The Cost of Living in Australia – 2024

Cost of living in Australia
Study Abroad Expert November 30, 2023

Australia is renowned as the world’s third-leading study abroad destination, consistently delivering high-quality education to many students each year. Beyond its academic prowess, the country’s allure extends globally for distinct reasons. Concerns often arise about the cost of living in Australia, a significant consideration for those studying abroad. The reassuring news is that with effective management, the living expenses for Indian and other international students in Australia can be easily manageable.

Strategic expense planning can result in an estimated monthly cost of around 2,000 AUD for international students in Australia. To facilitate proactive financial planning before embarking on a journey to the country, Shuraa Education has crafted a comprehensive guide on the cost of living in Australia for international students, covering every related aspect.

Australia Living Costs for International Students

The approximate cost of living for international students in Australia is set at 20,000 AUD. Nevertheless, this figure is subject to variation, influenced by lifestyle choices, accommodation preferences, transportation, and other study-related considerations. Before delving into the specifics of studying abroad, let us provide a brief overview of the monthly expenses an international student might encounter in Australia.

Factors Average Cost Per Month
Accommodation 297 AUD – 743 AUD
Food & Groceries 208 AUD – 416 AUD
Transportation 44 AUD – 89 AUD
Household Bills 14 AUD – 29 AUD
Shopping 118 AUD – 223 AUD
Miscellaneous 22 AUD – 29 AUD

The average cost of living for a family in Australia typically fall within the range of AUD 2500 to AUD 3000. Among Australian cities, Sydney stands out as the costliest, trailed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Canberra.

Categories of Living Expenses for Students in Australia

The living expenses in Australia hinge on factors like accommodation type and the extent of your exploration of the locale. As an international student, your ventures into different corners and culinary experiences are part of the journey. Allocating a monthly budget of at least 2,000 AUD becomes essential to cover these aspects. Let us delve into the several types of expenses associated with studying in Australia:

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The predominant living costs stem from accommodation expenses. The accommodation cost for international students in Australia or for the student to study abroad fluctuates based on the chosen room type. Options include halls of residence, shared housing, and local homestays. Among these, halls of residence stand out as the most favored choice among international students.

Now, let us break down the monthly cost of living in Australia across different accommodation options: 

Type of Accommodation Average Cost
Homestays 450 AUD – 1,200 AUD
Halls of residence 440 AUD – 1,100 AUD
Apartment 750 AUD – 1,700 AUD
Shared apartment 650 AUD – 950 AUD

Additionally, your overall cost of living in Australia is influenced by the location you choose for accommodation and to study abroad. For instance, living expenses in Sydney are much higher for international students than those in cities like Gold Coast and Canberra.

Examine the contrast in expenses among different cities in Australia for international students: 

City Average Cost of Living
Gold Coast 20,600 AUD
Canberra 22,400 AUD
Adelaide 24,500 AUD
Melbourne 24,500 AUD
Brisbane 25,600 AUD
Perth 25,700 AUD

Food and Groceries:

Including food in your monthly living expenses in Australia is crucial. Affordability is within reach if you cook your meals instead of frequent upscale restaurants. Regular dining out can significantly increase your expenses, proving quite costly.

An effective strategy is to explore local grocery stores in Australia that offer ingredients for your native meals. Many international students find it convenient to prepare their food, and consequently, managing student living expenses in Australia becomes more achievable.

Below are the costs associated with some fundamental food and grocery items: 

Particulars Costs
White Rice 1 kg 2.64 AUD
A Dozen Eggs 5.36 AUD
White Fat Milk 1 Litre 1.24 AUD
Fast Food Combo Meal 12 AUD
1 kg / Apples 4.32 AUD
500 gr Local Cheese 9 AUD
Tomatoes 1 kg 5.08 AUD
1.5 Litres of Water 2.20 AUD
Potatoes 1 kg 3.35 AUD
Bread (for 2 people) 2.78 AUD


The living cost in Australia for students encompasses commuting within the cities. If your residence is distant from your university, you will incur frequent travel expenses. To mitigate these costs, take advantage of the various student discounts available to international students in the country.

Given the extensive and convenient public transportation network in the city, opting for it is a practical choice. Whether it is buses, trains, or cycling, these modes of transportation are more cost-effective than relying on taxis. 

Here is an overview of transportation options along with their associated costs: 

Mode of Transport Average Cost
One-way local transport ticket 3-6 AUD
Taxi Tariff 3.60 AUD – 7 AUD
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.19 AUD – 1.60 AUD
Taxi (1 km) 1.62 AUD – 3.20 AUD
Monthly Pass 90 AUD – 220.70 AUD

Household Bills:

The living expenses for a student in Australia encompass household bills, which include electricity, water, internet, and other essential utilities. It is crucial to ensure timely payment of these bills. While many accommodation options include these essential utilities in their costs, if they do not, it is imperative to factor them into your monthly living expenses in Australia.

