A Welcome from the Director of Studies

On behalf of CLA and all its teachers and staff, I welcome you to Sydney, Australia, one of the friendliest, most multicultural and most exciting place on earth.
We are totally committed to helping you achieve your goals in Australia. It not only our job, but also our passion and mission. We are perfectly aware of the challenges and difficulties international students face especially upon arrival to Australia. All of us at CLA have had experience living overseas and fully understand what it means being away from home; friends and family. Please rest reassured – CLA is now your family.

School Location

We are located at Level 4, 29/35 Bellevue Street, Surry Hills Sydney, NSW 2010.

Hours of Operation

CLA ‘s reception and Director of Studies are available on campus between 09:00 and 17:00. Please email the Director of Studies, Afonso Caxala, at dos@canterburyla.com.au or contact the receptionist, Mrs. Jesscya Romero, at reception@canterburyla.com.au

Attendance Policy

If you are on a student visa at CLA you MUST have more than 80% attendance by the end of your course. If your attendance falls below:

  • 90% – you will receive a 1st Warning Letter by email and asked to meet the DOS.
  • 85% – you will receive a 2nd Warning Letter by email and asked to meet the DOS.
  • 80% – you will receive a 3rd and final warning letter by email and asked to meet the DOS.

If you do not attend the meetings and give us a reasonable explanation for poor attendance, we will first contact and notify your agent and then may terminate your enrolment – which would lead to your visa being canceled. Once a student receives the 3rd warning letter, he or she will have 20 working days to write a letter to the DOS, Mr. Afonso Caxala, explaining in details why he or she has not been coming to school. Should the DOS decide to terminate your enrolment, you are entitled to contact the Overseas Student’s Ombudsman at www.oso.gov.au to appeal.


Holiday/Special Leave will only be given in case of serious illness or urgent family matters. Please fill out a Leave Form (at reception) and give us proof. Sick Leave if you are sick you MUST see a doctor and get a medical certificate.
NOTE: This will NOT change your attendance. You still need at least 80% attendance to complete your course.
If you move home, Please inform the school within 7 days by filling out a Change of Address Form at reception.

Terminating or extending

If you need to terminate your course earlier than stated on your CoE:

  • Fill out a Student Request Form at reception.
  • Wait for approval from the Director of Studies.

NOTE: If you stop coming to class without informing us, you may be reported to Immigration.
If you wish to extend your course beyond the finishing date on your CoE:

  • Fill out a Student Request Form at reception.
  • Pay the fees due.

NOTE: If you do not inform CLA, you will not be allowed to enter to study in the class.

Work Rights

For international students holding a working holiday visa, there are no work restrictions – but those on a Student Visa, they are only allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight (i.e. 40 hours within a two-week period). Your spouse (husband/wife/partner) are generally also only allowed to work maximum 40 hours per fortnight but in some instances they may be allowed to work full time. (spouse visa)
Here ares some popular job seeking sites:

  • Seek: www.seek.com.au
  • Career One: www.careerone.com.au
  • MyCareer: www.mycareer.com.au
  • Gumtree: www.gumtree.com.au
  • indeed: www.au.indeed.com
  • Seek: www.seek.com.au

To work in Australia you must apply for a

  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • You can apply for a TFN online via the ATO government website www.ato.gov.au

Student ID card

If you’re studying at CLA in any course for more than ‘4 weeks’, ask for a ‘Student Card!’
The student card will allow you to get cheap prices in Museums, Cinemas, Theatres, etc.
To arrange you card:

  • See Ms. Jessyca Romero at reception. She will take your ‘photo’.
  • Sign the Photo Consent Form.
  • Return in 1 week to pick up your card.


Your Medibank card is your health insurance card. To get your Medibank card, follow these steps:

  • On Day 1, fill in your student registration form (specifically your email address).
  • Once we have processed your details and OHSC fees have been paid, Medibank will send you an E-mail.
  • Follow the instructions provided on the email (your membership number, name, address, etc)
  • On completion, your Medibank card will be mailed to your home address provided.

NOTE: Your insurance begins TODAY!
If you have any problems, please ask at reception.

