Australia with its world-class education ecosystem, top-class universities, a robust economy, and student-friendly immigration policy has quickly emerged as a favoured higher education destination among international students, especially those wanting to pursue top courses in MBA or PhD, and especially students from India. A quick fact-check revealed Australia’s popularity as a study-abroad destination among Indian students. A data visualization of Higher Education Enrolment of Indian Students (numbering 105,156) by Broad Field of Education 2019 featured in a March 2020 report on ‘Where Do International Students Come from and What Do They Study’ released by the Australian Government’s Department of Education Skills and Employment listed that
- 25,916 came to pursue higher education in Management and Commerce, the highest numbers according to category
- 23,440 came to study Information Technology
- 8629 pursued Engineering/Technology
Funding Your Study: The Challenge Ahead
As an international student, if you have decided to study in Australia, you will do yourself the best by first exploring your options. Perhaps the most crucial option that you need to examine is funding your education in Australia and meeting your expenses. Studying abroad has always been as much as a financial challenge as it is a scholastic and an organisational challenge. And we understand that funding one’s education abroad can be an uphill task for many. However, it might not be a Herculean task as it might appear!
As an international student in Australia, you need not despair about finding ways to fund your education. There could be other options that might not meet the eyes at the first go. You might not have always to nibble into the precious dollars of your finance or hard-earned scholarship. Voilà. You certainly do have another option.
The Prospect: While Studying and Post-Study
As a resource-rich country and a robust economy, Australia is the perfect place to be to hunt for opportunities for any aspiring professional. However, that only comes once you have graduated and earned your degree. But what about earning while you are learning in Australia? Let us try to get some clarity on the opportunities that you will have as an international student while studying and after completing your studies in Australia.
Working While Studying
For some, working while studying in Australia might bring new challenges besides those already they might be facing. However, it has its values as well. Let us find out what advantages it has.
- It gives you additional fund to supplement your recurring expenses
- You acquire precious working experience and transferrable skills
- As someone who has already gained some job experience, you get a head-start finding job post-study
- It helps you build a valuable professional network
- You gain valuable insights into the society and the community
Before You Begin
As an international student, you can explore different paths to find jobs that will allow you to continue your study while doing it. However, before you take up one, you must check your Right to Work in Australia. Ensure that you are eligible to work in Australia while studying
Am I Eligible to Work?
As an international student in Australia, you can work while you study if
- You are holding a Subclass 500 student visa with work permission
- You are undertaking a full-time course at Bachelor’s degree level or above
- You want to supplement your funding/income to offset the expense of the study
- Working is a course requirement and is a part of course completion and evaluation
To find out and confirm what your visa permit/does not permit you to do while studying in Australia
- Check your visa information and conditions online at Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)
- Also, it is important to know if working will affect your academic commitment. Check with your university
How Much Am I Allowed to Work?
As an international student with a Subclass 500 student visa
- You are allowed to work 40 hours every 2 weeks (Monday through Sunday) during your terms and unlimited hours during vacation (Christmas, Easter, and Summer).
- You can volunteer more than 40 hours if
- It does not impact your study
- You do not take the work of an Australian citizen
- You work at a non-profit and you don’t receive an emolument in cash for your work
What Else Do I Need to Work in Australia?
As an international student, besides a Subclass 500 student visa
- You must get a Tax File Number (TFN) from the Australia Tax Office to work in Australia or open a bank account. A TFN is unique and confidential.
- You must file a tax return that is tracked to your TFN
- You will receive a tax refund when you file your return
- You can apply for a TFN online if you have a valid Subclass 500 student visa with work rights.
Finding Job: My Prospects?
Australia with its advanced economy and a vibrant industrial and service sector has myriad needs and concurrently generates myriad jobs. As an international student, you can explore different paths such as short-term jobs, contractual jobs, or recruitment through recruitment agencies to find jobs that will allow you to continue your study while doing it.
What Are the Different Kinds of Jobs Can I Find?
- Part-time jobs
- On-Campus Jobs
- Teaching Assistant
- Administrative Assistant
- Clerical Job
- Campus Tour Guide
- Library Assistant
- Research Assistant
- Graphic Designer
- Off-Campus Jobs
- Waiting tables
- Baby Sitting
- Child Care
- Elderly Care
- Pet Care
- Food Delivery
- Front Office
- Vacation-time jobs and Seasonal Work
- Farming and fruit-picking
If you are pursuing a PhD or an MBA in Australia, you are more likely to want a teaching assistantship or work as a research assistant.
How Much Can I Make?
As an international student working in Australia, you are entitled to earn a minimum national wage of A$18.93 per hour and A$23.66 per casual worker as stipulated by Australia’s Fair Work Commission. Here is an example of how much you might be expected to earn working while studying in Australia.
- The average wage of a waiter in Australia is A$15 an hour.
- A receptionist can earn A$17 an hour.
- Delivering pizzas can fetch you A$200 in two weeks
Post-Study Work in Australia
Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Student Visa
As an international student from India who has gained an Australian education, this visa will allow you to
- Stay in Australia to gain work experience
- Work in Australia up to 18 months or between 24 and 48 months depending upon your qualification
- Choose to do any type of work and as many numbers of hours of work
Note that to be eligible for this visa, you must
- Be less than 50 years old
- Hold a Subclass 500 student visa in the last 6 months
- Have recently qualified in a CRICOS-registered course.
- An application must be made during your stay in Australia
- Meet obligatory and regulatory requirements for studying in Australia, proficiency in English, health insurance, and character certification
- Specific requirements of the stream for which you are applying for this visa
Streams: Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa
The Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa is issued in two streams.
- Graduate Work Stream
- Post-study Work Stream
However, international students who are enrolled in an English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course cannot apply for a Post-study Student visa.
Here are a few tips that will help you find jobs and work successfully
- Develop your English language skills as much as possible
- Use various resources such as Career and Employment Advising of your institution, recruitment agencies, employment section in the local newspaper
- Consult with your friends who are already working
- Observe local habits, culture, language, and way of living