Work while studying

Working while studying as an international student can offer numerous benefits. It can help students cover living expenses, gain valuable work experience, improve language skills, and develop new connections and networks. Additionally, working can also provide students with a better understanding of the local job market and business culture. These experiences can be invaluable and provide a competitive advantage when applying for jobs after graduation.

Build your networks

Follow these helpful tips for building your professional network:

  • Update your social media accounts, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to showcase your skills and make new connections. LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking website, with users in over 200 countries, while Facebook has approximately 2.8 billion global monthly users, offering many professional networking opportunities.
  • Directly message people you admire or who can help you, such as CEOs or former colleagues, to create new professional relationships.
  • Join online groups and communities, such as XING or your education provider’s careers and employment forum, to network with like-minded professionals and fellow students.
  • Attend online events, such as webinars, to gain access to innovative thinkers and leading industry experts, and get actively involved by asking questions or sharing your observations.
  • Connect with your peers and cultivate relationships with them, as they may become your future colleagues, supervisors, or even business partners. Remember, some of your connections may also become your closest friends.

Remember to also practice good social media behaviours, such as suitable profile pictures and avoiding engaging in arguments or posting offensive content. With these tips, international students can tap into professional networks in Australia and around the world to secure jobs now or after graduation.

Look for part-time or casual jobs

Numerous international students opt for part-time or casual employment during their studies in Australia. This provides them with additional funds to enhance their living experience, explore the country and connect with fellow students in their community. Furthermore, it’s an excellent opportunity to boost confidence and expand their social circle.

Despite the advantages of working while studying, it’s essential to take note of two crucial factors:

  1. Ensure you allocate sufficient time to balance your academic pursuits, job commitments, and personal well-being.
  2. Verify your visa status to confirm your eligibility for employment while studying.

Know your visa requirements

During the pandemic, there were temporary relaxations in the restrictions for work on student visas, which were completely lifted in January 2022. However, this temporary arrangement will expire on 30 June 2023.

Starting from 1 July 2023, student visa holders will be able to work a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight during study terms and semesters. This measure aims to strike a balance between enabling student visa holders to focus on their studies while also providing opportunities for paid work and valuable work experience in Australia.

It is important to check the visa rules on the Department of Home Affairs website to ensure compliance.

How full-time, part-time and casual work differ 

In Australia, there are three types of employment: full-time, part-time, and casual. Each type has its own pay rates, hours of work, and entitlements.

Full-time employees:

As a full-time employee in Australia, you would:

  • Work an average of 38 hours per week.
  • Be a permanent employee or have a fixed-term contract.
  • Be entitled to paid leave, including annual leave and sick/carer’s leave.
  • Be entitled to a written notice if your employer terminates your contract.

Part-time employees:

As a part-time employee in Australia, you would:

  • Work less than 38 hours per week on average.
  • Work regular hours each week.
  • Be a permanent employee or have a fixed-term contract.
  • Be entitled to paid leave, including annual leave and sick/carer’s leave.
  • Be entitled to a written notice if your employer terminates your contract.

Casual employees:

As a casual employee in Australia, you would:

  • Have accepted an offer for a job knowing there is no firm advance commitment to ongoing work.

For more information about each type of employment and its entitlements, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

How to find a job

In Australia, the best way to look for part-time or casual work are through job listing sites such as: 

Other ways to find work include: 

  • Word of mouth – ask your friends or local community.
  • Your personal or professional networks and connections.
  • Dedicated websites, job noticeboards and alumni groups at your university or institution.
  • Professional recruitment companies.

The Developing Employability Student Starter Kit can help you take control of your employability and professional development.

International students have access to the same workplace protections as all Australian employees and are entitled to safe and fair workplaces. 

Types of jobs on offer

Australia: A Great Place to Work for International Students

Australia is a great place for international students to work and earn extra money while studying. Here are some key points to remember:

Types of Employment: There are three types of employment in Australia – full-time, part-time, and casual. Each has varying pay rates, hours of work, and entitlements.

Work Hours: While studying, international students can work up to 40 hours per fortnight and unlimited hours during holiday breaks.

Workplace Protections: International students have the same workplace protections as anyone else working in Australia.

Minimum Wage: International students are entitled to a minimum rate of pay per hour, regardless of their job.

Ideal Work for Students: The retail, hospitality, farming, fruit-picking, services, administration, and clerical industries are ideal for students due to their flexible hours and large number of opportunities.

Volunteer Work and Internships: Charities and non-government organizations offer volunteer work for students to gain hands-on work experience, meet people and contribute to the community.

Holiday Work: There are different types of visas for international students to work while on holiday or studying in Australia. The Department of Home Affairs website has more information on working holiday visas.

Working in Australia After Graduation: After graduation, international students may be eligible for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa, submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect, or receive state and territory government nomination for skilled and business migration.

For more information on these topics, visit government and private organisations’ websites or contact your education provider.

Use LinkedIn to promote your profile

LinkedIn is a social media platform with over 756 million users worldwide, and three people get hired via LinkedIn every minute. If you’re an international student looking to enhance your chances of finding employment, having a LinkedIn profile is crucial. However, the question remains: how can you make your profile stand out to employers?

The answer to this question lies in you using your LinkedIn profile to showcase who you are as a person and a professional, rather than treating it as a virtual resume. You should include all relevant work and volunteering experience, and use LinkedIn to document your personal growth journey and develop your personal brand.

It is easy to go overboard with hashtags on LinkedIn since there is no set cap on the number of hashtags that can be added to a post. However, it is recommended to use five or six hashtags per post and choosing hashtags strategically to maximise the reach of the most relevant users.

Many international students have unique names influenced by their cultures, and it is important to include a pronunciation guide for your name on your profile. You can do this on the mobile app and be proud of your heritage and culture.

Including relevant keywords in the “About” section of your profile could increase your chances of making valuable connections with employers since keywords are indexed by LinkedIn search and even Google.

As an international student, you have a unique perspective, and it is crucial to share your perspective in your LinkedIn posts. Talk about the challenges you face as an international student and how you successfully dealt with them.

Creating interesting and engaging content is more important than the number of likes or comments you receive. You define what your content is, but it should be engaging and relatable to your audience. Focus on creating content around topics that interest you, such as personal growth, leadership, motivation, and student life.

Finally, to improve your profile’s performance, remain active on the platform and engage with other users’ content every day. This engagement increases your visibility and helps others find you on LinkedIn.

Study, live, and make Australia your new home. We are here to help!

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