Australia - Expenses
How much will it cost
Australia offers excellent value for money, with living expenses and tuition costs in Australia considerably less expensive than other comparable countries.
Tuition fees vary according to the institution and course selected but this website provides a guide to the average costs. Scholarships are available for international students however the competition is intense and the majority of international students in Australia are full-fee paying students.
Cost of Study:
International students are charged up-front tuition fees. Institutions sometimes make an additional charge to cover other costs associated with being a student: student organization membership, library and laboratory costs and sports facility costs. Some courses make specific charges for excursions, books, stationery and other essential material. These costs will vary depending on the course or institution therefore average costs are provided below and should only be used as a guide. All school tuition fees are exempt from Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Education in Australia is not free. There are a limited number of scholarships available to overseas students. University fees for undergraduate courses range from AUD 7,500 to AUD 26,000 per annum (12 months). Fees for class-room based courses (e.g. engineering, law, arts) average about AUD 10,000 per annum. Vocational education (TAFE) courses cost an average of AUD 8,000 per annum.
Institutions will advise when to pay your tuition fees and acceptable methods of payment.
Foundation Studies AUD 900-AUD 14,000 a year such as university entrance, preparatory and bridging courses
AUD 10,000-AUD 20,500 a year such as courses in arts, business, economics and law
Laboratory-based Bachelor Degree:
AUD 12,000-AUD 25,500 a year such as science and engineering courses
Graduate Diplomas AUD 9000-AUD 17,500
Masters Doctoral Degree:
AUD 11,000-AUD 20,500 a year
English language training:
varies significantly depending on the course duration or institution AUD 3500–AUD 13,500
Accommodation options and costs:
A variety of high standard student accommodation is available to suit different budgets and needs. Students can opt to live in university accommodation or with an Australian family. Shared accommodation with other students is common and popular. Institutions provide students with help in finding accommodation and understanding lease and tenancy conditions. Temporary accommodation can be arranged before you leave home allowing you time on arrival to consider where and how you would like to be accommodated in the longer term. Student notice boards and newspapers often advertise rooms, apartments and houses for rent.
Further advice is available from your prospective institution.
Cost of Living:
The cost of living in Australia can be variable, based on your choice of city or town. A simple student in Australia will need between AUD 8,500 to AUD 10,000 per annum however it could be reduced to AUD 6000 per annum depending on the lifestyle. This amount would cover rent, food, basic clothing, public transport and books. Institution handbooks will provide detailed information on the costs associated with study.
Accommodation is available to students either on-campus (in residential colleges) or off-campus (in share house arrangements or in private home-stay with a family). While these are a realistic guide, it is important to remember that individual circumstances will vary by location, course and lifestyle.
Accommodation options approximate cost
Homestay or Farmstay AUD 110–AUD 270 a week gain access to the Australian lifestyle in a natural and friendly way through Homestay. This is popular with younger students and those studying short-term English courses. Meals are usually included in the cost. Single or shared rooms may be offered and the cost will vary accordingly. Self-catering Homestay is sometimes available cheaply. Farmstay offers the same services in a rural setting.
Institutions maintain a register of families prepared to board international students during the academic year. Education institutions ensure that Homestay families are reputable and that they offer accommodation of a reasonable standard.
Hostels and guest houses AUD 80–AUD 135 a week
Hostels are usually run by organizations such as Youth Hostels Australia and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Students share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Rental accommodation AUD 50–AUD 160 a week
AUD 70–AUD 350 a week
Students often share with fellow students. They advertise on notice boards and in newspapers. Students may have to provide their own furniture.
When renting a house, apartment or bedsitter, landlords require rent to be paid in advance and will require a security bond equal to one month’s rent.
Boarding schools AUD 8000–AUD 11000 a year
Many private secondary schools provide accommodation, meals and laundry services for international students.
Note: Tuition fees are in addition to the boarding fees
University accommodation AUD 80–AUD 250 per week
Most universities offer a variety of accommodation on or near to campus such as university apartments, residential colleges or halls of residence. Halls of Residence are usually cheaper and a popular option with full-time international students. The cost ranges depending on the type of accommodation.
University residential colleges
Residential colleges provide accommodation with meals. They are slightly more expensive than university Halls of Residence. The college undertakes cleaning and household tasks. Sporting and social facilities, tutoring, libraries and (generally) computer access are also provided.
Halls of residence
Halls of residence are located on or near university campuses and are generally cheaper than residential colleges. International students find them an attractive option. Students usually have meals and some cleaning services provided. Only full-time students are accepted. Students need to apply early because of the high demand for places.
All international students studying in Australia are required to have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your student visa in Australia. The Overseas Student Health Cover charge is payable before a student (temporary) visa is issued. Students in Australia are also responsible for their own accident and property insurance. It is a good idea to take out travel insurance before leaving your country to cover lost baggage, cancellation of plane tickets and repatriation.
Access to Employment:
International students can work while studying in Australia. A student (temporary) visa allows international students to work for a maximum 20 hours per week during semester and full-time during vacation periods. Most universities and some TAFE colleges provide casual employment services for enrolled students but there is no guarantee of work in Australia. Students should not expect to support themselves by working in Australia. School children are not allowed to work. To be granted a student visa in Australia you need to have adequate means of financial support.