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Understanding the Cost of Living in Australia

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Cost of Living in Australia

Introduction to Living Costs in Australia

When it comes to studying abroad then, students usually opt for going to UK and Canada. But did you know that Australia offers good educational opportunities too? Comparatively, studying in Australia is about 45-50% cheaper than in America and the US. The average cost of studying in Australia is around AUD 30 00-AUD 40,000, excluding living and other expenses. Still, of course, students have the option of availing of scholarships to keep prices under wrap.

Importance of Understanding Living Costs

Understanding the living cost helps in financial budgeting and saving. Those who underestimate its significance end up facing debts and crises. And facing financial constraints in a foreign land is never easy. To help students understand their overall expenditure, we have listed all major areas affecting living expenses in Australia.

Factors Affecting Living Expenses

Are you planning to shift to Australia? Though Australia's inflation rate is quite high, we can say that the living standard is higher than average. The lack of any proper house to settle in Australia is increasing the prices of rentals. Post-pandemic, the prices are increasing at an alarming rate.

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Categories of Living Expenses in Australia


Australia offers many living options for international students coming at different prices to meet the needs of all.  

Let us break down the prices of living in accommodation types in Australia for your ease:

1. Renting a House or Apartment

Renting a house or apartment in Australia is usually on the expensive side. Most students share their apartments to lower the cost. Usually, top colleges offer rental space nearby with 50-300 rental accommodation units.

2. On-Campus Accommodation

If a student decides to stay on campus, then they can enjoy much cheaper options. Students can stay in shared rooms with other students. This is a great way to meet new people and make friends also the prices are quite cheap, and utility needs like electricity, water etc. get covered without paying for them separately.

Apart from this, if you want your family to accommodate you, then you can go from homestay. Homestays are cheaper, furnishes and are good options to meet up with other people.

Food and Groceries

The cost of living, food, and groceries vary depending on where the student resides.  A person can spend AUD 250-350 per month on groceries in Australia.

Here is a list of the average money spent on groceries in different cities in Australia:

Melbourne – AUD 280-360

Brisbane – AUD 280 – 350

Perth – AUD 290-370

Darwin – AUD 300-370

Canberra – AUD 300-370

Sydney – AUD 300-380

Adelaide – AUD 310-390

Gold Coast – AUD 310-400

Hobart – AUD 320-4

Sydney and Melbourne are the homes of master chefs, and there, one can find cheap food which tastes incredible. On average a meal can come for AUD 15-20, while at a fancy restaurant, it can come to around AUD 40.


As per stats, Australians now spend more than 15 percent of their income weekly on transport in Australia.

Australia has a well-connected railways system that connects long distances and even far-away cities. However, they are not a cheap option. A one-way ticket from Sydney to Perth is around AUD 1,200, which is quite expensive for a student. To keep the prices low, one should book tickets in advance.

A cheaper alternative to travel in Australia would be by metro or subway.  It costs around 3-4 AUD which is far more affordable than private cars and Uber, where prices elevate quickly.

If you are willing to buy a car to save transportation costs, we suggest you buy used cars or rentals. Prices for used cars will be around AUD 1000-2000.

The transportation pass can cost around AUD 210.

For personal cars, an average person in Australia spends above $15 754 annually, including maintenance, petrol, and insurance. As per research, one of the most used cars in Australia are Nissan and Toyota.


Our research shows Australia's average electricity bill is around $441.80.Including water, gas, and electricity together, the average cost is around $200. An internet plan can be around $70.

Healthcare and Insurance

While getting a visa as an international student, one is offered health insurance with the visa. One has to pay for it overall and health insurance comes as a benefit. Students getting visas without any insurance can even risk their visas getting canceled.

One must pay health insurance while their stay in Australia, and they can also renew it if their stay is extended.

Usually, the student only covers their needs. At the same time, if a student travels with their family, they can get a dual insurance option where the individual, their partner, or one or more children below 18 is covered.

 Most Australian top universities have their health insurance provider, but students also have the liberty to choose their health providers.

Education Expenses

Educational expenses are the highest in Australia. The fees vary based on the university, location, type of degree, and course. The average educational expenses or study cost are around AUD 20,000 to AUD 45,000 for a bachelor and AUD 20,000- AUD 50,000 for a master's.

