Photo Credit: Brooke Cagle
Working while studying abroad can be a huge help in covering expenses like rent, food and entertainment-- especially on the Gold Coast where you’ll find some of the best restaurants, bars and beaches on earth!
For many international students this raises a big question: am I eligible to work in Australia as a student while studying abroad?
The answer is: most likely, yes.
Whether or not you’re eligible to work in Australia will be influenced by the type of student visa you have, however, most student visas do include permission to work. Students are allowed to work 20 hours per week while classes are in session-- and then switch to unlimited hours during school breaks. Just like Australian citizens, you’re eligible for the same workplace protections such as a minimum wage, rest breaks and a safe work environment.
That’s not a bad way to work hard and play hard!
For some students, this will be their first encounter with the working world and earning their own money. It makes for great practice in managing your own finances, budgeting and saving up for the future-- or your next vacation. There’s a great deal of information out there about working as a student-- and how to spend and save smart!
Working while studying abroad, of course, is more than just income.
What are some other benefits of working while studying abroad?
For many students, work is all about the experience. Working while studying abroad gives you real-world experience to add to your CV-- and allows you to network with your teammates which could lead to opportunities after graduation. Should you stay in Australia and become a permanent resident or take your new skills back home, experience in the Australian workplace can be very valuable to future employers.
In fact, 91% of employers want to see work experience on a job applicant’s CV or rèsumè.
By working and going to school, you’ll be able to advance in two areas and apply what you learn in the classroom to the workplace-- and vice versa. The lessons you learn in class have an immediate application and you’ll be able to take real events from work back into the classroom for further discussion.
Depending on your visa, you’ll have the opportunity to get an internship or volunteer in order to gain additional experience and knowledge. Whether you’re looking to grow your skills or just for enjoyment, internships and volunteer work can give you a glimpse into the everyday work life of your Australian co-workers. An internship is one of the best methods of getting experience in your chosen field, even if you don’t yet have the qualifications-- and you get paid while you learn!
Who knows, maybe your work will lead you to study new, fascinating topics-- and give you insight into what it’s like to work in your chosen field.
What can I expect from working in Australia?
The good news is there are plenty of job opportunities in Australia’s retail, hospitality and tourism industries-- and many more that suit your interests. If you’re especially strong in a certain academic area, helpful tutors are always in demand. Part-time, casual jobs usually offer flexible schedules so you still have time to study, attend class and make time to enjoy your new city.
Websites like Seek, Student Edge and CareerOne are some of the best job sites for students who want to find work. Once you’re in Australia, job fairs, networking events and finding where other students work are also effective strategies for finding a job.
Great! What do I do now?
Our how-to guide answers questions about where to study, how to apply for a visa and much more. There’s plenty of great info!
Otherwise, the first step is getting accepted into your chosen program and getting a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE), which every student includes with their visa application. From there, next steps are largely dictated by your country of origin. It’s likely to take about 4 weeks to process your visa application-- so don’t worry if you don’t hear back within a week!
Make sure your documents and paperwork are correct and in order. That’s the #1 way to ensure you’ll hear back soon.
Once you’re accepted into your program and receive your student visa you’ll be able to begin applying for work. If you’re still abroad but find a job you’re excited about, it’s never a bad idea to offer a Skype or FaceTime interview to help win the job.
Whether you use your work experience and income to hit the beach or network your way into launching that great business idea you have, a part-time job complements a study abroad experience. You’ll have a stronger CV, a better understanding of Australian culture, real-world experience, new friends and, if you’re diligent, some spending money that you can use however you’d like!