Exchange & study abroad financial advice

Finances and funding

It's important to know how much money your exchange is going to cost and how you will pay for it. Depending on where you go the overall cost could vary significantly and you should ensure you are well-researched on this before you commit to an exchange or independent study abroad.

When budgeting consider both the length of time you intend to spend overseas and the differing costs of living in different countries or regions.

What you'll need to pay for

 

Tuition fees

When you participate in the ANU exchange program, these are paid to ANU just as you would do in a regular semester, including the SAF. Tuition between ANU and partner institutions are waived as part of a bilateral agreement. Please note, some universities may require you to pay an ancillary student union fee (similar to SAF) to them even though you're paying the SAF at home.

When you apply ot study abroad independently, you need to pay fees directly to the overseas university at which you study.

Airfares and travel costs

These include flights to and from your exchange or study abroad destination, as well as costs once you're in the country. This will form a major part of your expenses and it pays to shop around - including booking ahead whenever practical.

Insurance

The good news is by default you'll be covered by ANU Travel Insurance while you're away on exchange. But you may also need to purchase additional cover by the university partner you're going to, especially if the level of cover they expect is different to that provided by the ANU insurance. Additionally, if your travel period exceeds the allowable limits then you will need to purchase additional cover. Remember the golden rule - if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel.

If you are studying abroad indepedently, you may need to organise your own insurance cover.

Accommodation

Costs for accommodation will vary depending on whether you live on or off campus and what type of housing option you accept. Partner websites will usually have pretty comprehensive housing information that you can read up on in advance of your exchange, including detailed cost breakdowns of weekly tariffs and one-off fees.

Food

If your meals aren't being covered as part of your housing costs, you'll need to budget for this separately. And remember that even if your food is covered as part of your accommodation agreement, you'll need to factor in more if you go away on weekends and holiday breaks.

Other day to day costs

There can be a range of other costs you might incur during your exchange or study abroad period, including related to entertainment and socialising, transport, clothes, etc. Think about what you spend at home on these sorts of items and consider that you'll be likely to spend just as much - or perhaps even more - while you are away on exchange or study abroad.

Passports and visas

You need to ensure you've got an up to date passport before you travel, and that you've applied for the correct visa. Sometimes this can run to several hundreds of dollars.

How to finance your exchange or study abroad

 

As an exchange or study abroad student, there are several options which you may use to fund your experience.

In many cases you will be required to prove you have sufficient funds before travelling.

OS-HELP loans

Commonwealth-supported students may be eligible to apply for a Commonwealth OS-HELP loan which allows students to defer loan repayments through the taxation system.

Travel grants and scholarships

Vice-Chancellor Travel Grant funding is made available to exchange students annually. The amount provided to each student will vary from year to year. See our scholarships webpage for more information and opportunities.

If a student is sponsored by another organisation, including the host university, they must declare this source of funding as soon as this information is known. The level of travel grant funding offered may be adjusted accordingly.

Centrelink payments

If you are entitled to Centrelink payments in Australia, you may be eligible to continue receiving these payments while overseas. Refer to the Centerlink website for more information.

Personal savings

Almost all students going on exchange or study abroad will need to finance some of their costs out of personal savings. It's important to plan ahead - get a casual or part-time job in the year or months leading up to exchange or study abroad, so you have enough money that you can enjoy your time away without worrying about money.