If you’re approaching graduation or already considering your options once you complete your studies, one of the main decisions you’re likely to make is where to live. While many international students opt to go back to their home country or take their skills overseas, there are plenty who decide to make a new life in Australia. So, which part of Australia should you settle in? If you’re looking for a city that offers great opportunities to graduates and a laidback lifestyle, you might want to consider Adelaide.
The South Australian capital is a fantastic place to begin your professional journey, with dedicated services and resources to help get you started. The recent Australian Government announcement on new regional visas also means that international students studying in Adelaide will qualify for an extra year of post-study work rights.
WORKING IN ADELAIDE
First up, Adelaide is a fantastic place to live. With a diverse and welcoming environment that’s reflected in the workplace, you’ll find that it’s a relatively easy city to ease into. There are plenty of thriving industries in Adelaide including food and wine (it is the gateway to the famous Barossa Valley, after all!), arts and culture, defence, bio-science, manufacturing, agriculture and more. Plus, there are several graduate programs offered by both South Australian and global companies each year.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SATISFACTION
Based on research from the 2018 International Alumni Job Network’s International Student Employment Outcomes survey, 75% of students studying in Adelaide secured a job within three months of graduating. Of the respondents, 35% even commenced their first jobs prior to graduation, meaning an easy transition straight from university to employment.
- 80% of international students in Adelaide were satisfied with the return on investment from their education – higher than the Australia-wide average of 77%.
- 85% felt their education in Adelaide positively impacted their career, versus the Australian average of 79%.
- International students in Adelaide were also happy with job-seeking services, with 48% satisfied with the overall career support provided by their university. This is higher than the Australia-wide average of 36%.
GRADUATE VISA PATHWAYS
As an international graduate in South Australia, you are eligible for a number of different visas that will allow you to stay and work in Australia, depending on your qualifications and skills. You could be looking at anything between two years and permanent residency.
For example, if you’ve completed an Australian degree in the last two years that required full-time study, you can apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) that will allow you to work in Australia for between two and four years depending on your qualification. If you are studying in Adelaide, you will be eligible for an extra year of post-study work rights.
Or, if you have received an offer of employment by an Australian employer who is able to sponsor you, you may be eligible for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) that allows you to stay permanently.
In South Australia, there is also the added benefit of state nomination for international graduates of South Australian universities.
State nomination provides a pathway to permanent residency. Not to be confused with an actual visa application, the state nomination will help you meet the requirements for an Australian visa. For example, you will be awarded additional points towards the federal points test for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).
By applying for state nomination, you will access a more extensive occupation list, which means more jobs you can work in under your visa. These include everything from graphic and web design to teaching and nursing to piloting and wine-making. The full list is available here.
To qualify for state nomination, you need to meet the relevant requirements. However, you can still be eligible for state nomination even if you don’t meet all the requirements. If you’re a high performing graduate – first of all, nice work! Secondly, you’re in luck. Waivers are available to high-performing graduates, which includes PhD, Masters (by research) and first-class honours students, along with undergraduates with a GPA of 6.0 or above.
HELP AND SUPPORT
Staying in or moving to Adelaide for employment post-graduation is an opportunity to develop your work skills, understand international work culture and enjoy a cheaper Australian lifestyle in one of the world’s top 10 most liveable cities. Once you’ve made the decision to live and work in Adelaide, wrapping your head around all the different visas and requirements can be stressful. Fortunately, there are services across the city to help you navigate this.
Individual support for career pathways is available at every university in South Australia. In addition, universities will run career expos, networking events and work fairs that offer opportunities to develop one-on-one relationships with businesses across the state.
StudyAdelaide also delivers some great initiatives for international students in Adelaide, such as the Get Work Help Desk, which allows you to receive one-on-one advice on anything job-related, and a number of employability seminars throughout the year.
For visa information, you have to visit the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The DHA, along with migration agents, are the only ones licensed to give advice about immigration matters. Note: there is no obligation to go through a migration agent, and any visa applications will not be treated differently if you don’t use an agent.
Any other information you require can be found at Immigration South Australia. Here, visa options and the details of state nomination are outlined, occupation lists are available, and methods of finding work are explored.
It’s never too early to start looking to the future, should you decide to stay in Adelaide or move to the city after graduation. Take some initiative and start accessing the career support and resources available to you in advance of your graduation, to get the most out of these services.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT STORY