Cost of Living & Accommodation Options

Guide to Living and Studying in Australia

A guide to living and studying in Australia is provided by the Australian Government at

This is the official Australian Government website for international student where you can read about studying and living in Australia, watch stories from other students, and learn about Australian education.

Cost of Living

In addition to paying course fees, the Australian Government estimates that the average living cost for an international student is A$18,000 - A$20,000 per year ($A350 - A$400 per week). This pays for accommodation, food, telephone, gas, electricity, transport and spending money.

Actual living costs could be higher or lower than this, depending on where you study and the lifestyle that you live. It usually costs more to live in Sydney than in other cities or towns in New South Wales.

Guide to living costs for one week

ItemWeekly Cost Range
(Australian dollars)
Accommodation (house or apartment shared with others) $100 - $150
Food: meals and groceries $90 - $100
Utilities: telephone, electricity, gas (shared costs with others) $20 - $40
Public transport $30 - $50
Spending money: entertainment, clothing, personal items $50 - $60
Total $290 - $400


Accommodation Options*

 Once you have confirmed your enrolment, you can look for accommodation that suits your needs and budget. Some tips when searching for accommodation include:

  • The costs will vary depending on location and type of accommodation.
  • Always confirm the total cost and any other expenses you may be required to pay, such as a bond and utility fees.
  • Consider how far it is from your campus and whether it is easily accessible by public transport, such as bus or train.
  • Find out what shopping centres, hospitals and emergency service facilities, and other amenities are nearby.

Short-term accommodation

Short-term accommodation options you might want to consider when you first arrive in Australia include:

  • Hostels and discounted rates on hotels.


You can rent or 'lease' a property by yourself or with friends. This can be done through a real estate agent or privately. When renting a property you will need to pay a security deposit or 'bond' (which is usually four weeks rent), as well as rent in advance (also usually four weeks). The bond is held to repair any damage that you, your house mates or house guests cause to the property while renting. Some, or all, of this amount may be refunded to you once your tenancy agreement has terminated.

For more information on your rights and obligations when renting in Australia you should visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.


With homestay, you will live with a family in their home. Homestay can be a good option for younger students as you will have all the comforts of an established home, often with meals and cleaning included. Families offering homestay accommodation to international students are thoroughly screened to ensure they can provide a suitable living environment for students.

Legal protection

You have certain responsibilities to meet when it comes to paying accommodation expenses on time, cleaning and maintenance. You also have the right by law to feel secure in your property, maintained with working facilities. If there are any problems with your accommodation, talk to your agent or landlord (if renting), your international student support staff for on-campus living or the service where you found your homestay.

There are also organisations such as tenants unions and consumer advocates that can provide assistance. To find out more visit the relevant government Fair Trading agency in your state/territory.

*based on information at

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