Australia’s current staffing crisis opens the door for International students to a plethora of opportunities for working part-time while they study. Irrespective of where you find yourself in Australia, you are bound to find plenty of opportunities to work full-time, part-time, or on a casual basis.
Furthermore, there is no longer a cap on the number of hours an International student can work in a fortnight. While there is no official statement from the Australian Government as to when the cap will be reinstated, this is an opportunity for many to go the distance and earn handsomely.
While the no-cap is a blessing to many, it also has the potential to either disrupt your academic focus or shift it somewhere else altogether. Therefore, one must keep his work and academic life in balance despite being swarmed by job opportunities.
Working Part-Time In Australia
Almost every International student in Australia makes it a point to pick up a job first thing post arriving. And when you arrive in Australia, you’re bound to find a “we’re hiring” board outside every bar, pub, supermarket, restaurant, movie theatre, and convenience store.
There are different types of jobs available that suit students with any skills and experience. From working as a barista to a bartender, you can choose to apply for either based on your skills and expertise. All these jobs pay you a fair wage which is by the fair work commission.
The best thing about the land down under is that organisations are willing to train the right individuals without the skills or experience. This acts as a major learning curve that will bless you with the right skills and tactics required to excel at your job
How To Balance Your Academics While Working?
Distractions are common and can occur anytime, anywhere. These distractions, if left untreated, have the power to disrupt your entire focus ultimately causing you to start everything right from scratch. Similarly, working part-time in Australia has its moments where it can tamper with your academic focus.
Working part-time is all fun and games until it starts becoming the only thing you are doing in Australia. Therefore, it is crucial to find and maintain a healthy work-life balance that will not only keep your academics in check but will also make sure you are on top of everything in your class.
Although it seems difficult to find balance anywhere in life, I have found and practised these 5 techniques that continue to help me keep my work and academic life in check
1. Choose Your Hours Carefully
Just because you are allowed to work over 40 hours doesn’t necessarily mean you have to. With the cap on working hours being lifted, students are drifting towards working full-time working hours while simultaneously pursuing their education.
This creates an equation that cannot be balanced no matter how hard you try. Luckily for you, Australia offers plenty of part-time and casual working opportunities for students to try out. Part-time allows you to work a few hours every day 5 days a week whereas casual working allows you to choose the days and amount of hours you can work.
Carefully choosing your hours ensures that you have the prescribed amount of time to focus on your studies. Note that assessments in Australia aren’t the ones you are used to. Therefore, ensuring that your work doesn’t interfere with the same is pivotal.
2. Ensure You Attend Each Lecture In-Person
The onset of the pandemic brought about drastic changes, particularly in the field of education. Physical classes were immediately replaced by online ones. However, now that the borders are opening up, physical classes have too.
But since the threat of the virus still looms, Australian universities have now started offering a mix of online and in-person. Although each of your lectures will be recorded and available immediately for viewing, ensure that you are present in the classroom for each of them.
The more classes you attend in the classroom, the more you are likely to develop an academically sound mindset in the land down under. When in the university, you are surrounded by your peers, classmates, colleagues, and professors who will tend to each of your queries personally.
3. Smart Work Beats Hard Work
Australia will give you plenty of opportunities to display your skills. Everyone is a hard worker but not everyone is a smart worker. Being a smart worker is precisely what Australia asks of you. So, how do I work smart in Australia?
To begin with, carry your laptop everywhere you go particularly in the university. Use your computer to do your assessments, case studies, research papers, and so on. This way, you save a considerable amount of time doing things that usually take up a huge chunk of your day.
Use the time to search and create more opportunities by utilising your existing skillset. Doing so will not only help you save a considerable amount of time but also sizeably dial down the stress factor. Make sure you leave no minute unattended. Whether you’re in the cafeteria during lunch or in the library, make time to listen and review lecture notes.
4. Always Remember Why You Come To Australia
Although we have got this point at number 5 on our list, it needs to go above all else on yours. Always remember why you came to Australia and why you are doing what you are doing. A new country can get overwhelming at times which can cause us to derail or temporarily shift from our priorities.
But when you are thousands of miles away from home and have spent countless bucks to get here, slip-ups are a luxury none of us can afford. Make sure your goals, aspirations, and visions are displayed somewhere in your house or on your computer.
Another thing you need to know is that not everything is forever and the sacrifices and compromises you are doing at this point at the moment are going to be repaid handsomely in the near future.
5. Routine and Boundaries
The key to maintaining a work-study balance anywhere in the world is to follow the above three. An established routine involves a regular schedule you follow day in and day out making you feel more organised.
Whether it’s work hours, study periods, classes, exams, assessments, due dates, or any other, an established routine helps you keep on top of all this.
Now that you have an established routine at your disposal, setting up boundaries is vital to ensure that the routine doesn’t become overwhelming. Often we commit to more than we can handle thinking we can. This is why you must learn to say no whenever and wherever required
Always remember that study is your top priority and nothing should topple that. Clear communication is the way to go. Make your absence clear well in advance to your manager or supervisor by communicating your message formally.
The Bottom Line
When we say you need to balance your academic life, it doesn’t necessarily mean all you have to do is study. Work is a pivotal part of every student’s life in Australia and for good reason. For starters, it keeps you from worrying about how you’re going to spend your weekend while simultaneously helping you earn a significant buck to save and spend.
But in the midst of all this, you need to make sure all your academics are attended to. The more quickly you find this balance, the less you have to worry about your focus shifting. Knowing how to balance the same ensures that your priorities remain constant at all times.