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Cairns State High School has a proud tradition of academic and sporting excellence. As Cairns’ oldest public secondary school, Cairns State High School provides high quality teaching supported by the latest technologies to deliver a complete learning experiences to all students.

In 2001 the school included International Education as a priority area of its identity.  Since this time the International Student Program has increased in popularity and the school has begun to internationalize its curriculum and all aspects of its operations.

In 2005 Cairns State High School successfully completed the process for International Accreditation through the Council of International Schools in partnership with the Council of Internationally Accredited Schools Australia.

In 2009 Cairns State High School hopes to introduce the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program to year 11.

As a member school of the Council of International Schools Cairns State High School acknowledges the following core standards for Internationalism in Education as the following: 

StandardsThe school shall provide opportunities for learners to: 
Ethicsdiscuss substantive matters of principle from multiple perspectives.  
Diversityunderstand the histories, cultures, beliefs, values and perspectives of a range of individuals and peoples.  
Global Issuesunderstand current issues of global significance relating to geopolitics, the environment, health, trade, sustainable development and human rights.  
Communicationattain fluency in the medium of instruction, in another language, and, with as much support as the school can offer, in their mother-tongue.  
Servicedevelop the disposition to serve their community, local and global, through engagement in meaningful, reflective, service. 
Leadershipacquire and refine the skills of leading and following, collaborating, adapting to the ideas of others, constructive problem-solving, and conflict-resolution through experiencing leadership in authentic contexts.