Living costs

The cost of living for a single international student is approximately AU$20,000 per year. This includes rent, food, transport and other essential living expenses. It does not include tuition fees, text books, the cost of running a car, or social activities.

The true cost of living depends on the sort of lifestyle you lead. Use the following guide to help you formulate a realistic budget.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) advises that applicants for student visas require AU$19,830 per year for living expenses. For more information please visit the DIBP website.

Initial setup expenses

Item

Approximate cost

Temporary accommodation (2 weeks)

AU$500

Food and transport (1 month)

AU$300

Rent in advance

AU$300

Bond (refundable after leaving)

AU$500

Furniture, bedding and kitchenware

AU$1000

Connection charges (for utilities)

AU$200

Total

AU$2800

Ongoing expenses

Below is a list of weekly living expenses:

Item

Approximate cost

Accommodation

AU$150-300+

Food

AU$50-90+

Transport

AU$15-40+

Extras

AU$50-80+

Total

AU$265-510 per week

The average weekly expenses are AU$385 per person, which equates to AU$20,000 per year.

Cost of basic items

Below is a list of basic items and how much they cost:

Item

Approximate cost

Litre of milk

AU$2-3

Loaf of bread

AU$2-6

Cup of coffee

AU$3-4.50

Glass of wine at a bar

AU$5-15

Lunch on campus

AU$6-12

Fast food (McDonalds)

AU$8-15

Dinner at a restaurant

AU$15-20

Bus or train ticket (single trip)

AU$2-5

Movie ticket

AU$10-19

Haircut

AU$15-80

To help manage your money, view our tips for saving money and information about banking in Australia.

Read more about the cost of living, budgeting and shopping in Australia in our Pre-Departure Guide (pdf, 1.8mb).

Costs for students with families

If you are bringing your family, you will need to budget for additional living costs.  You will need a minimum of AU$18,000 per year for your spouse and AU$10,000 per year for each child.

If your children are of school age, you must also budget for school fees and uniforms.