Studying in Australia may seem like a dream and one of the big challenge in getting an international qualification might be the costs of studying abroad. Indeed, studying in Australia represents an important budget, and this should not be taken lightly. Your budget to study in Australia, will depend on the studies you are considering (Higher Education, Vocational Education and Training (VET),etc). Indeed, university studies can be extremely expensive ($ 50,000 a year). Fortunately, there are other more accessible options such as TAFE (professional training courses); or the ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) programs, allowing you to spend a few months in Australia to learn English. In this article we will show you some ways to fund your studies in Australia and prepare for studying abroad, so read on.
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Save before travelling
When deciding to study abroad, the budget is very important to consider. Indeed, the cost of studying in Australia is high. Australia has some of the best universities in the world and its educational system is internationally recognised. But when studying abroad, you must also take into account the costs of living, such as accommodation, transportation or your activities. Therefore it is essential to leave your home country with savings. Moreover, you must have the necessary funds to cover at least the cost of your studies when applying for your student visa in Australia. The government may ask you for supporting documents before granting your visa.
To put some money aside before leaving, it’s a good idea to start saving several months in advance. One of the best ways to save money is to go back and live with your parents. This is never easy, especially after experiencing independence, but you will save a considerable amount of money. Indeed, no rent, bills or shopping to pay. You may also need to become reasonable about going out and shopping. Finding a job will also definitely help you to save! So if you add up all those tips, you can manage to save quite a lot to be confortable once in Australia.
Check the Scholarships and fellowships available
Look for scholarships offered by Australian universities, government programs, and private organizations. Many scholarships are available for international students based on academic excellence, field of study, or country of origin. These scholarships can be merit-based, need-based, or a combination of both. The scholarships may cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel expenses. There is a wide range of scholarships available for everyone. Research and apply for scholarships well in advance of your intended start date. Here are some ideas:
Australian Scholarships and fellowships
Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and short courses offering young people an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia. The Australia Awards are funded by the Australian government. They are available to Australian nationals and citizens from other eligible countries.
Those scholarships are mainly for postgraduate-level study and research. If you are looking to gain funding for a master or PhD program, you should apply for the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship.
It is recommended to apply early for all Australian scholarships. Usually applications for funding open in April of each year.
Home government funding
You may also be eligible for assistance from your home government. Funding options can include government loans, scholarships and bursaries. Check your home country’s government website to find information on financial assistance. Often, students have to be under a certain age limit.
If you’re a graduate student from the UK, you can apply for the Northcote Graduate Scholarship from the Britain-Australia Society.
In all cases, you should check with the Australian university you are interested in, as it may offer scholarships to international students. Universities often offers a number of part-fee scholarships and bursaries specifically for international students for undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Those fundings can be merit-based, Sports scholarships etc. Contact your university to discuss further your options.
Work while studying
Your work rights
When on a student visa, you have working rights. You can always take a job during your studies abroad. Indeed, you are allowed to work up to 48 hours per fortnight while studying and full time during your vacation periods. Salaries in Australia are relatively high. The minimum wage per hour is $23.23 (Sept 2023). But it can dramatically increase depending on your skills and when you are working (higher salary on the week-ends or night shifts).
Part-time jobs are quite common in Australia, especially in hospitality. As a student, you can easily find a job in restaurants, as a waiter, bartender, barista or cook; but also in hotels, or in tourism. It is also relatively easy to find jobs as a Nanny / babysitter or a cleaner for example.
Working part time while studying will enable you to attend your classes and support part of your living expenses.
How to find a job?
You will find many ads on the internet, especially on Facebook groups/pages. You may also find advertisements in restaurant / bar windows, or at uni, etc. To find work in Australia, do not hesitate to go directly to the shop/restaurant to hand over your resume.
You can also ask your university or school for help in finding a job. Most faculties have Careers Service providing a range of career development and job services for their students.
Also some universities offer teaching assistantships for graduate students, which involve assisting professors with teaching and grading in exchange for a stipend or salary.
Some universities have work-study programs that allow students to work on campus in various roles. These jobs are often designed to accommodate students’ schedules.
NB: If you’re pursuing a research-based degree, consider applying for research assistant positions within your department. These positions often come with a stipend or salary.
Take out a Student loan
Student loans for studying abroad are financial aid from financial institutions that you will have to pay back. These loans function like any other loan and therefore come with interest rates. Note that you can get a student loan from the government or a private bank. You can also check with your university as it usually offers student loans and financial advice, and tips for international students on how to Manage their money and budget.
Note that loans offered by government institutions are a great option as they usually have flat or low-interest rates. In general, your parents or guardian will have to co-sign the loan with you as you usually won’t have a credit history.
There are lots of different student loans available so it is hard to give you a list! But to give you an idea, in the US you can apply for federal loans and in Europe some countries have access to the Erasmus+ Masters loans scheme.
It is important to compare the interest rates and repayment terms before choosing a loan.
NB: If you have taken out a loan to cover your tuition fees, you only have to repay the loan after finishing your studies and when you start earning a certain level of income.
Ask your family for help
As it is part of your education, if your family can afford it, you should ask them to finance or help you finance your studies. You can always arrange a family loan with them that you will repay later, after finding a job. This way, you can show them that you are very motivated. Studying abroad is an incredible experience and will definitely open many doors when you will be looking for work. So seat with your family and discuss with them what are your options.
You can also consider asking your family members to act as a guarantor for a loan or to help you with the living expenses.
Crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe can also be used to raise funds for your studies in Australia. You can create a campaign and share it with your network and family to seek financial support.
Work hard and earn Student prizes
Student prizes are one-time awards offered for academic achievements, to reward performance, best papers or work submitted, as well as for overall performance. They usually range from a couple of hundred to thousand euros! So work hard and you may earn a prize to reward your work! Student prices are great motivation for students and can give you some extra hundred dollars to spend on your studies.
Participate in Paid Research Studies: Some universities and research institutions offer payment for participation in research studies or surveys. While these payments may not cover all your expenses, they can provide extra income.
Crowdfunding and Online Platforms: Consider using crowdfunding platforms to raise funds for your education. Explain your goals and reasons for studying in Australia to potential donors.
Tuition Fee Installment Plans: Inquire if your university offers installment plans for tuition fees. This can help spread the cost over multiple payments.