Professional Development Program

Starting a career as an international student in a new country can be challenging, which is why Careers created the Professional Development Program! Explicitly designed for international students, this program covers workplace communication skills, recruitment tips, employer expectations, and provides international students the opportunity to gain essential workplace skills through a 50-hour practical workplace experience on the UNSW campus.


Check back at the beginning of 2020 for more information on T2's session. 

What's Involved?

Three-day seminar

The Seminars focus on developing business communication and customer service skills helping students prepare for success in the Australian workplace.

Additionally, seminars will cover tips and tricks for the recruitment process, covering achievement statements, mock interviews and LinkedIn.

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


50 hour workplace experience

After completing the three-day seminar, all participants will be interviewed for the 50 hour workplace experience. Depending on these interviews, successful participants will be matched with a UNSW supervisor.

The experience provides an opportunity for international students to practice skills gained through the seminars and work collaboratively with their supervisor in developing and working towards workplace experience goals, receiving constructive feedback throughout.

The hours will be set according to each student’s academic timetable and the availabilities of UNSW supervisors.

Students are expected to complete the 50 hours by the end of the Term.

This is an unpaid workplace experience for students to focus on developing their confidence in the Australian workplace. It is part of an AHEGS accredited university program, so it will appear as a co-curricular activity on the students secondary transcript when they graduate.

Is It For Me?

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

  • Be a current international student at UNSW with English as a second language 
  • Be a currently enrolled student when the training and workplace experience takes place
  • 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

Key Dates

Details coming soon!

Before You Apply

When applications are open for the program 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 (Applications open 1 July)


Note: 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. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How often does the PD Program run?

The PD Program runs two times a year in T2 and T3.


If I am accepted into the three-day program, does that guarantee me a workplace experience placement?

No. On the day after the three-day program, you will undertake an interview for a placement. Pending these interviews, some students will get a workplace experience placement.


How many workplace experience placements are available?

Numbers vary with each term depending on which units/departments request a student. On average we have 60 placements available per term.


Are the workplace experience placements paid?

The program is a volunteer placement, which provides an opportunity for international students to practice skills gained through the seminars. Students will get the workplace experience recognised on their AHEGS.


Will I get a workplace experience which is relevant to the course I am studying?

The workplace experience component is focused on administration, customer service and developing the key transferable skills that employers are looking for such as communication, interpersonal, teamwork and problem-solving skills. It is not focused on technical, field-based experience.

It is unlikely that the workplace experience will be related to what you are studying, and you should not expect this, however, where possible we will try to match students with relevant units/departments.


Are there workplace experience placements in external organisations?

Not at this stage.


I have class 5 days a week with not many breaks. How will I be able to complete my workplace experience?

The workplace experience hours agreed between the supervisor and the student in the initial meeting. Supervisors understand you have class and will try to be flexible around your class times however you will need to have at least two days where you are available for 4 hours consecutively (between the hours of 9-5, Monday – Friday).

If you have a heavy uni load with not many breaks, you may want to consider doing the PD Program in another term when you have more time.


If you have work questions about the program contact