Working in Australia for international students

Resources for working while studying in Australia.

Most student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks during semester, and unrestricted hours during semester breaks. After completing your study you may be eligible to stay and work in Australia.

Before you apply

Check that you are eligible to work in Australia with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).


Qualifications and skills

Check if your existing qualifications and skills meet Australian standards.

How to apply for permission to work (pre May 2008 students)

Your workplace rights

Strategies for working in Australia

Improve your English communication skills

Excellent written and spoken English skills are very important in the Australian workplace. Strategies to improve your English communication skills are:

  • Speak English in your house
  • Join clubs and groups that only speak in English
  • Join public speaking groups or the RMIT Toastmasters or the RMIT Association of Debaters
  • Listen to the radio, watch TV and films and read books in English
  • Download and listen to podcasts in English in your field of study
  • Read newspaper and magazine articles in your field of study in English
  • Get help with writing essays and assignments at Study and learning Centre
  • Check the English courses on offer at RMIT English Worldwide

Get local work experience

Work experience during studies demonstrates to future graduate employers that you already have skills and experience in a work related environment.

  • Work in a part-time or casual job during semester or full-time during the holidays.
  • Seek opportunities in your industry field which will give you experience related to your studies. For example, if you are studying accounting and are interested in taxation, seek to volunteer as a tax helper in your community.
  • Visit our vacation work, internships and work intergrated learning page.
  • Visit our volunteering page (login required).
  • Register on our employment website, CareerHub

Take part extra-curricular activities

Taking part in activities, clubs or teams develops your employability skills that graduate employers value e.g. time management, leadership, teamwork and communication skills.

Australian culture and workplaces

Have a good understanding of Australian culture and workplace expectations. Employers want people whose behaviours and attributes match the culture of their organisation. They want to know that you will fit in with the team. To learn more about Australian culture and workplace expectations:

  • Meet local residents and participate in community events
  • Join your professional association
  • Join the RMIT 3Cs Cross Cultural Program
  • Read G’day boss!: Australian culture and the workplace by Barbara West and Frances Murray and Land that Job in Australia: Successful job hunting for migrants by Jim Bright & Karen Bright.