Cost of living in Australia for Students: All You Need to Know

Cost of living in Australia

Australia offers fabulous learning experiences with world-class universities, a thriving community of international students and a reputation for innovation, excellent infrastructure, sustainable communities and high standards of living in its major cities. Several degree programs in Australia also cover internships and work experience which help students widen their areas of professional expertise and most of them find jobs after graduation, attaining eligibility to stay on. Australia promises an attractive lifestyle and countless attractions for students. However, the cost of living in Australia for students naturally varies, depending upon the choices and lifestyle preferences.

When we compare the cost of living in Australia for international students with the major countries, we can see that tuition fees in Australia are lower than the U.S., while living costs are lower than the UK. However, prices for degree courses are on the higher side but many students work part-time jobs for funding part of their tuition fees. Average living costs for students hover around AUD 1, 400 and AUD 2, 500 every month encompassing all expenditure including food, accommodation, social activities, utilities and so on. The monthly utilities such as electricity, water and gas costs around $220, whereas telephone, television and internet packages every month comes around $70. Taking all these expenses into consideration, we can say that an average household needs $100,000 every year to live in Australia. 

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Cost of living in Australia for students and families 

The cost of living in Australia for a family of four is approximately AUD 6, 601 while the cost of living in Australia for Indian students or single persons will touch roughly AUD 3, 702 every month. On an average, one person without rent, will have to fork out anywhere around AUD 1, 432 as average cost of living in Australia as per several studies. This stands at AUD 5, 185 per month for a family of 4 without rent, based upon these calculations. Basic utilities may stand at AUD 198.09 for an 85 square meter apartment. 

For instance, the above-mentioned figures suffice for the city of Melbourne although utility costs in this category are slightly higher at AUD 210.25. For Perth, 1 person can survive on AUD 1, 302 per month and it is AUD 4, 640 per family (without rent) for a month. Utilities stand at AUD 221.10. The costs basically vary from one city to another in Australia. 

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Cost of living in Australia for a family or student delineated 

Wondering what is the minimum cost of living in Australia for a student or family? Here’s taking into account cities in Australia with low cost of living and those with skyrocketing costs to arrive at an average threshold. This list of items with costs will help you greatly when it comes to delineating the actual costs that you have to make provisions for. 

1. Average Rent in Australia 

As stated, rentals in Australia will vary from one city to another. Average rentals will vary between AUD 1, 200 and AUD 2, 600 every month for a 1 bedroom apartment in the City Centre. A 1 bedroom apartment outside of the City Centre will hover between AUD 869 and AUD 2, 000. This will jump up to AUD 1, 700 and AUD 4, 829 for a 3 bedroom apartment in the City Centre and also between AUD 1, 300 and AUD 3, 000 for a 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre as per studies. Here is a list that may help you in this regard (for a 1 bedroom flat in City Centre every month)

  • Sydney- AUD 2, 649
  • Melbourne- AUD 1, 839 
  • Perth- AUD 1, 480 

2. University Tuition Fee 

On average in Australia, usual tuition fees for Master’s Degrees range between AUD 20, 000 and AUD 37, 000 which is roughly US$14, 400 and US$26, 600. For Doctoral Degrees, it may hover between AUD 14, 000 and AUD 37, 000, i.e. between US$10, 060 and US$26, 600. These are annual tuition fees that you will have to bear for every year of the course that you are undertaking. Living costs per annum for students will also be somewhere in the AUD 21-22,000 ballpark as per estimates. 

You can, however, expect comprehensive cost savings with upGrad Abroad. Let us take an example of a popular program. You can study at the prestigious James Cook University, Brisbane for a year on-campus while studying a year online at the highly reputed Chandigarh University. This hybrid model of 1 year online and 1 year offline study helps you save significantly in terms of tuition fees and living costs. The approximate costs for the 1st year of online study hover around INR 2.5 lakh and upwards. The second year will cost you anywhere around AUD 30, 400 approximately per annum in tandem with AUD 21, 041 per annum in approximate living costs. Hence, AUD 51, 441 works out to roughly INR 29 lakh annually. At the same time, you spend just Rs. 2.5 lakh in the first year since you are studying online and earning the credits that you need. Hence, you stand to save a whopping INR 27 lakh on your course with upGrad Abroad. Although this is just an example; you can save significantly at least up to INR 20 lakh in tuition fees and living costs in Australia for the year which you spend studying online. This program by upGrad Abroad helps you pursue your dream of attaining global education without burning a big hole in your pocket. 

