Language Programs in Australia & Oceania

Back to Programs

A Guide to Language Programs in Australia & Oceania

When most people think of Oceania, they think classic Land Down Under: Australian Outback full of bouncing kangaroos, beaches speckled with surfer dudes, and thick Aussie accents. But Oceania expands across all lands of the Pacific Ocean, from the coasts of the Americas to the islands of Southeast Asia, so studying languages in this region means choosing from many countries, cultures, and languages. No matter where you choose to study Oceania languages, you’ll be in for a unique experience in coastal paradise.


Every country across Oceania has its own distinct culture and language, so the location of your language program depends on what calls out to you. You can study and work in Australia, or check out these other popular locations for studying Pacific Islander languages:

New Zealand. Language students who want to escape the constant heat of Southeast Asia can enter the land of mountains and hobbits. Perfect your English or embrace Maori culture as you fall in love with crystal blue lakes, snow-capped mountains, and endless fields of grazing sheep. New Zealand is heaven for all language students, whether you want to balance your language studies with learning the haka (traditional Maori dance) or shredding ski slopes in Queenstown. Don’t forget to study some Maori while you’re at it!

Fiji. Fiji’s long, varied colonial history has culminated in a multilingual society across 300-some islands. Whether you aim to learn the indigenous Fijian language (not quite Polynesian in nature, but remains the first language of more than half of the island’s inhabitants), Hindu (many Indian slaves who were sent to Fiji during the British colonial rule have stayed to set up shop), or English (yup, those colonizers left a legacy beyond the sugary, milky tea cup!), you can find fascinating language programs in Fiji.

Australia. The beating heart of Oceania is also one of the most popular destinations for international travelers from across the globe. Those who study English in Australia have access to isolated deserts, pristine beaches, lush mountains, bustling cities, and everything in between. From iconic Sydney to hipster Melbourne, laid back Brisbane to sunny Perth, and heaps of small towns along the coasts, you’ll never get bored exploring all Australia has to offer. Throw on your sunnies (sunglasses) and thongs (flip flops) for language learning in the Land Down Under.

Language Programs in Oceania

With so many countries spread throughout the Pacific, you’ll have nearly endless options when choosing which of the Oceanic languages to tackle. Each has its own official language, as well as native tribal languages that are spoken by smaller populations. In all, Oceania is home to over 1,000 Pacific languages, but the most popular for language study abroad (and the best places to study each) include:

  • English: Australia, New Zealand
  • Maori: New Zealand
  • Mandarin: Australia, New Zealand
  • Fijian: Fiji

Other popular polynesian languages include Tahitian, Sāmoan, and Tongan

Language students have several options when it comes to classes. Many choose to study at an international language school. Those who are serious about achieving fluency can opt for an intensive language program in Oceania, which are offered in small classes for four to six hours each weekday. These classes are especially helpful if you plan to learn a language but your travel time is crunched. If time is on your side, try a shorter class that expands over several months instead.

Other language students choose to study at a local university. This option is especially popular in Australia and New Zealand, where top universities can be found in most major cities. Join a class of 20 or more students, or find a private one-on-one tutor for a language learning experience that is tailored to your own personal needs.

The most effective way to achieve fluency is through a homestay. Homestays are popular all through Oceania, where students experience full immersion of language and culture by living under the roof of a local family. Not only do you have access to your own personal instructor 24/7, but your language “classes” could include chatting while cooking a homemade meal, watching cartoons, or exploring the cities with your host family.

Costs & Affordability

Language programs in Oceania range widely in cost depending on your length of stay, program type, and location. Longer, more intensive programs require greater program fees, but your destination country affects the cost more than anything. Oceania expands across tiny, underdeveloped islands and big, industrialized cities, and the cost of living varies from country to country.

The cheapest destinations are the Pacific Islands. Countries like Tuvalu and the Tonga have a low cost of living and inexpensive programs, so it’s easy to stay for longer periods of time. But if you’d rather study the languages of Australia and New Zealand, be prepared to spend a bit more, as the cost of living is much higher. What you spend in a few weeks in Australia could last you several months in Fiji.

If you’re worried about the cost, there are ways to save money. Start preparing for your language program in advance by saving money and making a budget. Explore your options of working abroad in your free time to supplement the cost of program fees. Or check out your options for fundraising or obtaining a scholarship to help with cost of getting there.

Accommodation & Visas

Language students in Oceania have endless options when it comes to living arrangements. Most language programs abroad offer assistance with accommodation, whether they provide housing or help you find your own apartment on arrival. Remember, with each housing option comes a different language experience.

Students who want to be surrounded by other students can choose to live in group housing or dorms at a local university. You’ll have new mates right next door, or even under the same roof! Others choose to live in their own apartment, or to stay in a hostel with other travelers until they find a more permanent solution. But the most immersive housing option for learning Pacific languages is a homestay. Homestays are perfect for those who want to save money and relieve some of the pressure of finding housing right away. Your family will take you in and take care of you from the moment of arrival, while also allowing you to fully embrace the culture on a new level!

