How To Study Abroad In Australia On A Budget

To study abroad in Australia on a budget, you will need the help of the International student office and your faculty advisor. We have all of the information that you need and more for studying in Australia for international students – and it’s all free! There are plenty of resources available for students beginning their journey to study abroad in Australia and there is no reason to leave until you have every piece of information that you need!

It is a well-known fact that Australia is a popular destination for exchange students, research scholars and international students generally. It is also among one of the most sought after options when thinking of studying abroad on a budget for both domestic and international students.

Do you want to study in Australia but the cost is just too high? If so, read our article where we will show you how to study abroad in Australia on a budget. Studying abroad in Australia is not easy, but it can be done without eating instant noodles for 6 months.

How To Study Abroad In Australia On A Budget?

Outline a Budget & Stick to It

The easiest way to make sure you don’t overspend while overseas is to outline a budget and stick with it. use a spreadsheet to see how much of your money you could allocate towards fun activities while still having enough left over for the necessities. always set a goal for yourself to spend less than your weekly allocation. If you can, those remaining funds would roll over to the next week, giving you more spending money in the future if you want to do any traveling or grab a drink or two at the pub with your friends.

The best part about budgeting for study abroad in Australia is the exchange rate. Every American dollar spent is worth about $1.35 Australian dollars, meaning your money will go a lot further in their economy. If a sandwich costs you $8.00 in AUD, it really only costs you around $6.00 in USD. Keep that in mind as you travel, because some things are not actually as expensive as you might think. It’s very important to take note of this if you are purchasing more expensive items, like airline tickets or tours.

Search For Jobs

Australian student visas permit full-time scholars to work up to 40 hours per fortnight. You can also work for unlimited hours during the summer holidays.

If your study schedule permits you, we highly recommend looking for a part-time job actively. There are many benefits that come with it. You will get better integrated into the lifestyle, gain experience, and above all, earn some money.

Plenty of students are seeking help for essay writing while studying in Australia. If a part-time job demands extra time, one can always look into such platforms like https://essaypro.com/essay-help.html to get everything done on time. On the other hand, if you are confident about your knowledge, tutoring other learners could be a source of income for you as well.

Apply for Scholarships Through Your University

The very first step you should take towards budgeting for any study abroad trip is to apply for scholarships. There are many public scholarships available for study abroad students, but sometimes the best place to look is through your own university.

During your scholarship search, look for study abroad scholarships promoted by your own university before looking elsewhere. Because of the limited number of applicants, especially in majors like business and STEM subjects, your odds of receiving one of these scholarships will be much higher.

Prepare Meals Yourself

If your college or university does not have cheap lunch options or even if they do, try packing lunch. It will help you save a significant amount of money each week.

If you do not have time to do it every day, dedicate a few hours at weekends to do meal prep.

You can make a meal plan for the week ahead and prepare quick ones with leftover dinners or something simple like a sandwich.

You can also carry water and healthy snacks with you, thus avoiding the tendency to buy soda or junk food. It will not only help you save money but will also contribute to nurturing healthy eating habits.

Snag Flight Deals to Save for Travel to/from Australia

Airline tickets to Australia will most likely be your biggest singular expense during your study abroad experience. Depending on where and when you depart, a round-trip flight could cost you over $2,000. However, some airline companies will often offer special promotions when traveling between the United States and Australia. Qantas has a number of sales throughout the year, and they occasionally offer round-trip fares for as low as $1,000. Their website would be a good place to start.

Find Pocket-Friendly Entertainment

It is almost impossible to stay away from amusement while in college. While the campus itself would provide great options, you would still want to venture outside for leisure. Many cities and university towns host special student nights and have exclusive offers. Try to find these, as they would be cheaper alternatives.

Cafes and restaurants often offer drink specials and food on weeknights. This applies to movies as well, with Tuesdays and Thursdays being the better choices.

Save by Using Public Transportation

No matter what city your host university is in, public transportation is almost always readily available. If you are studying in a larger city, such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, or Gold Coast, try to avoid taxis and Ubers.

