This question recently came up in an online discussion on Facebook. Here are our solutions:
Download an illegal copy using torrents (not recommended). Seriously? Well, let’s be realistic, whether it’s illegal or not, people still do it. We highly recommend you don’t but, as a student, we know how ridiculous pricing can be. Alas, there is an alternative.
Purchase an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. This is a much better alternative, and allows you to pay a monthly fee to access and download their Creative Suite applications. Also, it’s legal.
Purchase a copy of Pixelmator (Mac-only). This program is only $14.99 and allows you to do many simple things, beautifully, plus it’s built for Mac so it runs pretty smooth.
Google “how to open illustrator files without illustrator”. This is a no-brainer. Google can find you anything. If you came to this page via Google, go back to the search results and check out the other articles. This one was pretty informative.
Image copyright of Yanko Andreev. Please visit his page at Deviant Art.