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Finding work experience while studying in Australia

With changes to the Student Visa, it is now much easier for overseas students to work in Australia. Students are now allowed to work 40 hours for every two weeks while their classes are in session, as well as full time hours during holidays. 

So if you are looking for a job to gain valuable work experience while also earning money to cover your daily expenses, here are some ideas you should consider:

Paid work

There is an array of industries offering part time employment for both local and foreign students, including retail (supermarkets and department stores), hospitality and tourism (hotels, restaurants and cafes), sales and telemarketing, clerical and customer service roles, etc. Casual positions are great starting points to gain experience in the area of your study while earning some money.

Volunteer work

If you are interested in working with a non-profit organisation, you are likely to find a lot of charity groups and NGOs in Australia. In fact, Australians love to encourage people of any age, especially international visitors, to volunteer as a way of giving back to their community. The good thing about volunteering for the community’s benefit is that the hours rendered will not count towards the 40-hour permitted work under your student visa. Plus, it’s an excellent way to gain friends and get some hands-on experience.

Internship program

Either paid or unpaid, applying for an internship program is a smart move to get yourself exposed to any professional environment, gain real industry experience, and build your prospects. You can find internship roles in your institution or in any private recruitment and internship placement firms. However, do take note that internships are often competitive and many students can’t secure a position immediately. 

Finding a job in Australia

There is a myriad of job opportunities for foreign students, as well as ways to find them. To start off, read through newspaper ads, visit employment agencies or check out websites of national employment services or job networks to search for positions that might suit you. You can also find job openings on your institution’s notice boards. You can speak with your institution’s international student affairs representative to ask what options might be available for you. 

As with anything else, keep in mind that as an international student your studies must come first. While your job can help meet your basic living costs, this should never hinder you from pursuing your degree. Failure to maintain your academic grades can also sometimes affect your Visa, which is very serious.

Struggling with English

If you find yourself still struggling with the Australian English, there is no need to worry. Although it is an advantage to know the language fluently, not all jobs, such as gardening, cleaning, washing dishes, and picking fruits, require you to communicate in English.

For further information about working while studying in Australia, you can speak with one of your international student support offices.

 

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