Professional Development Program for International Students

UNSW Professional Development Program for International Students

UNSW Professional Development Program (International Students)

The UNSW Professional Development Program (International Students) is an initiative to assist UNSW international students with English as a second language to further develop their communication skills in a professional setting and gain practical workplace experience to enhance their career opportunities.

The Program consists of two components:

  • A three-day seminar on business communication, customer service skills, employer expectations and the recruitment process
  • A 50 hour on-campus office Workplace Experience Program organised by Careers and Employment and hosted by various departments at UNSW

This program aims to assist international students in:

  • Gaining knowledge of employer expectations in the Australian workplace
  • Enhancing business communication, business writing and customer service skills
  • Improving interview skills and ability to perform during recruitment activities
  • Gaining administration and customer service experience in an office environment
  • Developing confidence in professional settings

This program is facilitated in February and July each year.


Key dates for 2018 Semester 1:

  • Information Session: Friday 22 September and Wednesday 18 October 
  • Applications Open: Monday 25 September 2017
  • Applications Close: Sunday 3 December 2017
  • Application results sent out: By Thursday 7 December 2017 
  • Day 1 of the Seminar Program: Monday 29 January 2018, 9am-5pm
  • Day 2 of the Seminar Program: Tuesday 30 January 2018, 9am-5pm
  • Day 3 of the Seminar Program: Wednesday 31 January 2018, 9am-5pm
  • Interviews for Workplace Experience Program: Thursday 1 February 2018,  you will need to be available for an interview slot between 9am-3pm
  • Workplace Experience Program starts: From Monday 19 February 2018, however this time is decided in discussion with your supervisor. Please note, not everyone will be selected for the workplace experience component.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to apply for the program you need to:

  • be a current international student at UNSW with English as a second language / from a non-English speaking background (Please note you must be enrolled in courses in Semester 1, 2018 to be eligible for the program)
  • be in second or subsequent year of your undergraduate study; or at any stage of your postgraduate degree
  • have attended the “Writing a Successful Resume and Cover Letter” and “Ace the Interview” seminars by Careers and Employment in the past 12 months. Upcoming seminars can be found here.

If you are selected to take part in the program, you will be required to:

  • complete the three-day seminar (dates TBA) and be available for an interview on the Thursday of the Program week
  • complete the 50 hour on-campus office Workplace Experience Program (if successfully chosen after the three-day seminar and interview)
  • participate in a mid-internship catch-up (1.5 hrs - date and time to be advised)
  • register for and attend a Career Advice Appointment
  • attend an End of Program Function (date and time to be advised)

The three-day seminar

The Seminars on Day 1 and 2 focus on developing international students' business communication and customer service skills. Topics to be covered include:

  • Preparing for the Australian workplace: employers' expectations
  • Business writing:  emails, grammar and etiquette
  • Tips and strategies to be successful in a workplace setting
  • Telephone and customer service skills

The Seminar on Day 3 empowers international students to excel in the recruitment process. Topics to be covered include:

  • Developing achievement statements:  The STAR approach and developing an elevator pitch
  • Mock interviews
  • LinkedIn
  • Employer and graduate panel

The third day will finish with a Networking Function with the employer panel members and UNSW staff who will be hosting the 50 hour Workplace Experience Program.

The 50 hour Workplace Experience Program

The Workplace Experience Program is hosted by Careers and Employment and other areas within UNSW.  The Program provides an opportunity for international students to practice skills gained through the seminars.

In completing the three-day seminar, all participants will be interviewed for the 50 hour Workplace Experience Program. Successful participants will be matched with a UNSW unit.

The hours will be set according to each student’s academic timetable and the availabilities of the various UNSW units. Students are expected to complete the 50 hours by the end of the Semester.

Throughout the Program, students will work collaboratively with their supervisor in developing and working towards a set of Workplace Experience Program goals. Students will receive constructive feedback throughout the program and at the completion.

This workplace experience component is part of an AHEGS accredited university program, so it will appear as a co-curricular activity on the student's secondary transcript when they graduate.

Useful Information

How to apply

Numbers for the Professional Development Program are limited, you are not automatically accepted into the program even if you meet all of the eligibility requirements, your application will be assessed. 

When applications are open for the UNSW Professional Development Program (International Students) follow these steps to apply:

Step 1: Attend Careers and Employment seminars on “Writing a Successful Resume and Cover Letter” and “Ace the Interview” if you haven’t done so in the past 12 months.  View our timetable and register online.

Step 2: Update your resume based on what you have learned from the seminars.

Step 3: Ensure you have read the FAQ's about the program.

Step 4: Complete the online application form.



  • Students are only eligible to attend the Professional Development Program 3-day seminar once. Please do not apply for the program if you have already attended the 3-day seminar of a previous Professional Development Program.
  • This program does not meet the requirements for engineering Industrial Training.