Outcome.Life has helped Harsh Solanki find an internship in Australia, but he has still struggled as an international student in Australia.
Harsh chose to study in Australia after completing seven years of army school in India. His father thought studying and working in Australia would be good for his future.
He completed a Bachelor of IT at Australian Technical and Management College (ATMC) and was then faced with the difficulty of finding a job.
“After finishing a bachelor, the first thing any international has to worry about is Permanent Residency,” said Harsh.
“Australian Companies are worried that if they hire Internationals and for some reason their visa expires then companies are in trouble with reliability issues.”
Harsh experienced this first hand after applying for a job before he completed his Professional Year studies.
“The interviewer asked me the final question before finishing the conversation over the phone that ‘Are you a permanent resident?’. I didn’t hear anything from them afterwards,” he said.
While studying, Harsh felt that there was a financial burden placed on him and was forced to work multiple jobs to cover his expenses.
“I started working part time as a barista at Gloria Jean’s. Eventually it was still not enough to cover all my expenses so I would work small shifts at different places occasionally such as dish washer, cleaning services and sales.
“During the semester breaks, I would work full-time and gather enough bank balance to survive the upcoming semester.”
He was treated unfairly, taken advantage of and at times not paid for his work.
“Some jobs that I did for 2 to 3 weeks, I never got paid. Every time I would ask for pay, they would make silly reasons and ask me to come next week,” said Harsh.
“Those sort of jobs were mostly cash in hand and because of that reason we cannot even argue about pay.”
Harsh believes that current fees for international students are too high and would like to see greater opportunities for internships and work.
“If Australia can guarantee Internationals 1 year or 6 months of paid internships then that would be just fantastic for all the International students.
“Also reduce the uni course fees a little bit because some big Universities charge $13k per semester. Even those working full-time in Australia can hardly afford that and for us Internationals, who are only allowed to work 20 hours per week while studying, it’s just next to impossible.”
Outcome.Life has helped by giving Harsh IT projects to work on and assisting him with transitioning to work in Australia.