Money makes the world go round. So, if you’re planning on going round the world to the land of Australia, you’ll want a bit of cash to be coming in. Unfortunately, like all things in life, your student visa’s going to cost you.
Student visas come with student visa fees. Student exchange comes with tuition fees. And student living comes with, you got it, living fees.
Studying in Australia takes a lot of planning. And as with all well-thought out plans, you need to budget. Time to find out how much your student visa application and student exchange are going to cost you. You need to make sure your exchange in Australia doesn’t break the bank.
Let’s look at what costs and fees you can expect as an exchange student in Australia. Because the visa application process comes with plenty of hidden (and not so hidden) fees.
AUSTRALIAN VISA APPLICATION FEE
Let’s start off with the visa application fee. If you’re planning on studying in Australia, you’re going to need to apply for the Student Visa (Subclass 500).
The base application charge for the Subclass500 is (currently) $575AUD. This also applies to students in the post-graduate research sector. It’s a bit pricey but it has to be done.
This fee is applicable for students inside or outside of Australia. So, if you are re-applying while in Australia you’ll have to pay the $575AUD again. The student visa fee is just the gift that keeps on giving.
If you want to make your student exchange a family affair you can add family members onto your application. You and your fam bam can make a combined visa application. Which just makes life easier really. The downside is that you’re going to have to pay additional applicant charges. The upside is that mum will be cooking.
The additional applicant charge (for 18years and over) will add $430AUD to your visa application fee. If the additional applicant is under 18years, the fee will only be an extra $140AUD. So, if money’s an issue, you can ditch the parents and just bring your younger siblings.
Now the visa application fee isn’t the end of the fees. You’re going to have to pay other costs to tick off the visa application requirements. This includes health assessments, health cover, tuition fees, student accommodation, police certificates, and the cost of any other certificates or tests.
With Australian immigration, student or otherwise, you’re going to need to do health examinations before you get your visa approved. We need to make sure you’re alive and kicking.
Fees are entirely dependent on your home country, which examinations you’re personally required to take, and which practice you choose to take your medicals at.
Generally speaking the basic medical examination in Australia is between $200 and $300 AUD. Fingers crossed it’s cheaper in your home country. This is for the standard examination, but you may personally be required to take extra examinations by My Health Declarations.
The Department of Home Affairs will list the standard examination your visa requires in My Health Declarations. On the My Health Declarations homepage, when you click on the link to organise your health examinations, you’ll be asked to:
- Record your medical history online
- Consent to having your health examinations recorded electronically
- Download a referral letter which will contain a health identifier (HAP ID). This is to be provided to the panel clinic when you make your appointment.
Your referral letter will outline which health examinations you personally are required to take and enable you to complete these at an approved panel clinic outside Australia (or with the migration medical services provider in Australia).
OVERSEAS STUDENT HEALTH COVER (OSHC)
Okay so you’ve passed the health examinations with flying colours. Now you need to ensure you stay healthy. And this means health insurance.
To be eligible to apply for a student visa you must have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). The Australian authorities require you to have adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia.
Your insurance policy needs to be in action from the moment you step off the plane to the moment you hop back on it. It will provide you with medical and hospital insurance during your student exchange in Australia.
You need to organise your OSHC before you submit your student visa application. And like your visa application, your OSHC also comes with a fee.
In terms of cost your OSHC cover can vary a little. It all depends on: what level of insurance cover you choose, how long you plan to have the cover for, and which provider you choose to get cover with.
To give you a general idea on price… your Standard OSHC Policy will cost between $480 and $560 AUD per annum. Again, this depends on which provider you choose for your student health cover.
You can try comparing government authorised providers to see how their policies differ in terms of features and prices. Figure out which price and policy is right for you. We live in the age of choice after all.
If you need ideas for providers, some (certified) OSHC insurance companies in Australia include: Australian Health Management (AHM), Bupa Australia, Medibank, Allianz Global Assistance, and NIB. Allianz and Medibank are on the higher end of the price spectrum, while AHM and NIB are more on the budget side of life.
Example One-Year Standard Cover (subject to change):
- AHM: $486
- NIB: $491
- Bupa: $544
- Medibank: $545
- Allianz: $558
EXCHANGE STUDENT TUITION FEES & ACCESS TO GENUINE FUNDS
Similar to OSHC, in order for you to be eligible to apply for a student visa, you must also have your tuition fees and general finances organised. When it comes to your visa application, the Department of Home Affairs wants to know: Do you have the funds to support yourself?
You’re going to have to get your funds in order to show your capacity to actually pay your way through your exchange. This means evidence of financial capacity.
You need to have enough money genuinely available to you to pay for your course fees, travel, and living costs while exchanging in Australia. Imaginary friends can’t pay your fees.
Evidence of genuine access to funds is a requirement for your student visa application. Without the right cashflow you won’t be eligible. Point blank. Full stop. No buts about it.
You need to provide documentary evidence of your financial capacity when you submit your visa. You can choose one of the following options:
Twelve Months Funds: Provide evidence of funds to cover travel to Australia, 12 months living, and course fees:
- Travel Costs: If applying out of Australia include $2,000AUD (except if applying from East/South Africa i.e. $2,500AUD, West Africa i.e. $3,000AUD). If applying within Australia include $1,000 for the flight home.
