How to source volunteer work and work experience while on a study visa

If you hold a valid Australian student visa you can intern up to 40 hours a fortnight while your course is in session (excluding any internship undertaken as a registered component of their course of study or training) and you can intern full time during scheduled course breaks.

As an international student, you'll receive the same protections in the workplace as Australian nationals. 

These conditions might be different to what you are used to in your home country, so we recommend that you start by learning more about working in Australia here.

Be aware that:

  • Protections at work: The same laws protect you as every other Australian worker.
  • Minimum wage: All Australian workers receive a minimum rate per hour regardless of what type of work they do, however not all internships are paid. 
  • Additional support: As a student worker, you can also get help from the Australian Government and non-government organisations, and your education provider.


As an alternative to an internship or work experience you may want to consider volunteering, to gain local experience. Below you can find links to volunteer opportunities in your state:

Build your understanding of the industry trends influencing the profession in Australia 

Engineers Australia is at the forefront of engineering research and policy thought leadership. We produce a range of reports to inform policy development, the industry and our members. Here are some resources to help you build your knowledge:

  • Read Engineers Australia’s 2017 insights into the State of the Engineering Profession, which details the changes required to realise this country’s political, social, and economic aspirations. 
  • Australia sources its engineers from graduates of Australian institutions and skilled migration. The Engineers make things happen report examines the question of engineering workforce supply pipelines in more detail.
  • Registration of Engineers: the case for statutory registration explains registration’s value, how it can work in practice, and more.
  • Read a report that supports the defence department’s review of mobilisation planning in Industry Responses in a Collapse of Global Governance
  • Engineering Responses to Climate Change summarises our major findings and discussions from the Engineering Responses to Climate Change Roundtable, Feb 2020.
  • In 2014, Engineers Australia created a policy on sustainability and climate change. You can read about our sustainability policy here and our climate change policy here.
  • Engineers Australia believes the future of Australia’s energy supply will depend on a strong engineering workforce. Engineers will play a critical role in the research, development, production, and implementation of energy efficiency measures and emerging technology options, providing reliable energy to Australian consumers and meeting Australia’s emission reduction targets. Read the report: The Future of Australian Electricity Generation.