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5 Most Affordable Australian Cities For Students

5 Most Affordable Australian Cities For Students

Australia is fast becoming one of the world’s favorite study abroad destinations, and the International Education Advisory Council has predicted a 30% rise in the number of international students studying there by 2020.

With high standards of education, a multicultural community, and laid-back lifestyle, it’s not hard to see why so many students love the land down under. However, one thing Australia is also known for is being the world’s most expensive country to study in as a foreign student.

For those willing to look beyond popular cities like Sydney or Melbourne, however, study abroad doesn’t have to be unaffordable. Check out these five more economical cities that still make for great student living.

1. Gold Coast

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    If you’re looking for a more affordable place to buckle down and study while still enjoying glorious beaches and a vibrant nightlife, the Gold Coast is an excellent choice. While it has no shortage of restaurants, cafes, bars, and natural attractions, the city is also well-known for its quality of education.

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    Gold Coast is home to Bond University, which has Australia’s highest rating for overall graduate satisfaction, but also some of the country’s highest tuition fees. Fortunately, it hosts campuses for Griffith University and South Cross University as well, both of which have affordable options for international students.

    When it comes to off-campus accommodation, there are plenty of choices, from shared housing to homestays. Real estate sites like Flatmates can be useful for finding options within your budget.

    2. Wollongong

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      Wollongong’s close proximity to Sydney (80 km) makes it a popular choice for students who can’t afford the high cost of living in Australia’s largest city, but still want to experience all that it has to offer. Wollongong itself is a lively city as well, and is rated as the country’s most livable small city thanks to its gorgeous beaches and lively city centre.

      The University of Wollongong is one of Australia’s top universities, with a comprehensive academic program, international research reputation, and high graduate employment rates.

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      Due to a lack of on-campus parking, most students prefer to walk, cycle, or use the free bus service that operates between the university and city centre. Living costs are quite reasonable in Wollongong, and sites like Gumtree can come in handy if you’re looking to split housing costs or even score some second-hand furniture on arrival.

      3. Hobart

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        Hobart is the capital of Tasmania, the second oldest city in Australia, and also the cheapest city for university students to live in. While it might not be as happening as cities like Gold Coast or Brisbane, its striking natural beauty and slower pace of life make it a great place to block out distractions and focus on studying.

        The Hobart Universities sector is based on a single institution, the University of Tasmania, which is consistently rated among the top ten universities in Australia and has a large population of students from abroad, with more than one in five students being international.

        Although public transport in Hobart isn’t as convenient as could be, there is plenty of student accommodation available to make up for it. Students often live in shared houses near the university so they can simply walk to class. If you’re looking to rent a shared house or room in the area, Easy Roommate can be a good place to start your search.

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        4. Adelaide

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          Of Australia’s major cities, Adelaide is the cheapest to live in. That, along with its spacious layout, clean and green atmosphere, and beachside attractions make it a great place to live and study. It’s also regarded as the food and wine capital of Australia.

          Adelaide has three universities, including the University of Adelaide, which is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide; the University of South Australia; and Flinders University. Its integrated bus, train, and tram transportation system connect all parts of the city and make it easy for students to get around.

          Naturally, the cost of accommodation is lower outside the city centre, and depending on which university you’re studying with, the outer suburbs could be more convenient as well. Check Study Adelaide for information on a range of student accommodation options, from independent living to homestays.

          5.  Brisbane

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            Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and Australia’s third largest city. Unlike Sydney and Melbourne, it’s known for being one of the most affordable cities in Australia, which makes it a good choice for students. It’s also known for its pleasant subtropical climate and wide range of entertainment options.

            Brisbane has three major universities: the Queensland University of Technology, the University of Queensland, and Griffith University (which accepts the most study abroad undergraduates). The inner city is well-connected by public transportation, although cycling is popular as well, and there are plenty of cycle paths that make it easy for students to get around this way.

            Students typically live in and around the inner suburbs, where the bulk of Brisbane’s teaching facilities are located. If you’re looking for convenient accommodation off-campus, you can check sites like Urbanest or The Pad.

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            Marianne Stenger

            Writer, Open Colleges

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            Last Updated on April 3, 2019

            How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

            How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

            Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

            By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

            This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

            Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

            1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

            This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

            It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

            Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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            Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

            My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

            Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

            2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

            You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

            Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

            If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

            3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

            This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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            It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

            4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

            Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

            This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

            For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

            Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

            5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

            If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

            In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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            6. Get Aggressive About It

            Consider these points:

            Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

            Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

            Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

            Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

            7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

            Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

            By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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            Finally (and most importantly)…

            8. Keep Trying

            Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

            Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

            Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

            The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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