Welcome to Cairnmillar!

Every year students from around the world choose to study in Australia at private organisations like Cairnmillar. Established in 1961, our reputation for excellence in psychology, counselling and psychotherapy education, treatment and research is highly regarded.

We believe that your experience should be more than just studying and our mission is to make international and diverse students feel comfortable and well-supported in having a flourishing living and learning experience.

You can learn more about the history of Cairnmillar here.

Donate - LP, image 3

At Cairnmillar, we respect and value people from all cultures. In addition to Australian students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, we have previously welcomed students from Turkey, Romania, Bhutan, Japan, Israel, Sri Lanka, Columbia and Kenya (just to name a few)!

They join many graduates who continue to tell us that our courses offer practical training and experience, confirming that we are a provider dedicated solely to improving the mental health of the broader community.

Before applying to study with Cairnmillar

There are some steps to consider before applying to study with Cairnmillar. Click on the boxes below for further information!

If you are looking to apply for any postgraduate programs in psychology, it is important to have any prior tertiary qualifications assessed by the APS, to see which courses you might be eligible for. The APS assesses at what level of APAC accreditation your qualification(s) are comparable to.

For example, if your qualifications are assessed by the APS as equivalent to 3 years of study in psychology (or as 4 or 5 years without APAC equivalency which is common), then you would need to do an APAC accredited 4th year (such as our Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) program) before you can apply for any APAC accredited Masters courses. If your qualifications are assessed as being equivalent to an APAC accredited four-year sequence of psychological study in Australia, then depending on satisfying all other admissions criteria (see course pages), you may be eligible to apply for the Master of Professional Psychology or Masters of Psychology (Clinical), which are both pathways to registration as a psychologist.

Please note, this does not apply to applicants interested in our Counselling & Psychotherapy programs. Instead, you are encouraged to apply without APS assessment of overseas transcripts, ensuring they have been officially translated into English (where required).

Please note, APS assessments can take some time to complete during peak periods, so it is important to start this process as soon as possible, so it is ready in advance of the relevant applications period (see How to Apply).

You can find more information on the APS website here.

If you have not completed any prior tertiary or higher education studies, please see our Pathways & Registration page for courses that may be available to you.

Unfortunately, not every higher education program at Cairnmillar can admit international students.

To see which programs are available to international applicants, please see our Find a Course page and filter for international students. Note, any courses with CRICOS codes means they are available to international students.

Cairnmillar’s CRICOS registered provider number is 03530E. Our listing can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website here.

Please note that while some courses offer a part-time option, student VISA holders are required to study full-time only. Please also consider VISA requirements regarding online delivery. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact an immigration lawyer, registered migration agent or the Department of Home Affairs as Cairnmillar is not legally able to provide immigration or visa advice.

Visit the relevant course pages for English language requirements pertaining to that course. See Find a Course.

Some recognised English tests include:

Helpful tip: You should book your test well before the applications period begins, as sometimes there can be long delays in booking a testing session. It also gives you the opportunity to re-take the test if your attempt was unsuccessful.

Find more information on our FAQ page here and the AHPRA website here.

See also: SSP009 International Student Policy.

Note: Due to accreditation requirements, we do not provide English Language Proficiency test waivers for our courses.


Cairnmillar has an International Student policy and Diversity Policy which can be found on our Policies page here.

As a provider for international students, Cairnmillar is also bound to follow the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, which you can access by visiting the Australian Government’s website. Moreover, Cairnmillar must follow the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (2018), which you can download from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) website if required.

Further requirements as a Cairnmillar student

Maintaining Overseas Student Health Cover (insurance)

It is a requirement of Australian Government that you and any dependents (e.g., spouses and children under 18 years) maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the entire period of your student visa. You will be responsible for obtaining and maintaining appropriate OSHC.

Please note: OSHC does not cover any pre-existing conditions (such as pregnancy or prior illness). Further information can be found:

Having no debts to the Commonwealth.

