Why Is Studying Abroad in Australia Expensive (And Why It’s Absolutely Worth It!)

Have you ever heard the saying “the best things in life are free”?

Well, it doesn’t necessarily apply in Australia, one of the most popular study destinations on earth. The same things that make Australia a great place to study also make it one of the more expensive places to choose. Stunning beaches, great weather, lively cities and nightlife along with extensive opportunities mean Australia is in demand-- and this demand makes things more expensive overall.

In Sydney, rent for a one-bedroom apartment easily surpasses $1,500 USD and a meal for two in an average restaurant is around $70 USD. Basic utilities can cost as much as $150 USD per month. What some people pay in other parts of the world for a month of groceries may only last you a week in parts of Australia. Add in entertainment, clothing, travel, tuition and other costs, and studying abroad in Australia is expensive.

Expensive-- and worth it.

Australia is home to a fantastic education, friendly people and exposure to growth and opportunity through booming local markets. With close proximity to Asia and multicultural society in which you can build your English language skills, Australia is unique in that it gives students a real sense of what it’s like to experience another culture firsthand.

How can Australia be such a popular study destination-- and be so expensive?

Studying abroad in Australia, while certainly more expensive than in other places, is possible for most people with little creativity. Making smart choices before ever leaving for Australia is just one strategy for making your studying abroad experience affordable.

First of all, not all of Australia is as expensive as Sydney, which was ranked the 14th most expensive city in the world in 2017. Choosing the right city to study in is crucial for cutting expenses.

For example, on Australia’s Gold Coast, home to beautiful beaches and almost always sunny weather,  a three-bedroom apartment is cheaper than a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney, making the rent on the Gold Coast about 42% cheaper than in Sydney. And the savings don’t stop there. A monthly travel pass is half as much on the Gold Coast and groceries are 10% less. Over the course of studying abroad in Australia, these numbers really start to add up and could even be used for side trips and other adventures!

Choose the right program

One of the most expensive parts of studying abroad anywhere is rent. Choosing to split rent with roommates brings the cost of rent way down. Of course, another expense during a study abroad experience is tuition.

Going for a traditional university degree will take at least two years if not four or five years. That means many months of rent, tuition and food that need to be covered, plus transportation and flights to and from Australia. To lower these expenses, choose a program that allows for more flexible or shorter timelines.

An RTO program like the ones offered at Barrington College will allow you to get the same fantastic Australian education and a student visa, however, you won’t be stuck paying for study abroad expenses for years and years. With shorter programs, you can maximize your savings and still get the Australian experience you want.

Cover the costs

Another benefit? You may be able to work in Australia on a student visa. Working while studying abroad, of course, gives you the international experience on your CV-- but it also means offsetting or covering the expense of studying abroad. While you’re studying and learning, you’re also getting ahead financially.

Australia’s minimum wage is quite high, around $14 USD per hour. Working even part-time will help cover expenses while giving you work experience and introducing you to new people.

Why it’s worth it

There’s another saying: you get what you pay for. While Australia isn’t the least expensive place to study abroad, it’s arguably one of the best-- and why over 645,000 foreign students choose to study there each year.

Australia is not only home to a great lifestyle and natural beauty in a comfortable climate, but it’s also ripe with opportunity. For students, Australia is home to five out of the top thirty best “student cities” anywhere in the world, meaning a great mix of students, affordability, quality of life and employment. Many areas of Australia are undergoing huge growth, which brings jobs along with it. If you have long-term plans outside of your home country, Australia is a wise place to consider living. Even if you don’t plan to stay in Australia after graduation, international credentials on a CV or resume are of interest to many employers, especially if they’re looking for an international influence on their business. They’ll also appreciate the courage of someone who chose to step outside of their comfort zone.

Interested in studying abroad in Australia? Get our Ultimate Guide to Landing in Australia for Foreign Students and have your questions answered!

Most of all, studying abroad in Australia exposes you to a whole new world of experiences. Many people from many different countries now call Australia home, so in addition to traditional Australian culture, you’ll also have experiences with people from all over Europe, Asia, South America and far beyond. This means new food, new ideas and a fresh perspective that you’ll carry with you forever.

Studying abroad is not just about the diploma or certificate, of course. It’s also about building bonds with fellow students and creating experiences that are unique to you and your story. It’s a time for growth and taking chances in a country that is well known for its friendliness and hospitality.

As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did.” Choosing to study abroad in Australia will surely be one of the things you’ll be grateful you did do when you had the opportunity.

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