Skip to main content

Apple’s 2023 Back to School promo is back to free AirPods, in southern hemisphere

The Apple Back to School promo has traditionally offered students a pair of free AirPods, in addition to the usual education discount. That changed in the US last year, with Apple instead offering gift cards worth up to $150 – but the company appears to have switched back to AirPods this year.

The 2023 Back to School promo has launched in a number of countries in the southern hemisphere, and Apple is offering a pair of AirPods, plus the usual additional discount on AppleCare+


Apple offers year-round discounts to students, but sweetens the pot for a limited time each year with a Back to School promo, which traditionally throws in a free pair of AirPods with the purchase of a qualifying iPad or Mac.

The 2022 promo in the US and some other countries swapped out the free AirPods for an Apple gift card, with a value of either $100 or $150.

2023 Back to School promo

The 2023 Back to School promo has launched in the southern hemisphere, and has returned to the usual offer of a pair of free AirPods. As these are limited to the 2nd-gen model, the offer is worth less to Mac buyers than the gift cards, though more for those purchasing an iPad.

Macworld spotted the change.

When Apple kicked off its student deal in Australia, New Zealand and other Southern Hemisphere locations in January 2023, we assumed that it would be vouchers again. But no! Students in those countries can get a free pair of AirPods with their qualifying purchase. 

Apple kicked off the Higher Education Offer for Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Korea on January 18, 2023. It will run until March 13, 2023.

Technically, the offer is a discount that can be applied to any of the in-ear AirPods models. In Australia, for example, the discount is $219 – which is the cost of the 2nd-gen model.

As usual, students can also get a 20% discount on AppleCare+.

To qualify, you need to be one of the following:

  • A full-time or part-time student aged 18 or over with a current student union card or student identification card and studying at an accredited Australian university or other Apple-approved institution; or
  • A lecturer or staff member at an accredited Australian university; or
  • A teacher or lecturer working at an Apple-approved and -registered education establishment within Australia.

Qualifying products are any MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or 24-inch iMac (with refurbs sadly excluded).

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear