What are the key considerations when studying overseas?

Studying in Australia is a unique experience that can enrich a young (or indeed adult) life. For international students carving out their future in Australia, the extreme excitement felt upon arrival is understandable.  

But along with this excitement is likely to be some trepidation, both from the student and their parents. At OFX, we bring peace of mind and reassurance by offering fee-free* money transfers and foreign exchange rates at a much lower rate than the banks. We send over 50 currencies to 190 countries worldwide, making us an excellent money transfer service to use when embarking on such an epic journey.

To complement our international money transfers, we have created a list of key considerations on how to survive and save money when you study abroad. 

  1. For those just starting their research into studying abroad and unsure about what it entails, the process normally goes something like this: 
    a. Decide on the course you want to study.
    b. Find the institutions offering that course or one like it and make a list from least to most favourable based on reputation and pricing.
    c. Put your existing school certificates and transcripts together and apply to your top choices.
    d. Receive your offer letter(s).
    e. Sign the acceptance form from the university and pay for the first semester. Paying AU$10,000 through a foreign exchange specialist instead of a bank could see you save $300  -$400 Aussie dollars that could go towards your rent.
    d. Continue to pay semester by semester, saving money each time versus your bank.
  2. If you’re an international student studying in Australia, you might be enjoying your time here and wish you could stay longer. Well, you may be able to. Commercial cookery, engineering, and other vocational subjects are desired skills in Australia. Visit PathwayToAus for more information about extending your stay.
  3. “Most students can only afford accommodation at around 220-280 Aussie dollars per week”, says Manuela from Australia-Education. It’s important to receive as much of the money being sent as possible to make the money stretch.
  4. International students in Australia are permitted to work up to a maximum of 40 hours every two weeks. It is only during the official school holidays are you permitted to work full time so ensure you apply for more hours way ahead of time.
  5. To top up your part-time wage, or subsidise during a time of heavy studying, make arrangements to transfer support, savings or loans from your home country. Not only can we complete many currency exchanges by the next working day, but with a forward contract, you can lock in a specific exchange rate to use for up to 12 months. This tool helps to protect you against unfavourable currency movements. 
  6. Those who come to Australia as a mature student with dependents may be able to save as much as AU$10,000. If you have school-aged children and are planning on studying in New South Wales or Queensland, you could be eligible for state school fee exemption. Visit the Queensland government website for more information.
  7. There are many overlooked costs associated with studying abroad including; 
    a. Insurance: Overseas Medical Cover is mandatory when studying Australia. It’s best to shop around but find a comprehensive plan that works for the amount of time you’re planninon being here.
    b. Phone & computer equipment: While they might be relatively cheap at home, buying, using and upgrading abroad can be costly. Check whether you’re better buying these items at home and utilise the power of instant messaging and free video calling apps to lower your phone bill. 
    c. Travelling around the country: When at home you might not venture far, but once you arrive in a new country you could get hit with the travel bug and find yourself with wanderlust. If you do want to explore a few more cities (or even countries) nearby, plan in advance and look for student deals on national/international travel, which let you travel around the continent at a highly reduced rate.
  8. Australia-education is an education agent that helps international students, particularly those from Germany and wider Europe, to study in Australia. While you might feel confident applying to study abroad yourself, Australia-education offer some services that can increase the chances of a successful trip. These include;
    a. Researching and providing lists of institutions and courses that match your interests.
    b. Giving you a detailed breakdown of the unique study benefits of each university.
    c. Preparation and help with your application forms; from course application to student visa to accommodation.
    d. Certification and verification of your existing documents to reduce the chance of rejection. 
    e. Perhaps most importantly, they are a dedicated personal contact while in Australia and give specific advice like how to find an alternative or better-suited course to your first choice.
    f. Additional provisions including transfers of academic transcripts and English language tests.
    g. Australia-education receives its funding from universities, so their full list of services are free for prospective students. Visit StudyingAustralia for more information.

More than 300,000 people send money worldwide with our quick and easy transfer service. Our highly-competitive rates and fee-free* transfers on any amount over AU$10,000, can keep you from worrying about the small stuff, and help you enjoy your overseas adventure. 

When their future matters, OFX it.

*Occasionally, third-party banks may deduct a fee from your transfer before paying your recipient. This fee may vary and OFX receives no portion of it.