At a much lower price, there are trains, trams, and busses that can take you anywhere you need to go. These allow for easy and relatively cheap options for getting around the city and visiting nearby attractions. A lot of them offer “go cards” or something similar to make your travel easier. You simply load your card with money and scan it whenever you get on a train, tram, or bus and it deducts the cost from your balance.

While Traveling

Australia offers plenty of opportunities to quench the wanderlust. If the budget is what’s stopping you, then here is good news. Traveling as students could be cheaper than any other option.

If you decide to grab friends and travel in groups, splitting the expenses itself will save you money. Moreover, as mentioned above, there are many discounts and considerations that students get for transportation as well as to see major attractions.

To Drink or Not to Drink: Alcohol on a Budget

Since the drinking age in Australia is 18, this trip may be the first time you finally reach the legal drinking age if you’re under 21. However, if you plan on going out with your friends and buying a few drinks, be prepared to spend a lot of money.

Alcohol and tobacco are taxed heavily in Australia, so you should expect to pay around $18-$22 for a six-pack of beer, $35-$60 for a bottle of spirits, and around $10-$15 for a bottle of wine (all in AUD). If you are on a budget, drinking is one of those expenses where you could cut back and save a lot of money. When you do decide to go out, here are two important tips to help you save money.

  1. Don’t buy drinks in town. The average drink at a pub or club will cost you around $8, so it really adds up. Have a few drinks before you go out and you can still have a good time without putting a huge dent in your wallet. If you do buy drinks in town, look for places that offer promotions, like $5 happy hours.
  2. Buy goon. Boxed wine (commonly referred to as ‘goon’ in Australia) is a very popular alternative for many college students who are on a budget. A box will only cost you around $12 and should last a long time. Another alternative, that’s actually fairly new to Australia, is Little Fat Lamb. It’s a cheap cider/wine that comes in a variety of flavors– a new favorite among many university students.

cost of university in australia for domestic students

As with many other places around the world, it’s cheaper to study in Australia for domestic students, especially those who successfully apply for a Commonwealth supported place, which means study costs are largely subsidized by the government. Commonwealth supported places are available at all public universities in Australia and some – but not all – private ones.

Student contribution amounts vary depending on where and what you study, but are capped by the government. The government sets the minimum and maximum range for each fee band, which, for 2018, is AU$0-6,444 for Band 1; AU$0-9,185 for Band 2; and AU$0-10,754 for Band 3.

You will need to work out your total tuition fees by identifying which subjects or units are covered by each band, and how many credits (expressed as a fraction, e.g. 12/96 = 0.125 EFTSL) you get for each unit. Multiply this EFTSL figure (0.125) by the band fee charge to get the total cost per unit. Or, alternatively, you can just use an online calculator. Most institutions provide one on their website.

Tuition fees for domestic graduate students are worked out in a similar way. Some institutions publish estimates of the yearly fee for graduate students. For example the University of Melbourne lists prices for 2019 ranging from AU$19,008 per year for Master of Psychiatry, up to AU$57,088 for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Some graduate programs also offer Commonwealth-assisted places, so check with the institution.

Unlike international students, domestic students are eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). There are five types of government loans available to Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders. HECS-HELP is a scheme which helps Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amount; FEE-HELP covers tuition fees for fee-paying students; SA-HELP pays the student services and amenities fee; OS-HELP pays some overseas study expenses; and VET Student Loans pay for vocational education and training fees.

cost of studying in australia for international students

Australia is one of the most popular study destinations in the world, hosting around 624,000 international students in 2017, 13 percent more than the year before. However, it’s also unfortunately one of the most expensive, with students needing AU$20,290 (~US$14,600) each year for living costs alone, according to the country’s student visa requirements. Meanwhile, tuition fees at Australian universities vary considerably depending on where and what you study, and the level you will be studying at.

Read on for a breakdown of these costs and for advice on how to find Australian scholarshipsto support your studies.

Tuition fees and course costs for international students

According to StudyMove.com, the average tuition fee for international undergraduate students was AU$30,840 (~US$22,170) per year in 2018, and AU$31,596 (~US$22,700) for international postgraduates. 

