The total cost of university courses varies between institutions and with major chosen. All prices in this article are in Australian dollars. Most undergraduate bachelor degrees range from $15 000 to $33 000, with courses like medicine costing much more. Postgraduate masters degrees cost from $20 000 to $37 000, and doctoral degrees cost between $14 000 and $37 000 on average.
As well as paying the cost of their chosen university course, students will also have to show that they have enough money to fund the minimum cost of living in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection requires international students to have $19 830 for every year that they will be studying in Australia to cover their minimum living costs. Covering minimum living costs is required to obtain a student visa for Australia.
Some universities offer scholarships to help cover study and living costs. Check with your chosen university for options.
International students have a variety of accommodation options to choose from. The most convenient option is for students to stay on campus at their chosen university, which costs between $90 and $280 per week and usually includes meals.
Sharing private rental accommodation with other students is a great way to keep costs down by splitting the bills with others. A room in a private rental costs between $85 and $215 per week. Costs like electricity, water, and internet will also have to be contributed to. If sharing is not an option, private rental accommodation can cost between $165 and $440 per week.
For short term stays hotels may be an option.
More information on student accommodation in Australia.
Having health insurance is a requirement to obtain a student visa for Australia. International students must buy and hold Overseas Student Health Cover for the whole of their time in Australia.
Overseas Student Health Cover covers visits to doctors, certain hospital treatments, ambulance transport, and some medicines. Be sure to check the details carefully when choosing health insurance to be aware of any health cover limitations.
Compare health insurance policies here.
Work and Study
International students can work while in Australia on a student visa, though there are limits to how many hours students can work while studying. During study periods international students can work up to 40 hours fortnight. During breaks between semesters and for students completing research or doctoral degrees there is no limit to the number of hours an international student can work.
Students can begin working when they have started studying. An Australian bank account is needed to receive payment. Most international students work in the retail or hospitality sectors.
To continue working in Australia after you have completed your course of study you’ll need to apply for a working visa.
Australia’s minimum wage is $18.29 per hour, or $694.90 for a full time 38 hour week. That works out to approximately $36 134.80 per year.
Living costs, in addition to accommodation, vary from $230 to $940 per week, with costs higher if you choose to purchase a car instead of using public transport.
According to Study in Australia, living costs can be broken down into the following categories and cost ranges.
- 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
Filing a yearly tax return is compulsory for international students working in Australia when their course of study will take more than 6 months to complete. The Tax year ends on June 30, with tax returns due as soon as possible after that date.
International students will need to obtain an Australian bank account in order to pay bills and receive payment if they are working. Students can obtain a bank account before they arrive in Australia by applying online with their passport through the bank’s website.
Australia’s currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).
Major banks in Australia include:
- Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
- National Australia Bank (NAB)
- Westpac Banking Corporation.
Compare bank accounts here.
Public transport options vary by city and can include buses, trains, ferries, and trams. State specific information, including maps, is available here.
International students in some statet and studying eligible courses can get concession prices on public transport with a valid student identification card from their study provider.
Most foreign driver licenses are recognised in Australia, though usually only temporarily. You may still have to obtain an Australian driver’s license to continue to drive in Australia.
State specific driver licencing information here.
Health and Safety
Australia is a healthier place to live than many other countries, with a life expectancy of 82 years, which is higher than average. High living standards, good healthcare, and low pollution contribute to Australians having healthier and longer lives than people in other countries.
Generally, Australia is a safe place to live and study. Safety can be measured by comparing the homicide rate of one country to an average homicide rate of all countries. For Australia, the homicide rate is 0.8, which is well below the average of 4.1, and makes Australia one of the safest countries to live in.
Phone and Internet
The best option for phone and internet for international students is to purchase an Australian SIM card for their mobile phone when they arrive in Australia. Prepaid and contract options are available. The internet can also be accessed through prepaid and contract plans, or used for free at university.
When making an international call from Australia you’ll need to dial 0011 first, then the code for the country you want to call, then any local area codes before entering the phone number.