Top 10 Budgeting Tips for International Students

Top 10 Budgeting Tips for International Students

If you’re planning on studying overseas, then it’s worth taking the time to understand the impact of currency costs

Most students are on a tight budget; for international students, there are the added complications of currency conversions and unfamiliar surroundings. Here are some top tips for keeping on top of your money when you’re studying overseas.

1. Make a budget

Calculate all your known costs, such as tuition fees and rent, and research online what you can expect to pay for groceries or utilities.

2. Book your travel as early as possible

You can often get better deals if you’re booking flights and rail travel in advance. Find out your term dates as early as possible to give yourself time to get the best deals.

3. Get a local bank account

Avoid transaction fees at ATMs and when paying by card by opening a local bank account and depositing currency for your living costs.

4. Get a local SIM card

Make sure you don’t get stung with high mobile costs by getting a local SIM card once you arrive to avoid getting a nasty surprise on your next bill.

5. Use online chat services

If you want to catch up with family or friends, use online chat services like Skype or WhatsApp which allow you to talk as much as you want where you have an internet connection.

6. Become a tourist

You’re likely to find a lot to see in your new home, and walking around a city can give you a great perspective and insight into its heritage – and best of all, it’s completely free.

7. Shop around

You may have to speak to some local students to find out where to get the best deals, which may not be at a major supermarket. Some of the best bargains may come from smaller markets selling local produce and delicacies.

8. Pick your luxuries

You can’t do everything on a student budget but you don’t have to miss out on what really matters to you. If your true passion is the theatre, for example, make sure you allow for that in your budget and perhaps cut down in other areas, such as socialising in bars, to afford it.

9. Get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

From just AUD30, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) will give you access to discounts and sometimes even free entry to museums, galleries and attractions all over the world.

10. Work with a foreign exchange specialist

A currency specialist can provide guidance on how you can manage your currency transactions and give you access to a secure online platform so you can keep track of your money and payments.

Thanks to our partners at MoneyCorp for providing this article.

What to consider when making an international payment

What to consider when making an international payment

For many, studying overseas requires a number of international payments throughout the period of study. Whether sending money for tuition, accommodation, living costs or for any other reason, knowing what to consider and be aware of when making an international payment can make a huge difference in value.

This is also true for any friends or family you have that are looking to transfer money for your study abroad, and can help them to get more for their money when making their payment.


Some high-street banks incur large transfer fees for sending money abroad

You may need to send money abroad to your country of study before you arrive. While you might be more familiar doing this from your local bank in your home country, it is very rarely the cheapest way to send money abroad. 

Most high-street banks incur large transfer fees on international payments, which, if you need to make payments on multiple occasions, can end up adding on a huge cost simply for sending money overseas.


A difference in exchange rates can be more significant the more money you send

High-street banks have also developed a reputation for offering poor exchange rates when making an international payment. While the rate may appear only slightly lower than those offered by other foreign exchange providers, this difference in value will become more significant the more money you’re sending, increasing the amount you could lose out on.

That’s why it pays to secure a competitive exchange rate, something that moneycorp, as FX specialists, are able to provide. In addition, moneycorp allow you to lock in a prevailing exchange rate for up to two years of payments. This may require a deposit but ensures you receive the same rate throughout this period, unmoved by any upturns or downturns in the market.


What are your exchange needs and how often you will need to make international payments?

Throughout your studies, there will no doubt be a number of occasions you need to send funds from your home bank account to your foreign account. In addition, any financial support from family will require cross-border payments, which adds to the importance of identifying a quick, easy and cost-effective method to fund your overseas study.

A moneycorp account allows for you to set up regular automated payments to and from recipients around the world, for however much and however often you like. A Regular Payment Plan incurs a fee, but allows you to automate your international payment needs, leaving you free to get on with your studies. 


Get more for your money when you study abroad with an international payments account from moneycorp. Open your free account today or speak to a specialist.



At ClickStudies, we are often asked about the differences between the IELTS vs TOEFL test, and which one is better or easier to take. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, the following information will be helpful.



The IELTS test was developed in Britain, while the TOEFL test originated in the USA. Therefore, this influences other factors, such as who accepts the results and the type of English used in each test.

Both tests are designed by experts and supported by rigorous research and trialling to ensure their validity.


Who accepts IELTS and TOEFL?



Both tests are accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by more than 9,000 universities and educational institutions in over 130 countries around the world.

In general, TOEFL is more widely accepted in the USA and Canada, whereas IELTS is more commonly accepted in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

As a consequence, many institutions accept both tests, but some do not. Always check with the school you want to attend before you decide which test to take.



IELTS is accepted for migration, work and study in Australia, Canada, NZ and the UK. The US does not accept it for migration purposes.

TOEFL is accepted by the US and Australia for immigration purposes, but it is not accepted by the UK, Canada or New Zealand.



IELTS tests can be done at 1100 testing centres in 140 countries.

