Tips To Save Money Studying In Australia

Australia is Expensive. International students studying in Australia are consistently under financial pressure due to the high cost of living – rent, food, public transport and pretty much everything else. The 20 hours per week work restriction enforced on most student visas does not make life easy for students.

However, if you are smart there are ways that you can save money and study for longer in Australia

  • Look for course specials

Different schools offer different specials throughout the year. Ensure you ask your education agent about what specials are available for what courses and at what time throughout the year.

  • Be smart choosing which city you study in

Sydney is expensive. Melbourne is expensive. Perth is Expensive. The costs of accommodation and school fees are much higher than other cities around Australia. The Gold Coast and Adelaide are traditionally the cheapest major cities to study in Australia. For more information on city guides around Australia click here

  • Ask for the most holidays available for your course

During holidays students are permitted to work for as many hours as they like. Because of this, holidays are the one period in Australia that students can actually save money. Your course will have a maximum number of weeks available for holidays. Be sure to ask your education agent or your school for the maximum weeks of holidays available for your course. Most schools also shut down over Christmas/New Years period as well, so be sure to study a course that runs over this period.

  • Take your holidays at the time where there is the most work

If you are planning to work during your holidays. Then be smart about when you take your holidays. Take holidays during the busiest time for your work. If you are in hospitality or retail, this will generally be during the school holidays and over the Christmas/New Years period (Dec 20th – Jan 20th).

  • Know how much you should be getting paid and accept nothing less

Too often international students are taken advantage of and paid below the minimum wage. The minimum wage that you should be earning is around $18 – 20 per hour. Find out more information about how much you should be earning here. You can work out your pay rates using the Paycheck calculator on the Fairwork Ombudsman website.

  • Get an Australian Business Number (ABN)

If you have an ABN you are more likely to find an employer in certain industries. Some employers will not even consider you for the job if you don’t have an ABN. Learn how to apply for an ABN here.

  • Get your RSA and any other licenses that will open up employment opportunities in Australia

In Australia, employees are required to obtain certain licenses before they can work in different industries. These may cost a little to obtain, but will open many doors for you in regards to employment in the future

A Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate is a requirement if you want to work in the hospitality industry. It only costs about $10 to apply for it.

  • If you are looking to go out to bars/clubs, then go out during the international student nights

Ask any international student about the biggest waste of money in Australia. Entertainment and alcohol. Going out in Australia is expensive. Going out on the weekend is even more expensive. However if you go out throughout the week on “Student nights”, you will find that the drinks are more reasonably priced.

  • Buy your groceries from outlets or farmers markets

Eating out in Australia is crazy expensive. Be smart with the limited budget you have. Buy groceries to cook and eat at home. Be sure to buy groceries in bulk and buy it at farmers markets or grocery outlets such as ALDI where prices are a lot cheaper.

If you have any questions about anything above feel free to contact Pathway to Aus at or (07)55 265 900. We have a full list of specials sent out through our newsletter every month.