Studying abroad in Australia is one of the best experiences a student can have while in college, but you don’t want this life changing opportunity to break the bank. Fortunately, there are many simple things you can do to save some cash and make your money go further.

1. Public transportation

Skip the Uber or taxi and join the locals on public transportation. This is not only a great way to save money, but it is also an easy way to learn how to navigate your new hometown. You will find taking advantage of trains, buses, light rail or ferries to get around is a breeze and more budget friendly. For even more savings, check to see if there are student specials for the local transportation card. For example, students on the Gold Coast can receive a concession (student rate) as study abroad students.

Use public transport such as buses, trains and even ferries to save money when studying abroad in Australia
“The iconic symbol of Sydney, Australia: the world famous Opera House. I always got a great view of this beauty on the ferry ride across the harbor from Manly to Circular Quay.” | TEAN Alum Michaela Miller, Otterbein University

2. Weekly Budget

A great way to save is to create a weekly budget. A simple way to budget while still being flexible is to take a certain amount of cash out at the beginning of the week and use only that amount for all your expenses – public transportation, food, entertainment and household items. You don’t need to keep track of every little purchase or what you spent money on, but can simply look at the amount of cash you have left.

3. Use your TEAN Network

Your included Cairns Orientation and Great Barrier Reef Excursion with TEAN is a great way to jump start your study abroad adventure and meet others studying all over Australia. Keep in touch with the friends you meet during orientation – when you’re traveling around Australia you might have the opportunity to reach out and stay with them. One of the great things about Australia is how accessible traveling is. If you walk down a main street in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth you can’t miss all of the tour companies and travel agencies.

Explore TEAN’s Australia Study Abroad Programs


Save money by staying with friends you met at Orientation who live in other cities in Australia
TEAN Orientation in Cairns – a great opportunity to meet others studying all over Australia

4. Use your Student ID

Always carry your Australian university student ID with you. If you’re interning abroad, make sure to pack your home university’s student ID. There are often discounts for university students. Most tourist attractions offer a student rate which makes it easier to see all the sites and not pay an outrageous amount. It also never hurts to ask if there are student rates for textbooks, takeaway food, entertainment or travel.

5. Cooking at home

The majority of the TEAN housing options both on and off-campus include access to a kitchen. This will allow you to cook meals for yourself or as a group. Try taking turns cooking dinner for all the roommates –  it’s a great bonding experience and helps to save money during the week so you can splurge more for the weekends.

Save money on food by cooking your own meals and taking prepared lunched to campus
Worth the weekend splurge. Photo by Hannah Schube, DePaul University who studied abroad on the Gold Coast.

6. Get a Job

Australia pays a living wage – not a minimum wage – which is helpful for students looking for casual work. You are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight on your student visa. Getting a job as a barista or server is a great way to make a little extra spending money. If you are interested in working, reach out to your Resident Director and they will be able to offer some advice on finding a job abroad in your location.

7. Free Events

Each month your local TEAN staff will send you a “What’s on” email with recommended events happening in your city. These are events around town that are inexpensive or even FREE! Throughout the semester TEAN will also plan events for you to attend. These events can range from an Australian League Football match to an introductory surfing lesson. Along with getting to know Australia better, one of the best things about the TEAN cultural events is that they are completely free.

Save money by taking advantage of the free and included TEAN events
An included TEAN Cultural Event – AFL (Aussie Rules Football) Match in Brisbane

8. Buy books (and other items) second hand

Don’t spend top dollar on all new textbooks. Most universities have a process to buy and sell used textbooks, usually via a Facebook group, like the “Bond Textbook Exchange” Facebook group. For other items, the Australian equivalent to craigslist is Browsing Gumtree listings is a great way to buy a bicycle, surf board, etc. and sell them again before you leave.

It’s true that studying and living in Australia can be pricey, but there are still plenty of ways to save money while still making the most of your time in the country! You can also save money when choosing your study abroad program in Australia – read more about how to choose a more affordable study abroad program in Australia.

Learn more about studying abroad in Australia!