TOEFL tests are more widely available (due to the computerised format of the test) and can be done at 4500 testing centres in 165 countries.



Both tests cost between US $150 and $250, depending on the country in which you take the test.

The IELTS test is generally a bit more expensive than the TOEFL.  For example, in Australia, the IELTS test typically costs AUS$330 (2016) whereas the TOEFL ranges from AUS$240-$300.


Validity of results

Both IELTS and TOEFL test results are valid for a period of 2 years. However, some academic institutions may have specific requirements about the validity of the IELTS vs TOEFL test and the timing for course commencement. Again, you need to check carefully with the exact requirements of the college or university you would like to attend. 

For skilled migrant visas in Australia, the period of validity has been extended to 3 years.

FormatPaper-based and Computer delivered in some countriesComputer-based
FocusAcademic or generalAcademic only
Time Duration2 hrs 45 mins4 Hrs
Results13 Days for paper based, less of computer delivered.10 Days
Skills TestedListening, Reading, Writing, SpeakingListening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
Scoring0 - 9 bands of proficiency0 - 120 points
Dialects of EnglishBritish usage; variety of international accents (e.g. Irish, Australian, NZ)Standard American usage and accent
Question types15 different question types (e.g. gap-fill, multiple choice, True/False, matching)

All multiple choice
Listening30 minutes
1 general conversation, 1 general informational lecture, 1 academic conversation, 1 academic lecture
Read questions before and during listening
Memory and note-taking skills not important
40-60 minutes
2-3 conversations and 4-6 lectures – all related to university life
Read questions only after listening and taking notes
Memory and note-taking skills important
Reading60 minutes
3 passages (Academic test)
5 shorter texts (General test)
Increasing level of difficulty
60-100 minutes
4-6 passages
Academic texts only
Same level of difficulty
Writing60 minutes
Answers handwritten
Task 1 Academic – 150-word report describing a graph, table or diagram
Task 1 General – 150-word letter

Task 2 - 250-word opinion essay
50 minutes
Answers typed into computer
Task 1 – Read a short passage and listen to a 2-minute lecture, then write a 150-225-word answer to a related question.
Task 2 – 300-350-word opinion essay
Speaking12-15 minutes
Talking with an examiner in person
3 parts
Answer short questions on familiar topics
Two-minute speech on a given topic
Answer follow-up questions on your speech topic from part 2.
Assessed at the time of speaking
20 minutes
Talking to a computer
6 parts
2 x question on familiar topic
2 x summary and opinion of short written text and conversation
2 x summary of short conversation

Assessed later by an examiner

Which test should I take?

The answer to this question depends on:

The requirements of the school you wish to attend or the country you wish to migrate to. Check them carefully!

Your skills.  If you are better at typing than handwriting, then the TOEFL test may be a better option for you.  If you are not at all comfortable with computers and don’t like the idea of talking to a computer instead of a person, you might be better at the IELTS test. If you like multiple-choice questions and listening to American accents, then you may find TOEFL easier than IELTS. However, if you are not good at taking notes while listening to a lecture, TOEFL will be harder for you.

Look carefully at the format of each test in the table above and decide which one is better suited to your skills.



Based on conversations and online comments of students who’ve taken both tests, the consensus seems to be that TOEFL requires a higher level of concentration and stamina for a longer period of time. It can be exhausting!  The fact that IELTS also contains general English tasks (not just academic) and a greater variety of question types (not just multiple-choice) leads many students to prefer the IELTS test.

Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before Studying in Australia

Top 5 Things I Wished I Knew Before Studying in Australia

We recently caught up with Jane Tran, a Vietnamese student at Edith Cowan University who has been living and studying in Perth, Australia for a few years now.

 Jane admits she has found studying challenging. However, by approaching these difficulties with a smile and positive attitude she has been able to get a part-time job and successfully move into the degree program following her Pathway course.

ClickStudies asked Jane about what she wished she knew before starting her studies in Australia. Jane’s top 5 are as follows:

1. How can I find a part-time job?


2. What do the subjects and assignments look like? (Some knowledge would help me to not feel overwhelmed)


3. How difficult is it to pack for study abroad? In other words, what types of things should I prepare to bring before coming to Australia?


4. Which Australian state should I choose to study? Which school should I choose for study abroad?


5. What should I do on my first day in Perth? (Set up bank account, contact the university, get the public transport Smart Rider)


Below are some comments from Jane in Vietnamese:

Mình tên là Trân, hiện đang là học sinh năm cuối của trường đại học “Edith Cowan University”. Đối với Trân “Clickstudies” chính là kim chỉ nam giúp sinh viên quốc tế có được những thông tin hữu ích về trường học, các ngành học mà các bạn muốn theo đuổi,  cũng như là những định hướng sau khi tốt nghiệp phải làm gì để có thể có được một công việc tốt. Lý do mình chọn “Clickstudies” bởi vì cũng như các bạn sinh viên quốc tế khác, mình đã từng băn khoăn rằng Trân nên học gì? trường nào phù hợp, và sau khi tốt nghiệp mình sẽ tìm được việc hay không? Đó cũng là lý do Trân tìm đến với “Clickstudies”, bởi họ không chỉ giúp Trân tìm được một môi trường học tập tốt, mà còn giúp Trân tìm được hướng đi cho mình trong tương lai.    

