As a college student, travelling abroad to experience work life in another country is something that may have crossed your mind. Australia is a popular choice with students, and not without good reason! It’s another English-speaking country. It is packed full of glorious beaches, sporting opportunities, and a relatively high minimum wage.

So, what should you consider in more detail if you’re going to make your Aussie working vacation a success?

1) Know the student visa work rights

Your visa will indicate what your rights are while in Australia. You’ll need to ensure you get the right type of visa. A work and holiday visa might be the one for you, as it covers Australia. If you’re aged 18-30 and have a valid US passport, it’s worth looking into it.

2) Choose the types of work

Consider what type of job you want while you’re Down Under. Is it something you see yourself pursuing a long-term career in? Or is it something you’ve always wanted to try that might simply help you develop transferrable skills?

Working on a cruise boat could be a fun and interesting way to spend your working vacation. If this is the path you choose, you’ll need a Maritime Crew Visa (MCV) which can be obtained from

What else will I need?

1) Strong English language skills

Communication is core in any workplace. Engage with your colleagues regularly so they know about any challenges you’re facing at work or anything else that might be relevant. If this is something you struggle with, start working on it while you’re still at home in the US.

2) Cultural sensitivity

Australia is a culturally diverse nation. Be respectful and open-minded, appreciating any differences you may come across in the workplace. You could be working alongside people from other backgrounds. It never hurts to do a bit of personal homework on some of the cultural differences you expect to encounter before you fly out.

3) Some time for leisure

As an ambitious college student who needs to fund your way, the temptation can be to hustle hard. That’s understandable but factoring in a little bit of time to relax can actually make you more productive. Decide how you will apportion time for sleeping and eating in advance, as it’s important you stay healthy.

And don’t forget to find some time for leisure! You may only get an opportunity like this once, so decide what parts of Australia you absolutely can’t miss and decide how you’ll factor that in. Do you want to try surfing on the Gold Coast? Or do you want to see the natural Penguin Parade on Philip Island? Even if the activities aren’t near your place of work, the Greyhound buses are affordable and often run overnight. As a backup, you could always hop on a domestic flight somewhere for a weekend!


Figure out the visa requirements and start planning. The anticipation is all part of the fun. Your Aussie adventure awaits!