Being an international student can be hard. Especially when it comes to your finances. Luckily – one of the best parts of studying in Australia is that international students are able to work part time while completing their studies to support themselves financially. However, working part time whilst being in school can benefit you in more ways than one.
Cost of Living in Australia
Before choosing a city to reside in, it is important to understand the varying cost of living in each city. Generally, Sydney and Melbourne are top picks for international students as there is an abundance of opportunities and experiences. However – Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are regional and coastal towns, where the cost of living is much lower.
Groceries & Eating Out
Phone & Internet
Power & Gas
$195 – $500
$5 – $35
$7.5 – $15
$185 – $300
$105 – $169
$175 – $825
$15 – $80
$120 – $645
$15 – $35
$120 – $380
$15 – $40
$35 – $50
*Note: Keep in mind that rent may vary depending of the type of accommodation picked.
Study-Work Regulations for International Students in Australia
International students who are studying in Australia are more than welcomed to work alongside studying. Nevertheless, there are several conditions and regulations that need to be adhered to which includes;
- International students in Australia are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while they are studying, provided they have a student visa and are allowed to work full time during their semester break
- International students will only be allowed to work more than 20 hours per week if it is part of their course and is compulsory
- International students will not be allowed to start working before their course commences
- International students who do volunteer or unpaid work will not have a limitation of 20 hours per week
- International students will get at least a minimum pay per hour no matter what job they do
Types of Part-Time Job Options and Expected Wage for International Students in Australia
Type of Jobs
Estimated Wage Per hour
Hospitality (restaurants, cafes, events, etc)
Retail (department stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, etc)
Receptionist & Admin
Minimum Legal Hourly Wage in Australia
Minimum wage is defined as the lowest amount you should get paid as an employee who works for businesses that come under the National Workplace Relations System in Australia. Minimum wage also applies to businesses who are covered by a Registered Agreement that has been approved by the Fair Work Commission.
So, what is the minimum legal hourly wage in Australia?
The national minimum wage for part time employees in Australia is $20.33 which is the same as full timers. Part time employees are entitled to the same minimum rate of pay per hour as full time employees but would generally get paid less overall as they work fewer hours.
Benefits of Working Part-Time As An International Student
Working while studying? Doesn’t that sound like a whole lot and almost impossible to commit to? Well, no it’s not impossible. Without a doubt, students can deliberately balance both work and studies with persistent planning and good time management. But, why should you take up a part time job as a student in the first place?
Here are some of the benefits you attain when working part time as an international student;
- Develop useful skills
Part time jobs are a great opportunity for students to gain communication, teamwork, time management and interpersonal skills. These are essential in helping them to prepare for the real working world where these sets of skills are relatively important to build their career as well as their personal growth.
- Reduce university debt
One of the main reasons why students work part time alongside studying is to reduce their education loans and expenditures. Though we know that the amount that students earn from these jobs will not cover a big sum of the fees, it can certainly help in covering other academic expenses.
- Earn money to subsidise cost of living
As we know studying abroad involves a hefty amount of money from paying for rent, daily allowances for food, transportation, phone bill and utilities. Taking up a part time job can significantly help students to supplement their finances. So, when it comes to making money, every little bit helps.
- Gaining independence
You will be able to learn how to be independent financially and when scheduling for both your studies and work. Working part time can help you to gain independence and be less reliant on others as you will be managing your own timing.
- Gaining job experience
Take it from an employer’s view, are you willing to take the risk of hiring someone with no job experience at all? Hence why it is important to get work experience to start your career off.
Having job experience will help you build a good resume, despite it not being in your field of study. Employers will have a good first impression of students with job experience as they see them as hard working, dedicated and responsible.
- Build professional network
Getting a part time job can assist you in building more connections as you meet more people. Even if you are not gaining work experience in the field of work you’re not planning to pursue, you are still constantly building new connections with people in the professional world.
Therefore, there’s a chance that these connections can direct you with opportunities in the future when hopping into the professional world.
Websites to Search For Part Time Jobs in Australia
- Job Seeker
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About The Author
Gabrielle Marie Wong
Be you and do what excites.