Working Abroad in Sydney, Australia


My Personal Experience as an Expat

There are a multitude of visas available in Australia, and the type of visa that you would need to obtain, will all depend on your passport and other varying factors. If you aren’t sure what kind of visa you would need, take a trip to Australia’s Immigration website. You can enter in your details and it will provide you with the various options.

During my time in Sydney, I was on a 462 Work and Holiday Visa. When I applied for my visa, I was amazed and excited to find out that the application process was all done online and that once my visa was approved, it would all be electronically linked to my passport.

This may sound like something silly to get excited about, but it was quite a different process than when I applied for my student visa when I spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy during my undergrad. (I had to make an appointment at the Italian Consulate in Chicago, everything had to be perfectly correct, and I had to hand over my physical passport, with no knowledge of when I would get it back!)

The visa application process was pretty straight forward, and it only took a few days to get approved. Now, with that being said, things have changed, and the processing times are starting to take longer. The new Prime Minister and the government have started to tighten working visa requirements, which has affected a lot of people.

Anyways, enough talk about visas..(I’m not a migration agent anyways, so I’m not the best person to talk to about everything related to visas haha)

I spent around 10 months working in Sydney before I transferred to our Chicago office. I grew so much- both professionally and personally. Working for a small international company has its perks, as I have gained experience in every aspect of business, learned about many different cultures, and every day is something different. I also became friends (sarcasm) with far too many cockroaches both in the office and everywhere I went. The first day at the office, I found a massive cockroach on the floor of my bathroom stall and nearly had a panic attack….

A brief overview of my job in Sydney (a shortened version)…

My main role was to coordinate internship placements for over 100 US university students within a variety of companies across Sydney. One of my favorite parts about the job was the opportunity to work closely with executives within a variety of companies- from local startups to a multitude of Fortune 500 companies.

Once the students were in Sydney, I oversaw and handled all program logistics, and functioned as the Australian Residential Director for all 106 students (yes, I was pretty much their mom for the duration of the programs). I was responsible for answering questions, being on call 24/7, coordinating group activities, and everything else exciting that a residential director does.

My absolute favorite part about this job, was when I worked as a (tour) guide. I had the opportunity to guide and manage several faculty-led, study abroad programs and many other optional weekend excursions for students.

Who doesn’t enjoy switching it up a bit and working outside of the office?! I loved exploring Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, Port Stephens, learning to surf, touring wineries, and visiting the Blue Mountains with my students.

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