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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

Finding work and professional experience

There are lots of options available for part-time and casual work in Canberra.

Students often work in part-time and casual roles. International students get paid the same and have the same workplace rights as all workers in Australia.

Jobs in retail and hospitality are plentiful and tend to be favoured by students looking to fit work around their studies. There are other options available too, and you might be lucky enough to find part-time work that aligns with your chosen field of study.

Using employment websites like seek.com, Facebook groups, asking your friends or simply walking around dropping of resumés to employers can be effective ways to find a casual job. Your education provider will also have a careers website that will list jobs specifically targeted to students.

Keep an eye put around campus to see if any part-time jobs are being advertised.

Writing a resume

Don’t have a resume? Your institution or student association will have support available to enable you to write one, and to help you understand the employment landscape in Australia.

Visa conditions

Be mindful of your visa conditions before you apply for a job. International students are typically limited to 40 hours work each fortnight during teaching periods, and unlimited hours during semester breaks. ​​​​To address current workforce shortages, work hours restrictions for students have been temporarily relaxed by the Australian Government, however, capped work hours will return from 30 June 2023. If you are unsure, you should check with your institution or the Department of Home Affairs.

Internships, work experience, and work integrated learning

Internships, work experience, and work integrated learning are short periods of unpaid or paid work that are usually related to your field of study. They are sometimes part of the curriculum required to complete your studies. In this case, you will be helped by your institution to find a suitable placement with an employer.

However, you can also seek these opportunities out yourself. Choosing the right experience can provide an invaluable insight into your selected industry. You also get to network with professionals who can offer advice and potentially help you get a job after you graduate. Participating in a few different placements throughout your studies will help you pinpoint your specific areas of interest.

Working in retail to support yourself through your studies is just one option when it comes to part time and casual work opportunities in Canberra.

Although unpaid, volunteering can be a valuable way to build experience and connections, understand more about an organisation and give back to the community. You will often find opportunities to volunteer on-campus, and Volunteering ACT is a great reference for volunteering opportunities across Canberra.

Workplace rights and safety

Working a part-time or casual job during your studies is a rite of passage and often necessary to support yourself while studying.

As an international student, you have the same workplace rights and protections as all Australian workers. This includes:

  • guaranteed minimum pay,
  • protection from unfair treatment and
  • a safe working environment

For details about your rights and responsibilities as an employee in Australia, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman

Understanding your rights and when you are in an unsafe work environment is crucial to staying safe in the workplace. WorkSafe ACT is a great resource for learning about what’s acceptable in your workplace and how to raise concerns if you have any.

Love food? Why not check out opportunities to work in one of Canberra’s many cafes or restaurants during your studies.
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Interested in studying in Canberra?

Contact the Study Canberra team for information and advice