I need cash, you need cash, we all need cash!

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If you’re anything like me, a typical broke international student, you’d learn pretty fast that you subconsciously multiply everything here by 3 to match it up to our Ringgit, or your local currency! It’s honestly such a pain and a really bad habit as it restricts your spending, but you just can’t help it and it’s understandable. So, what’s my top 2 methods to earning some cash or saving up enough without sacrificing meals or comfort? Read on to find out!

#1: Research Studies

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(these are examples of PAST adverts. do NOT contact these individuals and/or faculties as the research is no longer in process)

Basically, there’s significantly more research going on throughout the Australian campuses compared to Malaysia. With research, there comes a need for participants or the guinea pigs. Researches could range from medical research to economic research. Most are conducted by honors or graduate students, but some could be carried out by the faculty itself. A general good rule of thumb is to approach studies conducted by universities and hospitals as opposed to independent research facilities as they are more recognised. However, if you are more adventurous and like taking risks, you are welcome to approach anyone offering cash in exchange of your information (and sometimes, your blood). As a research participant, your roles would most likely include answering surveys and/or questionnaries, be it in person or from the comfort of your own home.

Where I personally find these adverts is throughout campus! On the doors in toilet stalls, on walls around campus, on notice boards in common areas like the cafeteria or hallway. Another way to find them is on Monash Stalkerspace, a Facebook group with close to 70 thousand people who are mostly from Monash. This is the equivalent of a public forum, where most people post about missing belongings, cars whose lights have been left on or upcoming events that occur around campus (like the beloved Sausage Sizzle, which I will cover in the next part!). Researchers themselves will post adverts similar to the ones above and that’s pretty much it! Depending on which University that conducts it, you may have to travel a distance but if it is organised by Monash, you will not be likely to go far.

#2: Campus Freebies

No time to spare as a research participant? Fear not, there are other ways you can save up money! Generous with their giving, the MSA regularly hosts several free meals throughout the week! From Free Dinner Mondays at Wholefoods, the vegan/vegetarian place on campus, to Hump Day BBQ by the MSA and Free Coffee Tuesdays by the MOVE Club, you will certainly get your money’s worth. Being an international student, the MUISS department also hosts Free Breakfasts every Tuesday! Some clubs also host free dinners after their meetings or events, so do keep a lookout for them! Other than these weekly events, there are times where different clubs or organisations will promote themselves through a BBQ or even giving out free coffee. If you can’t snag some free food, look out for discounted meals near closing time of the restaurants. I managed to get a serving of fish & chips at Neptune’s in Campus Center for $4.20 vs. the usual $7 about half an hour before their closing time. Your best bet is to follow MSA Welfare and keep a look out for all the deals!

The cost of living here is definitely much higher compared to Malaysia, however it’s a different perspective if you worked here and earned your pay in Australian dollars. However, if you have the time and the ability to discipline yourself, getting a part-time job during your time here isn’t a really bad idea!

Signing off hungry,

Ash ❤


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