Now Reading: How to Study and Find Work in Australia: 3 Lessons from an International Student

Kaee Lins Helal

How to Study and Find Work in Australia: 3 Lessons from an International Student

Kaee Lins Helal, 30, was born in Sao Paulo and grew up in the city of Brasilia. He’s married to his partner of 12 years and was trained and working as a solicitor in Brazil for almost all his adult life.

“I was accredited by the Brazilian bar before completing a Bachelor of Law program with a distinction average. After graduating I became the ‘Principal Solicitor’ of a boutique law firm, which I managed for 2 years. I’m also accredited by the Regional Council of Real Estate Agents in Brazil.”

Even though his career in Brazil was going well, he felt the pull towards a life overseas.

Kaee is now living in Epping, and he’s doing great. He’s getting a distinction average in his Master of Professional Accounting (Advanced), and he’s secured an accounting internship with the Doltone House. Coming from a totally different language, culture, and career – how did he make it all happen?

Here are 3 things that Kaee did to make sure he gave himself the best possible chances of finding work and completing his study successfully in Australia.

1. Do background research on what jobs and skill sets are in demand in your target country.

When Kaee decided he wanted to move to Australia, he realized that law is not a qualification that can be easily transferred overseas.

Moving to another country, for him, meant learning a new skill set and a new profession.

Instead of just going with his gut feeling, he actually did research on what qualifications are internationally transferrable and what professions in Australia are in demand. By doing so, he’s made sure that he is as employable as possible when he graduates.

“After I found out that my overseas qualification wasn’t valid on Australia, I decided to move to a more practical field that would be accepted all over the world, despite minor legislation changes from place to place.After researching a little about the Australian market’s needs, I decided to do a Diploma in Project Management. After finishing that course, I decided to go towards a different area. That’s when I chose accounting. With that, I came across the Master Degree of Professional Accounting (Advanced). At the time it presented the best cost-benefit for me.”
– Kaee

2. Find out what support is available and take full advantage of it.

Kaee was able to study his degree at Torrens because he applied for and received a scholarship. If you can’t afford to pay for your course, make sure you explore all possible scholarship options.

When Kaee began his course, he discovered the range of support and careers services that are available to international students.  Some of these include:

  • A personal success coach who finds opportunities for you
  • Counselling services to help you adapt
  • Additional course and careers advisors
  • The Careers Connect platform
  • Online resources such as
  • Networking and internship opportunities

These services turned out to be invaluable.

“Recently, I was able to secure an internship position on the financial department of one of the biggest venue, catering and events companies of Sydney.

Thanks to my Success Coach, David Choe, the Industry Consultant, Zoey Ka, and Careers Connect platform, I was able to identify the weaknesses of my application process (resume, cover letter, interview skills, etc.) and work on them. I improved my chances of landing an opportunity when it presented, by being prepared to meet the expectations of the recruiting manager.

Furthermore, it was through them that I was able to find the opportunity of an internship. They believed in me and in the preparation we went through together, and it paid off.”

3. Understand that it will be hard but stay focused on the goal. Be patient, adapt, learn and grow.

Studying overseas will change you. You have to stay focused on your work despite the craziness of your new life and be open to whatever comes along. The good news is you’ll come out of it stronger, more confident and ready for anything.

Being an international student demands that we adapt to many nuances in life. Coming to a new country with a different culture, language, laws and practices – it takes time to get situated. This change demands a lot of effort from anyone who decides to move countries.

However, we humans are capable of adapting to new environments and scenarios. Furthermore, it’s through conquering challenges that we achieve our most important victories. At the end, it’s all about the journey.

The best part of all this journey is looking back and realising how much you have grown and improved, and how much closer you are to achieving your goals.”

Learn more about Torrens University international students, or contact one of our friendly staff about applying from overseas. See here for more information on the Master of Professional Accounting (Advanced).

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