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Student Life: Living on a budget in Australia

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Studying abroad is a phenomenal experience that every student should consider when going for a higher education. Unfortunately, all of the amazing learning opportunities that come with studying abroad also come with a rather high price tag. This makes it imperative to learn how to live on a budget while studying abroad.

Australia has ample opportunities for students and residents to get a great education at one of their leading universities. As one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, it is no wonder why prospective students yearn to attend one of the universities there. Unfortunately, Australia is also incredibly expensive to live in, making it difficult for students studying abroad to cope.

In order to stay in Australia and continue studying, students need to have ample funds to support themselves making it absolutely crucial to learn how to properly budget. Below we have some amazing tips on how to cut down on bills, schooling costs, transportation costs, and more for students studying abroad in Australia!

Get Good Exchange Rates

One of the biggest problems people have when they go to a different country is that they are stuck by the exchange rates. Going from Europe over to Australia, or from Japan to Australia is a massive difference in currency which means that a student can lose thousands on a poor exchange rate and fees. Fortunately, hunting online and watching the exchange rates fluctuate is the best way to get the best deal! Search well ahead of time to make sure you don’t pay unnecessary fees every time you exchange currencies! Then you can try to plan in advance when to make transfers and certain purchases, while being aware of the fluctuations. By keeping an eye on these you can avoid losing money, and these savings can be spent elsewhere or saved up!

Consider Work/Study

Work/Study programs at Australian universities allow students to work on or around campus to reduce their tuition and bring in a steady income during the school year. If you have a smaller budget allotted from your school loans, then consider supplementing that with a few hours each week working on campus!


If you are studying abroad in an Australian university, then one of the best ways to get around is to invest in a bus pass. These bus passes can help you navigate around campus, if you are at a larger school, and can ensure that you have continuous transportation at any time. Purchasing a bike as well can help reduce wait times for emergencies, however many students are content with bus travel as it allows for additional study/work time during the stops.

Holiday Travel

Seeing your family back home on the holidays is important, however there will be millions of people around the world flying during those times making it quite expensive. Booking well ahead of time can ensure that you absolutely have a spot on the plane for the dates that you want, however waiting for last minute deals can mean thousands saved.

If waiting until the last week or two to purchase a ticket is not something you are comfortable with, then consider signing up for reward points for your airline of choice. Friends and family can gift reward points to you which can easily add up to free flights in the future!

Summer Time

Generally, most students visa’s do not permit them to stay during the summer season meaning they are required to leave the country until the school year starts up again. Because of this, most students find it difficult to know what to do with all of their belongings until the next year. Instead of paying exorbitant amounts to ship items home, or simply selling things, save money by storing it in a unit.

Storage units come in a multitude of sizes allowing you to keep things safely and securely all summer. Whether it is clothing, furniture, books, or even bicycles, the special student rates at Kennards and other storage companies makes it a much easier decision for those looking to store items until the upcoming school year!


Lastly, a student may find that the food expenses are a bit different in Australia than what they are used to. Most universities offer a meal option for students, and it is highly recommended that students take it to ensure that they get proper food and nutrition on a reasonable budget. Additionally, these meal options can generally be altered based on a student’s eating habits.

Control your power usage

Powershop is one of the well known toolkit that helps you control your power usage and their regular discounts help you save money. You’ll know exactly how much electricity you are using and what it costs. For more info go to http://www.powershop.com.au/.

If a student needs to purchase food off campus, cutting down on expenses by buying bulk is definitely the way to go. Whether its noodles (the staple food of college students), or lunch meats and packaged items, buying multiples at discounted prices can help stretch any lean budget out to its max!

Latest Activity: Apr 10, 2014 at 12:42 PM

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