Studying abroad is a large investment – school fees, university accommodations, groceries and dining out, public transport, and other miscellaneous fees. Compared to other study-abroad countries, like the United States or the United Kingdom, the cost of living in Australia is generally lower and more affordable.
According to the Australian Government website, the average cost of living in Australia is approximately $21,000 AUD, and you can visit the site for a detailed breakdown of average living costs for students in the country. However, your cost of living is also dependent on the city you live in. For instance, large cities like Melbourne tend to be more expensive.
As such, working part-time while studying can be beneficial in many ways to international students in Australia.
A common question asked by students is: Can I work part-time while studying?
The answer is yes. All international students in Australia are eligible to work while studying; students holding a valid visa (subclass 500) can work up to 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during the holidays or semester breaks. Do note that this rule will be updated from 1 July 2023 onwards with the cap increased to 48 hours per fortnight. This rule is to ensure that students can focus on their studies when needed and maximise their earnings during their breaks.
Some of the fields that students can look into for part-time jobs include:
However, finding a part-time job as an international student in Australia can pose some challenges, such as finding one near your university housing. Instead, you can rely on useful resources such as your campus. Many universities and education institutions offer both on- and off-campus opportunities for students. Universities in Australia understand the importance of students working while studying, as such, they often ensure that you receive proper support to achieve it. They maintain close relationships with many local employers to provide students with a wide range of job opportunities. You can always check with the international student office or other offices within the campus for career advice or job opportunities.
You may also want to check in with the other students living in the apartment for information about available student jobs in the city. A good tip that we have for students looking for a part-time job, is to source for one that is near your student accommodation or campus so that you can further save on transport fares.
Before you start work in Australia, there are some important things that you need to be aware of:
There is a minimum wage that applies to everyone including international students. The current minimum wage per hour is AUD 20.33. If an employer offers any less than this amount, they are breaking the law. Salaries can be paid in cash, however, an employer has to present a payslip showing the amount of money paid, tax withheld, number of hours worked, and other details such as contributions to superannuation.
All international students working part-time are entitled to superannuation – money put aside by your employer throughout your working life to live on when you retire from work.
Depending on the type of employment and length of the shift, all employees are entitled to breaks between their shifts and annual leave. All this information should be listed and specified in your employment contract. Remember to check through before signing!
All Australian workers and working international students have equal rights at work, governed by national laws. For instance, if you lose your job unfairly for being discriminated against, you are entitled to claim compensation.
Working part-time in Australia broadens your study experience. Moving away from home to pursue your studies in an Australian university comes with many challenges. However, the skills you pick up while living alone in your accommodation and being responsible for your welfare are invaluable. Part-time jobs help you develop valuable skills such as communication, teamwork, time management, and creative problem-solving, all of which are important for long-term career success.
If you are looking for university accommodations in Adelaide or Melbourne, Australia, you should add Y Suites to your shortlist today. Our Waymouth Suites in Adelaide and A’Beckett Suites in Melbourne are located near cafes, restaurants, and even malls, making it easy to look for a part-time gig nearby. Check out the wide selection of room types available in our university housing in Australia.
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