Although you will be able to work part time during your stay in Australia, having some money saved up before you leave means that you’ll have extra funds to explore your new environment, spend time with friends and travel back home for holiday breaks. In fact, as part of your visa application, you will need to provide evidence that you will be able to fund your stay in Australia. If you’re currently planning your Australian study experience, we have some tips that will help you save money for your time abroad.
Make a list of your expenses
The first step will be to make note of the things you will need to pay for when you arrive in Australia. This includes expenses such as your visa, course applications and flights; initial expenses such as tuition fees, textbooks and equipment, rental bond payments and Overseas Student Health Cover; and ongoing living expenses such as rent, food, utility and phone bills. You also need to consider the cost of going out — to the movies, a restaurant or a bar — as well as travelling around Australia if you want to explore the country.
Open a high-interest savings account
If you want to start saving early, you can earn some extra money by opening a high-interest savings account. This is particularly useful if you already have a bit of money saved up, as you’ll earn more interest in the long term. The downside is that some banks will only pay interest if you do not make any withdrawals in a given month, and they may require a minimum monthly deposit. Visit your bank for more information and advice about starting a savings account. For more information about setting up an Australian bank account once you arrive in Australia, see Banking in Australia.
Get a part-time or casual job
The most obvious way to earn and save money for your trip to Australia is by getting a casual or part-time job, or even working full time if you are not currently studying in your home country. You may find work in restaurants, clothing stores or offices, or by using skills you have like babysitting, writing or coaching a local sports team. Even working once or twice a week will help you save some money. If you already have a job, you may consider increasing the hours you work while you are working towards your goal. Remember that when you arrive in Australia, your student visa will permit you to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. This will allow you to maintain a full-time enrolment at your institution, without a negative impact on your studies.
Seek financial assistance
Governments and professional organisations offer financial support for overseas study through scholarships, grants and loans, so it’s a good idea to research options available in your country before you depart. You may also be eligible for assistance from the Australian Government, which offers a number of scholarships to international students, including the Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships and Australia Awards. Also look into assistance offered by your Australian institution or Australian organisations. For more information, see Scholarships in Australia.
Learn how to budget
All students, domestic or international, generally need to live on a tight budget, so it’s best to be prepared. Learning to budget before you leave will help you to develop good habits for your time in Australia, as well as providing you with some extra cash for your trip. Some easy ways to save money include preparing meals at home instead of buying food when you are out and looking for cheaper alternatives when shopping, such as seeking out second-hand textbooks once you arrive in Australia. Budgeting may seem difficult initially, but you will find that it gets easier with time. For more information about budgeting, see Budgeting tips for international students.