Australia Living Cost

Knowing the average living costs in Australia is an important part of your financial preparation. For your reference, here are some of the costs associated with living and studying in Australia (all costs are in Australian dollars).

The costs below are an approximate guide only. Students should be aware that these costs can vary depending on your study location in Australia.

Accommodation

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

Other living expenses

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

Minimum cost of living

The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a student visa for Australia. From 1st February 2018 the 12 month living cost is:

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

All costs are per year in Australian dollars.

Health and safety

Australia is generally a very safe and welcoming place to live and study, consistently ranking among the safest countries in the world.

But it is still important to look after yourself and be aware of the risks that exist – and ways to minimise them. This is particularly important for when you first arrive and are adjusting to your new way of life.

Following your common sense and best practices will ensure you remain safe and healthy, whether you are handling emergencies, personal and home safety, or natural elements such as sun, water, and fire.

Personal Safety

While Australia is generally a safe place to live and study, it is still important that you take precautions to reduce the chance of an incident occurring.

Going out

When you are out with friends or by yourself, here are some simple things to consider:

  • Always plan your trip home, especially at night. You may want to pre-book a taxi or arrange transport with a friend. Always make sure you have enough money to get home.
  • Try to travel with a friend or in a group.
  • Keep your bag and belongings close to your body and where you can always see them.
  • Never hitch hike.
  • If you don’t have a mobile phone, make sure you have a phone card or money to make a phone call.
  • Where available, use pedestrian walkways and cross the street at pedestrian crossings or lights.
  • Leave valuables at home if you don’t need to take them with you. This includes jewellery, electronic equipment such as iPads and your passport. If you’ve recently arrived and don’t have anywhere permanent to live yet, talk to your institution’s international student support staff about secure storage facilities on campus.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of money with you. You can access your money at ATMs found in shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, shopping malls, bars, shop fronts and many other public places.
  • Call 000 in the event of an emergency. Remember, calls to 000 are free of charge.

Public transport

Public transport is reliable and widely used in Australia, particularly in metro and urban areas. A number of security measures have been implemented to maximise the safety of public transport users including security officers and guards, help points, good lighting and security cameras. However you should still use caution when travelling on public transport:

  • Avoid isolated bus, rail and tram stops.
  • Check transport timetables to avoid long waits, particularly at night.
  • Train carriages nearest to the driver or guard are lit and safest at night.
  • If you find yourself left in a train carriage on your own or with only one other person you may feel more comfortable moving to another carriage.

Taxis

Some tips when using taxis in Australia:

  • Sit wherever you feel most comfortable – it is normal for passengers to sit in the front or the rear of the taxi.
  • Always ensure you know the address of your destination before getting into the taxi.
  • Tell the driver the route you would like to take to your destination, and don’t be afraid to speak up if the driver takes you a different route, particularly one you are unfamiliar with.
  • If you don’t want the driver to know exactly where you live, get them to drop you off a short distance away.

At school or on campus

When you are at your institution during the day or night, here are some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Make sure you are aware of the security and emergency arrangements at your institution and in your local area. Your institution should provide you with this information either in your information pack or once you arrive.
  • Some large institutions offer security escort services or bus shuttle services for out of office hours. Contact your institution directly to see if this is a service they offer.
  • If you drive to your institution, try to park close to your destination and use well-lit car parks.
  • When leaving your institution at night try to walk with a friend or group, and take paths that are well lit and ideally frequently used by other people.

Using the internet

When using internet, like anywhere in the world, you should protect yourself against spam, online scams like ‘phishing’, online bullying and identity theft. You can find more information about protecting yourself online at Australia.gov.au. Many Australian internet service providers also offer guidance so check their website as well.