Pursuing higher education in Australia is a great option for international students due to the high quality of education at relatively economical costs. Australia is a nation with great opportunities for international students once they complete their education. If you are planning to study in Australia, then you must be wondering about the cost of living in Australia in addition to expenses for your education. This article provides an approximation of the average cost of living in Australia so that you can plan your expenses in advance.

living cost in Australia
Living cost in Australia

Factors that affect 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. Here are some of the primary factors that will affect your cost of living in the country:

Education Provider

A major portion of your expenses in Australia includes the tuition fees for your university. Your living expenses can vary considerably based on the particular university where you enroll for your higher studies. The costs also vary depending on the particular course you are enrolling for. 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.

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Accommodation accounts for a big expense worry for international students in Australia. The cost of living in Australia varies on the type of accommodation you choose to live in. Most universities have facilities for the accommodation of international students and they are offered at discounted rates. The cost of accommodation in private housing outside of campus depends on the place where you stay and the kind of accommodation you choose.

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 tend to be expensive for students whose home currency is not very strong compared to the Australian Dollar.

It is also very 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 can push up your living expenses considerably in the long term.

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Certain locations in Australia are more expensive to live in than others. The location of your university in Australia is another factor that decides how much your living expenses will be. Living costs 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. Your living expenses can therefore be very high or on the cheaper side, depending on where you attend your university.

Spending Habits

Your spending habits ultimately decide how much your living expenses in Australia come up to. The amount of money you spend on eating out or for other entertainment purposes can increase your living expenses in general. You should plan out your budget and spend with caution if you want to keep your cost of living in Australia minimal. International students can also take up part time job opportunities in Australia to narrow down their expenses.

The average cost of accommodation in Australia

Housing is the main expense for an international student after the fees required to study in Australia. The cost of accommodation not only includes the rent of a house but also the money requires for utilities and services. Cost for utilities especially needs to be factored in if you plan on living in accommodations outside your university.

University Hostels

Campus accommodations are the cheapest option for your stay in Australia as a student. Most universities offer subsidised accommodations to international students. The average cost for on-campus accommodation in Australia is approximately AUD 90 – AUD 280 per week.

Rented Accommodation (single)

You can rent out places for yourself outside of campus. There are one-bedroom spaces available that can help you keep the cost of living and studying in Australia minimal. The average weekly rent for rented places comes up to AUD 165 to AUD 440.

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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.


A living option for international students in Australia is homestays. You live with an Australian family for the duration of your course. This option is great especially if your university is located in an expensive part of Australia. The average housing expenses for a homestay is AUD 110 to AUD 270 per week.

If you are living in rented houses, then you also need to pay for utilities like gas, electricity and internet among others. 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 behind utilities.

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Travelling 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 travelling options in Australia. You might even be able to avail of transportation arranged by your university if you reside within the campus.

Travelling costs account for AUD 30 to AUD 60 per week, out of the total living expenses for an international student.

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.

Read more on: Your guide to study in Australia

Food and Recreation Costs

The cost of food in Australia is on the higher side 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. Film tickets in Australia can cost up to AUD 37 for two tickets. If you plan to head to a pub, then prepare to spend approximately AUD 57 (for two people).

Additional Expenses

Student visa costs in Australia – The cost of a student visa for international students is approximately AUD 575.

Miscellaneous Expenses – You need to keep money saved for emergency expenses.

Health Insurance – As an international student, you need to arrange for overseas healthcare insurance. Insurance prices start from AUD 30 per month.

Key Takeaways

There are a lot of factors on which the cost of living in Australia depends. An overview of the different costs can help you decide how to plan your finances for your stay in Australia.

Expenses Approximate Prices (per month)
Rent AUD 1,100
Utilities AUD 220
Travel AUD 60
Food AUD 1000
Insurance AUD 30
Recreation AUD 500
Miscellaneous AUD 500
Total: AUD 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. The cost of living in Australia for Indian students can differ majorly depending on the area where they live. You can plan your expenses in Australia ahead with the help of the approximation of living expenses in the country.

Reach out to SIEC for Application inquiries and assistance @ 9779046382.

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