped me a lot. Improving my English language helped not only in the university but in Perth itself.

“I really enjoyed knowing different people from different countries and it was really interesting.

“I really recommend it for international students. It will help to prepare them [for their course], get access to different facilities at university and get to know what’s going on in the university itself.”

Hongyang, from China

Hongyang reflected on the valuable skills she acquired at Curtin English on the English Bridging Course (ELB), which has proven instrumental in her studies.

“Because I applied for a nursing course in Curtin, the requirement for English is quite high. English is not my first language, and the education system is different between China and Australia. Curtin English is a transition stage for me to adapt to the totally new environment.

“I think if we divided English into four parts: listening, reading, writing and speaking, after ELB classes, I improved in all four, especially writing. Academic writing is the most difficult part. We have to write a lot in university. The skills I learned in ELB helped me successfully deal with my assignments.

“The most enjoyable memory in ELB class would be the experience of cultural exchange. We come from different countries, we help each other and support each other, share life experience.  

“The advice I would like to give to other people who are thinking about studying a course with Curtin English is to try to enjoy learning and using English. Do not be afraid to seek help, everyone in Curtin English would be glad to give you a hand.”

Nicole, from Hong Kong

Nicole appreciates the opportunity Curtin English offers to improve her English proficiency, especially in spoken English, and in boosting her confidence in her education.

“I just graduated ELB and I’m now in my first year of my master program in Occupational Therapy. I enjoyed ELB because I lived in Hong Kong for over 20 years with Cantonese as my mother tongue, so my spoken English can be a little rusty. But in this ELB I was given a chance to practise English and increase my confidence in using oral English.

“The ELB course was more intensive than I expected. I would definitely recommend you do this course before university because it allows you to have more confidence in speaking English and speaking up during class. The people I met on the ELB are the first special friends I made in Curtin, so they mean something to me, and I still keep contact with them.”

Liz, from Colombia

Liz enjoyed making new friends and practising English with her supportive teachers in the small class setting.

“I studied ELB English. I enjoyed meeting new people, and I made new friends here. The teachers are very kind and friendly. During the class we can practice a lot directly with the teacher. Because we are a small group, we have more opportunity to participate so it’s very easy to practice.”

Find out more about Curtin English

Interested? To get more information about Curtin English and its programs, visit the website and take a look at the pathway calculator to work out the best pathway for you.

And don’t forget, we are here to support your goals. If you have any more questions, please get in touch with us – we are here to help.

Tel: 1300 222 888


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This post is correct as of 14 May 2024 but is subject to change by Curtin University (in its sole discretion). Curtin University may change the content, and its location or blog, post, and web address. This post contains general information only. Users should consider how it applies to their personal circumstances and seek specific advice. This blog, post, and our website are not intended as, and shall not be construed as legal, financial, tax, medical, health, or any other professional advice.
© Curtin University 2024.

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