Perhaps the most iconic city in Australia, Sydney has become a hotspot for international internships due to its integral role in domestic and international businesses, organizations, and industries. As Australia’s position in the Pacific places it atthe forefront of global trade and political collaboration, Sydney is an incredible city that guarantees professional development through both the experience of living abroad and learning to work in a multinational workplace. The city’s diverse population offers a vibrant lifestyle for the large numbers of young adults that flock to Sydney’s east coast for the golden beaches, city parks, and never ending internship opportunities.
Internships in Sydney
Like many internships abroad, you may choose to intern in Sydney for the summer, an academic semester, or for a year. The length of your internship in Sydney is entirely dependent on the company or organization you choose to work with, in addition to the length of your stay in Australia, which can last anywhere between six and 14 weeks. The required hours for internships abroad in Sydney may vary, although a part-time internship typically requires a commitment of 15 to 20 hours a week, while a full-time internship is around 30 to 35 hours a week.
Due to Sydney’s prominence as a leading metropolitan city, internships are available in nearly every field of work. However, some of the most common areas for internships in Sydney are finance and business, media, and tourism.
Finance & Business. Strategically situated within the Pacific, Australia is a major trading partner with China, North America, and most countries within the Asia Pacific. As a crucial port-city, Sydney is central to Australia’s world economy. As such, the city is booming with businesses – particularly in the energy sector – as well as domestic and international banks, perfect for the budding business professional to complete an internship abroad. Sydney offers the incredible experience of learning and working in the fields of business and finance in a country that is at the forefront of global economics and, by extension, world politics.
Media. Sydney is home to multiple domestic and international television and radio stations, in addition to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s oldest newspaper still in print. The headquarters of the country’s longest running magazine, The Bulletin, are also housed in Sydney. For those interested in interning in media, Sydney is an excellent environment in which to learn about the field in a nation that reaches a large and diversified audience. Media internships in Sydney will allow interns to build some stellar work experience abroad to say the least.
Tourism. Sydney attracts nearly 2.8 million visitors each year from all over the world. The numerous attractions throughout the city offer diverse opportunities for internships in hospitality, museums, outdoor activities, and the arts – most noteworthy of which is the world-famous Sydney Opera House. Fluency in other languages can be extremely beneficial for those who want to intern in Sydney, as both the residents and tourists of the city come from all corners of the world. Building experience in the tourism industry through internships in Sydney is a second to none experience and will surely shine on any resume.
Life in Sydney
Surrounded by water, filled with lush, gardens, and towering with glass-paned skyscrapers, Sydney is a marvel of natural beauty and human constructed excellence. There are an endless amount of attractions within the city, including a thriving culture of contemporary art, world-famous theatre, and, of course, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Although Sydney is home to many athletic teams, its cricket clubs and rugby leagues are perhaps the largest and most popular within the city.
Due to Sydney’s diverse population, the cultural events (and perhaps most importantly, the cuisine) of many different countries all come together to offer a wide array of options for exploration in the city. There are over 250 languages spoken in Sydney, making it one of the most multicultural places in the world.
With nearly thirty universities within the city limits and one of the highest-ranked economies in the world, Sydney is bursting with young adults and professionals starting international careers, which makes for a very lively workforce. Additionally, as travel is such an integral component of the Australian lifestyle, most native “Sydneysiders” have experienced living in a new country and understand the challenges of it - as such, you’ll find that most people in the city are very friendly and it is very easy to make friends.
And, of course, there are Sydney’s many beaches and the chance to perfect your surfing technique while interning in Sydney!
Salary & Costs
Many internships abroad in Sydney can be applied towards academic credit when paired with study abroad in Sydney. It can, however, be difficult to find a paid internship in Sydney. Although, many internships include accommodations in program fees.
As it is a very popular tourist destination, interning in Sydney can be somewhat costly. However, to compensate, most employers provide a higher salary for their employees. A meal out in town may cost approximately $15 dollars and rent may range anywhere between $230 and $2,300 dollars. On the other hand, markets provide affordable fresh produce and public transportation is a very efficient and affordable option within the city.
Accommodations & Visas
Most housing in Sydney for interns include shared apartments, homestays, or rooms in youth dorms or hostels. The company or organization with which you are interning with may assist you in organizing accommodations, although online resources for international students and interns searching for a place to live are also readily available.
In order to enter Australia, you must obtain a visa before leaving; the type of visa is dependent upon the type of internship you will be fulfilling. Current students and recent graduates can complete an unpaid internship in Australia for up to 26 weeks on a 416:Special Program Visa.
If you are completing a paid internship in Sydney, you should apply for a 417:Working Holiday Visa, which allows you to intern in Sydney for exactly one year. The visa application process is almost entirely online and extremely easy - you can expect a response within a couple of days from the Australian Embassy.
Benefits & Challenges
- Expensive City. Some experience is necessary in order to obtain an internship abroad in Sydney typically, as the workplace is incredibly competitive. The cost of living in the city can also be challenging, however the public transportation system is very affordable and a good option for those trying to be thrifty.
- Multicultural Experience. Sydney is a city of people from other places. A majority of the population is made up of immigrants from surrounding Asian countries and Europe - most significantly, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Italy. With this comes a cultural and culinary scene similar to that of New York City - bursting with festivals, museums, restaurants, and city streets that look like little pieces of home to each of these demographics. Take advantage of what each neighborhood of Sydney has to offer!
- On the Other Side of the Equator. Keep in mind that if you are from North America, Australia is on the other side of the equator. This means that the seasons will be flipped - the North American winter is the Australian summer. However, overall, Australian weather is very warm - plan to enjoy those sunny days on Sydney’s beaches or in the city’s vast collection of jungle-like gardens, but don’t forget to pack a raincoat in case of a monsoon.
- Incredible Opportunity. The diversity, exciting city life, and natural beauty of Sydney provides interns with incredible personal exploration, while the city’s wide array of professional sectors and global relevance makes the opportunity of interning abroad in Sydney an excellent springboard for a career abroad.