Top tips to help international students find work in Brisbane - Choose Brisbane


Top tips to help international students find work in Brisbane

International students learning at the computer

It’s one thing to pack up your life, say goodbye to family and friends, and travel to another country to learn. But it’s even harder to then find enough energy to study and find a job in your new home.

There are many things to consider: visa conditions, taxes, your rights and responsibilities, types of work, just to name a few. One of the largest industries in Brisbane is tourism and the city has plenty of jobs in hospitality, but there are also opportunities in retail and elsewhere.

Once you have started your course in Australia, you’re permitted to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during the study semester, and unlimited hours on the study break. Find out more here.

Check out our tips on how you can get yourself a sweet job and a bit of extra cash to ensure you make the most of your time in Brisbane.

Start your search online

A lot of jobs will be posted online, so get to know the websites that can offer up opportunities. Sites such as,, and are a good place to start, and more short-term casual positions can be found on

The bigger hospitality and retail chains have online application processes, so check out their websites on how to submit your resumé. You should also keep up to date with any online noticeboards used by your university or college in Brisbane, as job opportunities can be posted there. Just ask your college’s admin team to point you in the right direction.

If you find a job you think might suit, make sure you act quickly – casual jobs are a hot commodity, so apply fast.

Apply in person

Many casual or part-time jobs in smaller hospitality or retail outlets won’t always be advertised online. Sometimes a sign in the window saying “Staff wanted” is all the advertising they do, which is a great opportunity for you to show up in person with your resumé and make a good impression. Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t be shy: Walk into the business and ask to talk to the manager. Brisbanites are a friendly bunch!
  • Have your resumé ready: Take at least two copies of your resumé with your contact details to give to the manager. Even if they don’t have a job available right now, they could phone you later down the track.
  • Ask the right questions: If there is a job opportunity, be upfront and ask about the expected hours, the pay rate, a start date and any special requirements (uniform costs, training, who your manager will be).
  • Get contact details: Don’t forget to store your new boss’s phone number and email address in your phone.
  • Pick the right time: Avoid going into the business during busy hours. For restaurants, forget about meal times, and retailers can get hectic at lunch-time on weekdays and on late-night shopping (Thursday in the suburbs, Friday in the city).
  • Always show your eagerness: If no work is available, ask if they know of other businesses that may be looking for work. You never know your luck!

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