Professional Development Program

UNSW's exclusive program for international students.

Students gathering at UNSW Sydney Kensington campus

International students: gain skills for professional success

Starting a career as an international student in a new country can be challenging, which is why UNSW Employability created the Professional Development Program!
Explicitly designed for international students, this program consists of two phases: 

1. Workshop phase

Students will learn about Australian workplace culture, workplace communication skills, recruitment tips, employer expectations and much more to help you enhance your employability and provide local knowledge and context. 

2. Work experience phase

After completing the workshop phase, students will have the opportunity to interview for a work experience opportunity. There are two different work experience opportunities:

  • UNSW hosted experience 
  • Study Australia Industry Experience Program
The program will be running in Term 3, 2024. Application dates for Term 3 will open in Week 4 of Term 2. 
  • Professional workshops

    The Program offers insights into Australian workplace culture, recruitment tips, employer expectations and much more to help you enhance your employability.  

    The workshop sessions develop workplace communication and job readiness skills, helping you to prepare for success in an Australian and global workplace context. The content will include recruitment tips, job and interview preparation, and long-term professional preparation via tools such as LinkedIn.  

    During the workshop phase, you will also have the opportunity to practice your interview skills and submit an online interview as part of your application to a workplace experience.  

    Work experience

    After completing the seminar program, all participants are invited to interview online for a workplace experience. This is your chance to practice video interviews which is a common recruitment process. Successful applicants will be eligible for the following experiences: 

    NOTE: Experiences are offered based on the availability of UNSW and Study Australia places and candidate suitability.  

    Option 1: UNSW-hosted experience

    A. UNSW placement 

    You are a assigned a UNSW staff member as a supervisor to experience work within an office environment. Your supervisor will communicate with you and hold weekly meetings with your team to provide guidance and feedback. 

    B. UNSW project  

    You are matched with a team of peers and a UNSW staff member as a supervisor to work on a real-life project.  Your supervisor will communicate with you and hold weekly meetings with your team to provide guidance and feedback. This experience provides an opportunity for you to practice skills gained from the program and work collaboratively with a team to present your findings or solutions, receiving constructive feedback from your supervisor throughout. 

    Option 2: Study Australia Industry Experience Program (online)

    Study Australia Industry Experience program brings together international and domestic tertiary student teams from across Australian institutions to work on real industry projects with Australian and global employers for a two-week period.

    For more information visit:

  • Who is eligible to apply:

    • A current international student at UNSW with English as a second language 
    • In your second or subsequent year of your undergraduate study, or at any stage of your postgraduate degree

    *Please note this program is not suitable for students enrolled in MBA programs. Please contact Career Accelerator @ AGSM for career development support/career coaching support.

  • Follow these steps to apply:

    Step 1:  Ensure you have read the FAQs below about the program 

    Step 2:  Complete the online application form

    Note: Places in the program are limited. You will not be automatically accepted into the program, even if you meet all eligibility requirements, your application will be assessed.

  • How often does the PD Program run?
    The PD Program runs two times a year. In 2024, PDP will be offered in T2 and T3.

    How is the program delivered?
    The workshop phase of the program is delivered in hybrid mode with a mixture of live sessions, recorded webinars, and activities where attendance and participation will be recorded. In person attendance is strongly encouraged for day one of the program and other workshops in week one where indicated.

    The work experience phase may either be in-person, online or hybrid, depending on the experience. 

    If I am accepted into the PDP program, does that guarantee me a spot in the work experience component?
    No. After the workshop phase, you will need to complete an online interview for the work experience opportunity. Your participation during the workshop phase, online interview and number of spots available will all be considered when allocating work experiences.

    How many work expereince places are available?
    Work experiences are offered based on the availability of UNSW / Study Australia places and candidate suitability.

    How many students will be in a UNSW-hosted group project?
    Group projects will normally have groups of 3-4 students; however, some projects can take larger groups. There may also be some projects that take one or two students.

    How many students will be in a Study Australia Industry Experience Program team?

    What is the time commitment for the work experience phase?

    Option 1: UNSW hosted experience
    The time commitment will vary depending on the project or placement and could be between 18 – 20 hours. Projects and placements are held between week 2 - week 8 of term. You will be expected to meet with your supervisor at least once a week. Please note, depending on the nature of the work experience and the arrangements between supervisor and students, parts of the experience can be in person or online. 

    Option 2: Study Australia Industry Experience Program (online)
    This option will require 25 hours, over a two-week period.

    What are some examples of projects completed as part of the work experience?
    Just a few examples of previous UNSW hosted projects include:

    • Developing a Power BI dashboard to enable quick access to insights 
    • Conducting a review of operational processes to increase efficiencies within the team
    • Designing a student graduate program for UNSW Finance using best-practice research
    • Automating processes with Microsoft Power platform
    • Creating a social medic strategy for an upcoming event / program


    Is there an assessment at the end of the work experience?

    Option 1: UNSW hosted experience
    At the end of the work experience students are expected to produce a short report or presentation (depending on their experience). All supervisors understand that you are also taking classes at the same time, and you will be responsible for managing your schedule.

    Option 2: Study Australia Industry Experience Program (online)
    Students will submit a final report as part of their group to the industry client. 

    Will I get work experience that is relevant to the course I am studying?
    The projects/placements will come from various units on campus and are designed to enable you to practice the skills you learn from the program in a real-life working environment. The projects/placements will be broad enough for students from any discipline and will provide you with a very realistic view of the current workplace.

    Do we get paid for these work experiences?
    The PD Program is a volunteer placement, which provides an opportunity for international students to practice skills gained through the workshop phase. Students who complete both the workshop phase and work experience phase will be eligible for AHEGS recognition

    What happens if I am not successful in the interview?
    If you do not pass the interview stage, this should not be a cause for concern. Thankfully, all students who participate in the PD Program will have an opportunity to complete some form of work experience. Our program facilitators have put together a selection of virtual work experiences to keep you developing. 

    Once you complete the required amount of virtual experience modules you will also be eligible for AHEGS recognition.

If you have any questions about the Program contact