Living Costs in Australia
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 and linked to the consumer price index.)
- 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 1 July 2016 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. To convert to your own currency, visit http://www.xe.com/
The Australian Government provides information and guidance on managing your finances. You can read more at www.moneysmart.gov.au
The ‘Insider Guides Cost of Living Calculator’ is also a useful tool to help estimate your cost of living in Australia www.insiderguides.com.au/cost-of-living-calculator/.
If you experience financial trouble while in Australia, talk to your institution’s international student support staff for assistance.
Once you have confirmed where you will be studying, you can look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Some tips when searching for accommodation include:
- The costs will vary depending on your chosen state, city, and type of accommodation.
- Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees.
- Consider how far it is from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.
- Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.
Short-term accommodation options you might want to consider when you first arrive in Australia include:
- Hostels and discounted rates on hotels.
- Temporary housing which may be offered through your institution while you get settled. Talk to your institution’s international support staff or check their website for details.
You can rent or ‘lease’ a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately. When renting a property, you will need to pay a security deposit or ‘bond’ (which is usually four weeks rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that you, your house mates or house guests cause to the property while renting. Some, or all, of this amount may be refunded to you once your tenancy agreement has terminated.
For more information on your rights and obligations when renting in Australia you should visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.
Campus living can be a great option to minimise travel. Most universities have comfortable and furnished apartment-style living on campus or close by, sometimes with cleaning and meals included. Contact your institution directly to find out the accommodation options they have available and how the costs compare with organising your own accommodation.
With homestay, you will live with a family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have all the comforts of an established home, often with meals and cleaning included. Families offering homestay accommodation to international students are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students.
You have certain responsibilities to meet when it comes to paying accommodation expenses on time, cleaning and maintenance. You also have the right by law to feel secure in your property, maintained with working facilities. If there are any problems with your accommodation, talk to your agent or landlord (if renting), your international student support staff for on-campus living or the service where you found your homestay.
There are also organisations such as tenants’ unions and consumer advocates that can provide assistance. To find out more visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.