Visa requirements, like cost, vary depending on your location of study and length of stay. Some countries require student visas, while others allow you to work and study on a working holiday visa. It’s important to do your research and check with GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory so you don’t run into problems when you arrive.

Benefits & Challenges

With so many options for language learning in Oceania, one of the biggest challenges language students face is choosing the right program. Each country offers a different culture, food, language, and way of life. Students have to factor in costs, culture shocks, and their overall desired experience, but once you choose a destination and leap into language study, all the nitty-gritty planning will be well worth it!

Language programs are about more than just learning to speak, read, and write in a foreign tongue. They allow students to communicate with locals and understand the culture on a new level. More than anything, language programs abroad improve the overall experience of living abroad. What better way to embrace your months spent in New Zealand than by learning the tribal Maori language, or to appreciate the Papua New Guinean culture by learning Tok Pisin?

Oceania is the ideal place for language study abroad because of its endless options. Whether you want to study for two weeks or several months, live in a bustling city or a laidback beach town, study English or a native tribal language, you’ll find it all in the diverse lands that span across the deep blue Pacific. No matter where you study or what language you want to learn, you’ll fall in love with new tongue and a new culture while attending language schools in Oceania.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To
Language Programs in Australia & Oceania


 Find Language Courses in Australia & Oceania


International Programs

Go on an intensive general English language course in Australia or New Zealand with International Programs. The courses, offered at the Sydney College of English and the Dominion Auckland, are held a least 20 hours per week in classes comprised of about 12 to 15 students. Both courses start every Monday and run at an average of 1 to 48 weeks.


This listing has been saved 1 time

Language Learning Worldwide with Eurocentres

Individuals who desire multilingual skills can live, travel, and learn English in Australia. Participants live on a continent of stunning landscapes and extraordinary beaches, while gaining priceless English language abilities among native English speakers. With a diverse student base, participants can expand their knowledge of culture in Australia and around the world.


This listing has been saved 33 times

University of Otago - Study Abroad

The University of Otago welcomes study abroad students from universities throughout the world, and enrolls international students in degrees from bachelors through to PhD. Live among local students of the university, all within 15 minutes walk of campus and the Dunedin city center in New Zealand. The two to six-bedroom houses or apartments typically have at least one local student living in the...


This listing has been saved 12 times

Language and Cultural Courses - Something Different!

These are our "Off The Wall" projects that focus on language and culture - the out of ordinary, the different and the crazy! These projects are uncommon, exciting, fun and beneficial at the same time! They don't fall into the normal categories of teaching or work experience or conservation. So if you like the unusual or the quirky, you might find something here to suit you. ARGENTINA: * Lea...


Learn English in Australia

ESL Languages offers various courses in different cities in Australia such as standard and intensive course, one-to-one course, business course, combined course, intensive course and work experience placement, official certificate preparation courses (Cambridge FCE/CAE/CPE, TOEFL, IELTS). English classes combined with surfing or diving classes are available as well. We also offer University ...


This listing has been saved 35 times

Custom Group Service-Learning Trips

Projects Abroad arranges customized group service-learning trips for schools, universities, companies, and other organizations. With hundreds of projects to choose from in over 30 countries, we will tailor your trip to the individual needs of your group and guide you every step of the way. You chose the dates, location, project focus, and goals. With over 600 staff working for Projects A...


This listing has been saved 1 time

English language course in New Zealand

Kia Ora! Learn English and develop professional skills in the heart of New Zealand. New Zealand is the ideal place to discover magnificent landscapes, extremely pleasant climate, and extraordinary atmosphere. Jobs And Internships Abroad offers the opportunity to learn and improve on English language skills in one of the fanciest language school in Auckland. We can serve as the bridge between...


This listing has been saved 3 times

Eurolingua One-to-One Language Homestay Immersion Worldwide

Eurolingua Institute offers foreign language training in some 40 countries worldwide. Languages taught include Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian. Students will learn to speak their target foreign language fluently like a native in a minimum of time on a unique Eurolingua One-to-One Language Homestay. They will live and lea...


This listing has been saved 2 times

Study with us at EIT and Have the Experience of a Lifetime!

The Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) is a government tertiary education institution in New Zealand with three main campuses in Napier, Auckland, and Gisborne (Tairwhiti). EIT is a Category One Institute of Education which has been delivering high quality academic programmes for 40 years. The Institute offers more than 130 programmes at masters, postgraduate, degree, diploma, and certifica...


English Program & Homestay in a High School Teacher's Home

If you’re going to learn English abroad, sign up for a program that optimizes study and learning opportunities. Guarantee this through our English course combined with homestay. You will learn from and stay at the home of a qualified high school English teacher with 30 years teaching experience. With lessons tailored to your needs, this course aims to improve your English skills through emp...