Internships Abroad in Australia

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A Guide to Interning Abroad in Australia

Explore down under in the most fulfilling and profitable way through internships in Australia. Have the chance to gain professional experience in your field while working and living along the scenic coastline of Australia. When interning in this picturesque environment, you will shortly learn why the people of Australia are some of the happiest people in the world. Not only is Australia filled with natural attractions, like the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, and their world famous wine country, but Australia’s prominence in the arts and sciences as well as international business make this a perfect location to intern abroad.


Sydney, the nation’s largest city, is an excellent choice for internships abroad in just about every industry, because of its size and international popularity. Ranked in the top fifteen cities for tourism in the past fourteen years, tourism and hospitality are top industries for internships in Sydney. The Sydney Opera House is a major component to international tourism and also reflects and contributes to the national theatre, art, and music culture. The city also hosts many music, film, and art festivals throughout the year, keeping the city bustling. Sydney is also known for a very lively nightlife, which resides mainly in Kings Cross.

Just north along the eastern coast resides the city of Brisbane. The city’s economy is growing faster than any other Australian city, making economics an excellent field for internships in Brisbane. The success of the city’s economy is greatly attributed to The Queen Street Mall, which covers over 40,000 square meters and holds a visually aesthetic quality. Brisbane is home to many top universities, such as the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology. Both of these schools specialize in research and technology, providing opportunities for lab and research internships in Brisbane too.

Residing on the southeastern edge of the country lies the city of Melbourne. Known as the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne is a hip and innovative city that leads the way for the Australian art culture. Melbourne is recognized as a UNESCO city of literature based on its academic presence and general literary recognition. The University of Melbourne has greatly aided the academic presence in Melbourne and has consistently been ranked as the top university in Australia. Interning in Melbourne with a professor in any field at the University of Melbourne would certainly stand out on your resume to any future employer. But Melbourne is specifically accredited for its presence within literature and the arts. Melbourne is the birthplace of Australian film and television and continues to be the home to international film festivals, so Melbourne is therefore an ideal Australian internship location for anyone looking to get into the film and media industry.

Internships in Australia

Australia possesses a very rich art culture that draws people from all over the world. Film is by far the most popular area of interest, therefore creating a high demand for film production. Interning in Australia in the fields of film and media will expose you to a thriving art scene that will open up countless networking opportunities.

The fashion industry is also a big part of the art culture in Australia, which creates many opportunities for internships in graphic design. Australia is also very popular for action and extreme sports, which demand sponsorships from companies whose sole purpose is to create eye catching designs and trendy fashion. With such a progressive art culture in Australia, there’s a need to sell the entertainment available. As such, marketing is another popular area for interning in Australia. Finally, Australia’s wide range of ecosystems, geological processes, and biodiversity, make it an ideal location for internships in environmental protection or biology.

Internships in Australia vary in terms of the length and amount of work, but typically programs last between eight and twelve weeks. It is usually up to you to communicate with your employer the amount of hours you’d like to work, but internships will usually be less than a 40 hour commitment per week, and almost never any more than that. Professional experience is usually not required, but some internships in Australia will require one to two years of relevant university course work.

Salary & Costs

If you’re a student looking to get credit, many internships in Australia can be applied toward course credits where applicable. However, it is uncommon for the latter internships to also be paid.

As a popular tourist destination, Australia tends to lean towards the pricier side when it comes to cost of living. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost around $15 and the cost of a pair of jeans can be over $100. Fortunately, there are ways to save on living expenses to avoid these steep costs. Most internship programs in Australia include living accommodations in contracts or program fees, when applicable. Living arrangements might be a homestay where meals are provided by your host family, saving you money on food. If you don’t find yourself in a homestay, there are still great alternative options to save on the cost of meals. As a very health conscious country, Australia offers some of the best locally grown organic foods. With popular markets, like the Sydney farmers market, you will have access to fresh, affordable produce that can allow you to save money on meals by cooking and preparing your own. Bus transportation in Australia is also fairly cheap, so getting around won’t break the bank.

Accommodations & Visas

The most common housing arrangements for individuals who intern in Australia are shared apartments, hotels, homestays, or a room in a dorm/youth hostel. Most internship programs include housing within the program fee. Since the majority of internship opportunities in Australia are located in the larger cities, and living arrangements in downtown areas can be scarce and expensive, you may find yourself living in the outskirts of a major city. Although, you should not have to commute much more than 30 minutes to your internship in Australia.

It’s common for internships to provide assistance with acquiring a visa. If you’re not already in possession of an Australian student visa, then you will have to apply for a special program visa online. To qualify for this visa you must be 18 years old, demonstrate intermediate to fluent abilities in English, and provide proof of sufficient financial support and health insurance coverage, which many internships will provide. A special program visa is valid up to six months, though recipients cannot receive pay for their internship work under the special program visa (or work part-time). If you plan on working for pay while interning in Australia, you must apply for a work visa through your employer. 

Benefits & Challenges

Diversity. Since Sydney is such a popular tourist and study abroad destination, you will be exposed to international diversity that will greatly enhance your chances for employment abroad.

Attractions. Though expenses are high in the major cities, there is no shortage of natural attractions to enjoy free of charge. So whether you are cliff diving off of the rocky edges of the Australian coast, relaxing on the beach, or just developing your professional career, you are sure to have the time of your life interning in Australia.

Language. Of course, it is a bit easier to intern abroad when communicating all in your own language, and English is the national language in Australia. Although, it may take a little time to understand a few unique ways of saying things as a foreign intern in Australia.

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A Guide To
Interning Abroad in Australia


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