Careers in Australia

10 of the best jobs for international students

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Best Jobs For International Students in Australia

Getting a casual job to make some money while you study in Australia may be a necessity. But there are lots of great benefits to a part-time job besides just the cash.

You’ll gain invaluable experience to draw on in your future career, you’ll have an opportunity to practice English if it’s your second language, and your colleagues may even turn out to be great friends.

Here are 10 jobs ideal for students that could work perfectly around your studies.

1. Coffee shop

Make a mean latte? Become a barista! If you’ve already worked in a cafe in your home country it’s a no-brainer, although you will have to learn about local coffee preferences like the uniquely Australian ‘flat white’. Very early starts may be on the menu but at least there’ll be caffeine waiting for you at work!

Check out chains like Gloria Jeans, Starbucks, Zarraffa’s, The Coffee Club and Jamaica Blue, or approach one of the independent cafes in your local area.

2. Bar

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Bartending Jobs in Australia

Working behind a bar can be ideal for squeezing work in around your other commitments as bars, pubs and clubs are of course open at night and on the weekend when uni isn’t on. And if you have prior experience as a bartender you’re sure to be snapped up!

There are plenty of positives to working in a bar – for instance you could learn cool skills like cocktail-making and you’ll meet loads of interesting new people every shift. But there are also potential negatives to consider like rowdy drunk customers and late finishes.

3. Supermarket

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Supermarket work in Australia

Grocery stores and supermarkets are popular employers of students with good reason. Flexible shifts and extended hours make it easier to fit work in around your lectures and study commitments. Plus experience is rarely required.

You could work at the checkout, at one of the specialty counters like the deli or bakery, or stacking shelves at night if that suits your schedule better. Check out Coles, Woolworths, IGA or ALDI for vacancies.

4. Department store

Shops like Kmart, BIG W, Target, Myer and David Jones sell just about everything and often have extended opening hours to fit in around lectures and tutorials. So they’re a great place to look if you’re after casual work.

There are so many different departments in these stores (for example fashion, beauty, electrical, books, homewares and toys) that you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your interests and skills.

5. Clothing store

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Retail Jobs In Australia

Consider yourself something of a fashionista? Fashion retail could be for you. See the season’s latest trends as they arrive in store and help customers create killer outfits to suit their body shape and sense of personal style.

You might even get a discount on your fave brand! Check out H&M, Cotton On, Sportsgirl, Supre, Jeanswest, Just Jeans, Uniqlo, Dotti, Valleygirl, TEMT and Seed as a starting point.

6. Telco or tech retail store

Have a passion for tech that you’d love to share? Why not apply for a role at the Apple Store, JB Hi-Fi, EB Games or a telecommunications provider’s retail store like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone or Virgin Mobile?

If you have a special interest or expertise in something specific like mobile phones, gaming, photography tech like cameras and drones or you have a knack for trouble-shooting friends’ and family’s IT problems, you could be just the person one of these shops is looking for!

7. Fuel station

The ‘graveyard shift’ (late night to early morning) at your nearest fuel station might not sound appealing at first. But consider how well this could fit in around your schedule and you might give it a second thought.

Even if late nights are definitely not your cup of tea, there may be other casual shifts on offer, and of course easy access to a huge array of snacks when you need to refuel at 3am! Check the chains for vacancies.

8. Call centre

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Call Centre Work In Australia

If you’re a natural salesperson or pride yourself on your customer service skills, a call centre role could be your ‘calling’ while at uni. Many call centres operate 24/7 so you’re sure to find a shift that works in around your schedule.

And if you speak a second language you could be very attractive indeed to some call centres who require staff with diverse linguistic skills. Most large companies have a call centre of some description so your opportunities here are almost limitless!

9. Receptionist

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Receptionist Jobs in Australia

Working as a receptionist involves welcoming clients, answering the phone, booking appointments and performing basic administrative duties. It’s an excellent student job if you can get it as you’ll pick up lots of useful skills, and casual work is often available filling in around the full-time receptionist/s hours.

You’ll need to be well-presented, friendly, professional and very organised. Many industries employ receptionists – from small businesses like dentists to huge corporations like banks.

10. Side hustles

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Selling Goods at Market

Have you considered turning your hobby into a money-maker on the side? Here are some ideas:

  • Selling handmade goods: Creative types can link with interested buyers on sites like Etsy – think handmade jewellery, knitwear, baby clothes, macramé home décor, wall art, ceramics and illustrations. Or you could take your creations to the local market.
  • Gardening: If you have a green thumb there are likely to be plenty of people in your local area who could use it. You could offer lawn mowing, weeding, pruning, hedge trimming, gutter cleaning and even basic landscaping services.
  • Child care: If you’re great with kids maybe a regular babysitting gig could help pay the bills.
  • Dog walking: Dog lovers will hardly consider it work taking their neighbourhood dogs for a walk every day for a small fee.
  • Much more: There is a market for just about anything else you may be good at on Airtasker. Browse the categories and current ads for inspiration.
Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Babysitting in Australia

Your student visa’s work conditions

You’re allowed to work in Australia on a student visa, but you’ll need to meet your visa’s specified work conditions.

Currently, you’re not permitted to work until you’ve begun your studies in Australia. Once your course has started, a student visa allows you to work for a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session throughout the semester and exam periods, and unlimited hours when your course is out of session.

You’ll also need to get an Australian Tax File Number from the Australian Taxation Office before you start working.

You can read more about work conditions for student visas at the Department of Home Affairs page on Work Conditions for Student Visa Holders.

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