Cost of Living in Australia
One of the most important things to consider when studying in Australia is how much money that you need to have in order to be comfortable. There are a lot of things that come into this process. We’re going to take a look at a few of the important costs in this article. Then, you will be better able to make an informed decision about studying in Australia and determine how much you need to budget in order to live comfortably while there.
All of these numbers are presented with and based on the Australian dollar (AUD). If you would like to see the current exchange rate for your country’s currency to AUD, check out XE.com’s currency converter for the most recent currency conversion rates.
The cost of living accommodations in Australia vary depending on which region you are living in. The more rural areas of Australia, like those you will find in the western and northern Australian states, will have much lower accommodation costs. More urbanized areas, like those in the ACT and around Sydney, will have higher rates, especially if you are downtown.
The cost of your living accommodations will also vary on how many rooms your rental has. On average, a one bedroom apartment will cost anywhere from $1000 (in rural areas) to $1750 (city center). Living on campus typically costs much less (approximately $750/month). If you are renting a 3 bedroom apartment, you could see costs as high as $2,500 a month in the city, but that is because of the assumption that you will be splitting the cost with roommates (which, in the end, would make it less expensive than a one bedroom apartment).
The cost of your amenities will vary depending on location and what you have. It will also depend on what is included in your rent. Here are some averages:
- Gas and electric: $50-$100/month
- Phone and internet (usually bundled together): $150-$200 a month
- Water/Sewer/Trash: $50/month
- Groceries average approximately $200/month, depending on what you’re eating.
Note: If you are located within city limits, the numbers that you will see will likely be more than the estimates listed here.
You may also have to pay particular local and/or housing taxes, depending on what your landlord covers and what you have to cover. Which amenities and taxes you are responsible for should be outlined on your lease. Many times, you can discuss the average costs for your apartment with your landlord or real estate agent; they should have a vague idea of what the monthly costs for your rental should come out to.
There are a variety of other things that you will want to think about in regards to the cost of living if you decide to go to Australia to study. Some of these costs are based on personal entertainment, others are based on transportation, and others are considered luxuries. Here are some of the average prices that you can expect to pay on various items and services in Australia.
- Fitness club – $70/month
- Monthly transportation pass: $120 (certain public transportation offers student rates for less)
- Gasoline: $1.50/liter
- Taxi: $2.04/km
- Meal out: $16 to $75 dollars, depending on how fancy the restaurant is. $16-20 for a meal at a casual dining establishment is relatively average.
- Beer, half a liter: $6
- Flavored coffee: $4 for an average-sized cup
- Combo meal at a fast food restaurant (McDonald’s, Burger King): $8.
If you are someone who is planning on going out sometimes and you want to enjoy what there is to see around Australia, it’s recommended that you put aside anywhere from $50 to $100 a week for entertainment. These are just basic estimates based on some of the information found at sites, like Numbeo, which take user information from those who live or travel to the country, and create averages based on the information provided to them. These numbers will definitely vary depending on which state you are in and whether you are in an urban or rural area of the country. Taxes may also vary based on the state you are studying in.
Need More Information?
If you need help with creating and managing your budget while in Australia, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission MoneySmart website can help you with that information. You can also alleviate some of the financial burden by working while studying in Australia.
If you are going to be a student in Australia, there are specific guidelines regarding income and budgeting that the immigration department has for you to be able to apply for and receive your student visa. These guidelines are based on the current average cost of living in Australia, and are discussed further in this article. These guidelines and more information about proof of financial resources can also be found on the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship webpage.
Your university’s international studies office can help you further with any of your concerns related to budgeting and the cost of living while studying in Australia; they are trained to help international students with their questions, even if they are not directly related to your education. Contact your international studies office today and see how they can help you, as well.