It’s not hard to understand why so many international students want to move to Australia. The country has a world-class education system, excellent climate, and high quality of life. But studying in Australia can be expensive – and you need to be financially prepared before you take the leap.
In this blog, we’ll help you get started. We’ll explore the student loan options available for international students in Australia, as well as other ways to fund your studies.
How much money will I need?
Before you begin to research student loans, it’s important to understand how much it costs to live and study in Australia.
According to the Australian Government website, tuition can range from:
- $25,000 – $45,000 AUD ($19,425 – $34,966 USD) a year for a bachelor’s degree
- $22,000 – $50,000 AUD ($17,497 – $39,415 USD) a year for a master’s degree
- $300 AUD ($232 USD) a week for an English language course
The cost of living in Australia will depend on where you study in the country, but you can expect to pay about $21,000 AUD ($16,317 USD) per year for accommodation, groceries, and other living costs.
What student loans in Australia could I be eligible for?
Australia’s student loan system is known as the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). Unfortunately, HELP can only be accessed by Australian citizens or individuals who hold a humanitarian visa. However, there are still lots of other student loans available for international students in Australia.
Universities across Australia provide loans for local and international students. Most institutions offer both short-term and long-term loans; these can help students cover emergencies, as well as pay for bigger expenses.
Here are a few examples of what some universities offer:
- The University of Melbourne will loan eligible students up to $5,000 AUD ($3,883 USD) if they have an Australian co-signer. They’ll loan students up to $3,000 AUD ($2,330 USD) if their co-signer lives overseas or isn’t an Australian citizen/ permanent resident.
- The University of Sydney offers loans up to $2,000 ($1,550 USD), which can be paid back up to two years after graduation.
- Students in need of financial assistance at Monash University can take out loans between $750-$3,000 AUD ($544 – $2,330 USD), to be paid back within 6-12 months.
Universities across Australia offer similar loans. It’s best to check directly with your institution to see exactly what loans are available to students – and to make sure you’re eligible.
Many universities and community groups are also providing support for students struggling during the pandemic. You can learn more here.
International student loan schemes
You might be eligible to take out federal student loans in your home country to study in Australia. For example, students from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Norway, or Denmark who attend the University of Sydney can access government funding from home.
A private loan is one of the simplest forms of international student loans in Australia: you borrow money from a bank or similar lender and repay the loan (with interest) over an agreed-upon period of time. These loans can be secured – which means they’re tied to collateral – or unsecured. But with unsecured loans, interest rates are usually higher.
How else can I pay for my studies?
Student loans aren’t the only way to pay for your education in Australia. Here are a few other options to consider:
Work in Australia
Many international students are attracted to Australia because they know they’ll be able to work. Unlike other studies abroad destinations, you can work up to 40 hours every two weeks on an Australian student visa. Even more, the minimum wage in Australia is nearly $20 AUD ($15.50 USD) per hour – meaning many international students are able to pay for some of the costs associated with living in Australia while they study.
Apply for scholarships
There are a number of scholarship opportunities for international students in Australia – both funded by the government, and universities. Some, like Australia Awards scholarships, support students with full tuition, living costs, and airfare. Check out the Australian Government’s search tool to find a scholarship that’s right for you.
Take out a private loan in your home country
To apply for a student visa in Australia, you need to prove you have sufficient funds. For this reason, many students decide to take out a private bank loan in their home country before coming to study in Australia.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to fund your studies in Australia as an international student. But everyone’s financial situation is different, so we recommend doing lots of research to find a loan you feel confident about – and one that will work for you both during, and after university.
Still deciding where in the world you want to study? Check out our article types of loans for international students, which explores more loan options in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K.
We are not immigration agents. For all up-to-date information about visa rules and regulations, see the official guidelines on the Australia Department of Home Affairs website.