International students tend to worry about many things. One of which is the cost of living in their host countries. Cost of living varies significantly. The city where these students find themselves and the financial capabilities of international students usually play a huge role in evaluating living expenses. As an international student, having basic knowledge about international students living costs in Australia will go a long way in helping you prepare adequately.

Accommodation usually presents itself as a mountain that needs to be surmounted. Centrally-located accommodation generally costs more than in outer suburbs. Students can mitigate their accommodation costs by sharing with other students. Usually, Gas and electricity are often taken care of by the university. Accommodation costs top the list with home loans, rates, utilities, and maintenance. Food is the second highest followed by car costs which include petrol, insurance, registration, parking, and public transport fares.

You are to understand that this guide to students living costs in Australia is only a guide. Students should be aware that these costs can vary depending on your study location.



Basic accommodation options and their estimated costs are stated below:

  • Hostels and Guesthouses – About $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental– About $85 to $215 per week
  • On campus– About $90 to $280 per week
  • Homestay– About $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental– About $165 to $440 per week
  • Boarding schools– About $11,000 to $22,000 a year

Tuition Fees

According to, the average tuition fee for international students was AU $30,840 (US22,170) per year in 2018,  and AU$31,596 (US$22,700) for international postgraduates. Study-in-Australia, the official government site for international students, gives the typical annual tuition fees for an international graduate student as:

  • Master’s degree – AU$20,000 (US$14,400) to $37,000 (US$26,000)
  • Doctoral degree – AU$14,000 (US$10,060) to $37,000 (US$26,600)

 Other Living Expenses

Some other necessary living expenses and their financial implications are considered below:

  • Groceries and eating out– About $80 to $280 per week
  • Gas, electricity– About $35 to $140 per week
  • Phone and Internet– About $20 to $55 per week
  • Public transport– About $15 to $55 per week
  • Car (after purchase)– About $150 to $260 per week
  • Entertainment– About $80 to $150 per week

 Minimum Cost of Living

A 12-month living cost is considered viz:

  • You– $20,290
  • Partner or spouse– $7,100
  • Child– $3,040

With these living costs and possible additional expenses, an international student is expected to learn how to save up some money. These are a few ways you can save costs and avoid putting financial pressure on yourself.

  • In a bid to rent accommodation, you can share a unit/apartment/house with family or friends. This will also help you, your family/friends within the accommodation share cost of food items and utilities (If you will be staying outside the university environment).
  • You can also check your spending on a regular basis to curtail your financial excesses.
  • Avoid shopping without a plan. Compare prices, look out for deals and discounts for things that you can’t live without and make a shopping list. Avoid being an impulsive buyer.
  • Purchase clothing at the end of season sales. Prices of clothes are cheap at this time.
  • Ensure to compare gas and electricity deals to make sure you are getting the best rates.
  • Monitor petrol prices and buy when the price cycle is lower.
  • Go for the best mobile plan that offers the best price and usage limits for your needs.
  • Make your own meals, pack lunch, breakfast and bring coffee from home.

The Australian Government provides information and guidance on managing your finances. In the event of you experiencing financial challenges, you are expected to talk to your institution’s international student support staff for assistance. There is no hard and fast rule for evaluating student costs in Australia. It is observed that a student could need approximately $20,000 each year and an average family needs more than $50,000 a year to get by in Australia. Hopefully, knowing the international students living costs in Australia will help you prepare adequately.

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