Cost of Living in Australia for International Students
Are you an international student planning to study in Australia? Our comprehensive guide covers all the major contributors to the cost of living in Australia, including tuition fees, food and accommodation expenses, healthcare, insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses. With our insights, you can plan your finances and start your Australian journey on the right foot.
Now that you have secured an admission at your dream Australian university for your higher studies, your next step is to take care of all your post-admission related tasks. Before applying for a student visa, you would be first required to gather all your funds for your study in Australia. In order to do that, as an international student, you need to have an estimate of the overall cost of living in Australia.
Major costs for your student life in Australia include primarily your tuition fees, food and accommodation expenses, the cost of transportation, healthcare, insurance, and other miscellaneous expenses that come with living away from home. Having an insight into the overall cost of living in Australia will help you plan for your funds through an education loan or other means in order to cover these expenses. With that in mind, in this blog, we have tried to cover all the major contributors for your overall cost of living in Australia, from the perspective of an international student.
1. Tuition Fees
The average tuition fee for a master’s degree in Australia lies anywhere between AU$20,000- AU$40,000. However, it may vary depending on the university and the course you choose. Proof of funds for paying the admitted university’s tuition fees needs to be submitted to the Visa office in order to get a Student Visa. You can check your tuition fee for the particular year on the university’s course website.
The average fee for various Master’s programs is outlined below:
AU$20,000 to AU$37,000
AU$50,000 to AU$100,000
2. Living Cost
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Your accommodation cost is the next major contributor for your overall cost of living in Australia. The rent for your accommodation may vary depending on the type of accommodation you choose. You can either opt for an on-campus accommodation like dormitories or off-campus accommodation like private rentals, shared accommodation or homestay. Your accommodation cost will also depend on the location you are living.
Outlined below are the cost estimates for different types of accommodation in Australia.
Hostels and Guesthouses
AU$90 to $150 per week
AU$95 to AU$215 per week
AU$110 to AU$280 per week
AU$235 to AU$325 per week
AU$185 to AU$440 per week
$11,000 to AU$22,000 a year
Click on the link below for detailed information on accommodation options in Australia.
In general, an international student may spend around AU$100-$150 a week for a proper meal from a restaurant in Australia, which could sum up to AU$5500-AU$7300 a year if you plan to eat out often. Relying completely on restaurants or take outs for every single meal will definitely prove to be heavy on your pockets. However, if you prefer to cook your own meals rather than ordering them from restaurants, then you can cut down on your food expenses considerably. This again depends on how lavish or simple your meals are. Yet, eating at home is certainly a viable option for an international student.
Listed below is the Australian weekly average cost for everyday grocery items.
Your monthly public transportation costs depend on the distance in most cities. In Sydney, a single adult fare starts at AU$2.10 and can go up to AU$4.50 with ferries being more expensive.
The price on Sundays is a flat AU$2.50, irrespective of where you go within the city, no matter if it is a bus or a ferry. Thus, ideally, Sunday is the perfect day for you to explore the wider surroundings of the city at a budgeted price.
Read this blog for detailed information on transportation options for international students studying in Australia.
Depending on the insurance provider, your overseas student health cover cost will be somewhere between AU$1500 to AU$1650. Some of the companies like Australian Health Management, Bupa Australia, Medibank, Allianz Global Assistance, etc., have tied up with the universities to provide affordable health covers for students.
3. Other Expenses (Miscellaneous)
Many international students prefer to buy new electronic devices such as laptop, tab or a new mobile upon their arrival in Australia. The main reason for doing so is to get devices that are already set according to the specific region.
You will also have to buy an international sim card and data plan for calling and internet access. Although most places offer WiFi, you will have to pay for it to avail the benefits of the service.
Australia is known for its extreme climatic conditions. Hence, you will have to invest in clothes specific for the weather, based on where your university is located. The clothes from your home country may or may not suffice as you may be coming from a different climate. If you have not managed to get suitable clothing from home, you can always buy in Australia at a reasonable price from stores that sell affordable good quality clothes, such as Birkenhead Point in Sydney or the Spencer Outlet Center in Melbourne. This additional cost is something you have to keep in mind before you travel.
In case you plan to visit your family during summer or winter breaks, you will have to spend at least AU$2000 for a round trip from Australia to your home country.
How Can You Save?
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You will have to brush up your cooking skills if you want to keep your spending to a minimum. The easiest way to save money is by choosing to cook at home rather than going out or ordering in from a restaurant. You can also make extra saving by cooking a vegetarian meal more often than a non-vegetarian one.
Apply coupon discounts and offers wherever possible.
Keep a track on your daily or weekly expenses; this will help you plan well and cut down where unnecessary.
Do not shop incessantly. Hoarding on clothes, shoes or anything that are not a necessity only adds up your overall cost of living in Australia.
Earn while you learn! International students are allowed to work up to 40 hours every two weeks during their stay in Australia; make the most of it whenever possible.
Renting a house or apartment entirely just for you will be quite expensive. Opt for shared accommodation, with which you can share the rental cost. You can find roomies on your university notice board, like fellow students who may be looking out for shared accommodation.
Cumulative Cost of Living in Australia for International Students
Based on general statistics, the estimated average cost of living in Australia for International students is around AU$20,000 per year (excluding the tuition fees). Your tuition fee will depend on the course and college you choose to study, and whether you have a scholarship award or not. If you are aware of the exact figure of your tuition fee, add that to the average expense per year and you will have the cumulative cost of living in Australia. With this estimate, you can plan to arrange for your funds to study and live in Australia.