Explore the average costs associated with your household expenses in the country: 

Bills Average Cost Per Month
Internet 70 AUD
Basic Utilities such as Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage etc. 200 AUD
Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local 0.10-1 AUD


For an international student residing in a country like Australia, the allure of the vibrant surroundings can be captivating. The options seem endless, from trendy clothing and delectable restaurants to branded attire. Even if you manage to exercise restraint in your shopping endeavor’s, it is estimated that you may still incur around 80 AUD in monthly shopping expenses in Australia.


Concluding the spectrum, miscellaneous expenses encompass a diverse array of items, ranging from stationery to leisure activities and any unforeseen living costs. It is crucial to recognize that these expenses can differ significantly from one individual to another, primarily dictated by the chosen lifestyle. 

Consequently, it is advisable to plan accordingly. Steering clear of luxury items and crafting a budget aligned with average expenses in Australia is a prudent approach. Here is an overview of some miscellaneous costs to consider: 

Miscellaneous Items Average Costs
Household Items 80 AUD
Books & Stationery 10 AUD
Toiletries 11 AUD
Other 50 AUD

Living Costs for International Students in Australia

The choice of residence significantly influences the living expenses for international students in Australia. For instance, residing in major cities like Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne entails a higher average cost of living than suburban areas such as St. Kilda West, South Brisbane, Spring Hill, and others. 

Explore the distinctions in the cost of living between Australian cities and the suburban areas renowned for housing well-established universities in the country: 

Factors of Living Sydney Spring Hill
Rent 540 AUD 250 AUD+
Food & groceries 151 AUD 137 AUD
Utilities 80 AUD 67 AUD
Transportation 38.46 AUD 25 AUD
Stationary 7 AUD 7 AUD
Others 50 AUD 50 AUD

Now that you are aware of the variations in the cost of living for students across different areas in Australia, let us examine the average living expenses while studying at various universities in the country:

Living Expenses for Students in Australia: Public vs. Private Universities

The living cost of living in Australia for Indian students is influenced by the choice of university, specifically whether it is a public or private institution. Public universities in Australia receive funding from the state government or subsidies, while private universities are financially supported by investors and rely on tuition fees from students.

Here is a breakdown of the tuition fees for both types of universities, contributing to the overall cost of living for students in Australia: 

University Name Type of University Average Annual Fees
University of Melbourne Public 31,870 AUD
University of New South Wales Public 23,140 AUD
University of Sydney Public 44,500 AUD
The University of Queensland Public  34,960 AUD
Australian National University Public 31,628 AUD
Bond University Private 43,200 AUD
Carnegie Mellon University Private  58,000 AUD
Torrents University Private 34,480 AUD
Avolande University Private 34,736 AUD

To effectively plan your monthly expenses in Australia, consider these crucial parameters:

Comparative Cost of Living in Australia and Other Countries:

To make an informed decision about the ideal study destination, it is essential to evaluate several factors. Here is a brief comparison of living expenses in Australia as opposed to other countries.

Comparison of Monthly Rental Expenditure (AUD):

Type of Accommodation Australia UK USA South Africa
1-Bedroom Apartment Outside of City Centre $1,800 $1,500 $ 1,900 $ 600
3-Bedroom Apartment in City Centre $1,300 $1,180 $1,500 $ 500
3-Bedroom Apartment Outside of City Centre $3,000 $2,300 $ 3,100 $ 1,400
1-Bedroom Apartment in City Centre $2,000 $ 1,863 $ 2,500 $ 1,100

Whether a student is an owner or a renter, they will incur utility expenses. Therefore, it is crucial to compare these aspects as well.

Monthly Cost Comparison for Internet Usage and Basic Utilities (AUD)

Type of Expenditure UK Australia South Africa
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $60 $70 $80
Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment $300 $200 $160

Top Cities in Australia for International Students 


Ranked 6th globally, Melbourne boasts a vibrant community of students and hosts esteemed institutions like Monash University, Deakin University, University of Melbourne, and Swinburne University of Technology. The estimated monthly living cost in Melbourne ranges from AUD 2,800 to AUD 3,500. 


A highly sought-after study-abroad destination, Sydney ranks 9th for employer activity. With premier institutions such as the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney, Sydney is also known for its higher living expenses, averaging between AUD 3,000 to AUD 4,500.


Ranked 29th, Brisbane accommodates three major universities, including Griffith University, University of Queensland, and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Recognized for its student-friendly facilities, Brisbane’s monthly average cost of living is around AUD 2,500 to AUD 3,000.