Read More: 20 lakhs reduction in bachelor’s abroad

3. Food Cost in Australia

Average food costs in Australia are not as exorbitant and here is a list that will be of great help without a doubt: 

  • Milk (1 litre)- AUD 1-2.80
  • Rice (1 Kg, White)- AUD 1.40-5
  • Loaf of White Bread (500g)- AUD 1.38-5
  • Chicken Fillets (1 Kg)- AUD 7-15
  • Local Cheese (1 Kg)- AUD 6.50-24
  • Eggs (12)- AUD 3-7
  • Red Meat (1 Kg)- AUD 10-27
  • Oranges (1 Kg)- AUD 1.84-6
  • Banana (1 Kg)- AUD 2-6
  • Onion (1 Kg)- AUD 1.49-4
  • Tomato (1 Kg)- AUD 2.50-7.90
  • Lettuce (1 Head)- AUD 1.50-4
  • Potato (1 Kg)- AUD 1-5
  • Water (1.5 litre bottle)- AUD 0.80-4

4. Transportation Costs in Australia 

Transportation costs in Australia have been listed below for your benefit: 

  • One-way local transport ticket- AUD 3-6
  • Taxi Tariff- AUD 3.60-7
  • Taxi 1 Km- AUD 1.62-3.20
  • Monthly Pass- AUD 86.96-220.70
  • Taxi 1 Hour Waiting- AUD 34.08-60
  • Gasoline (1 litre)- AUD 1.19-1.60

5. Average Utilities and Bills Cost 

The average costs for bills and utilities can be represented as shown below: 

  • Basic utilities (monthly heating, electricity, garbage, cooling and water) for 85 square meter apartment- AUD 120-401.39
  • 1 minute of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (Without Discounts Or Plans)- AUD 0.10-1
  • Internet (60 Mbps Or Higher, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)- AUD 60-100 

Read More Resources About Australia:

 Tips to Save Money in Australia 

You can always follow some useful tips in order to save more money during your time in Australia. These include the following: 

  • Save as much as you can on food – If you are dining out regularly, buying premier and organic items and shopping for imported items, your bills on food will be quite high in Australia. You can save money on food in Australia with a little planning and you can start by dining out lesser, cutting back on cafes and pub visits and also planning meals in advance while shopping for local food. It is common to go out for getting some coffee in Australia but bear in mind that every cup will cost you AUD 2.70. A weekly coffee budget will start ballooning up if you keep up these indulgences. Instead, Australia has great beaches and parks where you can carry a picnic basket and coffee along in a flask for some unwinding. Find out ingredients to be used for several meals and account for leftovers. Buy local and seasonal food from farmer’s markets at affordable prices instead of picking up imported items from supermarket chains such as Woolworths and Coles among others. 
  • Save money on electricity costs- Australia has some of the world’s most expensive power costs. It suffices to say that electricity bills will be a major dent in the budgets of students and visitors. However, costs are still lower as compared to the United Kingdom (UK). You should not run air conditioners continually or forget to switch off power for wall outlets. Try and cool the home with natural flow of air as much as possible and if air conditioning is unavoidable, close all the windows and doors properly. Always unplug bigger appliances and switch off electricity at wall sockets if you are going out for extended durations. 
  • Save money on entertainment expenses- There are several public events going on in Australia that will not charge you anything. You will enjoy several free live music events, outdoor screenings of movies and cheap options like coin-operated barbeques at the beach for instance. 
  • Save money on health and fitness expenditure- You need not pay for fitness needs and gym memberships in Australia. The climate encourages outdoor activity throughout the year and you can simply go running, biking, paddling, swimming and hiking if you wish. Many communities have free fitness programs along with stationary workout stations outdoors. Get outdoors and live the Australian life without paying for that exorbitant gym membership! 
  • Save money on clothing- Do not purchase clothes at their full price while you are in Australia. If you do not see any sale that is currently available, just wait for some time and you will find one right around your neighborhood or online! The end of the financial year here is in June and post New Year is also a period which has some of the best sales and offers along with tempting deals. You can plan ahead and shop during this season for saving a hefty amount on clothing during your stay in Australia. 
  • Tap into student discounts and offers- Australia has several incentives available for students. If you are studying here with the ISIC Card, you can tap into these discounts. Several students are also eligible for discounts on everything from flights to transportation and more. You can also get more discounts at numerous outlets/stores. Use your student ID to get as many offers as possible. 
  • Save money on transportation costs- Travel by public transportation instead of hiring cabs in Australia. This is a more affordable way to commute throughout the city. Most universities are city or campus based with great links to public transport facilities. See whether monthly or weekly passes are available with student discounts on transportation services which can be used regularly.

Important Resources About Australia to Read:

Also Read:

How Much Gap Is Acceptable for Study in Australia?
Eligibility Criteria for Masters (MS) in Australia
How to settle in Australia from India?
Jobs in Australia after MS in Computer Science
Australian Visa Subclass 190
Australian Visa Subclass 189

Cost of living in Australia – FAQs

Q1. What is the minimum cost of living in Australia for international Students?

A: The minimum cost of living in Australia ranges between AUD 1, 400-6, 600 every month.

Q 2. Which are the cities in Australia with low cost of living?

A: Some cities have comparatively lower costs of living including Hobart and Melbourne.

Q 3. What are the average transportation costs in Australia?

A: Monthly passes cost anywhere between AUD 86 and AUD 220 while one-way local transportation ranges between AUD 3.60-7.

Q4. What are average utility costs in Australia?

A: If you are staying in Australia, you can expect to pay somewhere around AUD 120-400 for basic utilities.

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