Chúc “Clickstudies” ngày càng thành công hơn.


15 Excellent Reasons to Study an Engineering Degree

15 Excellent Reasons to Study an Engineering Degree

Engineering is a very popular study choice for students from all nationalities.  Here are the biggest reasons why students are choosing to study engineering at colleges and universities all around the world.


1. Engineers enjoy high levels of job satisfaction

When ranked alongside professionals in other areas, engineers often come close to the highest in terms of happiness at work. This is most likely because engineers are often responsible for innovative and new designs that are making the world a better place. By feeling like their work is meaningful, engineers gain the satisfaction that comes from making a difference.


2. Engineers enjoy highly paid jobs

Engineers enjoy a starting salary that is one of the highest among the modern workforce. While the amount of money a person earns is not the most important part of job satisfaction, it certainly helps to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle.


3. Engineers can choose from many different types of hob specialization

Students can choose from many areas of engineering. The most popular include: Chemical Engineering, Communications Systems Engineering, Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering.


4. Engineers can start work as soon as they graduate

Students who complete their undergraduate degree with strong grades will often find themselves employed by major corporations in entry-level positions. This has the advantage over other qualifications that often insist on postgraduate study and membership of other professional associations to ensure full-time employment.


5. Engineers often gain internships

It is common for recently graduated students to start with an internship at major engineering firms. While internships are mostly unpaid positions, they provide the graduate with excellent entry level skills in areas such as communication, teamwork as well as an understanding of the professional standards expected at work.  Furthermore, interns that perform strongly are often offered full-time positions at the end of their period of unpaid work.


6. Engineers can enjoy variety at work

Unlike some professional jobs that are highly specialized and repetitive, an engineering career offers a significant level of variety at work. For instance, engineering project usually last for a set period of time, such as six months to two years. This means that engineers are seldom stuck doing the same job function year after year.


7. Engineers are engaged in both theoretical and ‘hands on’ work

While engineers in different areas will require different skill sets, one of the most interesting points of engineering work is that involves both theory and practice in the daily work. While calculations and scientific concepts can be tested on computers, successful engineers have to see the world in a very practical way, meaning they will often have to test their innovations with the own hands and eyes.


8. Engineers have a strong professional reputation

Most people have a favorable opinion of engineers. This is because their level of technical knowledge and skill is respected, and they are recognised as valuable members of society. Therefore, in a social situation, if you say you are an engineer, more often than not you can expect a positive reaction from the person you are speaking with, and possibly a few questions about the specifics of what you actually do from day to day.

9. Engineering offers travel opportunities

While there are any differences in cultures and languages between people in different countries, the same basic science and mathematical principles apply to engineering solutions, regardless of where the company is located. This means skilled engineers will enjoy career opportunities that may allow them to travel around the world, both for study and work.


10. Engineers often work in world-class working conditions

Major engineering companies often have their headquarters in modern buildings in the city centers. This means that engineers often work in impressive work environments, with the best facilities and benefits.


11. The field of engineering of always changing and evolving

New discoveries and scientific advances flow though to the field of engineering soon after their discovery, which adds to the excitement and interest in engineering workplaces. In fact, keeping up with the latest advances can be challenging, and presents great opportunities for further learning and research.


12. Engineers can feel like they are changing the world for the better

Engineers are truly the professionals that are shaping our world. From Computer Engineers who design complex networks and systems to mechanical engineers who are designing robots for the modern world, it is engineers who can claim to be the ones who are designing the world of tomorrow.


13. Engineers can work with multi-disciplinary teams

Engineers will work with a large range of people in the workplace. Often they will work in project teams that report directly to the company CEO or CFO. In other cases they will work with scientists or business development specialists. In any case, engineers can develop large networks that can bring added job satisfaction and career opportunities.


14. Engineers can be employed by private companies as well as government departments

Because of the wide-ranging duties that engineering professionals perform, there are fantastic opportunities in both the private (company) and public (government) sectors. As a result, engineers can work in different environments, depending on their career goal and the type of work conditions they find interesting.


15. Engineers are supported by a range of professional associations

Because engineering is a rapidly changing profession, most branches of engineering have professional associations that provide up-to-date industry information that can help engineering graduates get jobs and take further training where required. For example, in Australia, graduates can access the support of Engineers Australia, while in the United States, they can contact American Engineering Association.

So that’s it, if you are interested in a fantastic career with great rewards and benefits, start by looking at the article Get Ready to Study Engineering.