Living in Australia
STUDENT COSTS OF LIVING
Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part when making the decision to study in Australia. Here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia. The costs below are in Australian Dollar and are an approximate guide only. Students should be aware that these costs can vary depending on the study program and city.
Hostels: $90 - $150/week
Shared houses, shared flats, shared rooms: $85 - $215/week
On campus: $90 - $280/week
Homestay: $235 - $325/week
Rental: $165 - $440/week
Boarding schools: $11,000 - $22,000/year
Other costs of living
Groceries and eating out: $80 - $280/week
Gas, electricity: $35 - $140/week
Phone and Internet: $20 - $55/week
Public transport: $15 - $55/week
Car (after purchase): $150 - $260/week
Entertainment and leisure: $80 - $150/week
Minimum costs of living
The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to obtain a student visa for Australia. From 1st February 2018 the 12 month living cost are defined as follows**:
Student’s partner or spouse: $7,100/year
Student’s child: $3,040/year
It is a requirement that you have enough money genuinely available to you to pay for your study course fees, travel and costs of living for you and your accompanying family members while you are in Australia.
You may have to provide evidence of your financial capacity with your visa application. You can find out if you are likely to need to provide this evidence by using the Document Checklist Tool on the the Department of Home Affairs website.
Useful links - Costs of Living
Australian Government website providing information and guidance on managing your finances
Department of Home Affairs financial requirements for international students
'Insider Guides, Student Living Costs Calculator' useful tool to help estimate international student’s cost of living in Australia
If you experience financial trouble while in Australia, talk to your institution’s international student support staff for assistance.
HOW TO FIND ACCOMMODATION IN AUSTRALIA
There are varies types of accommodation available in Australia.
Homestay or private board is where the student lives with a family, couple or single person in their own home. Students can gain access to the Australian lifestyle and practise English in a natural way. There are many Homestay Providers operating in Australia and the terms and accommodation arrangements may vary. The most common arrangements for homestay usually include a furnished room, meals and utility bills. Some homestay providers may even do your laundry. The costs for a homestay in Australia are between $110 – $270 per week.
Hostels are usually temporary accommodation arrangements and are available from average $90 to $150 per week. Prices depend on shared facilities, room options (1 bed room vs. shared dorm, mixed dorm vs. same-sex dorm), location, season, etc. Be aware that costs typically increase during cultural and sporting events (e.g. festivals, Footy Finals weekend, Melbourne Cup and Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne). Hostels can be found via booking websites (booking.com, hostelworld, etc.) or travel guides (e.g. Lonely Planet).
Share Rental Accommodation (Share Houses or Share Flats)
Students over 18 can live in a share flat or share house. Living in a flat or house can offer you an independent lifestyle and privacy. Rent for a room in a share house or share flat is usually between $85 and $215/week (depending on location, room size, furnished/unfurnished, etc.). For most rentals you will have to pay a bond/security deposit.
You may have to calculate additional costs for utilities and internet. Useful sources to find share accommodations for international students in Australia are flatmatefinder.com.au, gumtree.com.au or Airbnb (usually for short term stay), Facebook Groups and Facebook Marketplace.
Students over 18 can live in a rental accommodation. However, it can be very expensive if you choose to live by yourself as one bedroom apartments are usually more expensive than a room in a share flat or share house. You will usually be responsible for the connection fees for utilities (electricity, gas, water) and internet as well as the ongoing utility and internet bills. In addition, you generally have to pay a rental bond/security deposit to the landlord or real estate agency at the beginning of your lease.
Rental prices vary depending on the location, size and condition of the property. Useful sources to find a rental accommodation in Australia are gumtree.com.au, domain.com.au, realestate.com.au, Facebook Groups and Facebook Marketplace.
What is a rental bond (also referred to as security deposit)?
A rental bond is money paid by the tenant at the start of a rental agreement. It is used as financial protection for the landlord in case the tenant breaches the terms of the agreement (damages the premises, owes rent, etc.).
Watch out for rental scams!!!
Scammers advertise rental properties on well-known property websites and typically quote extremely low prices to gain your attention. When you show interest, they usually send a lengthy email detailing why you cannot inspect the property in person. They say that they are currently out of the country and ask you to make an upfront payment, before you have the chance to work out that it’s a scam. For more information on rental scams and how you can protect yourself, refer to the following websites.