How to get the most out of your Professional Year

Many students still believe the myth that a Professional Year Program (PY) is simply about the migration pathway and securing five points, when the truth is (as we keep saying!) it’s so much more.

Luckily, we constantly see students change their views once they commence their PY course after experiencing the true value a professional year program can add to their careers in Australia.

Performance Education’s carefully tailored PY program delivers a curriculum aligned to the current professional job market, supports skills training to enhance job prospects and delivers the right internships for each student to ultimately aid employment outcomes.

Yes, five migration points is part of the deal, but the benefits are far more expansive than ‘just that’.

To ensure you maximise your PY experience, we’ve put together a run down on the key components of the course to ensure you’re armed with the right knowledge:

Course Outline

Performance Education’s Professional Year program has been divided into two major components consisting of a 44-week program, set across two stages.

The first component is the 32 weeks of course work run as a day a week of study, face-to-face, on campus (along with 20% being online) and the second being a 12-week internship for each student. The combination of classroom learning, together with hands-on experiences, provides the perfect mix of theory & practice offering students an opportunity to put their new skills to use in real life situations.

Our face-to-face classes afford students knowledge and communications skills to be able to understand and integrate within a professional Australian workplace, as well as navigate topics not taught at a university, but crucial to have a sound understanding of when entering the workforce.

A few subjects covered in our PY course include:

  • Australian Business Culture – A subject that focuses on developing communication skills in multicultural and diverse Australian work environments exploring cross-cultural communication, appreciation of different cultures and how cultural differences may affect business operations
  • Australian Work Environment – A subject that will help you understand Australian workplace legislation, including Workplace Health & Safety regulations as well as what is appropriate workplace behaviour, norms, and business etiquette etc.
  • Professional Workplace Writing – This subject covers effective writing for the workplace and will help you hone your email and report writing skills to manage impressions and reputations with internal and external stakeholders. From email structure and etiquette to grammar and language you’ll get a comprehensive run down of what is expected.
  • Applying Job Search Skills – Ultimately exploring how to secure employment in your profession covering themes including self-awareness, identifying personal characteristics, and playing to your strengths & weaknesses. It also spans job search strategies, the hidden job market, job advertisements and understanding what an employer wants.

Our eight topics covered run in blocks of four weeks thus it is important to attend all 32-weeks of the classroom learning to ensure you don’t miss any of the essential information.


The internship component of the course comes next and is highly valued amongst our students as it not only provides the chance to work in a reputable Australian company, but alongside experienced people from the industry you hope to enter one day (cue networking opportunities!).

At Performance Education, we take great pride in placing each student into the right internship that works for them – we consider background, skill strengths & gaps and importantly future ambitions. This sets us apart from others and is something we feel makes a major difference in both giving the student confidence in their internships but also future employment outcomes.

Importantly, our host companies are invested in our internship programs thus will proactively help educate, support, and guide you with real-life workplace tasks to boost your day-to-day experience.

Other Resources

In addition to our course work and internship, a Performance Education Professional Year also offers a range of other resources students can utilise to enhance their skillset such as our online resources including tutorials, coaching videos, and articles from experienced professionals.


Another crucial component of a Professional Year is the opportunity to build your professional network. Often students will look to professionals to expand their connections, but truth be told, the connections start in the classroom.

Your peers and colleagues sitting around you each day can become, not only friends who are on the same journey as you, but in time, professional connections as you each branch out into different roles and organisations – in turn, you’ll grow your own network.

Naturally an internship will also be crucial to expand your professional contacts – take this opportunity with both hands as you never know where an opportunity may be hiding!

Armed with your PY learnings, hands-on experience, and the support of new network, I’m sure you can see how your job prospects grow will exponentially – making a PY a valuable tool for any international student.

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