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Advice for international students
There’s never been a better time to be an international student or graduate looking to make your mark overseas.
If you’ve dreamed of pairing your study or work with sunny weather, friendly people and a great way of life then a move to Australia might be just the ticket. If you’re returning home, or looking to work or study in another country, you’re in luck — there’s never been a better time to be an international student or graduate.
As an international applicant, your experience is eclectic and valuable, and you bring unique insights and knowledge to the places you apply to.
Australian employers are responding by allocating budgets specifically devoted to attracting talented international candidates, and international employers are eagerly chasing down talented Australian graduates interested in an overseas stint.
Australia’s student and graduate employability is world-class, due to the high standing of our universities in the international community. An Australian degree is recognised and trusted internationally because our institutions are renowned for world-leading facilities and teachers, vibrant campuses and innovative research.
International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while on a student visa, and are actively encouraged to work while studying to boost income and gain on-the-job experience. Internships and volunteering are other ways you can gain work experience, to enhance your learning or explore other fields of study.
Education and work experience in Australia will increase your competitiveness in the international job market post-graduation, as international employers are clamouring for graduates from Australian universities.
Choosing an education agent
Deciding to use an education agent can be a huge help as they provide comprehensive information on studying and working overseas. As with any business service, it’s important to do your research to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for, and it’s always wise to compare providers.
Some of the key things to find out include:
- whether they specialise in the country of your choice
- how much their total services will cost (ask for a summary)
- whether the agent is registered (check with your local embassy), and
- how many institutions the agent represents, and how their commission structure works.
It’s also very important to be wary of agents who:
- give false information
- ask you to sign documents you haven’t read, or
- promise you a well-paid job, visa or residency.
While there are a lot of foreign agents committed to helping students get to their destination by guiding them carefully, some are not as scrupulous and it pays to do
your homework and read the fine print before handing over money.
Selling yourself as an international student
There are lots of ways to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, but international students have a few extra tricks up their sleeves and it’s a good idea to highlight the following skills in a way that is tailored to the role you’re applying for.
- You’ve had an international education
- You’re independent, resourceful and able to cope with change
- You’re likely multilingual
- You have intercultural competence, and can interact with people from other cultures
- You’ve had life experiences that provide you with different insights to Australian graduates.
Understand what sets you apart and celebrate your differences to domestic students and grads, it’s the key way to get your foot in the door.
Top international employers 2019
GradAustralia has surveyed Australia’s top graduate employers and compiled a list of the best companies offering international students the chance to apply for one of their competitive placements. Gaining a position at one of these companies will ensure your career kick starts straight into high gear, opening doors for you both in Australia and on the world stage.
- Commonwealth Bank
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
- BHP Billiton
- Department of Education and Training
- AT Kearney
- John Holland
- Carlton United Breweries
- Kraft Heinz
If you’re keen to get started on your international move, it’s time to take the next steps.
- Research the country you’re planning a move to, especially their visa requirements
- Develop your language skills, if required
- Connect with an education or migration agent, or chat to the careers centre of the university you’re interested in applying to. If you’re applying for a job, connect with other grads who have done a stint at the company (or read articles they've written like this one from Study Adelaide).
- Find out program application open and close dates — then get writing!