The fees for courses like engineering, medical, and MBA further escalate.

Students who want to reduce the prices of their courses can opt for scholarships. Austria's government funds various scholarship programs and awards to help international students.

Australian awards are offered to students from developing countries to study and thrive in Australia. Other programs include destination Australia and Australian government research training to help students who want to study doctorate and Ph.D. in Australia.

Besides government scholarship plans, numerous education providers have special quotas, so do your research and find effective and reliable help.

Those who want to take loans can also do so. However, one should apply quickly as this may take some time to process and suitable dates may not be available.

Personal Expenses

1. Entertainment and Leisure

Apart from just studying one needs other forms of refreshment to have a good mood and make the most while staying in Australia. Students who are into fitness and wellness go to gyms to stay in shape. As per stats, individuals spend over $81 per month on gyms. If you want to go out to a fancy restaurant on weekends, the price can be around $25-$45, while in the pub, it can be around $20-$30. The price of pubs and restaurants are nearly the same. However, it does increase if you go to a much more fancier place.

Students who do not want to spend a lot on fancy recreation can visit popular tourist spots which are affordable and accessible. Visiting Sydney Harbour, Kings Parks, and the botanic garden Australian war memorial should be on everyone's list.

Australia is a place for many fun activities, and one can always go hiking, golf, swimming, and further outdoor activities without overspending. Being an Island, it is surrounded by many oceans which one can visit too. There are many water activities, wildlife, and beautiful terrain to enjoy and have a good time.

2. Clothing and Personal Care

Clothing and personal care are one’s personal preferences. However, the cost of clothing in Australia is significantly less. Reports show that average people in Australia buy up to 56 items per year; however, the statistics round to upto$6.50 each, which is astonishingly less.

Apart from this, personal hygiene also plays a great role in everyone’s expenses. On average, international students spend $63-$69 on personal care, which is higher than in other countries.

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Factors Influencing Living Costs

There are a lot of factors that raise the living cost in Australia. Choices and preferences in any area are what make a huge difference in the overall expense.

A. Location within Australia

One of the biggest factors which influence the living cost is the location in Australia where one decides to reside.  Cities like Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney are quite expensive. On the other hand, Gold Coast, Wollongong, and Cairns are quite cheaper.

B. Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices affect the living cost not only in Australia but in any part of the world. The average cost of eating in Australia cost about 25-30% of the total living expense. However, if one opts to eat outside frequently, then the price spent on food skyrockets.

Choosing the correct mode of transportation, recreation, and other habit also influence the cost of living.

C. Accommodation Type

Australia offers a ton of accommodation options. One can decide to live in apartments, rentals, hostels, college dorms, and home stays matters. Students who use rentals and apartments definitely have to pay more.

D. Student Status

The status of a student affects their lifestyle too. Students from wealthy backgrounds will have different life choices, and hence their overall expenditure in a year will be quite high. Living as per means or below means can help one live within their margin and save more.

This island-like country attracts a lot of international stents, although it is yet to beat its competitors like Canada and the UK. Now that you have a general idea of the expenses of living, there you can plan accordingly and decide your next move.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Although living costs vary depending on one's personal choices and lifestyle, an average of $20,000 for students and $50,000 for families would be approx. budget annually.

The cost of living in Melbourne, Australia, is on the higher side. To give an idea, it will cost a family of four approximately 6245 AUD per month, excluding the rent. Melbourne, however, ranks lower than New York in terms of living costs. On average, the living cost in Melbourne is 58% lower than New York's.

The average cost of living in Australia is usually high. However, Gold Coast is known as the most affordable living place in Australia. It has been ranked 89th globally on the list of the cheapest places to live. However, this place is famous for its high standard of education. So, it attracts a lot of students each year, as it is the perfect combination of excellent social and academic life, along with stunning nightlife and beaches.

The cost of living for Indian students in Australia is quite high. On average, the living cost of an Indian student in Australia can vary between 1286 AUD to 2205 AUD. On average, the cost of meals three times a day can cost any Indian student approximately 42 AUD. So, students can consult with our experts to get the most budget-friendly options.

