Chinese international students represent a significant social, economic and cultural force in Australian society. Research has demonstrated that Chinese students enrich Australia not only through their economic contribution, but through soft diplomacy and cultural links. Despite this, and the recent rapid growth in the number of Chinese international students to the country, only a small number of studies have focused specifically on understanding the health and employment experiences of Chinese students in Australia. This paper examines interview data from an ethnographic study involving ten Chinese international students pursuing higher education in New South Wales, Australia. Topics concerning work rights and exploitation, migration, and cultural differences are touched upon within their health and employment experiences. This paper provides insights for those working with Chinese international students in the areas of health education and promotion, diversity and inclusion, employment and mobility studies. The results contribute to broader insights into the inward/outward mobility of higher education students and Australia’s National Strategy for International Education 2025.