Study in Australia, the official government site for international students, gives the typical annual tuition fees for international graduate students as:

  • Master’s degree – AU$20,000 (US$14,400) to $37,000 (US$26,600);
  • Doctoral degree – AU$14,000 (US$10,060) to $37,000 (US$26,600).

These figures do not include high-value courses such as veterinary or medical degrees, which can cost significantly more.

Tuition fees at Australian universities are generally calculated per unit, not per year. Each unit falls into a fee band, and as most students will be studying a combination of units from different bands, fees will be different for everybody.

Some universities in Australia publish official fees estimates, including Australian National University (ANU), which is the nation’s highest-ranked institution (24th in the QS World University Rankings® 2019). The yearly cost of an international undergraduate degree from ANU ranges from AU$36,400 (~US$26,150) for some Bachelor of Arts programs, up to AU$43,680 (~US$31,380) for Bachelor of Science or Medical Science programs.

For graduate degree programs, annual fees start from AU$36,480 (~US$26,200) for a few master’s programs and reach up to AU$45,600 (~US$32,760).

PhD programs are priced similarly, starting at the end of the scale, from AU$ $41,280 (~US$29,650) upwards. In a league of its own, however, is ANU’s Doctorate of Medicine and Surgery degree, which costs AU$80,136 (~US$57,800).

Another cost to consider is the Student Services and Amenities fee, which is a charge for services and amenities of a non-academic nature, up to a maximum of AU$298 (~US$214) in 2018. Not all universities in Australia charge this, but make sure you check beforehand so it’s not an unexpected expense.

Australian scholarships and fellowships

The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian government, available to Australian nationals and citizens from other eligible countries, a list which covers the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific area and Asia.

The Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are mainly for postgraduate-level study and research. Out of the four funds available for international applicants, one is a short-term research fellowship for graduates and postgraduates (maximum award of AU$24,500 for studies of up to six months), one is for professional development (maximum award of AU$18,500 for up to four months) and one is for vocational education and training for a diploma or associate’s degree (VET) offering up to AU$6,500 per semester for up to two and a half years (maximum award AU$131,000).

How to Study Abroad in Australia on a Budget | Go Overseas

International graduate students looking to gain funding for a full master’s or PhD program should apply for the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, which offers up to AU$15,000 per semester for a duration of up to two years for master’s students and four years for PhD students (maximum award AU$140,500 for master’s, AU$272,500 for PhD).

It is recommended that you apply early for all Australian scholarships and fellowships. Applications for funding in 2019 are closed, and applications for the 2020 round are expected to open in late April 2019.

If you’re a graduate student from the UK, you can apply for the Northcote Graduate Scholarship from the Britain-Australia Society. This funds for your travel there and back, tuition fees and charges, and also provides an allowance for three years while you study.

For all undergraduate and postgraduate students, check with the Australian universities you are interested in, as many offer scholarships open to both domestic and international students at both levels. For more funding opportunities, visit our list of scholarships to study in Australia.

Cost of living in Australia

As mentioned, the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs says you must prove you have AU$20,290 (~US$14,600) for living costs per year. If you’re bringing a partner you’ll need to add AU$7,100 (~US$5,100) to this figure, and if you have children, you’ll need to show you have an additional AU$3,040 (~US$2,200) for each child.

As well as proof of these funds, you will also need to show you have a return air fare for yourself and every family member you take with you, as well as enough money to cover the school fees of any children you have between age five and 18.

Although the above outlines the amount required by Australia’s immigration standards, you may not need to spend that much once you arrive. The official Study in Australia guidelines recommend budgeting between AU$85 (~US$61) and AU$440 (~US$317) per week for accommodation, depending on whether you stay in shared accommodation on campus (the cheapest), or in private rented accommodation (the most expensive).

Other weekly expenses include:

  • Groceries and eating out – $80 to $280 per week (~US$57-201)
  • Gas, electricity – $35 to $140 (~US$25-100)
  • Phone and Internet – $20 to $55 (~US$14-40)
  • Public transport – $15 to $55 (~US$11-40)
  • Car (after purchase) – $150 to $260 (~US$108-187)
  • Entertainment – $80 to $150 (~US$57-108)

To simplify, this works out to a minimum of around AU$311 (~US$224) per week.

