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There's the trial version that you can download from adoble.com. I think it's good for 30 days. Other than that, doesn't your school have a computer lab?
There's no way to open the files and work with them other than in a copy of Illustrator. You might be able to open them in inkscape (free) or Freehand (no longer available) but then what are you learning? Not Illustrator...
 You should be able to get most of the lessons done in an older version of Illy though, which might be more affordable (if you can find them for sale)
First of all, thank you SO much for replting and providing feedback. I actually did download the trial version and I'm not able to work on it because Im not sure whether to use the tutorial or just the actual trial version program according to the classroom in a book. And also, I'm trying to learn the pragram before school begins in the fall, but I would have to pay more money to take a class, and I already spent $60 simply on the Classroom In a book. Thank you again for your feedback! Have a wonderful Day!!
Im not sure whether to use the tutorial or just the actual trial version program according to the classroom in a book.
I'm not sure what you're asking... As far as I know (I read the illy 9 CiaB) the tutorial in the book is a bunch of files that you open with Illustrator. You can use the trial version of Illustrator cs4 for this, but only for 30 days, after which you'll have to buy it or it will stop working.