Cost of Living in Australia - Travel and Accommodation for International Students

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    The cost of living in Australia for a single person per month is INR 1,59,874, so Australia is clearly a much more expensive country to live in than India. Nevertheless, with about 700,000 international students pursuing their education in Australia, there is no doubt that it is a popular study abroad destination.

    For international students, this means that they must arrange for accommodation as soon as they get an offer to a university, in order to find a place within their budget. One would also have to figure out how to pay for day-to-day expenses, which include travel, groceries, utilities, etc. Most students opt to apply for scholarships in Australia, some of which provide allowances for such necessities. You may also start looking for jobs in Australia, which can not only pay your bills but also enhance your CV.

    Cost of Living in Australia: Travel Costs

    A flight ticket to Australia from India can cost anywhere from INR 11,000 to 10,00,000, depending on the departure and arrival locations and the time of the year. When you travel to Australia you must carry:

    • Passport
    • Australian student visa
    • Financial statements
    • Letter of acceptance from an Australian university
    • Address and contact number of your college and accommodation
    • Health insurance details

    Although it is the passport and visa that are the most important, you will need the other documents to support the Incoming Passenger card that you have to fill and submit. This card is usually distributed on the flight or just after arrival. To pass through Customs, you will have to undergo a baggage check, and you must declare your possession of certain expensive items.

    Some institutions have pickup services for new international students. If your university does not have this service, all you need to do is get to your pre-arranged accommodation via public transport.

    Australia Travel Restrictions

    As per the latest guidelines, new international arrivals, i.e those who are not Australian citizens or residents, are not permitted in Australia. Students returning to their final year of medical, dental, nursing or allied health professions degrees, may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. Even then, it is compulsory to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken at most 72 hours before departure.

    Cost of Transport in Australia

    Although most people use cars to get around, trains and buses are also quite popular forms of transportation in Australia. The average cost of transport is AUD 30-60 per week, but students who are arriving in Australia need to know the average costs and fares of the various modes of transport:

    Mode of Transport Average Cost
    Bicycle Can be purchased for AUD 400
    Taxi Fares starting from AUD 3-5
    Bus Ticket of AUD 7
    Train Ticket of AUD 8-530, depending on length of journey and type of seat
    Tram Ticket of AUD 4.5
    Ferry Fare of AUD 50
    Metro Ticket of AUD 3.5-5

    Different states and territories in Australia have different student concession plans on public transport, making use of which will greatly bring down your cost of living in Australia. The transport concessions are as follows:

    1. ACT - Students can get concession using their Student ID card or a MyWay Students Concession Card
    2. NSW - Most students do not get concessions, but a few who are recipients of Australian Government scholarships do.
    3. NT - Students can get unlimited bus travel for up to three hours for a fare of AUD 1 by using their Student ID card.
    4. QLD - Full-time international students who are enrolled in certain courses will get concessions on public transport using their Student IDs.
    5. SA - All international students can get concessions using their Student IDs.
    6. VIC - Students who are in an overseas exchange program or those who are recipients of an Australian Development Scholarship can get concessions.
    7. TAS - All students, whether local or international, get the same concessions.
    8. WA - International students can get concessions in the connected public transport system.

    As an international student, you will need a bank account in Australia to manage your finances smoothly, without being subject to exchange rates. You can open a bank account online before you move to Australia or after you arrive. You will need:

    • Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
    • Passport
    • Offer Letter
    • Visa information
    • Email address

    You must be at least 18 years old in order to open an account overseas, and you must arrive within 12 months of the account being made functional.

    The second thing you must do is get an Australian Tax File Number (TFN). you must apply online, under certain conditions:

    • You hold a foreign passport
    • You have already arrived in Australia
    • You have an overseas student visa or a visa with work rights

    Lastly, it is best that you purchase an Australian SIM card. It can be prepaid or on contract, but either way you will need it for communication purposes during your time in Australia.

    Cost of Living in Australia: Student Accommodation

    There are plenty of accommodation opportunities in most student cities in Australia, owing to the fact that most universities own a number of residences and other similar facilities. Of course, the rent will vary in different cities and with the types of accommodation.

    On Campus Accommodation in Australia

    It is normal in Australia for on-campus accommodation to be fully furnished, and the rent to be inclusive of most amenities, like:

    • Laundry
    • Internet
    • Electricity
    • Water

    You can choose between catered and self-catered accommodation, and single rooms and double rooms. Residential colleges have entirely on-campus housing, giving students a more memorable experience complete with activities and bonding sessions at the residence.

    Cost of Living at Top Universities in Australia

    The top universities in Australia offer many types of accommodations, varying in size, facilities and locations. The rent is The average range of rent is AUD 110-280, but that at different universities is tabulated below. Note that you may have to pay some amount in advance to secure a seat.

    University Accommodation (per week)
    Australian National University AUD 232-473
    University of Sydney AUD 155-460
    University of Melbourne AUD 308-745
    University of New South Wales AUD 125-734
    University of Queensland AUD 380-644

    Off Campus Accommodation in Australia

    Universities generally help students find cheap accommodation in Australia outside campus, if they do not get a room on-campus. There are temporary housing facilities like hostels and hotels that you can stay in until you find a long-term arrangement. However, these cost AUD 90-150 per week, so it is best to arrange for accommodation before coming to Australia. The types of stay and the expected house rent for students are:

    • A shared rental can be an apartment or a room, and can cost AUD 95-215 per week.
    • Individual rentals are significantly costlier, with rent being AUD 185-440 per week
    • Younger undergraduate students may prefer living with a host family. The cost of living at a homestay comes to AUD 235-325 per week

    Most of these are fully furnished and inclusive of utility costs.

    Cost of Living in Australia: Student Cities

    The cost of living in Australia depends on which city you are living in. Some of the most popular student cities and their respective costs are given below:

    City Cost of Living (per month) Accommodation (per month)
    Melbourne AUD 1,321 AUD 1,425-1,762
    Sydney AUD 1,421 AUD 1,885-2,611
    Brisbane AUD 1,342 AUD 1,228-1,634
    Canberra AUD 1,270 AUD 1,504-1,937
    Perth AUD 1,306 AUD 1,057-1,486

    There are a number of factors included in the Cost of Living in Australia, some of which are:

    • Groceries - AUD 140-280 per week
    • Gas and electricity - AUD 10-20 per week
    • Telecommunication - AUD 15-30 per week
    • Entertainment - AUD 80-150 per week

    You can manage the living expenses further by going for student discounts which can be availed using your Student ID card at most retail stores. When it comes to food and groceries, you can also save a lot of money by shopping at local markets. You are allowed to work in Australia with a student visa, and getting a part-time job will definitely help international students handle the cost of living in Australia.