Acting in good character and with integrity and professionalism at all times.

Having sufficient funds for your time studying in Australia.

Making an Application

Visit our How to Apply page for detailed instructions on applying through Cairnmillar's online Application Portal and VTAC.

Attending an Admissions Interview (if applicable)

Some of Cairnmillar’s postgraduate courses require shortlisted applicants to attend an admissions interview, to assess their suitability for entry into the program.

To view entry requirements and see which programs conduct admissions interviews, see Find a Course.

If your application is shortlisted and you receive an email invitation, be aware that all interviews are conducted remotely (via Microsoft Teams or Zoom). Admissions interviews typically occur in November, December and January each year.

Please note, all interview times are provided in Melbourne time.

Following-up an application

We understand that there are significant and strict deadlines associated with visa applications, but we are generally not able to provide exact dates of when an offer may arrive, exact positions on an offer waitlist, or inform you of whether you are likely to receive an offer or not.

We provide outcomes to students whether successful or unsuccessful as soon as a decision has been made regarding their application.

Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE)

A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is for international students seeking a student visa and is the only accepted evidence of enrolment for processing these requests.

You will only be provided with a CoE after you have signed and returned an International Student Enrolment Agreement and paid for your first semester tuition fees.

See more information on the Home Affairs website here.

Tuition fees & Scholarships

To see how much our programs cost and any scholarships that might be available to international students, visit the Fees & Scholarships page.

Tuition Fee Refunds

A copy of Cairnmillar’s refund policy can be found in section 3.5 of the Tuition Fees Policy and Procedure.

Before arriving in Australia

Under legislation, the Cairnmillar Institute is not allowed to provide advice about migration or visas. Only the Department of Home Affairs, a Registered Migration Agent or a Migration Lawyer are permitted to do so.

International students can find more information about applying for or extending student visas directly from the Department of Home Affairs

If you have any further questions about your visa and your obligations as a student visa-holder you should contact a registered migration agent, a migration lawyer or other registered service. You can find a list of all registered migration agents and advisors at the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. Please be aware that you will need to pay for any fees charged and the Cairnmillar Institute will not be entering into arrangements with any service provider or pay commission on your tuition for any education agents or other services. Cairnmillar does not pay commission for enrolments of international students under any circumstances.

Further information can be found:

Some applicants may already hold a visa which allows full or part-time study (e.g., permanent residency or a spousal visa).

If you are successful in being made an offer of study and indicate you will not be applying for a student visa on your offer acceptance and enrolment form, then you may need to consent to a VEVO check to confirm your eligibility to study in Australia for the duration of your program.

Note: Permanent residents and New Zealand citizens are considered domestic students for tuition fee purposes but will not normally be eligible for FEE-HELP. See: Fees & Scholarships.

Study Australia provides some estimates for living, education and other expenses that are important to consider prior to moving or considering moving to Australia.

You can view these on their website here.

Living in Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia by population and is home to between 110-140 different ethnicities. You can discover more about Melbourne here.

Although Australia and Melbourne have one of the most diverse societies in the world, transitioning to life in a new city can be challenging.

Below is some more information to help international students adapt to life in Melbourne.


Our campus (where all face-to-face courses are delivered) is located in Hawthorn East, Melbourne, 3123. 

As a small provider we are not able to offer accommodation services, housing support or help with finding a flat or house. Please find some resources on renting in Victoria:

Click here to watch a short video from Consumer Affairs Victoria on renting in Victoria as an international student.

It is important to note that all tenants in Victoria receive the same rights and obligations. The same rules apply for everyone, no matter their background or reason for renting.

Some additional factors to consider in additional to rental costs include:

  • The security bond, paid at the beginning and returned at the end of the lease depending on the upkeep of the property.
  • Furniture – most rental properties will be unfurnished
  • Utilities (electricity, water, gas, internet)
Public Transport

Melbourne has an extensive public transport network that includes buses, metro and regional trains, ferries and trams, which the city is famous for.

