Should int’l students buy their Apple MacBook Air at home or abroad?

apple macbook air
The new Apple MacBook Air comes with various features — including the all-new M2 chip and all-day battery life — making the laptop highly alluring for students. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Are you considering purchasing an Apple MacBook following the tech giant’s recent unveiling of their all-new MacBook Air? The laptop comes with various features — including the all-new M2 chip and all-day battery life — making the laptop highly alluring for students.  

According to a 2019 survey commissioned by Jamf, most students in higher education prefer to use a Mac for multiple reasons: ease of use (59%), reliability (57%), durability (48%) and synchronisation with other devices (49%). A whopping 83% of students who use a Mac and 43% who use a PC agree that a Mac device offers better value in the long run. 

The only thing stopping students from becoming Mac users? The price tag.

More than half (56%) of students prefer a PC due to its low price. Mac devices — including Apple MacBooks — are not only known for their premium features but high price tag as well. If the high cost of a Mac were not a consideration, 51% of students would prefer to use one. 

According to CostAide, a Windows laptop’s average cost is from 439.95 US dollars to US$1,199.89. According to Apple, the latest MacBooks are priced at USD$1,199 and USD$1,299 respectively. Even with Apple’s student discount, the laptops are priced at USD$1,099 and USD$1,199 respectively. 

Although an Apple MacBook is more expensive, it can be a worthy investment, depending on your needs.

Having said that, if you’re an international student thinking of purchasing an Apple MacBook Air, did you know that Apple stores in different countries sell their products at different price points?

So, is it cheaper to buy abroad? What about student discounts? Fret not, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how you can decide: 

apple macbook

Apple CEO Tim Cook (centre) holds a newly redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22 at Apple Park on June 6, 2022, in Cupertino, California. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Apple Macbook Air: Is it better to purchase it at home or abroad? 

1. Determine if you’re eligible for a student discount

First off, Apple offers student discounts of up to 15% on its iPads and Macs, allowing you to save big money potentially. 

Your eligibility for a discount depends on whether UNiDAYS — the platform Apple uses to verify students — recognises your institution. 

2. Compare the prices of the MacBooks in your home and current country 

It might make sense to buy your laptop abroad, depending on where you come from.

Indian students, for instance, could be better off purchasing their laptops in the US as a MacBook Air costs USD$1,540.72 (approximately 119,900 rupees) in India, which is US$300+ more than a MacBook Air purchased in the US.

Even after applying for an Apple student discount of 10%, it still costs a whopping US$1,386.64 (approximately INR107,910), which is still higher than a MacBook Air (US$1,099 after student discount) purchased in the US. 

The same could be said for Singaporean students studying in Australia who may find it cheaper to purchase a MacBook Air in their home country. 

So do your research and figure out how much you can expect to pay both with and without a student discount in your native country or abroad. It’s worth remembering that getting an Apple student discount does not necessarily mean that you’re automatically getting more bang for your buck, so take the time to think things through.