banner image
13 | 04 | 18
04 | 18

Top 5 finance tips for study abroad students

OSHCstudents – As a study abroad student, managing your money can seem complicated. Actually, as a student regardless of location money management is a daunting task, but inevitably one that has to be faced

The biggest difference for me is that last year at university in Ireland I went home every weekend – this year that’s certainly not an option. I’ve had to get used to funding the two whole extra days of food, socialising and general living that comes with being a student seven days a week. I’ve learnt it’s certainly doable if you follow a few key rules.


1) Explore your banking options – particularly if your study abroad location is a different currency to home

Germany is very useful for me because it’s in the eurozone so I don’t have to worry about constantly googling the right exchange rate and checking whether or not I’ve been ripped off. I use my Irish debit card for withdrawing money here on a regular basis as almost every transaction here is done with cash. I’m fortunate that these withdrawals don’t incur any nasty extra charges, but it’s really worth keeping this in mind if your currency is different to home.

I do however need a German bank account for my rent, taken directly from my account each month. If you have as little as 1 cent less than the required amount they won’t take your rent money, but instead will slap a late fee onto it and send you through the gruelling process of a German bank transfer. If you can get through that – trust me – you can get through anything.

My strong advice would be to research this thoroughly because it’s so important to avoid heavy bank charges for international transactions, but solutions such as TransferWise make it easier and cheaper.

2) Saving up before you choose to study abroad is a must

There are lots of big expenditures when starting a study abroad program. For me, these included registration contributions (around €85), a semester ticket for public transfer (another €85) and expenses attached to my accommodation. It all quickly adds up so having some money in the bank before the year starts can make all the difference.


3) Budget for extra spending in the first month

What is commonly overlooked at the start of term is how much money goes into socialising to make friends. It’s all well and good to have pre-drinks at your friend’s house to save money but you need to make that friend first. Budget for pub crawls, meeting up for coffee, going for lunch and so on – it quickly eats away at your bank account.

4) Be inventive to save cash on socialising

In Germany, socialising isn’t as expensive as back home in Ireland, but it still costs money. ‘Dry January’ is worth considering to save money after Christmas – you can have many cheap alternatives to going out by just having friends over to drink tea and everyone brings a snack. Even pre-drinks at home – so that you don’t have to spend lots in pubs and clubs – help you to save if you’re disciplined later in the night.

5) Ditch luxury to make the most of travel opportunities

When on your year abroad everyone expects you to have a glittering social media full of all your wonderful adventures and travels. This is easier said than done when you have exams to study for, it’s -9 degrees outside and money is dwindling rapidly from your account. But travelling while on your year abroad for me is a must, even if it means working that little bit harder to make it happen.


To make the most of travel when studying, you’ve got to ditch any notion of luxury you hanging over from family holidays! Embrace the student experience of a dorm in a youth hostel. Search as hard as you can for deals. We found a special bus ticket with Flixbus that can get us to 5 different cities for €99 spanning all of Europe. While the bus journeys are longer, it’s cheaper than the trains. Buying food in supermarkets instead of eating out for every meal goes a long way in saving money on a big trip.

A typical student is known for the constant fear of checking their bank account and trying to save in every possible way – my advice is to embrace the budget lifestyle, it’s so worth it.

Emma (OSHCstudents) – According to Transferwise.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


News related

Visa subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) and OSHC 13/06/2022 | 3727 Views

Visa subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) and OSHC

If you hold a valid Student visa at the time you apply for the Subclass 485 visa, you will already be covered under an Overseas Student Health Cover policy as a condition of your Student visa requirement. Your existing OSHC is considered acceptable health insurance at the time you lodge your 485 visa application and you should submit evidence of this with your visa application. 
Baek Ah Yeon

I trust Allianz Care since it is one of the largest insurance companies in Australia, with the medical centres where I only have to pay for what is left from insurance support. (no need to claim later). Besides, those centres are located at the centre of the city, close to schools. Very convenient, right? Credits to Allianz Care for providing reliable medical centres for health check and treatments.

Baek Ah Yeon | University of Queensland

Ariella Pei

I’ve been living with homestay family for 2 years. I’m now 19, I can move out but I don’t want to leave my host, who has become my family. It feels like I’ve met my second family. Thanks OSHCstudents for sending me to this homestay!

Ariella Pei | University of Canberra

Chatchawat Paton

I realised how important insurance was when I started living in Australia. There I switched to using Allianz Care instead of the previous service. Allianz Care is extraordinarily good in its consulting service and customer care. I’ve learned a lot about Australian health care, also I was consulted with mental issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle. I am very happy now.

Chatchawat Paton | Torrent University

Phuong Anh

Having lived in Australia for 2 years, I’ve been reliant on AHM OSHC to pay for my health care, which supports me for other expenses. Last year, I sent my claim requests for several times and always received the claims within two days. Everything is easy, fast and simple.

Phuong Anh | Victoria University

Xiaoyu Cheng

Thanks to Allianz Care, every time I claimed my medical receipts it processed much more quickly and easily than I expected. I was initially a bit concerned since Allianz Care is more expensive than other insurance companies, but now I can ensure that it is totally worth the money.

Xiaoyu Cheng | Monash University


My homestay was very comfortable and convenient. My host was really kind. He showed me where to shop, which buses to catch, where the nearest train station is, to get off at which station so that I wouldn’t be taken to another suburb. Travelling was easy since the place was close to public transports. It only took 30 minutes to get to my college, actually I could go anywhere easily!

Emma | Macquarie University

Jing Zhang

When told that I was going to live with an Italian family, I was pretty nervous and doubted whether or not they could speak English well as the local people? Yet it was no longer a problem when I saw them. They knew the problems of people who first came to Australia and always tried to help me. I learned so many things about both Australian and Italian culture and enjoyed tasty Italian meals every time. Awesome!

Jing Zhang | Griffith University

OSHCstudents Services


  • PTE Platform
  • Inus
  • Flywire
  • Imagine Education Australia
  • Shorelight
  • Opera City English College


  • Pearson PTE Academic
  • King Education
  • North Sydney College English
  • NIB
  • HCC
  • Global Experience
  • Bupa
  • Vodafone
  • OVHC Iman
  • Allianz
  • Medibank
  • AHM