Most Australian universities provide detailed breakdowns of the cost of living in Australia on their websites, including student accommodation and sometimes even local area prices and advice. For example, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offers a handy Shopping Smarter page with links and tips for discounted shopping.

Remember the costs listed by the university will usually be for an academic year (about 40 weeks), rather than a calendar year, so you will need to budget extra if you want to stay longer.

Student visa costs for Australia

The fee for the Student Visa (Subclass 500) currently stands at AU$575 (~US$414). As a visa requirement, you will need to organize Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and any accompanying family members, which needs to be valid for the duration of your stay. You don’t have to use the provider your university recommends, but, whichever you choose, ensure it is government-approved.

OSHC Australia provides a search function which can be used to compare quotes for medical insurance from authorized providers. We found the cheapest option for a standard undergraduate student (duration three years, starting in March and finishing in December) with no accompanying family to be AU$2,149.10 (~US$1,550).

cheapest university in australia for international students 2021

5 Affordable Australia Study Abroad Programs by ISA

Australia remains to be one of the most popular destinations for international students. To date, there are almost 350,000 enrolled in higher education institutions. The numbers are expected to further increase, given the country’s excellent academic system, high quality of living, and picturesque landscapes.

Although the cost of living in Australia can be quite high, it shouldn’t be a barrier to your dreams of studying abroad. After all, there are cheap universities in Australia where you can study without breaking the bank.

 Any Funding Type  Full FundingFull TuitionPartial FundingNo Funding   Any Degree  DiplomaUndergraduateMaster’sPhDDoctor of Medicine   Any Region United StatesCanadaUnited KingdomGermanyEuropeAustraliaChinaKoreaMiddle EastAsiaAfrica   Any Subject BusinessComputer ScienceData AnalyticsMedicineHealth Related FieldHumanitiesEngineeringSciences  Filter

Australia remains to be one of the most popular destinations for international students. To date, there are almost 350,000 enrolled in higher education institutions. The numbers are expected to further increase, given the country’s excellent academic system, high quality of living, and picturesque landscapes.

Although the cost of living in Australia can be quite high, it shouldn’t be a barrier to your dreams of studying abroad. After all, there are cheap universities in Australia where you can study without breaking the bank.

Cheap Universities in Australia

1. Federation University of Australia

The Federation University or FedUni is a public university based in Ballarat – with branches in Churchill, Stawell, Horsham, Ararat, Brisbane, and Berwick. Founded in 1870, it is the fourth-oldest higher education institution in Australia. With the tuition fee starting from $17,335 USD per year, the Federation University of Australia is the cheapest university in Australia for international students.

FedUni offers programs in the areas of Humanities, Engineering, Business, Science, Math, Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedicine, Psychology, Performing or Visual Arts, Information Technology, Occupational Health, and Physical Education.

As one of the top universities in Australia, FedUni is home to 14,500+ local enrollees and almost 9,000 foreign students.

2. Victoria University

Victoria University, also known as VU or VicUni, is a public educational institution situated in Melbourne, Australia. It opened in 1916 as the Footscray Technical School before it was awarded university status in the year 1990.

VU, which is regarded as one of the best universities in Australia, has campuses in the western region as well as Sydney. These branches altogether house 15,000 students – with 28% of the population coming from international backgrounds.

At VU, students can enroll in either the College of Art & Education, Business, Engineering & Science, Health & Biomedicine, Law & Justice, and Sports & Exercise Science.

3. Torrens University

Torrens University is a cheap private university in Australia. It opened in the year 2013, making it one of the youngest universities in Australia.

Torrens University offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees through its Colleges of Business & Communication, Design, Business, Media Design, Hotel Management, and Hospitality Management.

As of date, Torrens University has 10,000 local and foreign students enrolled in its various schools.

4. Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University is a public educational institution that opened in 2003 following the merger between 3 schools. While it is headquartered in Darwin, CDU also oversees 8 branches within the region.

As a dual-sector university, CDU offers vocational and university courses in the areas of Business & Law, Education, Engineering & IT, Health & Human Science, Indigenous Society, and Nursing & Midwifery.

