Without a doubt, Australia is one of the most coveted countries in the world to study in. It has prestigious universities, vibrant cities and glorious weather. But with great attractions comes great cost. And this is why Australia is consistently ranked as one of the most expensive countries to live in with Sydney and Melbourne level pegging with the likes of New York and London.
Consequently, students, who are not exactly among the richest cohorts in society, must learn how to be vigilant with their money throughout their studies. Those beautiful beaches may well be free to frolic on but a night out in Sydney’s nightclub scene will certainly set you back a few dollars!
Follow these steps and you’ll be embracing the famously lively Aussie lifestyle with open arms.
Pick a city, any city
Think carefully regarding which city you would like to study in. The main universities are based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. Sydney and Melbourne are arguably the most expensive cities, in relation to school fees as well as standard of living. In contrast, Adelaide and The Gold Coast are the cheaper cities to study and live in.
Choose your pad wisely
This is the real wallet drainer. You may be thinking things aren’t so bad and you really didn’t know what the fuss was all about, until those rent prices slapped you square in the face. Australia is one of the most expensive countries to rent in the world, with Sydney taking the lead at an eye watering average of 1,111 dollars per month. However, not all is lost as sites like Gumtree allow homeowners and apartment renters to list accommodation and spare rooms at far more affordable prices.
No wining and dining
As much as you may enjoy a finely cooked steak and a full-bodied red in your home country, it is time to put those luxuries on hold. Eating out in Australia is incredibly expensive and so are many supermarkets, so shop for your groceries in the right places. Buy in bulk at outlets such as ALDI where prices are much cheaper. Alternatively, try farmers markets for nice, fresh produce.
And if you really do insist on quelling that pang for a restaurant meal, go for the BYOB restaurants (bring your own bottle). These restaurants allow you to bring your own alcohol and are (understandably) a big part of Australian culture in many cities.
Get to work
It’s an obvious one and also a “must do”. While the cost of living is high in Australia, the wages are typically high too. Average waiter and bar staff wages are $15 per hour with a significant proportion of the industry offering $20+.
Make sure you manage your school courses effectively so the breaks and holidays fall at times where there are the most work. For instance, if you have chosen a job in the hospitality or retail sector, then there will likely be more work for you during the Christmas period and on school holidays.
Get to grips with budgeting
This is many students’ number one downfall, an inability to organise their finances. Most students, let alone those who have decided to study in Australia, have to live on a tight budget. It’s always a good idea to keep a simple spreadsheet of your monthly spending to keep track of how much money you have and how much you’ve spent. Also, be clever with your money. Buy cheap food and cook for the week, buy second hand textbooks and take public transport not taxis, or even better buy a bike. It’s not rocket science people!
Emily Burgess is an avid blogger who enjoys writing about all aspects of self-improvement and wellbeing. Emily is currently sharing some of her ideas at Course Guru – experts in the field of online education. Personally, she’s a great fan of foreign languages.
Category: study abroad