Can international students work and study in Australia?

Studying in Australia can be an extremely rewarding experience. You’ll get an opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures and unfamiliar ways of life. You’ll get to see the sights, explore new places, expand your knowledge and progress your language skills. With everything from tuition fees to living expenses to take into account, studying in another country can certainly be costly. As a result, many international students choose to work alongside their studies so they can boost their income, reduce their debt and fund everything from travel costs to textbooks. Here’s our guide to working and studying in Australia:

What you need to work & study in Australia

Most student visas allow you to work up to 40 hours every two weeks during term time and longer hours during course breaks. Before you travel and take on any paid work, ensure your visa gives you the right to work and study in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection can help you determine whether your visa will allow you to earn an income while studying. To work in Australia, you’ll also need a tax file number which can be obtained by visiting the Australian Tax Office and following instructions.

Work opportunities

Paid work – There are so many opportunities to study and work in Australia. In fact, many employers actively recruit students to fill flexible roles outside of traditional office hours. Potential paid opportunities could include:

    • Retail – working in shops and supermarkets


    • Hospitality – you could get a job in a cafe, bar, restaurant or hotel


    • Agricultural – some students choose to work on farms


    • Sales – help businesses to sell and promote their products and services


    • Tutoring – teach other students and share your knowledge



Internships can be a fantastic way of gaining work experience in your chosen field and getting a foot in the door of your dream career. Some internships are unpaid but there are others that can see you earning a small salary while learning at the same time. By doing an internship alongside your studies you’ll be able to gain valuable experience, develop your skills in a workplace environment, build new connections and improve your CV.


If you want to gain experience, meet new people, and impress future employers, volunteering can be a great venture. However, since you won’t be paid, this might not be the best option for you if you’re hoping to earn money during your time in Australia.

Know your rights

Every working person in Australia has basic rights at work. To prevent yourself from being taken advantage of, it’s important to know your rights in the workplace. You’ll be entitled to:

    • A minimum wage


    • Regular breaks and rest periods


    • A healthy and safe working environment

To learn more about your working rights in Australia, visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work website. If you’d like help deciding where to study in Australia, the team at IEC Abroad can help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to learn more about the opportunities available to you.