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Cost of Living in Australia

Studying overseas can be expensive and one of the key considerations you have to give is to understand the cost of living while studying overseas.

While tuition fee is a major cost you need to factor in when planning to study in Australia, there are other costs like accommodation, groceries, transportation etc that can affect your budget significantly.

In this article, we are looking at the cost of living for international students in Australia that you have to consider when budgeting to study in Australia..


Apart from the tuition fee, one of the major expenses you will have to pay while studying in Australia is the accommodation rent. Luckily, there is a range of accommodation types available for international students to choose from.

The main types of accommodation are:

  • Private Rentals
  • Managed Student Apartments
  • On Campus
  • Homestay

If you would like to know more about the types of accommodation, you can learn about them here.

The rent will vary depending upon various factors like the city you are living, type of accommodation you choose, distance from the city center and extra inclusions like furnished and utility bills.

The average cost of these rentals accommodation can be:

  • Private Rental – $100 to $450 per week
  • Shared Private Rental – $80 to $250 per week
  • Managed Student Apartments – $250 to $550 per week
  • On-campus – $90 to $280 per week
  • Homestay – $235 to $325 per week


Food Costs

After accommodation, you will need to consider the cost of the food. If you are eating out most of the time, then you might be looking at spending lots of money. But the best way to save money for the food costs is to buy groceries and cook at home.

The main supermarkets in Australia where you can buy groceries from are:

  • Aldi
  • Coles
  • IGA
  • Woolworths

Apart from these major supermarkets, there are plenty of country/region-specific grocery stores like Asian, Indian, European, African and many others are available.

While overall grocery costs can be from $100 to $200 per month, eating out can be $150 to $300 per month.


Transport Costs

Australia has a good public transport system, so most of the students prefer to use that for travelling around in their city.

While most of the cities have a range of transport you can use, the most popular types of transport are:

  • Trains
  • Trams
  • Buses
  • Ferries

The transport costs also vary depending on the city you are living in, type of public transport, time of the day and if the concessions are available or not.

Overall, you can be looking to spend anywhere between $70 to $200 per month. For detailed information on transport, you can check our guide here.

However, if you decide to buy a car, then you can be spending more money as you need to factor in various costs like purchasing costs, fuel costs, registration, insurance, repairs and maintenance cost.

You can be spending from $150 to $250 per week after your initial purchase price of the car.


Utility Costs

If it is already not included in your accommodation costs, you will need to budget for utility costs separately. The utility costs usually include:

  • Electricity
  • Water and
  • Gas bills

If you are sharing the utility bills with others it can be from $60 to $100 per month. However, if you are paying on your own, it can be from $120 to $300 per month as well.


Mobile and Internet expenses

In order to stay in touch with family and friends both in Australia and overseas, you will need to consider mobile expenses as one of your major expenses as well.

There are various types of mobile and internet plans available with different providers. We have covered more information about mobile and internet in Australia here.

You can get a prepaid or postpaid plan based on your budgets, needs and requirements for your mobile phone. Prepaid plans with plenty of local calls, text and data start from $25 per month. But if you need a new phone, then postpaid plans can be a better option for you which can start from $50 per month.

Basic internet plans with plenty of data at fast speed start from $50 per month. But if you need more data, then you will need to pay more for that.


Other Expenses

There are few other expenses that you need to keep in mind as well:

  • Grooming – Basic haircuts for males can start from $10 and for females it can start from $30. But if you are after beauty treatments, nails, spa and massage, then the prices of those services can quickly increase your monthly expenses.
  • Shopping – Shopping in Australia can be cheap or expensive depending on your lifestyle, personality and where you shop. So you have to consider this expense based on your needs.
  • Entertainment – You might like to do entertainment as well. But just for the reference, a cinema ticket will cost around $20, live event tickets start from $30, one game of bowling costs $18.
  • Gym – If you are keen to use gym facilities then you are looking to spend $15 to $20 per week.


Overall Total Expenses

Overall, your total monthly expenses can be depending on various factors but as a general guide, if you are sharing and living a budget student life, you can be paying $700 to $1000 per month. However, these costs can change significantly, if you decide to live a more comfortable lifestyle.


(Updated) Official Cost of living for Visa Purposes

In order to get a student visa, you might need to demonstrate the financial capacity requirements as set out by the Department of Home Affairs.  Generally, you must have enough money for:

  • 12 months of living costs
  • 12 months of the course fee
  • Travel costs
  • School fee for school-age children

Cost of Living

The 12-month cost of living for visa purpose from October 2019 are

  • For students or guardians – $21,041
  • For student’s partner or spouse – $7,362
  • For student’s child – $3,152

Course Fee

You must be able to provide evidence of the first 12 months of the course fee that you are planning to study in Australia.

Travel Costs

You should be able to provide evidence of travel costs like 

  • $2,500 if you are coming from the East or Southern Africa
  • $3,000 if you are coming from West Africa
  • $2,000 if you are coming from anywhere else outside Australia
  • $1,000 if you are applying from within Australia
  • $1,500 if you are applying from within Australia but returning to Africa

School Fee for School-age Children

If you are bringing school-age children, then you will need to add $8,296 per year with your cost of living calculations. 

You may need to show to the department on how you can financially support yourself and your family when applying for a student visa.

For more on the new updates, visit the Department of Home Affairs.

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