Study, Work, and Live in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide for International Students

A growing number of individuals are aspiring to study, work, and live in Australia. As an international student, Australia offers an excellent environment for working while pursuing an education. This can provide a valuable supplement to your income while also giving you a taste of Australian culture. Read on to learn more about studying, working, and living in Australia.

Study in Australia:

As a student worker in Australia, you will receive support at every step. Government agencies, corporations, and educational institutions are always ready to assist you. Scholarships for international students in Australia are also available to help you focus on your studies.

Internships, work experience, and volunteer opportunities are often accessible through your educational institution. Many cities and states also develop and operate internship programs or student entrepreneurship initiatives to help you start your own business.

Working in Australia:

The first thing to consider when looking for a job in Australia is your work visa documentation. Depending on your situation, you can apply for a visitor, student, temporary resident, or migration visa. For more information, check our page on Australia Visa Types.

Wages in Australia:

Expat American CEOs of major Australian companies earn millions of dollars annually, including substantial bonuses in the form of share incentives/options and performance-related rewards. Executive pay in Australia is quickly catching up with the rest of the world. Graduates earn approximately $63,000 per year, while retail employees can expect around $45,000 annually. Managing directors, on the other hand, earn between $150,000 and $350,000 per year.

Working Hours in Australia:

Working hours in Australia vary based on your employer, job, and industry. In 1981, a nationwide 38-hour work week was established, later reduced to 37 hours. However, many employees, particularly factory workers, often work ten or more hours of overtime each week. According to a recent survey, about a third of full-time workers work over 48 hours per week.

A typical blue-collar working day (without overtime) runs from 7 or 8 a.m. to 3:30 or 4:30 p.m., while most offices and stores operate from 8:30 or 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 or 5:30 p.m., with an hour for lunch. Learn more about job hunting in Australia.

Ideal Jobs for International Students in Australia:

The following industries offer flexible hours and numerous opportunities for students:

  1. Services – childcare, aged care, and cleaning
  2. Hospitality – cafes, bars, restaurants, delivery
  3. Tutoring – home classes, tutorials
  4. Farming and fruit-picking – seasonal work
  5. Administration and clerical work
  6. Retail – supermarkets, department stores, boutiques

Volunteering Opportunities in Australia:

Volunteering and internships can help you gain valuable professional experience. Students can also volunteer with charities and non-governmental organizations, providing a great opportunity to meet new people, acquire practical work experience, and contribute to the community.

To explore volunteer opportunities in each state and territory in Australia, visit the following centers:

  • New South Wales (NSW): The Centre for Volunteering NSW
  • Queensland (QLD): Volunteering Queensland
  • South Australia (SA): Volunteering SA & NT
  • Tasmania (TAS): Volunteering Tasmania
  • Victoria (VIC): Volunteering Victoria
  • Australian Capital Territory (Canberra, ACT): Volunteering and Contact ACT
  • Western Australia (WA): Volunteering WA
  • Northern Territory (NT): Volunteering SA & NT

Holiday Work in Australia:

International students can apply for various visas to work while on vacation or studying in Australia. For more information about working holiday visa requirements, visit the Australia visa requirement page.

Working in Australia After You Graduate:

If you plan to work in Australia after graduation, you’ll need to apply for a new work visa before your current student visa expires. As a recently graduated international student, you may be eligible for the following benefits:

  1. If you hold a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree, you can apply for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485).
  2. State and territory government nomination for skilled and business migration.
  3. To apply for clearance to stay in Australia as a professional worker, submit an Expression of Interest through the Australian Government’s Skill Select program.

Tax File Number:

Your nine-digit tax file number (TFN) is perhaps the most important number you’ll obtain in Australia. If you don’t have one, you’ll be taxed at the highest rate (47%) on all your earnings (it’s that crucial!). There are both personal and business tax file numbers.

Why You Need a Tax File Number in Australia:

A TFN is required to:

  1. Claim unemployment and illness benefits,
  2. Make investments,
  3. Enroll in a fee-free higher education course,
  4. File your annual income tax return, and
  5. Start or change employment.

How to Apply for a Tax File Number:

  1. Obtain a TFN application form from your local Australian Tax Office (ATO).
  2. Present documentation such as a birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport with a valid visa.
  3. You should receive your TFN within two weeks of submitting your application.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides a pamphlet, Applying for Your Tax File Number, detailing the process. Visit the Department of Home Affairs to learn more.

Living in Australia:

Living in Australia will be a new experience, but resources are available through your institution and other organizations to help you adjust to life in Australia.

Australia is one of the happiest countries globally, and it is home to five of the top 30 best cities for students. Whether you are studying for a few months or a few years in Australia, a little research and planning can help you have a safe and enjoyable study experience.

Cost of Living in Australia:

The cost of living in Australia is an important factor for international students to consider when planning their finances. On average, students can expect to spend around AUD 20,000 – 25,000 per year on living expenses. These costs include accommodation, transportation, food, and leisure activities. To save money, students can take advantage of discounts available with student ID cards, share accommodation with other students, or choose more affordable housing options like homestays.

Networking and Professional Development:

Networking and professional development are crucial for international students in Australia. By joining clubs, societies, and attending industry events, students can build a strong professional network that can enhance their career prospects. Participating in alumni associations and maintaining connections with peers and faculty can also provide valuable resources for professional growth.

Cultural Adaptation:

Adapting to Australian culture is essential for international students to feel comfortable in their new environment. While English is the primary language in Australia, it’s important to be aware of local slang and colloquialisms. Familiarize yourself with social norms and etiquette to better understand and communicate with Australians. Be open to learning and embracing the cultural diversity that Australia has to offer.

Health and Well-being:

International students should be informed about the Australian healthcare system and how to access healthcare services. Most international students are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC), which provides basic medical and hospital coverage. Mental health is equally important, and students can access support services through their educational institutions, such as counseling and well-being programs.

Safety Tips:

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in Australia, international students should follow these safety tips:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.
  2. Use public transportation safely, especially at night.
  3. Secure your personal belongings and avoid displaying valuable items.
  4. Save emergency contact numbers (police, ambulance, fire services – 000) in your phone.

Enjoying Australia’s Natural Beauty:

Australia is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and beautiful beaches. International students are encouraged to explore and appreciate the country’s natural beauty during their stay. Popular destinations and activities include visiting the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Outback, hiking in national parks, or relaxing on pristine beaches. By experiencing Australia’s unique environment, students can create lasting memories and enrich their overall experience.

In conclusion, Australia offers international students an exceptional environment for academic growth, professional development, and cultural immersion. By carefully planning finances, networking, adapting to the local culture, taking care of health and safety, and exploring the country’s natural beauty, students can make the most of their time in this vibrant and diverse nation. With a wealth of resources and support available, there’s no better time for international students to embark on their journey to study, work, and live in Australia.

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