Studying & working in Sydney

Studying & working in Sydney

Working in Australia

Your student visa may restrict the number of hours you can work while you're studying in Australia. You can find out more about visa requirements at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is a federal government agency that provides free advice and enforces Australian workplace laws. Its top 5 tips to international students include:

  1. Don't work for free: You need to be paid for all hours you work including opening and closing a business and attending meetings and training for work. Be careful of unpaid internships that are not strictly observational or organised by your education provider for course credits.
  2. It's a good idea to keep a work diary: Make note of how many hours you work each week so you know how much you should be paid. 
  3. You shouldn't be paid less: International students get the same pay and conditions as Australian employees. You need to be paid in money, not goods and services. 
  4. You must get a pay slip: Every time you are paid you need to receive a pay slip that tells you how much you were paid, the hours you worked and how much tax was taken out.
  5. Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman: If you need any more advice, help or support you can call the Fair Work Infoline on
    13 13 94.

StudyNSW

The NSW Government's website for international students provides information about the education system and types of study in New South Wales. It also includes details on accommodation, banking, health and safety, shopping and transport. 

Our libraries

The City provides a network of libraries and international students are welcome to become members. You can access our extensive collections, including IELTS, online resources, free wifi and study spaces.   

Leaders and ambassadors

In 2013 the City trialled its international student leadership and ambassador (ISLA) program, with 40 leaders and ambassadors successfully graduating from the 6-month training course and work experience program. The program is continuing in 2015 with new international student ambassadors. 

Student safe

We worked with the NSW Police Service to put together personal safety tips in a variety of community languages to help you avoid crime and remain safe during your stay in Sydney. 

Video presentations
International Education Provider Forum 2015 Event Highlight

International education provider's forum highlights

13 October 2015

The City of Sydney, NSW Police Force and StudyNSW hosted the third International Education Provider's Forum at Customs House on 13 October 2015. The forum allowed for an exchange of information and ideas relating to accommodation and student safety and wellbeing to improve the sector's support of students to make safe choices.

Panel 1: Accommodation

Panel 1: Accommodation

13 October 2015

The panel discusses issues around illegal accommodation, safety issues such as overcrowding and smoke alarms, affordability and advice and support services for international students.

Student Wellbeing

Panel 2: Student wellbeing

13 October 2015

The panel discusses issues around international student wellbeing including workplace relations and entitlements, dealing with stress and support services for problem gambling.

A speaker from the education provider forum.

Education provider forum

31 March 2015

A showcase of the range of interagency resources available for international students hosted by the City in partnership with StudyNSW, NSW Trade and Investment and the NSW Police.

My Study My Career

My Study, My Career

21 March 2014

Advice to international students about finding work while they’re living in Australia and what they can do to maximise job opportunities. Also offers advice regarding safety, including the various forms of domestic violence. Speakers include students, some of the country’s leading employers and legal experts.

Study Work Play Safely

Study, Work and Play Safely

31 October 2013

The purpose of this forum was to enhance the safety and wellbeing of international students through facilitating access to resources and promoting a more cohesive and socially inclusive community by engaging service providers in the process.

Last updated: Friday, 21 October 2016