Classroom Policy

Please DO NOT:

  • Speak your own language
  • Leave your mobile phone on ‘ring’ in class. It disturbs everybody
  • Write on the classroom desks
  • Smoke inside the building (including fire stairs or toilets)
  • Leave valuables unattended
  • Bring drugs or weapons into school
  • Speak while the teacher is speaking
  • Put metal or leave a mess in the microwaves

Please DO:

  • Participate in the lesson and group activities.
  • Speak English at all times!
  • Respect the culture of other nationalities.
  • Follow the teacher’s instructions.
  • Leave the classroom tidy.

Tuition Protection Scheme

CLA is a member of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET). This means if Canterbury Language Academy is unable to offer a course for any reason, you will be offered enrolment in another institute operated by an ACPET member. Your Education and Fees are always SAFE!

Course Progress

Progression depends on your weekly assessment results and teacher’s recommendation.
These factors are necessary:

  • Exam results (consistently over 50%)
  • Class Participation and Homework
  • Attendance (+ 80%)
  • Not studying the last chapters of the student book.
  • You can be in the next level for 4 weeks (minimum).


It is recommended that you read as much as possible to help improve your English. There is a small library in the computer lab. You will find exciting novels, Grammar Books, Vocabulary Books, Reading Comprehension and some test books like IELTS. If you want to borrow any book,ask at reception and sign for it. 1 book per week!

WIFI Connection (INTERNET)

FREE WiFi available for all CLA students. Please ask receptionist on campus.

Student Textbooks

  • We RENT the prescribed textbook to students if they do not wish to purchase the book for General English. If you borrow the book, you must not write in or damage the book and must be returned to CLA on completion of their course. If the book is not returned at the end of their course or should their be damages to the book upon return, CLA  will charge the cost of the book which is $65.
  • Buy New Book: $65 at CLA
  • You can buy it at a local bookshop $65
  • You must have a book if studying General English, CLA does not photocopy from the course books, it is ILLEGAL.

Complaints & Appeals

  1. Class or Educational Problems, see your teacher first. If you still have a problem, come see Mr. Afonso Caxala, Director of Studies.
  2. Financial and Administration Problems: Please see Jessyca Romero, Student Services, at reception. If your problem is still not resolved, make an appointment to see Nick Kumar or Gajinder Paul, Campus Directors.
  3. Student Services: Make an appointment to see Afonso Caxala, Director of Studies. If your problem is still not resolved, make an appointment to see Nick Kumar or Gajinder Paul, Campus Directors. If you would like to see the counselor, you can make an appointment. Please see reception.
  4. Facilities Problems (e.g. Lifts, toilets, kitchen , etc.): Please fill out a Student Complaint Form and then come back to reception in 5 days to see what has been done to fix it. If the problem is still not resolved, please make an appointment to see Afonso Caxala, Director of Studies.
  5. Appeals: If your problem is still not resolved, please ask to speak with Nick Kumar or Gajinder Paul, CLA’s Campus Directors. As a final appeal, you may contact the Overseas Student’s Ombudsman at www.oso.gov.au/. You have many rights while you are making a complaint. These include:
    • The right to be represented by someone if you choose.
    • The right to present your case at minimal or no cost to yourself.
    • The right to remain enrolled while the complaints and appeals process is ongoing.

    We hope that your time at CLA is worry-free, but please, if something is troubling you, let us know. It will make your life easier and help us improve our school.

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Discrimination – unfair treatment because

  • of race, nationality, gender, religion, marital status and sexual preference.
  • of any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which humiliates, intimidates or offends another person.

Student Assistance

We promise to keep CLA a non-discriminatory environment. Discrimination and sexual harassment WILL NOT be tolerated and may lead to suspension or expulsion!

Emergency Evacuation

  • Be Calm
  • Don’t use the Elevator
  • Follow your teachers instructions. If you are at Exit 1, walk up to the side street & turn left OR Exit 2, walk along the lane to the MEETING POINT
  • Teachers will check their rolls.


There are a few things you can do to ensure that you remain safe while in Sydney:

  • Don’t carry a lot of cash with you. It’s a good idea to use your bank card to pay for things directly
  • Don’t walk alone at night. Walk in a well-lit area, and with a friend
  • Avoid walking past large groups, especially in low-lit areas at night.
  • Remember to let people know where you are, what you are doing, how long you will take.

Sydney is a big safe city, but things can happen. SO please be careful! Always remember what your parents taught you when you were young!

Thank you again for choosing to study at CLA!

Please remember that at CLA we like to work hard, but also have a lot of fun. We want you to have a wonderful time in Sydney, so please see any staff member if you have any questions or problems.

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