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Cost of living in Australia | A guide for international students

With quality education affordable cost, Australia is one of the popular choices among international students for higher studies. It is a country that provides international students with numerous opportunities to succeed. So, If you are planning to study abroad in Australia, know that you have made the right choice. However, it is crucial to know the cost of living in Australia. This detailed blog has everything you need to know about the cost of living in Australia for international students.

So, plan your expenses with this list of the average cost of living in Australia. Let us begin with some factors that affect the living costs.

Factors affecting the cost of living in Australia

Australia provides higher education at affordable rates to international students; however, living expenses in Australia can be on the higher side. There are a few factors that can affect the cost of living in Australia for students.

These include:

1. Education provider 

A major portion of your expenses in Australia includes the tuition fees for your university. Your cost of education in Australia can vary considerably based on the particular university where you enroll for your higher studies. Besides this, the costs also vary depending on the particular course you are enrolling in. Generally, master’s and doctorate degrees cost more than undergraduate degrees in Australia.

The cost of studying in public universities is cheaper in Australia as compared to studying in a private university. However, international students are charged more than domestic students.  

2. Accommodation 

Accommodation expenses are a big worry for international students in Australia. The cost of living in Australia varies according to the type of accommodation you choose. Most universities have facilities to accommodate international students and offer discounts. The cost of accommodation in private housing outside of campus depends on where you stay and the kind of accommodation you choose.  

3. Exchange rate 

Exchange rates should be factored in during the calculation of your living expenses in Australia. If you are a resident of a country that has a strong currency in comparison to Australia, then you will not find living very expensive in terms of your home currency. However, living in Australia can be expensive for students whose home currency is not very strong compared to the Australian Dollar.

Additionally, it is important to factor in the charges for conversion of your currency into Australian currency as some banks and exchange places mark up prices for currency exchange. This, in turn, can increase your living expenses considerably in the long term. 

4. Location

Certain locations in Australia are more expensive to live in than others. So, the location of your university in Australia is an important factor that decides how much your living expenses will be. For example, the cost of living in Australia for international students is higher if they reside in places like Sydney, Melbourne, or Canberra. The capital cities of the six states in Australia are more expensive than other cities in the country. 

One of the cheapest locations for international students in Australia is Adelaide. Living in Adelaide is 60% cheaper than living in a city like Sydney. Therefore, your living expenses can be high or low, depending on where you attend your university. 

5. Spending habits 

How much your living expenses in Australia cost is ultimately determined by your spending habits. The amount of money you spend on eating out or other forms of entertainment might add to your overall living expenses. If you want to keep the cost of living in Australia to a minimum, plan out your budget and spend carefully.

Cost of accommodation in Australia

Housing is the main expense for an international student after the cost of education in Australia. The accommodation cost not only includes the rent but also the money required for utilities and services. Now, you have various options to choose from for accommodation. You can choose from these options based on your budget.

1. University hostels 

Campus accommodations are the cheapest option for your stay in Australia as a student. Most universities offer subsidized accommodations to international students. 

The average cost for on-campus accommodation in Australia is approximately AUD 90 – AUD 280 per week.  

2. Rented accommodation (single)

You can rent out places for yourself outside the campus. There are one-bedroom spaces available that can help you keep the cost of living in Australia minimal.

The average weekly rent for rented places comes up to AUD 165 to AUD 440. 

3. Rented accommodation (shared) 

Keep your living costs minimal by sharing accommodation with your peers. Shared accommodation helps you divide the price of utilities and lower your accommodation costs. 

The average weekly rent for shared houses in Australia is AUD 85 to AUD 215. 

4. Homestays

Homestays are a living option for international students in Australia. Here, you live with an Australian family for the duration of your course. This option is great if your university is located in an expensive part of Australia. 

The average housing expenses for a homestay are AUD 110 to AUD 270 per week. 

If you plan to live in a rented house, be prepared to pay for utilities like gas, electricity, internet, etc. The average cost of gas and electricity in Australia comes up to AUD 10 to AUD 20 per week. Internet connectivity will cost you around AUD 15 to AUD 30 per week. However, expect to spend up to AUD 200 per week on utilities. 

Traveling costs in Australia 

Australia has a great network of public transportation, which can help you keep your cost of travel to a minimum. Trains and buses are the most affordable traveling options in Australia. In addition to this, you might have an option to use transportation arranged by your university if you reside within the campus. 

The average price for a bus ticket is AUD 3. You can also get a day pass for AUD 8 if you need to travel extensively. The average cost of a taxi ride is AUD 4, which varies according to the distance you travel. All in all, traveling costs account for AUD 30 to AUD 60 per week, out of the total living expenses for an international student. 

Food and recreation costs 

The cost of food in Australia is high and accounts for a considerable part of your living expenses as an international student. If you are eating out, then the average cost for a meal can range between AUD 18 and AUD 80, depending on the place you eat at. If you plan on cooking, then the average price for groceries may come up to AUD 500 to AUD 1000 per month. 

Your average cost of living in Australia also includes costs for recreational activities like movies, pubs, etc.  

Are there any additional expenses?

Besides the expenses mentioned above, there are certain additional costs that you need to take into account while preparing your budget. These costs include:

  • Student visa costs in Australia – The student visa for international students costs approximately AUD 575. 
  • Health Insurance – As an international student, you need to arrange for overseas healthcare insurance. Insurance prices start from AUD 30 per month. 
  • Miscellaneous Expenses – You need to keep money saved for emergency expenses.
  • There are a lot of factors on which the cost of living in Australiadepends. An overview of the different costs can help you decide how to plan your finances for your stay in Australia. Here’s a table for you showing all the major expenses that you need to take into account. 
Expenses Approximate Prices (per month)
Rent AUD 1,100  
Utilities AUD 220 
Travel AUD 60
FoodAUD 1000
Insurance AUD 30
Recreation AUD 500
Miscellaneous AUD 500
TotalAUD 3,010 
  • The cost of living per month has been calculated keeping a higher range of cost of living in consideration. The actual cost of living you incur might vary from what has been mentioned.

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