The first place to look for information involving all public transport in Victoria is the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website. On this site you can plan your journey, view information on Myki (Victoria’s transport pass), check routes and service timetables.

Some other useful information can be found below:

Driving in Victoria:

Things to do

Melbourne never has a shortage of things to do or places and events to see. Whether it be sporting events, art exhibitions, concerts or music festivals, theatre shows, food festivals or a day trip to the beach or Dandenong ranges, Melbourne has something to enjoy for everyone.

Please find below some websites which display events and things to do in Melbourne:

SBS offers television and radio programs in multiple languages. Visit their website here.

Working in Australia

As an international student there are important compliance requirements you must be aware of to ensure you do not violate your visa obligations.

Once employed, you are covered by the same work laws as every other Australian (e.g., under law you must be paid the minimum wage per hour regardless of the job you do, unless there is a registered agreement from both parties about the pay rate; you will also get break times and follow the same health and safety laws, etc.).

A major consideration for students is to ensure that employment does not impair your ability to study and complete your degree. Nonetheless, there are several reasons why employment during your stay in Australia should be considered. These include (but are not limited to): (1) gaining experience and skills; (2) professional and social networking; (3) improving your CV; (4) demonstrating your ability for time management, teamwork and taking responsibility; and (5) improving your knowledge of Australian workplaces.

When seeking work with a potential employer, ensure you are at least clear about (1) employment status (e.g., part-time or casual work); (2) the expected hours per week (and starting and finishing times); (3) the pay rate (including penalty rates; see the Fairwork pay calculator link below); and (4) leave entitlements. Please note you will need to have a tax file number when starting paid employment (see link below).

The Fairwork Australia webpage for international students contains legal rights and supporting information.

See the Australian Taxation Office website for information on obtaining a Tax File Number (required for anyone participating in paid work) and visa obligations.

International student employability through IEAA.

See Skillselect on the Home Affairs website for information for skilled migrants seeking work in Australia.

Coming to Campus

Our main campus (where all face-to-face classes are delivered) is located at 391-393 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria, 3123. Please see our location page here.

The Hawthorn East campus is located within 10-minute walk from Tooronga train station, which is serviced by the Glen Waverley train line (see PTV information above).

The 624 bus route also goes right out the front of our building entrance on Tooronga road. The 70, 72 and 75 tram lines are also within 20-minute walking distance.

Student Life and support

Cairnmillar strives to ensure that our students view the Institute not as a steppingstone, but rather providing an enriching learning experience, that enabled them to get the best out of themselves.

Examples of this include small class sizes that promote in-depth discussions and a dedicated Student Hub which contributes to a community environment at the campus. Cairnmillar students are more than just a number and the accessibility of staff, as well as personalised learning and support services reflect that.

We also believe that peer support and leadership is important and our Student Mentors and Student Leadership programs provide a way for students to raise issues, access support or simply have a chat with a colleague if they feel more comfortable doing so.

At Cairnmillar personal and professional development, beyond what might be learnt during your course, is considered highly important. As such, we offer discounts on lots of our professional development short courses. Please visit the Professional Development & Training page to see which short courses might interest you!

Visit our Student Life page for information on Cairnmillar's position on inclusivity and respect, including relevant student groups, as well as academic, health and wellbeing support available to Cairnmillar students.

As a provider for international students, Cairnmillar is also bound to follow the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, which you can access by visiting the Australian Government’s website. The framework also provides tuition and financial assurance through the Tuition Protection Service.

Contact us

Prospective students (before you apply) should contact [email protected] for any enquiries regarding making an application or course eligibility. For technical assistance using our Application Portal, please contact [email protected].

For academic and administrative queries once you have become a Cairnmillar student, contact [email protected].

For anything else, contact [email protected] and our lovely team will direct you.

Aboriginal flagTorres Strait Islanders flag

Acknowledgement of Country

The Cairnmillar Institute acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are meeting. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and the Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be here today.

Aboriginal artwork