Professional Development Program for International Students FAQs

How often does the PD Program run?

The PD Program runs twice a year. The first round starts in the holidays around the beginning of February and finishes at the end of Semester 1 (if you are successful in gaining a placement).

The second round starts in the July holidays and finishes at the end of Semester 2 (if you are successful in gaining a placement).

How many applications do you receive for the 3 day program and how many places are available?

On average, we receive almost 300 applications for each program and there are around 100 places in the program available.

If I am accepted into the 3 day program does that guarantee me a workplace experience placement?

No. On the  day after the 3 day program you will undertake an interview for a placement. Approximately 60% of the students from the 3 day seminar will get an workplace experience placement.

How many workplace experience placements are available?

This varies with each semester depending on which units/departments request an intern. On average we have 60 placements available per semester.

Are the workplace experience placements paid?

This 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 am going on holidays, am I able to pick the start date of my workplace experience?

No. The UNSW supervisors usually require you to start on a specific date (usually the week of the start date, sometimes the following week). You need to be available when they would like you to start.

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 are mutually 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 2 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 Semester when you have more time.

Which unit/departments are the workplace experience in?

The workplace experience placements change with each program depending on supervisor demand.

Previously, students have completed workplace experience in the following units:

  • Careers and Employment
  • UNSW International
  • Student Development-International
  • The Hub-Student Life and Learning
  • Marketing Department
  • School of Public Health and Community Medicine
  • ARC
  • UNSW Residential Communities
  • UNSW Finance
  • UNSW Centre for International Finance and Regulation
  • Business School
  • UNSW IT Services
  • UNSW Climate Change Research Centre
  • UNSW Innovations
  • Faculty of Built Environment
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Grants Management Office
  • Confucius Institute
  • School of Banking and Finance
  • Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • AGSM

Can I pick which unit/department I would like to do my workplace experience in?

After the interviews are conducted we will match you to the unit/department that we feel matches you the best (if you are successful in the interview). As it is quite a complex matching process we are not able to allow you to choose which department you are placed in.