Claiming a spot among the top cities for international students, Adelaide hosts universities like the University of Adelaide and Flinders University. Known for its charm and tourist attractions, Adelaide’s average monthly cost of living is around AUD 2,000 to AUD 3,500.


Renowned for its quality education, Perth houses the University of Western Australia. It consistently ranks among the top cities for students, with an average monthly cost of living ranging from AUD 2,500 to AUD 3,000. 


Home to the Australian National University and the University of Canberra, Canberra ranks 27th in desirability and 120th in affordability. Considered safe and welcoming, Canberra’s average monthly living cost is around AUD 2,700 to AUD 3,500.

Gold Coast:

Contrary to widely held belief, Gold Coast offers an exceptional living experience, known as the “surfers paradise” for its beautiful beaches. Hosting institutions like Bond University and Griffith University, the average monthly cost of living for international students in Gold Coast ranges from AUD 2,300 to AUD 3,000.

Tips for Cost-Effective Living in Australia

To stretch your budget during your time in Australia, consider adopting these helpful tips: 

1. Create a Budget:

   Dining out regularly and opting for premium or imported items can inflate your food bills in Australia. Save money by dining out less frequently, cutting back on cafe and pub visits, and planning meals in advance. Explore local and seasonal foods at farmer’s markets for affordable alternatives to supermarket chains.

2. Reduce Electricity Costs:

   Australia’s power costs are among the world’s highest. To mitigate electricity expenses, avoid running air conditioners continuously, cool your home with natural airflow, and unplug appliances when not in use. Be mindful of switching off power for wall outlets when leaving for extended periods.

3. Participate in Public Events: 

   Australia hosts numerous free public events, such as live music performances and outdoor movie screenings. Take advantage of cost-effective options like coin-operated barbecues at the beach for entertainment without breaking the bank.

4. Save on Fitness Expenses: 

   Instead of paying for gym memberships, capitalize on Australia’s conducive climate for outdoor activities. Engage in running, biking, paddling, swimming, and hiking. Many communities offer free fitness programs and outdoor workout stations. Embrace the Australian lifestyle without the hefty gym fees.

5. Explore Discounts and Offers: 

   Australia provides various incentives for students, accessible through the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). Leverage discounts on flights, transportation, and more. Utilize your student ID to unlock additional offers at various outlets and stores. 

6. Optimize Transportation Costs:

   Choose public transportation over expensive cabs for a more affordable commute in Australia. Most universities have excellent links to public transport facilities, and you may find student discounts on monthly or weekly passes for regular use.sir  

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What is the Average Tuition Fee for Education in Australia?

The tuition fee constitutes nearly 70% of the total expenses for studying in Australia. On average, the tuition fee in Australia ranges from $20,000 to $42,000 per year. Below is a list of leading universities along with their approximate tuition fees.  

Southern Cross University (SCU)  AUD $25,200 – AUD $32,000
Australian National University (ANU) AUD $36,480 – AUD $48,480
University of Melbourne AUD $25,280 – AUD $52,812
University of Sydney AUD $9,750 – AUD $67,000
The University of Queensland (QU) AUD $26,096 – AUD $76,584
The University of Western Australia (UWA) AUD $31,600 – AUD $161,600
University of New South Wales (UNSW) AUD $9,359 – AUD $48,000

Education Loans in Australia

Securing Education loans in Australia requires careful planning, and a crucial initial step towards realizing this goal is organizing your finances. Despite not everyone being fortunate enough to possess a robust financial background, it is. Financial institutions and banks, such as HDFC Credila, SBI, etc., extend student education loans at minimal interest rates. Applying for an education loan is a straightforward process, with approval often granted within days. Nevertheless, precise, and accurate documentation is imperative for the loan approval process.

Pursue Your Education with Shuraa Education

Shuraa Education has partnered with global universities to provide affordable and internationally recognized blended master’s courses. For further information, reach out to our counsellors. Contact us via email at or reach us through call or WhatsApp at +91 931 999 8924 for expert advice and support.


Q1. What is the Minimum Cost of Living for Students in Australia?

The estimated minimum cost of living, encompassing all expenses for a student studying in Australia, is around AUD 21,041. If parents accompany the student, an additional AUD 7,362 is incurred, and if the student has a child, an extra AUD 3,152 is added.

Q2. Is Australia an Expensive Country to Live in?

Australia ranks third among the world’s most expensive countries. Despite its high cost of living, recent research indicates that Australia is considered the optimal destination for studying, starting a family, and settling down. 

Q3. Is Education Expensive in Australia?

Yes, education in Australia is costly compared to many other leading countries. This is attributed to factors such as a robust teachers’ union and a commitment to delivering the highest quality of education.

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