Work while you study

Working while you study in Australia can help complement your overall experience.

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Finding work

There are many options for finding part-time work as an international student in Australia

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Your work rights explained

As an international student working in Australia, you have the same protections as any Australian in the workplace.

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Employee protection laws

Australia has a strong system of laws and regulations which protect the rights of all workers - including international students who work part-time.

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Fair Work Ombudsman

The office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent government agency. It helps employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws.

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Are your work rights at risk?

Australia is a great place to study and work. But, sometimes you might notice something at work that feels wrong. It may be a sign that your work rights are at risk.

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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
  • Tutoring

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: www.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.

More resources

Scholarships to study in Australia

There are many grants, scholarships and bursaries available to assist you financially with your studies in Australia.

Facts about studying in Australia

Studying in Australia is a fantastic way to further your education and boost your career prospects.

Universities and Higher Education

Australian universities provide international students with choices and opportunities across all study disciplines.