Australia is a great place to work as an international student. You may choose to work while you are studying. This can be an option to earn extra spending money and get a taste of the local culture in Australia. Here are a few things to remember:
- Work hours: You can work up to 40 hours every two weeks while you are studying, and unlimited hours during holiday breaks.
- Workplace protections: You have the same protections at work as anyone else working in Australia.
- Minimum wage: You will get at least a minimum rate of pay per hour no matter what job you do.
- Strong support: You will find support every step of your journey as a student worker in Australia. Help is always available from government and private organisations as well as your education provider.
Ideal work for students
The flexible hours and large number of opportunities in these industries make these ideal for students:
- Retail – including supermarkets, department stores, boutiques
- Hospitality – cafes, bars, restaurants, delivery
- Farming and fruit-picking – seasonal work
- Services – childcare, aged care and cleaning
- Administration and clerical work
Expand your work experience through volunteer work and internships
There are also charities and non-government organisations which offer volunteer work for students – a great way to meet people, gain hands-on work experience and contribute to the community.
For more information, start here: www.govolunteer.com.au.
For volunteer opportunities in each state and territory visit:
- Australian Capital Territory (Canberra, ACT) – Volunteering and Contact ACT
- New South Wales (NSW) – The Centre for Volunteering NSW
- Northern Territory (NT) – Volunteering SA & NT
- Queensland (QLD) – Volunteering Queensland
- South Australia (SA) – Volunteering SA & NT
- Tasmania (TAS) – Volunteering Tasmania
- Victoria (VIC) – Volunteering Victoria
- Western Australia (WA) – Volunteering WA
Your education provider will usually offer a range of internship, work experience and volunteer opportunities. Many cities and states also develop and manage internship programs or student entrepreneurship programs to get you on your way to start your own business. Austrade’s Innovation in Employability report summarises these programs and shares some great success stories.
Holiday work in Australia
Australia offers several different types of visas for international students which allow you to work while you are holidaying or studying here. The Department of Home Affairs website has more information on working holiday visas.
Working in Australia after you graduate
If you’re interested in staying in Australia to work after you graduate, you’ll need to get a new working visa before your student visa expires. As a graduated international student you may be eligible for:
- The Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) if you have completed a Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree.
- To submit an Expression of Interest through the Australian Government’s SkillSelect, seeking approval to stay in Australia as a professional worker.
- State and territory government nomination for skilled and business migration.
Visit the Department of Home Affairs for more information.
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