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Finding it hard to juggle between work and study? Don’t you worry, I will share how I studied (and Paid) my Masters’s degree in Australia with a waitressing job. 

Develop a Study Plan

Even if it sounds cliché, don’t leave everything to the last minute. 

Time Management is vital for you to succeed. I strongly recommend setting timetables and calendars and placing them somewhere visually accessible, such as Fridge. Those plans become a daily reminder and an easier way to track your progress.

Suppose you are running behind schedule – make adjustments to your weeks and do your best to meet the submission dates. 

Choose a flexible Job that pays well and fits your study patterns. 

When I was pursuing my Master’s, International Students were only allowed to work 20 hours per week. So, I decided to work primarily on weekends, where I was entitled to penalty rates ($30 and 35 dollars per hour). Thus, I registered within one staffing company called Pinnacle People, and through their app, I picked only those shifts that suited my preferences. Location, Payment, dates, Number of Hours, among others. This, I could get the flexibility I needed to perform at university and gain complete control of my earnings. 

Know your limits. 

I will be realistic and say that even when you are 100% on top of everything, you might not have control of everything that happens in your life. Therefore, you could have times when you need to work more, or even when you need to study a bit more. The simple way is to learn how to balance your commitments and work smartly. If you feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities, take some time to enjoy yourself. Go out to dinner, drinks, coffee, picnics, whatever calms you down and helps you recharge your batteries. If you feel like doing nothing, do nothing. Know your limits and do not exceed your mental and physical health. 

Be mindful of your expenses. 

Even though it is an excellent idea to go out and explore your host country, when you are funding your course and living expenses, you will constantly find yourself making sacrifices – or as I decided to call them – healthy choices. 

When it comes to intelligent expenditure, try your best to cook 99% of the time and bring your food with you to University and Work. Avoid getting the famous and delightful $4.5 coffee – opt for instant coffee or $1  7-eleven coffee. Buy a Bicycle and save on public transport while staying fit.

If you think this is extreme, let me tell you extremely is seeing my classmates still paying back their study loans, while I graduated without debts

When buying things, ask yourself twice if you (really) need it? 

Avoid buying books, gym memberships and streaming services that you would rarely be going to use. Take advantage of free services, University Library, second hand Student Union book shop, discounted chemist, pub specials, happy hours and weekly catalogues at major grocery shops. 

Talk with a career coach and your professors to ensure you constantly nurture your professional profile.

Do not wait until your 485 visa is expiring to start thinking about your future or what is coming next. Before graduation, start looking for formal employment opportunities to put your foot at the door and develop your professional career in Australia. 

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