Careers advice for international students

Understanding your working rights in Australia

Careers advice for international students

Understanding your working rights in Australia

Understanding your work rights in Australia

One of the most important things that you can do for your career while in Australia, is develop a strong understanding of your visa conditions and working rights in Australia. Once you develop this knowledge, you will be better able to navigate the Australian job market, be more strategic in your approach to developing your employability and be able have more effective conversations with employers.    

Career planning and developing your employability

As a BEL student, you have the support of a dedicated Career Services Team to help you take action and design your personally determined future – wherever and whatever that might look like!

Build your networks

Approximately 75% of opportunities in Australia are never advertised, instead they are filled through personal networks. Therefore, to make the most of your time in Australia it is important that you meet people both socially and professionally. A few ways that you can do that include:

  • Attend a Peers and Careers session – Hear from experienced BEL students about how they took their first steps in building employability skills, thinking about their career and all the things they wish they knew when they were getting started.
  • Get a Mentor - with the help of an industry mentor, mentees can gain new knowledge and skillsets that can broaden their career opportunities and personal networks for advancement.

    Networking event in Terrace Room, UQ St Lucia

  • Attend Insights from industry events.
  • Become a BEL Buddy - BEL Buddies are Business, Economics and Law students who contribute to the BEL community in many positive ways, from welcoming new students, sharing tips and helping peers settle into university life, to being a friendly face at student events and collaborating with staff and students on partnership projects.
  • Student Clubs and Societies - UQU are proud to have 220+ affiliated clubs and societies with over 35,000 students taking advantage of the chance to learn new skills and hang out with like-minded people.
    Join a Professional Associations - professional associations are organisations that act as a peak body or umbrella for professionals working in the same or similar fields.

Grow your knowledge of the local workplace culture

Every country is slightly different, so it is important that you understand the recruitment practices and work culture of that job market. Whether that work culture is Australia or another country start to get ready by making use of GoinGlobal’s Career Guides, which are  all developed by local employment experts.

Gain experience

Particularly within the Australian market, employers value well-rounded graduates who have participated in a diverse range of experience. For every individual what this looks like will be slightly different and there is no “right” opportunity to gain experience, the most important thing is that you are able to articulate the value of these experiences to an employer. Please note that some of these programs and experiences may contribute towards your 40 hours of work per fortnight.

  • Participate in the UQ Employability Award.
  • Join the Student Work Experience Program – this program provides you with the opportunity to participate in a competitive recruitment and selection process, then receive an opportunity to be placed into a 30-day work experience opportunity.
  • Work-integrated Learning - gain work experience with an industry partner for academic credit. Any work experience completed as a part of your course does not continue to your 40 hours.
  • Get involved at UQ - discover and sign up to opportunities at UQ such as mentoring, volunteering, representation and voice.
  • Volunteer in the local community for a registered not for profit, this is a great way to build your skills without going over your 40 hours during semester. Find opportunities to volunteer via Volunteering QLD or Seek Volunteering.
  • Undertake a virtual internship, as these are opportunities are simulations the work done at leading companies not a real position these generally would not contribute towards your 40 hours.
  • Work on a Student-Staff Partnership Project - this program seeks to empower Student and Staff Partners to effect positive change within the teaching and learning, student experience and governance/strategy environments.
  • Join the Summer & Winter Research Programs – this program provides an opportunity for students to participate in an educational research experience.
  • Complete an Unpaid Work Experience - if you are looking to undertake unpaid work experience outside of your required coursework, you and the host organisation must complete the Unpaid Work Experience Registration Form and email it to the BEL Career Services team via
  • Maintain a casual or part-time job while you study.
  • Find internships both locally or abroad via job sites such as StudentHub, GradConnection, GlobalGrad and GoinGlobal’s job boards.