CDU, which is one of the affordable universities in Australia, has an enrollment rate of only 6,200+ students. Although this is the case, it has a diverse population with 30% coming from outside Australia.

5. Australian Catholic University

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a top-rated public university in Queensland, Australia. It opened in 1991 following the amalgamation of 4 institutions – some of which have been around since the 1800s.

ACU offers undergraduate and graduate programs through its 4 faculties, namely Education & Arts, Health Sciences, Law & Business, and Theology & Philosophy.

To date, ACU has 24,000+ students – 13% foreign – dispersed throughout ACU’s 7 local branches.

The university also holds a satellite branch in Rome together with the Catholic University of America. Although the university is not geared towards research, ACU is aiming to increase such activity through its intensification program.

6. University of the Sunshine Coast

The University of the Sunshine Coast or USC first opened its doors in the year 1996. From a measly enrollment rate of 624 students, USC has grown into a big public university of 10,242 students – 18% of which are international learners. It has also progressed as one of the best universities in Australia despite its relatively young age.

This cheap university in Australia has the main campus at Sippy Downs and branches at the Fraser Coast, Caboolture, and Gympie. At these schools, USC students can complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees in the fields of Business, Tourism & IT, Design & Communication, Creative Industry, Engineering & Science, Education, or Health & Sports Science.

7. Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University (WSU) is a public university that first operated in the year 1989. True to its’ name, it serves Western Sydney – although it also has campuses in Perth, Parramatta, Blacktown, Bankstown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, and Hawkesbury.

Like other Australian universities before it, WSU was established following the merger of 2 colleges. This has given the university a wide array of Schools, including that of Business, Computing, Education, Law, Medicine, Nursing & Midwifery, Social Science & Psychology, Science & Health, and Humanities.

WSU has a relatively high foreign enrollment rate, with 20% of its 34,750 students coming from different countries outside Australia.

8. University of Wollongong

The University of Wollongong, one of the cheapest universities in Australia for international students, is a public research institution based in New South Wales. Formerly the New South Wales University of Technology, it has become an independent entity with campuses in Shoalhaven, Sydney, Batemans Bay, Bega, and Moss Vale.

UOW offers multiple programs in the fields of Business, Engineering & Information Science, Law & Humanities, Science & Medicine, and Social Science.

As a highly globalized university, 29% of UOW’s 18,500+ students come from over 134 countries.

9. Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University (SCU) is a multi-campus public university with branches in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, and Gold Coast. It is one of the world’s best young universities, having been only opened in the year 1994.

The university’s undergraduate and graduate programs are delivered through the Schools of Art & Social Science, Business & Tourism, Education, Environment & Technology, Health & Human Science, and Law & Justice. SCU also houses a College of the Australian Indigenous Peoples.

As with most universities, SCU has a high foreign studentship, with 32% of its 10,000+ students coming from outside Australia.

10. University of New England

The University of New England (UNE) – not to be confused with the one in the USA – is a public institution located in Armidale, New South Wales. It opened in the year 1938 as the New England College of the University of Sydney. But in 1994, it merged with the Northern Rivers College to form the present-day UNE.

This cheap university in Australia is divided into the Faculties of Humanities, which oversees 2 schools; Science, which governs 4 schools; and Medicine & Health, which has 3 departments under its belt.

Currently, UNE hosts 14,000+ undergraduate and 6,000+ graduate students from Australia and the rest of the world. Most of them are housed in the university’s 7 colleges, making UNE one of the biggest residential institutions in the country.

where to study abroad in australia?

Australia is a young traveler’s paradise; imagine laying on the beach, or sailing around the Whitsunday Islands by day, and partying the night away with a BBQ and some goon (famously cheap boxed wine). You’ll find no shortage of new friends and fun activities here to keep you busy in your free time.

Australia is also an international student hub with world-renowned universities, where you can take on new knowledge and new perspectives to complement your studies back home. 

Don’t be fooled by this English-speaking nation — North Americans will find more differences than similarities down under to keep things interesting! So dive right into this unique culture and country, with famously laidback and friendly locals, its own uniquely Aussie English and slang, and take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in Australia. Read on for the best places to study abroad in Australia!

