Living in Australia

Working while you Study

Students may work up to 48 hours per fortnight during study sessions with unrestricted hours during course breaks.

Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:

  • A minimum wage.
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Breaks and rest periods.
  • A healthy and safe work environment.


Most employers in Australia are covered by an ‘award’, which sets minimum wages and conditions for a given field of work or industry. To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work website.

In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).

The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.

This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia for more information.

You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office website to find out more information on getting a tax file number, as well as information about paying taxes in Australia.

Pay rates and workplace conditions are set by Australian law. The Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements. The Fair Work Ombudsman can give you further information and advice about your workplace rights and obligations, and has workplace information translated into different languages.

Your rights and protections include workplace health and safety matters.
Refer: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements. For more information, contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au.

Should you have any questions about your pay rate, your work rights and employer responsibilities please visit the following links.
https://calculate.fairwork.gov.au/
https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/workplace-rights

For more information please refer to our comprehensive Student Handbook – https://macallan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/MAC_IntlHndBk_Student_v3.2_Mar23v2.pdf

Also visit: https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/en/work-in-australia

Cost Of Living in Australia

The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia.

Visit the Study in Australia website for more information on the cost of living in Australia.
https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/en/life-in-australia/living-and-education-costs

For more information on living in Australia including safety, Student Support Services, Accommodation, tips and advice for students, visit the Australia Government Study in Australia site: https://www.studyaustralia.gov.au/en/life-in-australia

Department of Home Affairs
https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Visa finder
https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder

Life in Australia Book
https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/life/aust/life-in-australia-book
Translated versions are also available on this site, in many languages.

Adelaide
https://studyadelaide.com/

Brisbane
http://www.choosebrisbane.com.au
http://www.studyqueensland.qld.gov.au/
http://www.qld.gov.au/education/further-ed/course-info.html

Perth
https://www.studyperth.com.au/

Sydney
http://www.study.sydney/

Overseas Student’s Health Cover(OSHC)

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is COMPULSORY insurance that provides cover for the costs of medical and hospital care which international students may need while in Australia and is mandatory for international student visa holders. OSHC will also cover the cost of emergency ambulance transport and some prescription drugs. At Macallan College our preferred provider for OSHC is Allianz Global Assistance. https://allianzassistancehealth.com.au/en/helpcentre/oshc/o-week-video/

How do I get OSHC?
When applying for your student visa you will be asked to provide evidence of having OSHC for the entire duration of your stay in Australia. You cannot arrive until you have OSHC organised and evidence of the same. If you do not buy your OSHC through the College (you must provide evidence of your insurance, no later than at Orientation and advise us of any changes. Students can also purchase their OSHC through their Education Agent or contact the insurer directly; however, evidence will be required during enrolment that students have sufficient cover at all times. If you would like to purchase your policy from our preferred provider Allianz please use this link: Allianz International Health Quote Portal- https://api.allianz.com/myquote/1?groupId=61376

If you are travelling with your family, you will need to include their documents as well.

Keep all documents in your carry-on luggage. In case you lose the originals, make copies that can be left behind with family and sent to you.