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Finding work while you study

Find out where to start your job search and what the difference is between full-time, part-time and casual work.

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Many international students seek part-time or casual work while they study in Australia. It's a great way to build your confidence, gain practical experience and make new friends in your local community.  

While there are many benefits to working while you study, there are two things you must do: 

  • Check your visa status to ensure you are eligible to work whilst studying. 
  • Make sure you have enough time to balance your studies, your job and your wellbeing. 

How to find work while you study 

Take these steps to find the right role for you.  

  1. Contact the careers or employability service at your education provider, or the study destination agency in your state or territory, for help and advice.  
  2. Look out for job noticeboards and alumni groups at your place of study.  
  3. Maintain your connections through friends, family and student peers, including through clubs and community groups. Tell people you are looking for work and the type of work you are looking for. This is a popular way for international students to find work.  
  4. Contact recruitment agencies by phone or email to request a meeting and have your details added to a recruitment agencies database. Register with more than one agency to increase your chances of getting work.  
  5. Consider volunteering and internships to help you get experience and build your professional network. These not only give you a ‘feel good’ boost helping others, but both have the potential to lead you into paid work while you study.  
  6. Apply for an internship. There may be opportunities for internships through your course curriculum or your provider’s career services, or even through your local state or territory careers service. Some internship arrangements will be supported by your education provider, others will require you to seek out an opportunity on your own. Ask for the help you need as there is support for you.  
  7. Search for a position online.  

Helpful websites 

Visit these helpful websites to look for part-time and casual work vacancies. Search by industry, type of work, location and time commitment: 

Part-time, full-time or casual, what’s the difference? 

The main difference between, part-time, full-time or casual work relates to the worker’s hours, rights, entitlements and benefits (including wages).  

Part-time employees work a set number of hours per week, but less than 38 hours per week. Part-time employees agree to work a fixed number of hours per week with their employer.  

Part-time roles are often found in hospitality and retail, care industries and supply chain sectors. Part-time employees have the same rights as full-time employees but work fewer hours. 

Full-time employees work 38 hours per week, on average, across a very wide range of industries, and have set wages and paid leave allocated for illness and holidays each year.   

Part-time and full-time employees have entitlements to paid leave, including annual leave and sick/carer’s leave. They also have an entitlement to a written notice if an employer terminates a contract.  

Casual work is a bit different. Casual workers may have hours that vary from week to week, and there is no commitment from the employer to offer ongoing work. Casual employees are not entitled to paid leave, but there is also no limit on the amount of leave they can take. The other advantage is a higher hourly rate, to compensate for having to take unpaid leave when ill or on holidays. 

For an overview of each type of employment and its entitlements, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website