7 of the best places to study abroad in Australia 

1. Melbourne

Looking for an amazing city hub for your Australia study abroad experience? Look no further than Melbourne, one of Australia’s most popular cities for tourists and locals alike, consistently ranking at the top of the world’s most livable cities list!

With loads of restaurants, top notch cafes (coffee is king in Melbourne!), world-class museums, theaters, street art, and shopping, you’ll never run out of things to do in Melbourne. With several universities located in the CBD (Central Business District), it’s easy to dive right into the student community.

Melbourne is also perfectly located in Victoria, with numerous easy day trip possibilities to nearby beaches, mountains, and wineries. It’s easy to see why Melbourne is one of the best places to study abroad in Australia!

2. Sydney

No trip to Australia would be complete without a stop in iconic Sydney. Australia’s largest and most famous city has loads to do, with plentiful suburbs that stretch far into the countryside. 

Take advantage of year-round mild weather and hit Bondi Beach or take a coastal walk starting in Coogee on one of the plentiful sunny days.

Explore Chinatown or the harbor and its many islands by boat. It’s easy to escape the hustle and bustle and head out to the nearby Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley wineries when you need a breather!

3. Gold Coast

If studying abroad in Australia has you thinking of 24/7 sand, sea, and surfing, then look no further than the Gold Coast! Located in sunny Queensland, the “Sunshine State”, you can enjoy year-round beach weather here!

The Gold Coast’s main hub is Surfer’s Paradise, a glitzy city located right on the beachfront, complete with highrises and skyscrapers, including the tallest building in Australia! Shoppers and club hoppers will have so much to enjoy here, but the Gold Coast is also perfect for beach bums and nature lovers, who can marvel at the glittering sea and swim to their heart’s content. 

The Gold Coast’s proximity to Brisbane (one hour by train) means you get two cities for one, easily making this one of the best places in Australia to study abroad!

4. Perth

If getting off the beaten path is more your style, you will enjoy Perth, located in Western Australia. Perth is on the opposite coast of the big and flashy east coast cities (where most of the population of Australia lives), and you’ll find a beautiful metropolis with nature right at your doorstep.

The west coast has just as much to offer as the east coast, with less touristy white sand beaches, barrier reefs, and crystal blue waters. Check out Freo (Fremantle), a Perth suburb where you can explore a historic district and stay the night in a former prison — a uniquely Aussie experience!

5. Brisbane

If you’re looking for a smaller city with plenty to do, look no further than Australia’s third-largest city, the capital of Queensland, Brisbane. Warm and sunny weather welcomes you year-round, and a river-front lagoon with a view of the city skyline is the perfect place to cool off after class. 

You’ll find that Brisbane is a hub for young travelers and workers, and makes for a perfect jumping off place to explore the East Coast, arguably Australia’s most popular attraction. 

Outside the city there are mountains and beaches galore to explore, as well as the world famous Australia Zoo and Lonehill Koala Sanctuary where you can cuddle cute koalas!

6. Cairns

If you’re headed down under to explore the unique environmental regions of Australia, one of the best places to study abroad in Australia would be Cairns, the jumping off point to explore the Great Barrier Reef!

Cairns is the perfect small city to base yourself in as you tour tropical North Queensland, which is filled with rainforests, islands that dot the coast, and vast underwater ecosystems. Relax in the oceanfront lagoon in your free time, and take advantage of the backpacker specials in nearly every pub and restaurant, where you can meet lots of young people traveling through the city.

Take advantage of being on the water to pick up some new skills, like getting scuba-certified, or even learning to sail!

7. Canberra

While Canberra is the capital of Australia, it’s not often thought of as a prime Aussie tourist destination. This small, modern, planned city, is perfect for museum and government buffs, who can take tours of parliament or any of the national museums and monuments for free on any given day.

Take advantage of these resources with Australian history right at your fingertips to enhance your Australia study abroad experience. Located just a few hours from Sydney, it’s easy to explore Australia’s largest (and most expensive!) city and come back to calm and quiet Canberra in the evening.

Surrounded by leafy trees and rolling hills, nature is right at your doorstep surrounding this city.

Leave a Comment