Money and Banking

There’s so much to see, do and enjoy as an international student in Australia from the moment you arrive, so it’s a great idea to have your finances organised beforehand to avoid unnecessary stress and for you to make the most out of your time here. From the cost of living in your city, how to open a bank account, and tips on budgeting, this resource page will cover everything you need to know about money and banking in Australia.

We know it’s daunting to move overseas to study, but it’s also exciting! Check out our city guides to gain the local knowledge you need to approach your study experience with confidence.

Introduction to Money and Banking

What’s the cost of living in Australia?

Australia is home to some of the most affordable student cities in the world. To work out the cost of living in cities across the country and allow you to budget accordingly, use our Cost of Living Calculator.

How do I open a bank account in Australia?

Opening an Australian bank account as an international student will mean your money is secure and accessible, and you can avoid expensive international banking fees.

  1. Understand the basics of setting up a bank account
  2. Organise the opening of a bank account before you arrive in Australia

Can I get a loan in Australia?

Whether it’s a car, a house or just an unexpected expense, there may come a time during your studies in Australia when you need to consider your finance options. We’ve put together a guide on how to get a loan in Australia to help you out.

Can I get a credit card in Australia?

As an international student, you have the option of getting a credit card while in Australia. If you’re new to the world of credit, we have put together some top tips for credit card comparison to help you get started.

While you’re living in Australia, you’ll almost certainly need to access and move your money, whether it’s to send money home or to pay for your tuition. It’s important to have a good understanding of how international payments work so you can get the best deal and ensure your money is safe.

  1. Understand how to transfer money overseas
  2. Compare money transfer methods to establish the pros and cons to each
  3. Learn some top tips for when it comes to transferring your money overseas

While in Australia, you’ll need to be able to balance your spending between necessities (such as rent and tuition) and entertainment (such as enjoying days out with friends, sampling some of Australia’s incredible food and drinks, and travelling the country). So, learning how to budget your spending and finding ways to save money where you can is important.

How can I budget my spending?

  1. Learn some easy tips for staying on top of your budget
  2. Understand how to clearly organise your budgeting

How can I save money as an international student?

  1. Study our ultimate guide on how to saving money
  2. Know where to shop in Australia if you want to save money
  3. Download handy money saving apps
  4. Learn how to save money when buying textbooks for your studies
  5. Check out these hacks for saving money when buying food and groceries
  6. For those of you keen to travel, check out top money saving tips here and here
  7. Know how to save money for that end-of-year holiday

If you’re planning on working while studying in Australia, then you’re going to need to understand how tax and superannuation works, as well as how to fill in a tax return at the end of the financial year.

  1. Learn the basics of a Tax File Number and how to apply for one
  2. Know how to fill in a tax return as an international student
  3. Understand how to take your superannuation home with you once your studies have finished

Australia is a very safe country for international students, however it’s important to stay vigilant and be aware of certain common scams you may encounter.

  1. Know how to outsmart the scammers: an ultimate guide for international students
  2. Understand how to avoid tuition payment scams
  3. Learn how to protect yourself from rental scams

Key contacts

Australian Consumer LawUnderstand your legal rights in regards to shopping or purchasing goods and services.

Australian Taxation Office – Contact them to arrange a Tax File Number or learn more about payments made to you while you’re here.

Consumer and Business Services (and Tenancy Advice) – If you require detailed information about obligations and entitlements when buying  products and services.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (for Embassies) – If you require help from your country’s embassy within Australia.

Gambling Help – If you are having problems managing your gambling, you can call for free, confidential support (1800 858 858).