There are several options for students to stay in on-campus residences. Most leading universities have on-campus hostels that can provide students with a much cheaper living option than any off-campus flats. These hostels come with various homely facilities and food options. Our consultants can guide you in choosing the best option by assessing your requirements.

Many international students look to stay in the Australian suburbs. These places are usually cheaper than most major places in Australia. Some of the most popular suburbs in Australia for student housing are –

  • Carlton
  • Parkville
  • Fitzroy
  • Brunswick
  • South Yarra

Ask our consultants for the best living options for you.

These facilities are usually provided along with student accommodation in Australia –

  • Bedroom Furniture
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Wi-Fi or Internet
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Common Area
  • Security
  • Utilities like Electricity, Water, Heating
  • Furniture
  • Study Spaces
  • Accessibility for Disabled Patients
  • Mail and Package Services

Our consultants can clear any doubts regarding the same. Consult us today.

To secure temporary housing after arriving in Australia, you must follow these processes –

  • Plan in advance
  • Contact your institution
  • Start researching online
  • Contact temporary accommodation services
  • Look in hostels
  • Look in serviced apartments
  • Look in hotels and motels
  • Reach out to locals
  • Contact temporary housing at the university
  • Consider the budget
  • Read reviews
  • Consider Amenities
  • Create backup plans

You can contact our experts, and they can help you find temporary housing options once you reach Australia.

There are various on-campus accommodations available in Australia. These facilities may include apartments, dormitories, and shared houses. Dormitories are the most common form of on-campus shared accommodation. Many students can share a room together. These dormitories also offer basic facilities like beds, desks, and wardrobes.

Yes, you can bring one or more roommates to share the accommodation costs. However, you should first communicate with the landlord and read the house policies. Certain flats and apartments do have no-sharing policies. But if you are opting for any shared flats or dormitories, you can always bring someone to live with you.

Any international student must be above 18 years of age to get a house for themselves. Before that age, students must get approval from the landlord. Otherwise, they have to stay with someone who is over 21 years of age till the time they become 18. You have to show that the person you are living with is your relative.

Follow these steps to book student accommodation early –

  • Research Accommodation Options
  • Set a Budget
  • Contact Your Institution
  • Check Application Deadlines
  • Visit University Websites
  • Use Accommodation Websites
  • Book Directly with Providers
  • Compare Facilities and Location
  • Read Reviews and Recommendations
  • Contact Accommodation Providers
  • Submit Applications
  • Keep Records
  • Confirm Booking
  • Stay Updated
  • Plan for Arrival

Yes, students can change their accommodation after arriving in Australia. However, you must state proper reasons why you want to change the accommodation. Most flats or apartments ask for advances beforehand. If you have already paid the advance, you may not get it back. Clear the rules and regulations beforehand. Else, you have fallen into financial troubles after changing the accommodation options.

To get student accommodation in Australia, you need to present the following documents –

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Enrolment
  • Rental Application Form
  • Financial Information
  • References
  • Rental History
  • Proof of Income
  • Guarantor or Co-Signer
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Rental Agreement
  • Security Deposit

If you need any additional documents, you can consult with our experts and clear your doubts.

Usually, student accommodations are found all over the country. Some of the accommodating options are within the vicinity of the campus, while some can be quite far away. Usually, the options nearer to the campus are costlier than the others. So, you should assess your budget and decide which one will be better for you.

Most furnished apartments in Australia have a minimum lease duration of 9 months. However, non-student leases can run up to 12 months. You can consult with our experts to know all these details. We can help you find the most affordable housing options with favourable lease dates.

Student Reviews on Living Cost in Australia

  • Budgeting Bliss

    I understood the ins and outs of living expenses in Australia. Their comprehensive breakdown helped me budget wisely during my studies abroad.

    Abhay, Delhi, India
  • Financial Freedom

    Enlightened me about the living expenses in Australia, ensuring I managed my finances efficiently while pursuing my education. Grateful for their invaluable guidance!

    Vipin, Noida
  • Economic Empowerment

    Provided a thorough overview of living expenses in Australia, empowering me to make informed financial decisions throughout my study journey. Highly recommend their insights.

    Chandra, Noida
  • Practical Perspectives

    Breakdown of living costs in Australia equipped me with practical knowledge, enabling me to navigate my finances confidently during my study abroad experience.

    Rohit, Delhi
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