- Living Costs: The Twelve Month living cost is $20,290AUD for students. If you’re bringing extra people add $20,290AUD if accompanied by a guardian, $7,100AUD for Spouse/Partner or $3,040AUD for a child.
- Course Fees: Calculate the first 12months of your specific course fees. This doesn’t include any prepaid costs. If you are already in Australia and your course has commenced, you calculate the course fee payable for the 12 month period (commencing from the date you lodged your visa application).
Annual Income: Provide evidence that you meet the annual income requirement.
You must have a personal annual income of at least $60,000AUD. And for those students accompanied by family members, the requirement is at least $70,000AUD.
The income you demonstrate must be either the personal income of your spouse or parent/s. If both your parents work, their combined income can be considered. Evidence must take the form of official government documents such as tax assessment.
Genuine Access To Funds: You and any accompanying family members must demonstrate you will have access to the funds while in Australia.
- When another person/business is providing funds, show evidence of the relationship and any history of financial support, including identity documents.
- If relying on a financial deposit, any recent large deposits must be explained, and you can also explain ongoing deposits like wages.
- If you have an education loan that covers tuition fees and/or living expenses, disbursement should be provided. Include the loan terms and the full amount of the loan to be disbursed.
- If you’re relying on another type of loan, show evidence of collateral used to get the loan, terms of agreement, and capacity to cover ongoing costs.
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEST:
To qualify for a student visa, you’ll need to provide evidence of your English language skills. This means sitting and acing the IELTS or an equivalent test to get an acceptable visa score and proof of your language-master status.
In terms of price, let’s be honest, odds are you’ll likely be sitting the IELTS. The IELTS is the most widely respected and accepted English language certification in Australia and is accepted by all universities in Oz. To sit the test will cost you $340AUD, or $347AUD if a GST payment is required. Why does GST have to ruin everything?
Police Clearance Certificate
In your student visa application, you’re going to want to include a police clearance certificate. This is how the Department of Immigration assesses your character and separates the “goodies” from the “baddies”.
Price varies depending on which country you get your police clearance from. For a bit of a guestimate, it costs $42AUD for a police check application (however these prices are reviewed each year). So, check out your local police station and get them to check you out.
The Australian student visa fees and required document fees aren’t where it ends. If you want to delve a bit deeper on the pricing side of life there’s the whole matter of student accommodation.
After all, you’re going to need somewhere to rest your head after all those study sessions (or big nights out).
It’s pretty impossible to give you a set price guide for all student accommodation across Australia. And you’re also probably tied up in figuring out all your student visa fees and required documents. Not to mention figuring out the best place to study in Australia!
In that case, let’s keep things short and simple. This is where we come in. No matter what your study style, we’ve got a student accommodation option for you and your budget.
The student housing company is all about catering to your social and student needs. This means prime locations central to city hubs and easy access to all unis. This means premium student living with fully furnished private or shared apartments. This means tons of communal spaces for socialising, studying and chilling out. This means tons of extra facilities like gyms, pools, libraries, non-stop WiFi and all-inclusive rent. This also means we can give you specifics on our weekly room pricing ($AUD per person):
- 1 Bed Apartment: $546
- Premium Studio Apartment: $514
- Studio/DDA Apartment: $489
- Twin Studio Apartment: $339
- 3 Bed Duplex w/Terrace: $497
- 2 Bed Apartment: $449
- 3 Bed Apartment: $429
- 4 Bed Apartment: $419
- 6 Bed Apartment $269
- Studio Apartment: $399
- Twin Studio Apartment: $239
- 5 Bedroom Ensuite: $329
- 5 Bedroom Apartment: $299
- 6 Bedroom Apartment: $289
We’re also awaiting the launch of new student apartments in Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane so watch this space!
General expenses are a pretty general thing. It can be a bit difficult to pin down specifics on what life is going to cost you.
You can look at estimated living costs, but really this is subject to massive fluctuations depending on where and who you are. You can make your spending as cheap or expensive as you like. So, it all depends on what money you’ve got to play with. Excluding accommodation, you can get away with spending as little as $50 a day on groceries, 7/11 coffee and public transport. Just be thrifty with your finances.
But if you’re the type of student who thrives on the finer things in life, and wants to eat out at semi-decent venues, and maybe have a few cocktails, get a cab, or do some other fun recreational activity we haven’t thought of, you’re looking at about $150 a day (give or take a little).
Then there are always those fortunate students who aren’t constrained by budget. In this case feel free to hit up those five-star restaurants, high-class cocktail bars, sleek chauffeurs and spend like the diva you are. Price guides are for peasants.
Like we said, money makes the world go round. And your student exchange is no exception. Your student visa fees and student life in Australia are going to require some cashflow. So how do you manage this? At the end of the day it all comes down to budgeting, ticking off all the boxes, and accounting for any hidden costs. So, time to buckle down, pay your visa fees, organise your exchange costs, and make sure your cashflow goes the mile.