A great place to work
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. 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. 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: govolunteer.com.au.
For volunteer opportunities in each state and territory visit:
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.
You might decide to keep on studying, or find a job in Australia or overseas. Whatever you decide, we care about your future and can support you to make the right decision. You can also stay in contact with your friends and peers through alumni networks – useful for ongoing support and employment opportunities.
Finding a job
The majority of international graduates say their studies in Australia were a real advantage for their career. So you can feel confident your studies will prepare you for future success.
However, we believe your study isn’t just about gaining a qualification. It’s also about gaining skills, knowledge, contacts and experience to achieve success in the next phase of your life.
If you decide to stay in Australia
You may be eligible to undertake post-study work to put your newly gained knowledge to use and gain local work experience. Education providers and government bodies help connect students with potential employers at careers fairs, employment hubs, job boards and industry networking events in every state and territory. The support, advice and opportunities you access can be a real advantage as you launch your career.
If you are considering staying in Australia and working after your current visa expires, you’ll need to get a new visa. There are a number of options, so work out what’s best for your situation. For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs.
If you decide to find a job overseas
Your Australian qualification will make you an attractive employee to employers at home and around the world. In most fields, an Australian qualification is recognised and accepted by employers worldwide. Australian universities and colleges have global networks and can help you make connections with employers overseas.
Continue studying in Australia
You might be able to keep studying in Australia to gain a higher qualification or embark on another field of study. If you decide to undertake further study, check whether your visa allows this or if you need to apply for a new visa. If you completed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, you could be eligible for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
Refer to the Department of Home Affairs to check your visa conditions and find out what your options are.
Preparing to return home
Once you’ve finished your degree you might be eager to head home to see your friends and family. If you go home to do further study or work, there are some important things to do before you leave Australia:
- Work out how to ship your belongings home.
- Get any exam results which are not part of your academic qualification from your institution.
- Claim the security bond from your rental accommodation.
- Join alumni organisations.
Many institutions run information sessions or seminars with advice on returning home and adjusting to life outside of Australia. Ask your international student support staff for more information.
Staying in touch through alumni groups
With more than half a million international students from 192 countries studying in Australia, we’re sure you’ll have made some new friends from around the world. There’s no better way to stay in touch than through alumni associations.
Wherever your post-graduation path leads, joining an alumni group from your institution can help you down the track. You can find and join alumni associations in Australia and back home based on your particular institution, the course you studied, or other students from your country. Most groups and clubs are online, so it is easy to be an active member.
Joining an alumni group can help you:
- Kickstart your career: Fellow alumni who work in your field can be a great resource when you are establishing your career. They can provide guidance on your industry and information about potential jobs through alumni newsletters and publications.
- Keep in contact: Regular social events allow you to stay in touch even as you and your former classmates join the workforce or pursue study around the world.
- Get the support you need: Family and friends will welcome you at home, but an alumni network is full of people who have shared similar experiences and can support you.
- Give back: Alumni groups enable you to mentor former and current students. You can use your experience and contacts to help other students navigate life and study. Alumni groups organise many charity and community activities, so being a member makes it easy to take part.